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Ten Things To Do In Toronto Under $25

Lively and cosmopolitan, Toronto is a fascinating blend of different cultures and communities. With its trendy bars and retro shops, Canada’s largest city is a must-see destination for independent travelers. Here’s some tips to keep the costs down on your visit – and make the most of this vibrant city on a budget.

The See Toronto Under $25 List

1. Stay at the Canadiana Backpackers Inn (42 Widmer Street) from $22 a night and fill up on the free pancake breakfast.

The cheapest place to stay in the city is at one of the youth hostels in Toronto which provide budget dorm beds or private rooms to travelers. The Canadiana Backpackers Inn offers flexible accommodation (solo, small and large group accommodation ) – catering to families and groups as well as backpackers – in the heart of downtown Toronto. Just a few blocks from the famous CN Tower, it’s surrounded by many of the city’s bars, restaurants and attractions.

2. Eat as much meat as you dare at BBQ Express, 385 Queen St. West.

This friendly Canadian barbecue joint on hip Queen St West is great value for travelers on a budget. From spicy pork souvlaki to classic burgers and grills, entrées are between $5 and $15 but are about more than just meat – they come with an endless list of sides including coleslaw, salad, rice, fries, pasta, dressing…

3. Drink with the rock n’ roll crowd at The Hideout on Queen (484 Queen Street West).

At around $6 a beer, this cool, busy lounge bar may not be the cheapest place in Toronto but the atmosphere and cozy black leather couches are worth the price. The crowd tends to be laid-back and down-to-earth, although varying slightly depending on which band is playing on the tiny corner stage.

4. See some of Canada’s most iconic memorabilia at the Hockey Hall of Fame (Brookfield Place) for $13.

This Ice Hockey museum is a genuine shrine to the nation’s favorite sport with plenty of interactive multimedia exhibits. It’s great for nostalgic fans but equally impressive for its insight into this significant aspect of Canadian culture.

5. Take the ferry to the small chain of scenic islands in the middle of Lake Ontario.

For just $5 return on the ferry, travelers can escape the noise and bustle of the city for the beautiful parkland of the Toronto Islands. The unspoiled (and car-free) community is home to just a few residents and a children’s amusement park as well as some picturesque walks and great swimming beaches.

6. Shop for retro home-ware and vintage dresses at Bungalow, 273 Augusta Avenue.

At the north end of Kensington Market – which itself is famous for bargain shopping - lies Bungalow, an organized and elegantly laid-out vintage boutique with a collection that ranges through furniture to men and women’s clothing. Despite the trendy setting, it’s surprisingly cheap with t-shirts starting at just $10.

7. Walk north on Ossington Avenue through the ethnic neighborhoods.

Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and nowhere is this unique diversity more visible than along Ossington Avenue. Here, Vietnamese stores blend seamlessly into Portuguese sports bars, Italian cafés and the bustle of Chinatown’s many restaurants.

8. Browse the exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen St West.

This non-profit museum (which is free to enter) was recently moved Downtown and now sits on Queen St West in the midst of Toronto’s coolest art and design scene. MOCCA (as it’s known) is the only museum in the city to engage with living Canadian visual artists and contains intriguing displays of the nation’s innovative contemporary style.

9. Dance the night away in The Dakota Tavern at 249, Ossington Avenue.

The Dakota Tavern is a blues-style Country and Western bar located in a basement beneath Ossington Avenue. With a friendly but hip vibe, it’s small and intimate enough to be great fun for either a casual drink or an evening of serious revelry to accompany the live music. And if all that dancing makes you hungry, there’s chips and salsa served for $5 or the bar’s own special sour cream apple pie for $4.

10. Watch a performance at Tranzac (the Toronto Australia New Zealand Club) on Brunswick Avenue.

Tranzac is a community organization focused on arts, music and theater in Toronto that runs events most nights in the venue’s Southern Cross Lounge along with other regular acts in the professional Main Hall. Performances range from renowned national singers to local community theatre, with admission tyically just $10 for each show.

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