You can't put a price on fun! If you're itching to do something fun in your city, but want to keep your expenses low, we have a few suggestions for local activities in Canada that you might love. BentallGreenOak Residential Services wants you to enjoy a variety of fun activities in your city, for free!
Toronto is a big city with plenty of free activities to enjoy. Pick an afternoon to explore bohemian Kensington Market, stopping to check out all its eclectic shops and cafes. The neighbourhood is filled with independent grocers, vintage stores, art shops and culturally diverse restaurants. If you need a break, stop in for a cup of joe at one of the many coffee shops in the area and do a bit of people watching -- something that is always fun and free in Kensington Market. Another great area to explore is the Distillery District, especially because it's a pedestrian-only area surrounded by historic architecture. Walk around and explore the one-of-a kind art galleries, cozy boutiques and grab a coffee at beautiful Parisian-style Balzac's Coffee Roasters.
Burlington has a beautiful waterfront, making it the perfect place for a stroll or cycling. Check out the Brant Street Pier and enjoy the picturesque S-shaped pier that extends for over 130 meters over Lake Ontario. For even better views, walk up to to the elevated deck and take in the gorgeous landscape. It's open between 7 and 11 pm and it's free! You can also go for a hike at Mount Nemo Conservation Area, which is challenging but worth it for the spectacular views.
Hamilton is a great city for outdoor enthusiasts. Aside from all the great hiking trails, Hamilton is home to over 100 waterfalls, all of which are free to visit. There are many to explore, but you can just start with a few. Some of the most popular ones include Albion Falls, Tiffany Falls, Tew's and Webster's Falls. Each one is different, but they are all equally beautiful. Visiting the falls is a perfect activity for a day trip that's suitable for anyone, including friends and families.
In Kitchener, be sure to visit vibrant Kitchener Market and explore the locally grown produce and a variety of vendors. Take a break and grab a bite to eat at one of the international cuisine vendors, or take a cooking class taught by professional chefs. The market is open every day except Sunday and Monday. If you prefer a walk through nature, check out Huron Natural Area, a great spot for a walk or bike ride.
Exploring the Fort to Fort trail in Langley is a fun and free activity for everyone. It's accessible all year round and a great place for all sorts of activities. You can walk along the Fraser river or cycle on the trail. It is suitable for all levels and you can bring your dogs, too! This is also a fantastic place to go for a jog, so take advantage of the milder weather and check it out.
Get a taste of Hong Kong by visiting the Pacific Mall in Markham. This mall offers a bit of everything, including gadget shops, hardware and clothing stores and all kinds of knock-offs. Try out one of the Chinese restaurants or have some fun at the video game arcade. Outdoorsy types would be wise to check out Toogood Pond Park, a family-friendly park that's open all year round.
One of the best things to do in New Westminster is to visit the River Market. It's a great gathering place for friends and families and anyone who loves food! You can spend the entire day there, sampling food from a diverse number of vendors or by checking out one of the many events. Whichever way you look at it, it's a great place to hang out. To see what's coming up, check out the River Market website.
You can visit Yorkdale Shopping Centre in North York for free, if you don't mind window shopping. It won't cost you anything to walk around, but try not to give into your shopping temptations as there are many high end shops in the mall. If you're trying to stay on budget, there are several good restaurants and cafes that you can check out and still keep your expenses below. Try some ice-cream at La Paloma, or a gourmet treat at Nadège Patisserie.
In Oakville, Bronte Creek Provincial Park is a great place to spend the day -- especially when you're on a budget. The park has trails which are suitable for hiking, cycling and even cross-country skiing in the winter. You can even camp in the warmer months and enjoy the outdoor swimming pool. Additionally, you can also check out the farmhouse, full of chickens, pigs and rabbits – something the kids would enjoy!
There are many free activities to enjoy in St. Albert. If you love being outside, explore one of the many parks including the St. Albert Botanic Park, Red Willow Trails and the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park. Another great option is the St.Albert Farmers Market featuring over 250 vendors! It's a great place to be from June until October.
If you live in Waterloo and love parks, a visit to the Waterloo Park is something to consider. It's a fantastic place for picnics, sports and downtime. You can also check out the Woodside National Historic Site for a brief history lesson about William Lyon Mackenzie, the former Canadian Prime Minister. This was his childhood home, which is a well-preseved Victorian house set in a beautiful, wooded area. Admission for youth under 17 is free.
One of the best free activities in Vancouver is visiting Granville Island. It is known for its arts and crafts, as well as the Public Market. Walk around and explore the gourmet stores, local artisans or grab a cheap bite to eat from one of the many food vendors. Another superb spot is the Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey Stadium where you can listen to live music, check out the food trucks and shop local. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you can always go for a hike! Vancouver has no shortage of amazing hiking trails. If you're up for a workout, hike Grouse Mountain.
Get to know local artists by exploring the many art galleries in Calgary. Start with some contemporary art galleries, like Truck Gallery and The New Gallery. Next, check out Art Central, a space with a variety of indoor studios and galleries, then head to the Design District, which is packed with all kinds of home decor stores. You can also visit one of Calgary's Markets, which are free and always have free samples of food! Check out Hillhurst Sunnyside which is open every Wednesday.
Go for a stroll down Whyte Avenue and take in all the amazing things that Edmonton has to offer. You can window shop, check out the local market or just people watch while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. You can also go for a scenic walk through William Hawrelak Park, which has a lake and open meadows. It's the perfect place to destress, relax and it's free!
When you're on a tight budget, but still want to explore the city, Montreal is a great place to be. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Jean Talon Market, a beautiful indoor and outdoor marketplace that's open year round. There is no fee to wander around and check out the vendors, but you will have to spend a couple of bucks if you want a snack. There are so many great food options, you won't be disappointed! Get some exercise and go for a hike up to the Mont Royal Lookout for breathtaking views of the city. If hiking is not for you, driving up or taking the metro are good options for getting there, too.