10 Affordable Things to do in Toronto for International Students
You haven’t known financially tough times until you have been an international student. Ironically, it’s these rough times that sometimes make you feel like you’re actually living!
We have all had the satisfying experience of biting into a juicy burger after a night on the town or drinking a glass of water when you’re really thirsty! The thirst is real, people.
Fortunately, for the financially struggling international students who travel to a new city where you have no friends or knowledge of how things work, having little cash is what makes great memories!
Here at GEOS Toronto, we got you.
We are here to help you use what little you have to get the most out of the city. Here’s the breakdown of the place we call home!
- Magoo’s Gourmet Hamburgers and Ice-Cream ($8, 4242 Dundas St W)
So you just arrived at Pearson airport? Take a 5 minute cab ride to have what is arguably the best burgers in Etobicoke! You’re tired. You’re hungry. We told you, we got you!
- St. Lawrence Market ($5-???, 93 Front Street East)
Located in Old Town, the St. Lawrence Market is a must-see for the cultural and urban foodie. Much of the local items at the market arrives in the morning and are gone by the time the doors close at 6! Rated as one of the top markets in the world, it is definitely worth a visit! Our personal recommendation is “Buster’s Sea Cove”!
- Kensington Market ($5-???, Kensington Ave)
Welcome to a community that nicely represents Toronto like a bizarrely packaged gift! Kensington has it all – restaurants, cafes, gift/barber boutiques, tailors, thrift shops, and much more! Don’t worry about what to do when you get there. Just tell one of the passionate and friendly locals what you like and they will point you in the right direction. Seriously, there’s something for every taste in Kensington!
- Dundas Square (Free! 1 Dundas St. E)
Dundas Square is like a friend who lets you come over to join whatever they’re doing. Sometimes there’s a party (New Year’s Eve, a big sports event, etc.) and sometimes people are just hanging out watching the thousands of people that migrate through on a daily basis. It’s open and extremely inviting, so come by! Some even say it’s our little version of Times Square!
- Distillery District (Free! 55 Mill Street)
There is a slight dilemma with this place. Though the district itself is free to walk, the restaurants and shops within can be quite expensive. We still recommend that you take a walk over to check it out because the setting is really, really, beautiful and tourists often revel over the old architecture and cobble stone pathways. As one of the nicest aesthetic areas in Toronto so bring your camera along for the journey!
- Royal Ontario Museum ($15, 100 Queens Park)
There are many museums in Toronto but the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario are the two big ones in Toronto. Simply experiencing the ROM’s beautiful architecture and exhibits will make you feel smarter! Be sure to check out the dinosaur exhibit; it’s one of the largest and most fascinating in North America!
- Art Gallery of Ontario ($20 and free Wednesdays 6-8:30pm, 317 Dundas Street West)
If you’re not into admiring old masters like Michelangelo then check out their newer works in AGO’s contemporary exhibits. It leaves you feeling strangely acquainted with the diverse city that Toronto has come to represent!
- Centre Island ($7, Bay St. and Queens Quay)
The Toronto islands are a great summer getaway that is one of the city’s prized urban oases! The ferry docks are located at the foot of Bay St. and take you to the various islands. If you want to really look at Toronto, the best place to do it from is on these islands!
- Canadian National Exhibition (Free, 210 Princes’ Blvd)
Open for approximately 3 weeks at the end of summer (August 21st – September 7th), the CNE is a warm weather experience that tourists and locals alike frequent each year! With fun rides, games to play, great carnival foods to taste, you may want to bring some money to try it all!
- Evergreen Brickworks (Free, 550 Bayview Ave)
Finally, our personal favorite. Not accessible by foot (at least, not easily), this hidden gem is a perfect balance of the urban and natural environment that makes Toronto, Toronto! That is, you have a great outlook of the city’s skyline from the designated viewing areas as well as paths that take you by ponds and the natural wilderness that covers the Don Valley.
The Evergreen Brickworks is one of those rare, romantic, places to go with another or to explore alone. With only a single restaurant and shop (that has an outdoor portion that doubles for a skating rink in the winter!), the Evergreen does a great job making you feel like everything there was meant just for you!