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20 Things To Do in Toronto at Night for Free

20 THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO AT NIGHT FOR FREE

20 Things To Do in Toronto at Night for Free

With its bustling businesses and upbeat nightlife Toronto is another city that never sleeps! There’s a bunch of fun activities for night owls in the city, with some of them being completely free of charge.

If you’re worried about breaking the bank, here are 20 free activities you can do in TO at night.

20 Things To Do in Toronto at Night for Free

1. Spend a night at Scarborough Bluffs

Spend a night at Scarborough Bluffs
(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Address: Scarborough Bluffs Park, Scarborough, ON, Canada

If you’re looking to spend a relaxing night surrounded by beautiful Toronto’s nature, head to Scarborough Bluffs. This nature reserve is packed with scenic nature trails, a beach, and cool parks that you can visit even at night! 

There’s even a nice fire pit on the beach that you can use to warm yourself or make smores in with friends. 

Pro tip:

  • Make sure to visit the park’s community garden. The garden is home to a wide variety of vegetables, plants, and even colourful tulips that smell amazing.

2. Admire the public art at The Bentway

Admire the public art at The Bentway
(Image from AECCafe)

Address: 250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3K9, Canada

One of the best art spots to visit at any hour of the day is at The Bentway. Located right under Gardiner Bridge, this hip under passage has free exhibits showcasing fresh contemporary art by local artists.

The exhibits here constantly change, offering a refreshing and fun experience each time you come to visit. At night, the art installations really complement the regular concerts and community events that happen in this place.

Pro tip:

  • During December, you can actually go ice skating here. It’s a fun way to admire art as you skate around to the next contemporary piece. 
Stop by the galleries at Art Gallery of Ontario
(Image from Art Gallery of Ontario)

Address: 317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada

Operating hours: 

  • Monday: 10:30 AM – 4:00PM
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 10:30 AM – 5:00PM
  • Wednesday, Friday: 10:30 AM – 9:00PM
  • Saturday – Sunday: 10:30 AM – 5:30PM

Did you know that you can enjoy free admission to the Art Gallery of Ontario every Wednesday night?

There are 95,000 artworks in the gallery ranging from contemporary sculptures to impressionist paintings which will pique people’s interest. The gallery’s wooden floors and warm lights also set the mood for a quiet and cozy night of art appreciation. 

Pro tip:

  • One of the things you shouldn’t miss on your visit is Augustus John’s The Marchesa Casati! This lovely painting is a sight to behold, with its harmonious blend of orange and green colours, and fine details that are quite captivating.

4. Check out the colourful lights of the CN Tower 

Check out the colourful lights of the CN Tower
(Image from Toronto Life)

Address: 290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3L9, Canada

It’s no secret that the CN Tower is one of Toronto’s prettiest attractions, but its beauty is on a whole other level at night. It features a colourful display of changing lights that illuminate the night sky, making for a great evening sight. 

This light display actually represents major Canadian events and special causes! You can find the tower’s lights changing everyday; from red, green, and gold hues that represent Emancipation day to solid purple to increase awareness on drug overdoses.

Pro tip:

  • For some really creative shots, we suggest setting your camera to long exposure and snapping a photo of the tower. It’s a great way to enhance the vibrance of the tower’s lights.

5. Explore the sparkly streets of the Entertainment District 

Explore the sparkly streets of the Entertainment District
(Image from Destination Toronto)

Address: Entertainment District, Old Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

After marvelling at CN Tower’s lights, you should explore the bustling and scenic streets of the Entertainment District. It’s one of the liveliest places in the city at night, with its bright glimmering lights, an upbeat nightlife, and tons of street entertainment! 

The district’s streets remind us of Tokyo with its fluorescent hanging signs that light up the streets and bars packed with people having a fun night. 

Pro tip:

  • If you’re around the Entertainment District, we recommend listening to some street singers! There’s a bunch of street singers and performers who put on great shows at night – which we think are worth watching.

6. Take in the nighttime cityscape from Toronto Island 

Take in the nighttime cityscape from Toronto Island
(Image from Toronto Island Sailing Club)

Address: Toronto Island Park, Toronto, ON, Canada

A popular nighttime activity among locals is taking in the beautiful view of Toronto’s skyline from Toronto Island. Toronto Island is composed of 15 different islands, which leaves it with lots of spots to get a unique view of the city! 

Our favourite spot to get a view of the skyline is Centre Island, because of its symmetrical angle which provides a great view of the CN Tower. Aside from that, there are lots of vistas on the island that provide a scenic mix of the cityscape and nature! 

Pro tip:

  • After you’re done snapping pictures of the skyline, we suggest heading to the famous Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. At night it’s quite the landmark, with its lush green surroundings and faint lights. 

7. Snap some pictures of the iconic Toronto sign 

Snap some pictures of the iconic Toronto sign
(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Address: 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N1, Canada

Every city these days has a sign that lets everyone know where you are, and Toronto is no exception. There’s no better time to visit the city’s iconic “Toronto” sign in Nathan Phillips Square than at nighttime when the sign shines with bright colourful lights. 

One of the best things about this sign is you can get some great pictures with the city hall and fountain in the background.

Pro tip:

  • The best time to take a photo with the iconic sign is during the winter season, as Nathan Phillips Square turns into a wonderland with festive lights and an ice skating rink. 

8. Unwind at High Park 

Unwind at High Park
(Image from blogTO)

Address: 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3, Canada

High Park is one of Toronto’s largest greenspaces that’s teeming with amazing sights and meadows. There’s a wide variety of flora and fauna in this park, as well as long winding paths that make it a perfect place to have a peaceful walk at night. 

The park also has lovely gardens filled with beautiful flowers and small bodies of water providing a peaceful ambience.

Pro tip:

  • One of the best areas to visit at night is the Ravine Zone! This part of the park is filled with lovely purple flowers and walkable trails that provide some great scenery. 

9. Go for a midnight stroll along Cherry Beach 

Go for a midnight stroll along Cherry Beach
(Image from blogTO)

Address: Cherry Beach, Toronto, ON, Canada 

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5:00AM – 11:00PM

One of our favourite things to do on a warm night is to take a stroll along Cherry Beach. This beachpark has a tranquil atmosphere surrounded by lush green spaces where you can find late night barbecues and dog walkers doing their own thing. 

The beach’s long sandy shores and gentle waves that brush your feet make it perfect for a relaxing walk after a long day. 

Pro tip:

  • The best thing about Cherry Beach is that you can bring your dog with you when you visit. 

10. Attend an improv show at The Second City

Attend an improv show at The Second City
(Image from The Second City)

Address:  One York Street, 110 Harbour St, Toronto, ON M5J 0B6, Canada

Operating hours: 

  • Monday, Sunday: 9:00 AM – 11:30PM
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM – 10:00PM

Shows at The Second City are usually paid for, but there’s actually several ways to watch these hilarious performances for absolutely free! 

Unbeknownst to most people, you can enjoy a free improv show from comedians like Eugene Levy after the last show of the night! There’s also the free student shows, which feature performances from up-and-coming comedians. 

Pro tip:

  • The Second City has some great drinks that are fun to sip on while enjoying a show. We recommend the stage mom cocktail for a tangy grapefruit flavour or a blueberry mule cocktail if you love sweet drinks.

11. Sit back and watch Shakespeare in The Park 

Sit back and watch Shakespeare in The Park
(Image from CBC)

Address: 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3, Canada

High Park is one of the best places to watch amazing live-action performances of Shakespeare’s best work for free!

Shakespeare in The Park features great reenactments of plays like Hamlet, but with comedic or romantic twists. The play takes place in the park’s amphitheatre, where fresh open air and flora provide a tranquil and charming atmosphere. 

Pro tip:

  • After a night of theatre, we recommend a visit to the park’s labyrinth. This zen area has picturesque scenery, and it’s also a fun place to walk around!

12. Relax and take a breather at Toronto Bay

Relax and take a breather at Toronto Bay
(Image from View the VIBE)

Address: 319 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5V 1A2, Canada

Toronto Bay’s great for relaxing once nighttime falls, with its calm waters and waterside environment offering a nice change of scenery from the busy city streets. 

At night you can see cruises and boats slowly making their way across the bay, which is quite a lovely sight.

Pro tip:

  • After you’re done sitting by the bay, you can make your way towards Ireland Park. This park has several sculptures that are worth seeing and also has comfortable benches that are perfect for resting by the waterfront.  

13. Explore the Victorian streets of the Distillery District 

Explore the Victorian streets of the Distillery District
(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Address:  755 Lawrence Ave E, North York, ON M3C 1P2, Canada

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
  • Friday – Saturday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM

If you’re looking to explore a European-esque location, then there’s no better place than the Distillery District. At night this place is bustling with activity as crowds and tourists flock the district’s cobblestone streets and snap some shots of archaic buildings!

It’s a fun place to explore, especially at night when gleaming lights add a touch of warmth to the Victorian architecture that defines the district. Huge red brick buildings and old breweries also give Victorian London vibes – minus Jack the Ripper of course!

Pro tip:

  • One of the best things to do after exploring the old buildings of the district is to head to the iconic heart statue. It sits in the middle of the Distillery District and is great for selfies at night with its bright red lights.

14. Take in the scenery at the Martin Goodman Trail 

Take in the scenery at the Martin Goodman Trail
(Image from Canada247)

Address: Martin Goodman Trail, Toronto, ON, Canada

Some of the best places to take in the picturesque beauty of Toronto are the city’s trails, and the Martin Goodman Trail is by far one of the best out there. This long trail that runs along Lake Ontario will have you in awe with its beautiful vistas of the cityscape at night! 

The trail is incredibly scenic, taking you to some of the city’s most beautiful places like Queens Quay and Cherry Beach! There’s also lovely things to experience on the trail like geese floating by the lake and tons of spots to get unique vistas of the city skyline. 

Pro tip:

  • One of our favourite things to do on the Martin Goodman Trail is to take a rest near the Billy Bishop Airport. It’s a fun place to take in the city skyline and also one of the best spots to watch planes taking off from the airport at night!

15. Go for a scenic drive at Harbourfront

Go for a scenic drive at Harbourfront
(Image from Travel2Next)

Address: Harbourfront, Old Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

If you’re tired of walking through the streets at night to unwind then consider going for a fun drive! 

Our favourite spot to go for a drive is at the Harbourfront for its picturesque beauty and close proximity to iconic landmarks. Nothing really beats the gentle sounds of the lake and its refreshing breeze as you drive down a scenic road of bright lights and nature.

Pro tip:

  • We suggest driving with the windows down when going for a night drive by the Harbourfront. It’s a great way to feel the cool breeze of Lake Ontario and take in the refreshing view of the quiet seaside.

16. See visual representations of Bach’s music at Toronto Music Garden 

See visual representations of Bach’s music at Toronto Music Garden
(Image from Toronto Grand Prix Tourist – A Toronto Blog)

Address: 479 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5V 3M8, Canada

Another great place to visit at night is the Toronto Music Garden which has beautiful views of the city skyline and Lake Ontario. This atmospheric garden was constructed in a way that reflects the emotions of Bach’s “The First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello”! 

The garden is composed of several sections, each having diverse sets of flowers and plants which represent the different parts of Bach’s masterpiece. The numerous gardens and winding pathways make it a great place for a peaceful night stroll.

Pro tip:

  • We suggest taking your time reading the information boards scattered around the park. There aren’t many people around at night making it the perfect time to read these boards, which shed light on the park’s history and Bach’s music.

17. Listen to live music at Summer Music in the Garden 

Listen to live music at Summer Music in the Garden
(Image from Toronto Blogs)

Address: 479 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5V 3M8, Canada

The Summer Music in the Garden event is the best place to watch musical performances by popular local and international artists for free! 

It features dynamic bands and artists performing jazz, rock, and even opera – so there’s something for everyone! It’s a fun way to vibe out to music while enjoying amazing performances amid rhythmic lights that illuminate the night.

Pro tip:

  • We suggest a visit to the Courante section of the park. This part of the park represents Bach’s third movement, with lovely wildflower meadows and fragrant conifer trees that are worth seeing. 

18. Catch a free movie at The Royal Cinema 

Catch a free movie at The Royal Cinema
(Image from Spotted by Locals)

Address: 608 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B4, Canada

Operating hours: 

  • Monday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 10:00PM
  • Saturday – Sunday: 1:00 PM – 10:00PM

Thanks to the Royal Free Flick Mondays program, you can now catch a free movie one Monday a month at the Royal Cinema in Little Italy!

An interesting thing about this cinema is that they only play old blockbuster films, so expect to see some classics like Indiana Jones, Jaws, and Scream. 

Pro tip:

  • This historic theatre is one of the most treasured Art Moderne style structures in the city which is known for its interesting design – make sure to take some aesthetic shots for the ‘gram!

19. Enjoy a captivating view from Polson Pier 

Enjoy a captivating view from Polson Pier
(Image from VIEWBUG)

Address: Toronto, ON M5A 1A4, Canada

If you’re tired of seeing the city from the same spot, head to Polson Pier for a unique view of the cityscape. It’s one of our favourite places to take a seat with a warm drink in hand as we admire the captivating view of the vibrant city and gentle waves of the lake. 

The pier is located right by Cherry Beach, giving you access to a lovely view of the CN Tower, Toronto Island, and the bustling streets downtown. 

Pro tip:

  • After you’re done visiting the pier, visit Jennifer Kateryna Koval’s’kyj Park. Just a minute away from the pier, this park has winding paths that are great for walking by the lakeside, and it also offers a good view of the skyline!  

20. Appreciate interesting artwork in Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto

Appreciate interesting artwork in Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto
(Image from blogTO)

Address: 158 Sterling Rd #100, Toronto, ON M6R 2B7, Canada

Operating hours: 

  • Monday – Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 9:00 AM – 11:00PM
  • Friday: 9:00AM – 9:00PM

If you’re feeling pretty artsy at night, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. You can actually check out the museum’s galleries and explore the historical building for free every Friday from 5 – 9 PM!  

The museum specialises in contemporary pieces made by the best local artists, so expect to see peculiar but intriguing artwork. 

Pro tip:

  • One of our favourite exhibits to visit here is Phyllida Barlow’s Eleven Columns. This fascinating exhibit features a bunch of pillars that tower over the room.