Things to do in Toronto this summer that won't break the bank

Many people think think that since Toronto is such a costly city to live in, it's expensive for entertainment and recreational activities as well — though it's understandable to think this, there's quite a lot of activities in the city that cost less than a hour's wage or are, better yet, free.

We've picked out a few tried-and-true activities that cost only a nominal fee and that aren't necessarily what someone would think to recommend to a tourist, which should allow for a more enjoyable and exciting experience. There's lots to do in the city, from visiting Riverdale Farm to exploring the bowels of Canada's largest urban park, meandering through the streets of Kensington Market and trying out a free yoga class from a lululemon instructor.

Nothing should hold someone back from seeing their city, including the ridiculously expensive rent and transit costs, so here's our top recommendations for the best places to hit up in Toronto when you're on a budget.

 With over  200 varieties of plants blooming throughout the year , including palms, hibiscus, orchids and banana trees, the Centennial Park Conservatory definitely has a bit of everything. First opened in 1970, the complex now consists of multiple greenhouses and grows more than 300,000 plants to be used in parks around the city. 📸:  Wikimedia

With over 200 varieties of plants blooming throughout the year, including palms, hibiscus, orchids and banana trees, the Centennial Park Conservatory definitely has a bit of everything. First opened in 1970, the complex now consists of multiple greenhouses and grows more than 300,000 plants to be used in parks around the city. 📸: Wikimedia

 Kensington Market isn't a traditional market, but rather a maze of streets and alleyways that name up the ever-changing and vibrant neighbourhood. When heading out, make sure to leave on an empty stomach — there's numerous little restaurants to grab a bite at that will appeal to most taste pallets. This section of the city is really a sight to see because, unlike the rest of Toronto, it's remained relatively the same throughout the past few decades while the rest of the city evolves. 📸:  Wikimedia

Kensington Market isn't a traditional market, but rather a maze of streets and alleyways that name up the ever-changing and vibrant neighbourhood. When heading out, make sure to leave on an empty stomach — there's numerous little restaurants to grab a bite at that will appeal to most taste pallets. This section of the city is really a sight to see because, unlike the rest of Toronto, it's remained relatively the same throughout the past few decades while the rest of the city evolves. 📸: Wikimedia

 The easiest way to access Rogue National Urban Park is by driving (there are no good public transit links to the park), but  Parkbus is offering free bus rides to the park  on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays throughout the summer and until the end of September. There's plenty of paths for hiking on and though bikes are welcome throughout the park, cyclists will have to bike on the road. The Rogue is a great place to spend the day and bring a picnic lunch, but since you're in the middle of nature, remember to bring sunscreen and to not feed the animals. 📸:  Wikimedia

The easiest way to access Rogue National Urban Park is by driving (there are no good public transit links to the park), but Parkbus is offering free bus rides to the park on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays throughout the summer and until the end of September. There's plenty of paths for hiking on and though bikes are welcome throughout the park, cyclists will have to bike on the road. The Rogue is a great place to spend the day and bring a picnic lunch, but since you're in the middle of nature, remember to bring sunscreen and to not feed the animals. 📸: Wikimedia

 The Toronto Islands are located in Lake Ontario, only a  15-minute ferry ride  from the downtown Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, and are actually an interconnected group of 15 islands pieced together by a network of pathways and bridges. On the island there are beaches, sports facilities, bike and canoe rentals, space for picnics, and even an EMS and fire station and an amusement park. The most popular island — Centre Island, the tourist epicentre in the summer — comes alive in the summer and act as a peaceful utopia away from the bustling city. 📸:  Wikimedia

The Toronto Islands are located in Lake Ontario, only a 15-minute ferry ride from the downtown Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, and are actually an interconnected group of 15 islands pieced together by a network of pathways and bridges. On the island there are beaches, sports facilities, bike and canoe rentals, space for picnics, and even an EMS and fire station and an amusement park. The most popular island — Centre Island, the tourist epicentre in the summer — comes alive in the summer and act as a peaceful utopia away from the bustling city. 📸: Wikimedia

 The Power Plant is a gallery located by the waterfront in downtown Toronto, and can be recognized by the smokestack stemming from the top of the building. Acting as a art gallery the majority of the time, the space is also home to lively opening parties and other community events and is within walking distance of the Harbourfront Centre, a premiere cultural centre in the city. 📸:  Wikipedia

The Power Plant is a gallery located by the waterfront in downtown Toronto, and can be recognized by the smokestack stemming from the top of the building. Acting as a art gallery the majority of the time, the space is also home to lively opening parties and other community events and is within walking distance of the Harbourfront Centre, a premiere cultural centre in the city. 📸: Wikipedia

 Located just minutes from the Don Valley Parkway and a 20-minute walk from Castle Frank Station, Riverdale Farm is an oasis of calm farm life planted in the middle of the city. Residents of the farm include cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, chicken, hens, pigs and more. Visitors can learn about farm life and chat with staff members while they complete feeding, milking, grooming and egg collecting, but it's important to note that this is a functioning farm and as such, the animals are only there to be observed. 📸:  Wikimedia

Located just minutes from the Don Valley Parkway and a 20-minute walk from Castle Frank Station, Riverdale Farm is an oasis of calm farm life planted in the middle of the city. Residents of the farm include cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, chicken, hens, pigs and more. Visitors can learn about farm life and chat with staff members while they complete feeding, milking, grooming and egg collecting, but it's important to note that this is a functioning farm and as such, the animals are only there to be observed. 📸: Wikimedia

 Grab a bite to eat at the St. Lawrence Market, located a good walk from Union Station or along the 504 King and 514 Cherry streetcar routes. The historic building now serves as a marketplace for bakers, fishers and more, but incorporates pieces of the original building that housed Toronto City Hall beginning in 1845. 📸:  Wikimedia

Grab a bite to eat at the St. Lawrence Market, located a good walk from Union Station or along the 504 King and 514 Cherry streetcar routes. The historic building now serves as a marketplace for bakers, fishers and more, but incorporates pieces of the original building that housed Toronto City Hall beginning in 1845. 📸: Wikimedia