[Skip to Content]

Our friends at Hostelbookers tell us about some great ways to save your cash when backpacking in Toronto

Friday 9th April 2010

With so many things to see, do and eat, cities can be expensive travel destinations. But with a little local know-how you can uncover some cheap and free things to do. Keep accommodation costs down and stay at Toronto hostels, head to Chinatown for tasty cheap eats and laze beside beautiful Lake Ontario.
The area surrounding Kensington Market, Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street is a treasure trove for lovers of secondhand shopping. If you’re new to the pastime, just get stuck in. Some of the shops might look a bit scruffy from the outside but they are perfect for rummaging. Shops like Bungalow are packed with great vintage finds. Another reason to head to this area is to catch one of the monthly Sunday festivals when cars are banned and locals organise music, dancing, games and live performances. The event is held on the last Sunday of the month.
Hit the Beach
Toronto is located on the banks of beautiful Lake Ontario. Complete with sandy shoreline these inner-city beaches are located next to the picturesque Queen Street East. The boardwalk is 3km long and a popular spot for joggers, walkers and cyclists. On a summer’s day a great thing to do in Toronto is to pack a picnic and jump on a TCC bus to the beach.
If you plan to stay any length of time in the city, stay in Toronto hostels. Not only do you get a cheap rate but hostels are also a great way to meet like-minded travellers. Get to know the staff and discover all the hidden gems in the city to experience life as a local. At the Canadian Backpackers Inn for example you’ll get a free breakfast, self-catering facilities and a sociable lounge area.
Cheap Eats
Every Chinatown heralds a budget bite to eat. But Toronto’s is the largest Chinatown in North America, so you’re even more spoilt for choice. Can’t decide? Peer in and see where all the Chinese are eating for the most authentic and tasty meal.
Get Yours to Go
With over 120 merchants and vendors, you’re bound to find some delicious ingredients for a picnic in the historic St Lawrence Food Market. Located between Front and Jarvis Street, the market complex is in the heart of Toronto old town.