Spending little or next to nothing for cultural events in TO

If you think you need to spend a lot of money for cultural outings, you are wrong.

by Maya Gasparoto


At least in Toronto there are various free and cheap options.


This is the magic word when you want to buy tickets on sale. You can get tickets with up to 50% off on the same day of the performance, at the kiosk located at Dundas Square.

 1 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B 2R8


Besides T.O.Tix, another option is to put your name on the “Director’s chair” list of the theater that you like. The first row of seating in front of the stage is usually sold for 25% of the original value. Check out the rules for each theatre.

National Ballet of Canada

The National Ballet of Canada offers tickets starting at $37 for the majority of their shows. It is recommended that you buy them in advance, but if you are lucky you can get great seats buying tickets on the day of the show.

 145 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 4G1 – Phone:(416) 345-9595

Canadian Opera Company

The Canadian Opera Company has sale tickets for people up to 29 years of age that range from $22 to $35. The buyer has the right to purchase up to three tickets and the companions do not need to be under 29 years of age. You do not fit in this category? Do not worry! This company has a sale on tickets, starting at $50. If you do not want to spend even a penny, do not forget to check out “The Free Concert Series”, a series of free concerts that run from September to May, normally on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12pm and some Wednesdays at 12pm and 5:30pm. Seating is limited. Do not be late!

 145 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 4G1 – Phone:(416) 363-6671

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has a cultural incentive program for people between the ages of 15 to 35. TSOUNDCHECK allows the buyer to purchase up to two tickets and the companion can be over 35. Tickets are generally available one week before the performance. Photo I.D. is required when picking up tickets.

 212 King St W 6th floor, Toronto, ON M5H 1K5 – Phone:(416) 593-4828

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir

Fans of Baroque music should not miss concerts offered by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. The orchestra was founded in 1979 and is internationally recognized for its quality. For the 2015/2016 season, persons under 35 years of age can buy tickets for $15, $20 and $25. This group also offers free concerts and lectures.

 427 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7 – Phone:(416) 964-6337


Tuesday is movie day in Toronto. The prices at Cineplex vary from region to region but on average cost around $7.99. If you have a SCENE card you will get an extra 10% off. At the Magic Lantern Theatre and at the Rainbow Cinema discounted entry is $5.

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Entrance fees for adults are $10 between 4:30pm and 8:30pm on Fridays. This price does not include special expositions.

100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON  M5S 2C6 – Phone: (416) 586-8000

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

The permanent exhibitions can be visited for free every Wednesday between 6pm and 8:30pm. Highlights are works form Picasso, Monet, Cezanne, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh and Matisse. The higher floors of the building, Galleria Italia, is also worth a look for its beautiful architecture.

317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4 – Phone: 1-877-225-4246 or (416) 979-6648

Bata Shoes Museum and Textile Museum

Fashion fans will love these two museums. The Bata Shoes Museum has over 10 thousand pairs of shoes which range from those worn by primitive people up to celebrities such as Elton John, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon and Terry Fox. Visitors pay what they can afford on Thursdays between 5pm to 8pm. It is recommended to pay $5.

327 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W7 – Phone:(416) 979-7799

The Textile Museum is a smaller museum but has interesting fabric exhibitions from various countries. Every Wednesday between 5pm and 8pm the visitor pays what he can.

55 Centre Ave, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2H5 – (416) 599-5321

Toronto Public Library

By way of MAP – Museum & Art Pass the library user has free access to many attractions around Toronto such as ROM, AGO, Ontario Science, Toronto Zoo, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Fort York, Aga Khan Museum and Gardiner Museum. You can get this pass at public libraries and it is valid for 2 adults and 4 children. A photo I.D. and proof of residency are necessary to obtain the library card.

Want another tip? Add your e-mail to the list of places you like to go. They always send promotions.