Toronto is a beautiful and fun city to visit, but it can get expensive pretty fast. This doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to come for a visit, it just means you have to be a bit more budget conscious. Here are my tips for ways to save money while visiting Toronto.
Try to find a hotel or AirBnB close to the subway line. Not only will you save money by not taking taxis everywhere, you will also save time not being stuck in traffic which can get ugly pretty fast.
If you plan on spending most of your time downtown, I would recommend staying downtown. It will save you a lot of time.
|Look for this sign!|
Parking rates vary across the city, especially during popular events and different days of the week. Hotels often charge way more than the Green P Parking lots that can be found across the city. Use the Green P Parking website to figure out what is the cheapest parking to where you are going.
If you are staying in a neighbourhood that has free street parking, take advantage of it but be sure to read street signs as overnight parking may require a permit.
Your best option, and if you can do it, is to take public transportation. Having a car downtown Toronto is more of a pain than luxury.
|The TTC is likely your most affordable way around town|
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has a terrible reputation for being unreliable. There are often route changes or delays because of events, weather, maintenance, or construction. But it still is your cheapest way around the city. Get the Presto card for additional savings especially if you plan to use the GO Transit system to leave the downtown core. Check out the TTC Trip Planner to plan out your route.
|The UP Express is your best option from Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto|
The cheapest, and possibly the fastest way to get from Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto would be using the UP Express. Taxis and Uber can be quite expensive depending on your destination. Of course, if your hotel offers a free shuttle service, take advantage of it…you can’t beat free!
Food and Drinks
Eating away from the main tourist attractions will be friendly on your pocket. One of my favourite areas to eat delicious food is in Koreatown, but there are many neighbourhoods around the city that cater towards the locals. Chain restaurants are usually more expensive than family or privately owned ones. Not to mention, you can find food from anywhere in the world in the heart of Toronto at affordable prices.
Entrance fees to attractions can add up quickly, fast! Be sure to read TripAdvisor’s Toronto Forum to see what people recommend and if it is something that is of interest to you. Also, some museums and galleries might have discount days or offer discounts to students and seniors, so do your research to make sure you get the best deal possible. There is also the Toronto City Pass which can save you money if you plan it out right.
Some of the best deals for shopping will be away from tourist hot spots, such as the Eaton Center. If you have a car and don’t mind driving out of the downtown, Dixie Outlet Mall and Vaughan Mills Mall. In the city, check out Kensington Market or Chinatown for some great finds.
There are also many free events and things to see and do in Toronto. If you budget accordingly, you will be able to plan a budget friendly vacation.
If you have questions, or would like additional information, please leave them in the comments below.