Major cities tend to be more expensive places to live compared to small towns, and Toronto is no exception.
However, for those of us who crave the big city lifestyle, there are plenty of ways to make living in Toronto more affordable.
The city is filled with free and cheap activities, as well as affordable places to eat, drink, and shop. You just need to know where to look. Here are our five top tips on how to live on a budget in Toronto.
Choose your home wisely
It’s no secret that the cost of housing in Toronto isn’t exactly cheap, whether you are buying or renting. However, to avoid being ripped off, compare the prices on plenty of homes in various neighborhoods, and research current average prices.
Remember to take into account costs such as commuting that will vary depending on where you decide to live.
It's also worth considering the fact that some neighborhoods, for example, those with a large student population, offer cheaper options for eating, drinking, and entertainment.
Cut your commuting costs
Public transport is almost always a significantly cheaper option than taking taxis. However, Toronto is also a beautiful place to walk – see the city, get some exercise, unwind, and cut your commuting costs all in one go.
Toronto is also a bike-friendly city, so it’s worth considering renting a Bixi Bike or buying your own bicycle.
Whilst this may seem like an expensive cost up front, in the long run, it's much cheaper. The same can be said for investing in decent boots and a warm coat so that you can enjoy walking even in the winter.
If you’re guilty of buying food on the go, or going out for dinner often, keep in mind that cooking is significantly cheaper.
Search for apps which allow you to download grocery shopping coupons, or shop at cheaper places like Kensington market and China town.
When you do eat out, Toronto has a delicious range of cheap eats and student deals amongst the fine dining restaurants.
You don’t have to give up shopping just because you’re on a budget, but you do need to be smart about where you shop. Vaughn Mills shopping center is home to a plethora of outlet stores, where you can pick up an amazing bargain.
There are also several Winners stores around Toronto, where you can buy designer clothes and accessories at a fraction of the price.
Check out the wide range of second-hand stores around the city, too.
Activities and entertainment
Toronto hosts a range of free events such as concerts, movies, and festivals throughout the year and you can also check which museums and galleries offer free or reduced-price entry at specific times or on a particular day of the week.
The same goes for cinemas, which often offer half-price entry on a particular day.
Enjoy other free activities such as visiting the beach, parks, ice rinks, and the Distillery district.