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If the warmer weather is giving you spring fever, there are plenty of activities to dive into that won’t break the bank. The Star talked to Toronto Tourism — and some born and raised Torontonians — for their top picks on affordable things to do in the city at this time of year.
Check out the cherry blossoms
Go for a stroll in High Park to take in the glorious Japanese cherry trees (a sure sign of spring) – and make sure you check out the zoo while you’re there. The popular Toronto landmark is open 7 a.m. to dusk, and houses such animals as llamas, bison, emus, peacocks and reindeer. Grenadier Pond, located on the west side of the park is another highlight, and a great place for a picnic.
Cost: Admission to the zoo is free (donations appreciated).
Market it up
Pedestrian Sundays are returning to Kensington Market for the 14th season, starting May 28. The streets are closed from noon to 7 p.m. during the market, with vendors and artists ruling the roost. If you’re in the mood for more markets there are more than 30 that run across the city, include St. Lawrence Market, the Leslieville Farmers’ Market (which starts May 21), and the Evergreen Brick Works market. Buying your produce has never been easier.
This 7.5-acre farm is located in the heart of downtown Cabbagetown, and is a great place to take kids (or yourself). Visit the working farm, see the pigs and poultry, and gaze at the butterflies that surround the herb and veggie gardens for a quintessentially spring activity.
Cost: Free and open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hit the bike paths
Despite being Canada’s biggest city, Toronto is surprisingly bike-friendly — and it’s a great way to commute or spend your leisure time. Don’t have a bicycle? No problem: Bike Share Toronto offers year memberships for $ 90 (with the first 30 minutes of every ride included), significantly cheaper than transit passes for a year.
While some professional sporting events can set you back a small fortune, you don’t have to cash in your RRSPs to watch the Blue Jays in action. Depending on the game (and your seat), tickets can cost as little as $ 13 before tax, making this an affordable and very entertaining way to spend an evening or afternoon.
Go for a run
Looking for a way to get fit and socialize? Nothing says spring like being able to run outside in shorts again. The Running Room offers free group runs at all of its Toronto locations on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
Go for a walk
Even locals can enjoy an awesome free walking tour. The company Tour Guys runs a variety of different tours April through September, including through Old Town Toronto, St. Lawrence Market, a ghost tour and a graffiti tour. Why not be a tourist in your own town and check it out?
Cost: Free (tips appreciated).