There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto’s weekly tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more help you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket.
Pay Less, See More
Nurture your passion for porcelain with a visit to the Gardiner Museum. On Friday evenings, admission is half price from 4 p.m. until closing time. The renowned institution’s permanent collection boasts more than 3,000 ceramic pieces of Ancient American, Asian and European provenance, as well as many dynamic contemporary pieces by international artists. The current exhibition Bigger, Better, More: The Art of Viola Frey invites visitors to come face to face with whimsical, larger-than-life clay sculptures created by the late California artist. Through to December 10, a dozen spectacular holiday trees, decorated by some of Toronto’s top designers and architects, are on display in the museum lobby. And for a jump-start on holiday shopping, stop by the Gardiner Shop, which offers beautiful ceramics, glass, jewellery and more—perfect for the gift-giving season.
Festive Family Fun
Exotic animals and beloved cartoon celebrities invade Yonge-Dundas Square this weekend for Kidzfest, an annual holiday hootenanny for little ones and their willing parents. Part of the ongoing Winter Magic celebrations in the Downtown Yonge neighbourhood, the free event features kid-friendly activities, educational entertainers and zany stage shows. Budding young artists can make colourful creations in the craft tent and wildlife lovers will love the live jungle cat shows and birds of prey demonstrations. Popular characters like Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer are sure to create a frenzy during special meet-and-greet sessions.
China on the Cheap
Whether you’re picking up presents for loved ones or treating yourself this holiday season (hey, you deserve it!) you’re sure to find some stunning pieces at the 34th annual William Ashley warehouse sale. Savvy shoppers can save up to 90 per cent on a vast selection of name-brand china, crystal, flatware, and chic home decor items that are ideal for any gift-giving occasion. Hint: to avoid the crowds hit the sale on weekday afternoons between 3 and 6 p.m.