July on the Cheap! 2017




The Redpath Waterfront Festival

School's out for summer and camp season is in full swing. Summer is even more enjoyable when there's a little bit of free fun sprinkled into your kids' day. From fireworks to festivals, there is so much to do in Toronto and the GTA this month. We've put together a list of family-friendly events and activities to enjoy, all of which are free (or cheap)!

Canada Day Events
June 30 to July 2, 2017
Canada Day Family Fun in Toronto and the GTA! If you’re in the city for the Canada Day long weekend, there are plenty of ways to show off your patriotism, have some fun, and maybe even learn a thing or two. See where you can listen to music, learn about our country’s heritage, enjoy kids' play zones and see fireworks. Plan the perfect Canada Day long weekend with our picks of the best events, outdoor festivals and warm-weather outings for you and the kids. Most events are Free!
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Free Summer Movies
Various dates in July
Looking for amazing free summer movies for kids? These spectacular free summer movies will captivate kids of all ages and you'll love watching these great flicks under the stars. Get the list of parks and venues in Toronto and the GTA that show free outdoor movies all summer long. 
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Free Admission on Wednesday Nights at the AGO
Weekly on Wednesdays
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is an art museum in Toronto's Downtown Grange Park district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. Its collection includes more than 80,000 works spanning the 1st century to the present-day. The gallery has 45,000 square metres (480,000 sq ft) of physical space, making it one of the largest galleries in North America.
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Cineplex Family Favourites for July
Saturdays in July
Join Cineplex on Saturday mornings at 11:00 am for Family Favourites. Watch a family favourite film each week for only $2.99. It's a fun and affordable way to enjoy the weekend with your family.  
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Rouge Park Guided Walks
Various dates in July
Join us to discover the park's natural, cultural and agricultural stories with our friendly and fun Parks Canada volunteer leaders and staff. We have something for everyone, if you are looking for wildlife sightings, quiet nature walks, discovering the past, fitness challenges or just to meet new people! Free admission.
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Kids Bowl Free Program
Various Dates this Summer
Each year, the Kids Bowl Free program kicks off. This fantastic nationwide is program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat. Sign your kids up to bowl 2 FREE games every day all summer long at their local bowling alley.
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​Movie Nights at Celebration Square, Mississauga
Various Dates in July
See a Free Movie at Mississauga Celebration Square during Summer Movies Nights. There's nothing better than the exciting lineup of free summer movies at Mississauga Celebration Square. Plan your visit, because movies are here, and they're starting now. You bring the blankets! May to September.
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Edwards Summer Music Series: Gardens of Song
Until August 31, 2017
Come enjoy concerts by an eclectic roster of popular artists, set in the natural beauty of the gardens, rain or shine (held indoors in case of extreme weather). Free admission.
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TD Toronto Jazz Festival
Until July 2, 2017
The TD Toronto Jazz Festival has become known as one of North America’s premier jazz festivals produced annually by Toronto Downtown Jazz. What began in 1987 as an eight day showcase of jazz now attracts in excess of 500,000 loyal patrons annually over 10 days. Attractions include more than 400 performances with over 2000 musicians performing at approximately 50 locations around Toronto. Free + Ticketed Events.
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Bradley Museum's 50th Anniversary - Free admission
Until August 22, 2017
Come celebrate Bradley Museums 50th anniversary! In celebration of Bradley 50th Anniversary and Canada 150 the Museum will offer free admission through August 22. Donations accepted.
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Summer Music in the Garden at Harbourfront
Until September 17, 2017
Celebrating 18 years of free concerts in a magical setting! Curated for Harbourfront Centre by Tamara Bernstein. The popular Summer Music in the Garden concert series returns for its 18th season by the shores of Lake Ontario. Treat yourself to 19 free concerts this summer, featuring outstanding artists and a wide range of musical styles, from medieval love songs to finger-style guitar. Free.
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Heritage Ontario Festival
June 30 to July 3, 2017
The Heritage Ontario festival lets you delve into our past and gaze into our future. This free admission 4-day Ontario150 festival will celebrate Ontario’s vast multicultural history with lots of heritage activities, food, drinks and entertainment.
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The Redpath Waterfront Festival
July 1 to July 3, 2017
Mark your calendars for July 1-3 and join the fun on the Waterfront! The Redpath Waterfront Festival, presented by Billy Bishop Airport, will be kicking off the Canada 150 celebrations as the official launch of the ONTARIO 150 Tour. Visit HTO Park and snap a selfie with the World’s Largest Rubber Duck, grab a bite and browse unique finds from 75 vendors at the Waterfront Artisan Market. Free admission.
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Ontario Family Fishing Events
July 1 to July 9, 2017
Fish for Free this July! Go family fishing at an Urban Fishing Festival during the Ontario Family Fishing Event, a province-wide opportunity for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing version outdoors card. Valid from July 1 to 9, 2017. Get the list of events.
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Weekend Explorers at Ontario’s Legislative Assembly
July 2 to August 27, 2017
A fun family program on the weekends at the Legislative Building this summer. During this one hour program designed for families with children aged 6-10 you will: Explore the Legislative Building and Chamber through a fun scavenger hunt, Play games that teach you about Ontario’s Parliament, Participate in a craft activity, and have fun, all for free!  More info

Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival
July 3 to July 23, 2017
With hundreds of thousands in attendance, the three week-long festival attracted more dancers, families and Latino culture lovers to Toronto than ever before – from across the country and around the world! Free admission.
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Newmarket's Kids Downtown
July 4, 2017 to July 25, 2017
Looking for something fun to do this summer? Join us every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. for Kids Downtown. This free child-oriented entertainment show allows you to delight in the evening's entertainment. Please bring a lawn chair or a blanket. Free admission.
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Family Fun Nights At Earl Bales Park
July 4 to August 24, 2017 
​Free family fun all summer long! As part of the Family Fun series, parents and children can join in free adventure and fun activities an hour before the feature entertainment. The stage performances are for children 5 to 12 years. There is also a free movie in August. Free admission. 
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Toronto Fringe KidsFest
July 5 to July 16, 2017
Toronto Fringe KidsFest runs from July 5-16, 2017 at the George Ignatieff Theatre. This dedicated kids theatre component of the wider Toronto Fringe Festival offers 8 different shows for kids aged 2-12. Tickets are only $5 for kids and $12 for adults. Don't miss the KidsFest Club! Situated on the grassy grounds beside the theatre, the KidsFest Club features Free outdoor programming for the whole family. 
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Prairies to Pacific at Harbourfront
July 7 to July 9, 2017
Go west! This festival features a broad array of music, multidisciplinary arts, and activities that represent the beautiful patchwork of Canada's West. Free admission.
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Taste of Lawrence
July 7 to July 9, 2017
Taste of Lawrence is a three-day food and cultural festival that takes place in the Wexford Heights BIA. As Scarborough’s largest street festival it boasts the most enticing flavours from every cultural community in the GTA. Locals and tourists alike come to the festival to experience the Taste firsthand as they celebrate their cultures and learn about the rich heritage of others. Features a Kids' Zone. Free admission.
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Free Kids Building Workshop at Home Depot 
July 8, 2017 
FREE Hands-on Workshops designed for children ages 5 - 12. Held on the 2nd Saturday of each month at all The Home Depot stores. Each child can bring home a newly constructed project, an achievement pin and certificate.
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Solar Observing at Ontario Science Centre
July 8, 2017
Safely observe the sun with specially filtered telescopes. Learn about our nearest star and try your eye at spotting exotic surface features, including sunspots, spicules and prominences. This program is offered by members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Free admission.
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11th Annual Fusion Of Taste Festival
July 9, 2017
Fusion of Taste street festival is one day celebration of multiculturalism that takes place at Albion Road and Islington Ave every year. The event showcases over 100 artists with 10.5 hours of programming, over 60 tasty and creative vendors, Kidz Zone, Fun Zone, exciting competitions, buskers and much more. Free admission.
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Oakville Children's Festival
July 9, 2017
Toopy and Binoo, the popular cat and mouse duo from the hit children’s television show, will headline the 2017 Oakville Children’s Festivale 2017 Oakville Children’s Festival. The event will also feature performances by comedian and juggler Bob Cates, singer Mike Ford, Silk Acrobatic artist Heather Govender, KaHa:wi Dance Theatre’s Pow Wow Bootcamp, First Nations Storyteller Cheri Maracle, The Compound All Star Urban Dance Team, ROCKGarden Party, Toyland Puppet Show, and street magicians Mike D’Urzo and Ray Chance and more. Free admission.​
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Power Kids: DIY Wind Up Toys
July 9, 2017
Ydessa Hendeles’ Aero-Car inspires this STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) program. Discover how Hendeles speaks to both the past and the future in her work by drawing upon the use of antique toys and futuristic automatons. Each participant will then design and build their own retro-style wind-up toy using springs, thread and cardboard. Once complete, we will wind-up our toys and watch them go zoom! Free admission. 
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Toronto Bastille Day
July 9, 2017
Toronto Bastille Day 2017: see you on July 9! On Sunday July 9, the French community is invited to join us for a picnic at Dufferin Grove Park, from 11am to 4pm. A DJ will play French songs and this year there won’t be vendor stands. Free admission.
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TO Food Fest
July 9 , 2017
Since 2012, the TO Food Fest has been bringing together top foodie-reviewed restaurants and local hidden gems into one exciting event. Established and aspiring chefs can be found at the TO Food Fest, giving the local community a taste of unique and delicious cuisine. Free admission - $2 donation recommended.
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Sunday Serenades at Mel Lastman Square
July 9 to August 13, 2017
​Sunday Serenades is back! Join us for this free outdoor concert series at Mel Lastman Square featuring some of Ontario’s best live swing, big band, and jazz acts. Dance the night away to the sound of the roaring 30s, 40s, and 50s.
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Music in the Park at Kew Gardens Park
July 9 to August 27, 2017
New this year, The Beach Village BIA is excited to announce free music in Kew Gardens! Come out and enjoy the sounds, with a different style of music each week. Music in the Park is sponsored by Robert Gore & Associates CPAs, CAs and Traci Tempany & Keith Monahan. Free admission.
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Family Nature Walk: Tree-mendous Trees
July 11, 2017
Join us for a tour of the tremendous trees in High Park! Get to know majestic Black Oaks, towering White Pines, beautiful Paper Birches and many more. We’ll also talk about how animals, including humans, benefit from trees in a variety of ways, as well as some of the latest research on how trees communicate with each other. Free admission.
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Canada 150 Summer Festival
July 14, 2017
Celebrating 150 years of fun! Featuring Entertainment, Food Trucks, Crafts, Inflatables, Face Painting and more! Plus visit the MomenTO Canadian Artifact pop-up museum. Free fun for all ages. Indoor/Outdoor event. Rain or Shine. Free admission.
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Shield to Shore at Harbourfront Centre
July 14 to July 16, 2017
Explore the music and culture of the St. Lawrence River basin through both contemporary trends and traditional genres, in a rich showcase of the kaleidoscope of styles that is Canada’s East. Free admission.
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Official Re-opening of the Historic Houses at Todmorden Mills
July 15, 2017
Join us as we celebrate the official re-opening of the historic houses at Todmorden Mills. Remarks and ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. followed by special performances by musician Mike Ford and Alias Dance along with tours, food sampling and crafts for kids. Take this opportunity to visit the Papermill Gallery to view our special exhibit Todmorden Then & Now. Free admission.
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Scarborough Celebrates Ontario
July 15 to July 16, 2017
Scarborough Celebrates Ontario (SCO) is a 2-day fun filled weekend celebration that aims to showcase, promote and celebrate Ontario's 150 years of diversity and uniqueness. Activities will include live musical performances, exciting entertainment from local and international artists, mouth-watering ethnic cuisine, dance competitions,  vendor exhibitions and marketplace, cultural fashion show, drum and dance workshops, kid’s zone and much more! Free admission.
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Festival of India
July 15 to July 16, 2017
Bringing a Splash of Spiritual Culture to Toronto! The past four decades have witnessed the Festival of India blossom into one of Toronto’s most dazzling, head-turning summer events. The 45th Annual Festival of India (also known as Ratha-Yatra) will be taking place on July 15th and 16th, 2017. Admission is free.
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Victorious Festival
July 15 to July 22, 2017
Where can you find live entertainment, fabulous music and great food? Victorious Festivals 2017! Victorious offers tons for everyone to enjoy. This year we will be hosting festivals in two exciting venues: Punta Gorda, Belize and Niagara Falls, Canada. It's not only fun, and best of all, this event is completely free.
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CBC Kids Days
July 19 to July 20, 2017
CBC is the place to be! Kids take over the Canadian Broadcasting Centre on Wednesday July 19th and Thursday July 20th, 2017, for two days of live performances, games, activities, crafts and much more. Meet the stars of Studio K, and many of your favourite CBC Kids friends. Registration is not required. Admission is FREE!
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Beaches International Jazz Festival
July 21 to July 23, 2017
Toronto's signature Jazz event, attracting millions of people, is filled with great music, large crowds, and an engaging atmosphere. Free & ticketed events.
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Northern Passages at Harbourfront Centre
July 21 to July 23, 2017
Join this arctic-bound adventure to hear the sounds of throat singers, folk musicians, and storytellers, and see films from across Canada's vast regions of the North. Free admission.
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Richmond Hill's Ribfest
July 21 to July 23, 2017
Richmond Hill’s Ribfest is a three-day outdoor festival that features professional rib teams travelling to Richmond Hill from across North America. Ribbers cook and compete for various Best titles including sauces and ribs. And, in addition to the many delicious food options, there is also live entertainment, a beer garden, children & toddler's fun zone with inflatables and an indoor children's activity area to enjoy! Free admission.
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Black Creek Farm Festival
July 22, 2017
Fun day at the farm! Don’t miss out on delicious pizza from our brick bake oven, free workshops, activities, exhilarating scavenger hunt tour and many more!
Organic fresh produce for sale. Free admission.
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Ossfest
July 22, 2017
Back for its second year, meet us on Ossington on Saturday, July 22nd, from 2pm-11pm for Ossfest. Ossington Avenue between Queen and Dundas Street West, will be transformed with all things memorable that summer weekend in the city are made of: shopping, dancing, live music, patios, eating, drinking and being merry. Free. 
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Persian Family Day at Mel Lastman Square
July 22, 2017
A day to experience Persian culture, through music, dance, food and children's activities. Free admission.
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Downsview Park - Nature Connection
July 23, 2017
Downsview Park staff will take you on a free indoor/outdoor Park program based on nature-themed topics to get you exploring the natural world, starting with Downsview Park! Each two-hour program will explore a natural theme. Activities will be flexible to reflect the interest of participants. Free admission.
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BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts & Culture
July 22 to July 23, 2017
Toronto’s BIG on Bloor Festival, winner of Festivals & Events Ontario’s Top 100, returns July 22 and 23 for its 10th year with an expanded program, the inauguration of BIG Murals and BIG X, and festival favourites; Card-Yard, Celebrate Here, How We Live in Cities, JOUEZ Participatory/Performance Art Projects, Savour Bloor and The BIG Market Place. Crafts, story-telling, face-painting, buskers and more. Free admission.
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TD Festival of South Asia
July 22 to July 23, 2016
The TD Festival of South Asia creates a window into the East to celebrate and experience the culture and cuisine of South Asia. Activities for all ages including a Kids Zone! Free admission.
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BrazilFest: Toronto International BrazilFest
July 23, 2017
The Festival will offer its attendees the opportunity to be closer to the performers. Get a chance to enjoy a taste of Brazil with Brazilian style foods and a family area for families with children to enjoy the day. Free admission.
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YOUTH DAY
July 23, 2017
YD T.O is a FREE annual festival celebrating the positive achievements of young people showcasing their MUSIC, DANCE, ART, PHOTOGRAPHY, FASHION & FILM in front of some 35,000 visitors! Free admission.
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Power Kids: Manikins Come to Life!
July 23, 2017
After viewing and talking about the manikins in the exhibition, we will work in small groups – inspired by performance art – to invent a story, and design and make props from mixed media. Free admission.
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Tirgan Festival at Harbourfront
July 27 to July 30, 2017
Explore the diversity of Iran through music, dance, theatre, art, cinema and a crafts market. Enjoy delicious Iranian food and tea and experience the richness of one of the world’s oldest cultures. Free admission.
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AlohaFest Toronto
July 29, 2017
Join us on Saturday July 29th at Mel Lastman Square from 11 am to 7pm as Hālau Hula I Ka Lā (“Hula School in the Sun”) presents the 3rd Annual AlohaFest Toronto, the city's original and only united celebration of Polynesian culture. At AlohaFest Toronto, we share the Aloha spirit with over thousands of people through engaging cultural performances, fun kids’ crafts and unique items available at the AlohaFest Marketplace. Free admission.
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Todmorden Then & Now Walking Tour
July 29, 2017
Todmorden began as a small industrial community on the Don River, providing lumber, flour, beer and bricks to the growing city of Toronto. Join us on this guided neighbourhood walk as we explore the historic community of Todmorden from the 1790s to the 20th century. Walk begins at Todmorden Mills Heritage Site. Free admission.
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HorseCapades at the CNE
July 29 to August 17, 2017
​A delightful and free introduction to horses, the CNE interactive horse program returns this year, taking place from July 29 to August 17! This year HorseCapades once again features free Pony Rides for kids. Free before the CNE opens (then included with admission.) 
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More Free Events in July
Our Events Calendar is always updated so there may be more free and cheap events taking place in July. CLICK HERE to get a list from our Calendar of Events. It's already been sorted by Free Events for the month. This page will also be updated so check back often.

Know of any other Free events taking place in July? Share below!

Photo credit: Waterfront BIA
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