32 Grenville Street M4Y 1A3



Christopher Greaves


So what can you do for free, TRULY FREE in Toronto? Where? And on what days? And at what times?

Here is what I have been up to lately .

And here are some clues. Of course, walking and people-watching are free, but besides that consider:-

Free Musical Concerts

Check the web sites, because there are seasonal breaks but otherwise:-

Tuesday lunchtime at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (Yonge street north of St Clair Avenue) 12:10 p.m.

Tuesday lunchtime at Saint James Cathedral (King street east of Yonge) 1 p.m.

Wednesday lunchtime at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (Yonge street north of St Clair Avenue) 12:30 p.m.

Thursday lunchtime at Metropolitan United Church (Queen street east of Yonge) 12:15 p.m.

Friday lunchtime at Saint Andrews Church (King street west of St Andrew subway station)

Friday lunchtime at Trinity St Paulís Church (Bloor Street West, west of Spadina Avenue) 1:10 p.m.

Check Thursdayís Toronto Star and WholeNote magazine for other musical events.

Walking Games

There are several games I can play while walking. Amongst them:-

The Crane Game

See if you can find a spot in downtown Toronto where you can see less than four cranes ; itís pretty well impossible. Try it at first at intersections where you are waiting for the lights to change.

Asking Directions

This is good fun in any city; especially if you already know your way around. Stop a stranger and ask for directions to wherever you are going. Itís one way to break up your walk and strike up a conversation.

If you are learning Spanish, practice asking directions in Spanish.

Ride The TTC all day on a single ticket

Grab a (FREE!) TTC Ride Guide (map) from any subway station ticket office and note those stations that do NOT require a transfer between surface routes and the subway trains. Kipling and Finch are examples.

Pay your fare and hop onto the subway, make your way to Kipling station. Now try to ride the rest of the day above ground without paying another fare. Hereís how:-

At Kipling, trot downstairs and obtain a transfer from the red machine inside the station area. Back upstairs hop on to the 45 Kipling North bus; ask the driver to alert you to the Finch Avenue intersection. Descend and catch the next 36 Finch bus eastwards, using the transfer you obtained at Kipling.

Inside Finch station, grab a fresh transfer from a machine, then board a 39 Finch East eastbound, getting off at McCowan Avenue and using your latest transfer to board a 129 southbound to Scarborough Centre where you obtain a fresh transfer from the machine inside the station ...

While you are riding on the subway train, or the bus for that matter, ask whoever sits next to you if this bus is going to . You might be surprised at the conversations you get!

Also try asking in for extra fun.


Many locations around town will provide you with free daily newspapers, amongst them:-

Ryerson University at both ends of Jorgenson Hall and the bookstore immediately south of there.

Marriot Courtyard (Yonge just north of Carlton/College) stocks the Globe and Mail and the Wall Street Journal.

Eaton Chelsea (Gerrard between Yonge and Bay) stocks the Globe and Mail and the National Post.

Free Breakfasts on Weekdays

You need a bit of courage for this one. Many downtown hotels (Royal York, Sheraton etc) have all-day or half-day seminars for various groups, hosted by the groups.

Wander up to one of the breakfast tables and grab a croissant and a hot coffee; chat with people. If anyone suggests that you should get your name badge, wander over to the registration table (take your time, no hurry) and ask for your name badge. You name will NOT be on their list; this is a good thing.

Ask if your buddy Billy Trotter (make it up, OK?) has registered yet. He wonít have.

Express surprise and then astonishment that this is the seminar and you were meant to meet Billy Trotter at the Cold-Climate Vermicomposting Conference. Youíve made a mistake! Finish your coffee and croissant and thank the registration staff on your way out.

Youíre welcome!

Christopher Greaves FREE_DSCN0528.JPG

This is not breakfast; this is coffee waiting to be served.

University Libraries

This probably wonít appeal to you if you are a student, but if itís fifty years since you sat in class ... Of course, without a student card you canít borrow books, but you can read indoors away from the stifling heat, bitter cold, pouring rain ...

I live midway between Ryerson University and the University of Toronto..

Ryerson Library

Take the stairs or elevator to the second floor, then take the library elevators to the tenth floor and start browsing. I pick a different row (of shelves) each visit, select one book and thumb through it. Work your way down floor by floor, term by term ...

Robarts Library

ďThe John P. Robarts Research Library contains the largest single collection of the University of Toronto Libraries. The primary focus of the collection is in the social sciences and humanities. Many departments and libraries are physically housed within the 14-storey complex.Ē

Ryerson Image Centre

ďWelcome to the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC). The RIC†exists for the research, teaching and exhibition of photography and related media.Ē

It seems that about half the time I wander over, it is closed. Reopens Jan 21 2015, but ALWAYS check to see if itís open before spending a TTC fare.

FREE access to Museums

You need a Toronto Public Library card for this. Walk in to your local branch and ask for a pass to a museum.

How it works:-

Each/some branches receive a free pass each Saturday. My local branch usually has AGO, ROM, Textiles museum and, I think, Aga Khan. You want a pass to some other museum you may have to go to a different branch.

The library issues you with a pass that is valid for THREE MONTHS (so your friend goes in next week and gets a second pass for the same museum then you go together!).

At the museum you swap your pass for a regular pass and wander around all day. You canít request another pass for THAT museum for thirteen weeks, but since there are thirteen museums (currently) in the system, you can revisit the museums at the rate of one per week forever.

And if it is raining on the day you planned to go, go another day; the pass is valid for three months.

Now what on earth did we do to deserve this?


416-993-4953 CPRGreaves@gmail.com

Toronto, Monday, February 06, 2017 7:25 PM

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