9 Free Museums and Art Galleries in Toronto

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Known for its cultural diversity, sports and entertainment, restaurants, weekend festivals, and our gorgeous skyline, Toronto attracts over 27 Million visitors annually. With 46 kms of waterfront, 158 neighborhoods, and 6 boroughs (previous municipalities amalgamated into one city), there seems to be no shortage of things to see and do.

Unfortunately, Toronto is also the most expensive City in Canada, and 89th most expensive city in the World according to a recent Mercer report based on cost of living. With sky-high housing prices and rocketing inflation, I’m sure you didn’t need a survey to tell you everything is getting darn expensive. Want to experience the city without burning a hole in your wallet? - Dealiem has you covered. Art and museum enthusiasts, nature lovers, trivia nerds, and music buffs, we have something for everyone.

Art Galleries and Museums in Toronto

Art and history can impact us in profound ways, triggering dialogue and reflection, connecting us to our past, inspiring our present, and shaping our future. As tourists visiting a new city, its usually top of mind to seek out these attractions. As a local however, its all too easy to take our beautiful city for granted. Here are some very easy ways to explore Toronto's art and history scene without breaking the bank.

The Royal Ontario Museum - 100 Queens Park, Toronto

The Royal Ontario Museum is a the largest museum in Canada, and one of the largest museums in North America. Founded in 1914, The ROM showcases 13 million artworks, cultural objects from around the world, and natural history specimens across 40 galleries and exhibition spaces.

the ROM
The ROM is the largest museum in Canada
The Deal
  • The museum is free on the third Tuesday evening of every month (4:30pm - 8:30pm), advance tickets or bookings are not required.
  • The museum is also free on Tuesdays for Post-Secondary Students (present your student ID for admission - valid for full-time students attending a Canadian college or university) .

    Art Gallery of Ontario - 317 Dundas St W., Toronto

    Located in the heart of Toronto, in the Grange Park Neighborhood, the AGO attracts one million visitors annually with more than 120,000 works of art ranging from cutting edge contemporary, to Indigenous and European masterpieces.

    the AGO
    The AGO has a collection of over 120,000 works of art
    The Deal
  • The art gallery is free on Wednesday nights, from 6-9pm (tickets must be pre-booked online).
  • Free admission is also available for anyone 25 years and under (valid ID required).

    The Market Gallery - 95 Front St.E, Toronto

    No visit to a city is complete without exploring the local markets. St Lawrence Market is a iconic culinary building bustling with activity, shopping vendors and food stalls. Unknown to many visitors is the Market Gallery, just upstairs from the main hall. The Market Gallery is an intimate, historic space, once Toronto's City Council Chambers. Drawing from the City's extensive collection of fine art, artifacts, photos and paintings, these exhibits will guide you through Toronto's ever-changing cultural and physical identity.

    St. Lawrence Market
    The Market Gallery sits above the St. Lawrence Market
    The Deal
  • General admission is free (Wed-Sat).

    Gardiner Museum - 111 Queen's Park, Toronto

    The Gardiner Museum is a ceramic museum, connecting and inspiring people, art and ideas through clay, one of the world's oldest art forms. Besides exhibits, the museum offers classes, tours, and an onsight bistro and gift shop.

    Gardiner Museum
    Celebrate one of the worlds oldest art forms at the Gardiner Museum
    The Deal
  • General admission is free Wednesday 4-9pm.
  • Students are free with valid ID, and youth's under 18 are always free.

    Bata Shoe Museum - 327 Bloor St.W, Toronto

    Home to the World's largest and most comprehensive collection of shoes, tracing back 4,500 years. This unique Toronto attraction allow visitors to literally experience history through someone else's shoes.

    Bata Shoe Museum
    Celebrate 4,500 years of shoe history at the Bata Museum
    The Deal
  • General admission is free on Sundays (sponsored by KPMG).

    Aga Khan Museum - 77 Wynford Dr, North York

    The Aga Khan Museum is the first museum in North America dedicated to Islamic art, Iranian art, and Muslim Culture. The museum provides visitors a unique insight into the artistic, intellectual, and scientific contributions of Muslim civilization. The Museum is home to galleries, exhibition spaces, classrooms, a reference library, auditorium, and restaurant.

    Aga Khan
    The Aga Khan Museum is the first museum in North America devoted to Islamic art and culture.
    The Deal
  • Free Wednesday from 4-8pm.

    Fort York National Historic Site - 250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto

    When thinking of Toronto, bloody battles are not usually top of mind. The Fort York National Historic Site commemorates several British military installations which guarded the entrance to Toronto Harbour. The Historic Site sits on 43-acres with 2,900 sqft of gallery space, taking visitors through the War of 1812, and the Battle of York, between the United States and Great Britain.

    Fort York National Historic Site
    Fort York is a 19th Century Fortification in the Fort York Neighborhood.
    The Deal
  • General admission is always free (Wed-Sunday).
  • Free 45-minute guided tours are available on the hour starting at 11 am.

    Spadina Museum - 285 Spadina Rd, Toronto

    Spadina Museum (or Spadina House) is a historic house museum operated by the city of Toronto's Economic Development and Culture Division. The museum takes visitors back to the 1900s through the perspective of the affluent Austin Family and the people working within their home.

    Spadina Museum
    Spadina Museum is a mansion atop the escarpment behind Davenport Road.
    The Deal
  • Admision is free by guided tour only Wed-Sunday.
  • Free 45-minute guided tours are available on the hour starting at 11 am.

    Todmorden Mills - 67 Pottery Rd, Toronto

    Todmordern Mills was a small settlement in the Don River valley in Toronto. It started out as a lumber mill in the 1790s originally known as 'Don Mills'. It later grew into a small village, attracting settlers, industrialists, artists and families. Todmorden Mills Heritage site allows visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the Don River and its settlers.

    Todmorden Mills
    Todmorden Mills was a small settlement in the Don River Valley.
    The Deal
  • General Admission is free (open Wed-Sunday).
  • Free 60-minute guided tours (check website for times).

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    Quy T.

    Quy T.

    Co-founder of Dealiem, data enthusiast with a passion for building products and finding great deals.

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