As you go back and forth between your usual date night spots with your partner, you may realize you aren’t picky—just broke. The same rings true when it’s time for you and your friends to decide what your next adventure will be. Being a student is hard enough by itself but dating and spending money on yourself in this economy? It can seem impossible.
Luckily, here’s a list of budget-friendly date ideas for your next date or friendship excursion that will surely impress.
Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario is the perfect place to go when you’re trying to feel cultured on a night out. The gallery offers a free pass for anyone under 25, which is perfect for many TMU students. Explore the ever-changing exhibits, including Denyse Thomasos: Just Beyond
and Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows
. On your way out, grab a bite at their bistro! Or, you can check out some cool joints in neighbouring Chinatown to fuel your hunger while supporting small businesses!
Board game cafes
While you can never go wrong with a classic cafe date, spice things up with a board game cafe. Twilight Cafe
on the corner of Victoria and Dundas Street offers food, drinks and board games. For those who choose to play a game during your visit, admission is $6—but you could also just go for the food and drinks. Another option is Snakes & Lattes
, which has three locations across Toronto, including one at College and Bathurst Street. Admission is $8 and buying at least one drink is required.
A sporting event
For the sports fans who can’t afford the often outrageous prices on Toronto Raptors or Toronto Maple Leafs tickets, there are inexpensive options around the city worth exploring. Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) students can enjoy free home games at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, including basketball, hockey and volleyball games. For those who’d prefer to go off campus, the Raptors 905 and Toronto Marlies, affiliate teams for the Raptors and the Leafs respectively, offer low-priced tickets. In the warmer months, check out Blue Jays tickets, which usually sell for a similar inexpensive amount if you dare to venture up to the 500 level of the Rogers Centre.
Outdoor ice skating rinks
While the temperature’s still below zero, take advantage of the free ice rinks across the city. Nathan Phillips Square offers free skating and you can rent skates for $15
. Union Station also has an outdoor rink that offers free rentals, though it's first come first serve. Other free skating locations include The Bentway (where skate rentals are $10), High Park and Christie Pits Park. If crowds aren’t your thing, try skating at TMU’s very own Lake Devo, located right in front of the Chang School building and is often not too busy!
TIFF Cinematheque screenings
Ready for a twist on the classic movie date? Last year, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) introduced the TIFF under-25 free pass
and the program will continue until 2024. With the pass, you can view free screenings of a wide range of films at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, including contemporary cinema, career retrospectives and archival films located at 350 King St. W. Members also enjoy a discount on other films not included in this pass along with many other benefits, like presale codes for screenings and events, discounts on concessions at the Lightbox and access to the Bell Blue Room Members’ Lounge located on the third floor.