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1 April 2018

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For people with budget constraints, a full-blown vacation is probably out of reach. Luckily, Toronto residents have the option to take shorter vacations on weekends and day trips. Use these vacation ideas below to relieve the drudgery of everyday life without breaking the bank.

Toronto Islands

Take a 30-minute ferry ride to Toronto Islands and enjoy a day of exploring. Round trip ferry tickets are just $7 for adults, $4.50 for students, and $3.50 for kids under 14. Toronto Islands are car-free, so you’ll experience life at a slower pace. We recommend embarking on Centre Island to explore the beautiful parks.

Enjoy a picnic lunch, spend a leisurely hour on one of the south beaches, and take some pictures of the stunning Toronto skyline. If you’re itching for adventure, rent bicycles by the hour to do some long-distance exploring. Be sure to return the bikes on time, or the rental company will charge you a late fee.


Just 50 minutes south of Toronto is a great city with activities for the whole family. Explore downtown Hamilton on the second Friday of any month to experience the Art Crawl, a showcase of the newest art attractions. Start on James Street North and work your way into the nooks and crannies of the city to discover original and unique art.

If you’re not an art buff, you can visit the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. A family pass is just $20. Learn about the industrial revolution in Canada and its far-reaching consequences. Take a ride on an old steam engine, enjoy hands-on activities for the kids, and come away from your experience smarter.

Earl Rowe Provincial Park

Calling all nature lovers! Do you need a new favourite camping spot? Earl Rowe Provincial Park is about an hour and a half drive north of Toronto. It’s close enough to enjoy the drive but far enough to feel like you’re on a destination vacation. Campsites cost as little as $16.25 per night. If you want showers and electricity, plan on paying about $40 a night.

Earl Rowe boasts half a dozen trails that vary in difficulty, so you can choose a hike even little ones can manage or make a serious trek to conquer the entire park. There are two large beach areas where your family can swim, fishing spots, and canoes available for rent.

Staycation in Toronto

If the cost of travel is a burden for your budget, try staying at home for a day. Make a scavenger hunt out of the amazing public sculptures in Toronto, like the “The Encounter” on King Street East or “Our Game,” which is a tribute to hockey players at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

If that doesn’t whet your appetite for adventure, try exploring the various neighbourhoods of Toronto. Almost every corner of the world makes its mark in neighbourhoods like Little Italy, Little India, Koreatown, Greektown, and Chinatown.

You can also enjoy the colourful wares of Kensington Market, explore the Underground City in the Financial District, or go to the public beach at Queen Street East. There are plenty of places in the city to visit, and they don’t cost any money.

Any vacation will cost money, and more extensive vacations will cost even more money than the short trips listed above. If you are living on a budget or find your budgetary situation is getting out of control, contact Harris & Partners Inc. for debt relief in Toronto.