Plus, often free or cheap activities can be just as enjoyable than more touristy outings and offer a more authentic experience of the city.
Consider Flying into an Airport other than Toronto Pearson International Airport
1. Toronto City Centre Airport is the hub for Porter Airlines, which has several Canadian destinations plus New York City and Chicago. The Toronto City Centre Airport is right downtown, making transportation from the airport less expensive than from Toronto Pearson International Airport - 20 mins outside of the city.
2. Hamilton International Airport is a 45 min to hour drive from Toronto and about the same to Niagara Falls, making it a convenient and cheaper base from which to visit both places.
3. Buffalo International Airport is very close to Niagara Falls and still within a 2-hr drive from Toronto. If flying from another U.S. city, airfare to Buffalo likely will be cheaper than to Toronto. Rent a car and pick up duty-free on the way.
Many Toronto hotels offer clean, basic accommodation without a lot of fuss at a decent price.
Of course, the further outside of the downtown core you stay, the better your chances are at finding a good deal (consider that you may have to pay this back in transportation costs).
Summertime, though high travel season, offers savings if you stay at one of the University of Toronto's dorms: St. Michael's College and Massey College both have summer rentals, the latter with a good breakfast included.
Toronto also has an abundance of guesthouses and hostels.
Cheap eating in Toronto definitely does not mean you sacrifice good eating.
Consider eating a meal at one of Toronto's markets. St. Lawrence Market, for example offers lots of fresh, delicious food (back bacon on a bun anyone?) at a fraction of the price of restaurant dining.
You'll find cheap food in the heart of many of the ethnic neighbourhoods, like Chinatown (Vietnamese sub for under 2 bucks, Chinese Traditional Buns has way more than just buns - all of it cheap) and Little Korea (Kim Chi Beef with rice for $6 at Two Thumbs Up).
Hot dog stands are plentiful and have expanded their menu to include sausage and vegetarian dogs, plus plenty of hearty toppings.
Check out our Cheap Eats in Toronto guide for more options.
Take Public Transportation instead of Taxi Cabs
Toronto's streetcar routes operate in the classic style on street tracks shared with car traffic and are not heritage streetcars run for tourism or nostalgic purposes. Streetcar 501 runs the length of Queen Street, along artsy Queen Street West, downtown, east Toronto and finally into the Beaches, giving passengers a cheap tour of one of Toronto's most famous streets.