­

Accommodation

Accommodations

For full Toronto accommodations listings, click here.

Accommodation in Toronto is plentiful.  With over 183 hotels hosting more than 36,000 rooms in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the city of Toronto booked nearly 9 million room nights in 2004.

With business travelers occupying the majority of these rooms, tourists, commercial, sport, government and convention travelers make up the difference. 

From luxury 5 star properties to GTA campsites and low cost accommodations, Toronto has something for all budgets.

5 Star Luxury Accommodations

Toronto recently welcomed its’ first 5 star property in the heart of Yorkville.  Complete with valet parking, spa services, a boutique, and designer shopping at your fingertips.  From just over $400 a night to well over $3000 there are many options for your indulgence.  

There are at least three other five star properties currently under construction in Toronto.  Some of these have residential real estate as part of the hotel accommodation.  This has become a popular type of build as the property offers a base capital from the condo owners, and the condo owners enjoy hotel amenities with their management fees.

Of course just about all the large hotel chains are represented in this city.  Starwood Properties, Hilton Hotels, Marriott, Fairmont, Delta and Radisson each have a variety of representation in the core and Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  

Many of these chains have their corporate properties in the core downtown area of the city while their more affordable brands find themselves in appropriate areas throughout the city. The rates vary depending on the part of the city and the rank of hotel within their chains.  

Such accommodations often house convention facilities in order to accommodate conferences, trade shows, association meetings and sports teams.  

Other hotel amenities may include pools, saunas, hot tubs, fitness facilities and a games room.  Restaurants are also commonly found in the hotel/motel and may feature room service. 

For the most part, and at the time of writing this article, the room rates are in the range of $79 to $189.   Many of these have long-term stay options and boast rooms with kitchens and adjoining bedrooms.

Many dedicated long-term properties also offer a home-like feeling with a grand room and breakfast service included.  Some also include dinner service within a certain time frame. 

Many of these properties targeting the business traveler may also offer discounts and specials for children and family specials. Often in a corporate neighbourhood the hotels find the weekends fairly sparse in occupancy and market to fill that gap.  Most business travelers arrive on Monday and check out on Fridays, returning to their families for the weekends.

Biz-Stay is another option for those seeking longer-term accommodations.  These are furnished studios or apartments that are rented completely furnished for the cost of approximately $2,500 per month.  

Motels and other budget lodging bring us to the lower end of such accommodations.  Many of these rent by the hour and have next to zero when it comes to amenities.

Motels and such lodges were originally built along the highways for travelers, truckers and others on a long haul to be able to stop for rest and nourishment.  As the cities grew these properties became more remote and obsolete.  Often the cities developed along sections of the highway and bigger more upscale properties were built to accommodate the needs of the growing community.  

Most of the motels are found along the trans-Canada highways as well as in lower income neighbourhoods. Corporate properties seem to be in the downtown core as well as the luxury brands.  Industrial/commercial districts will support some of the long-term and mid-range properties, while bed and breakfasts are often in commercialized neighbourhoods.

Bed and Breakfasts round off the types of accommodations offered in Toronto and the GTA.  These properties offer a homey feeling, with breakfast served and a house style of accommodation. There are of course zoning requirements to be aware of before opening a B&B just anywhere.   

Hostels are a backpacker’s paradise.  With a price range starting about $20 per night these are affordable for just about any pocket.  

Several campgrounds and trailer parks are located just outside the city.  At approximately $10 per night this is a really inexpensive option.  Although there are none in the downtown core – certainly a tent or an RV will require more space than downtown is able to offer as space is at a premium in the downtown core.  

With a large tourist component and an even larger business sector the industry remains busy and an integral part of the Toronto economy. As one can see Toronto is a city with much to offer in accommodation.

Airport Hotels

When visiting Toronto by air, there are many great hotel options that are close to Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Other than arriving by car, the most common way for visitors to come to Toronto is by plane. Over 31 million passengers passed through Pearson International Airport in 2010, making it the 20th busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic. It is no surprise then, that there are dozens of options for accommodation in the airport area.

Toronto Pearson Airport is located 22.5 km (14 miles) northwest of Downtown Toronto, near the intersection of Highways 401 and 427. The airport consists of 2 large terminals: Terminal 1, for domestic flights and some international carriers, and Terminal 3, which services only international flights. While many downtown Toronto hotels offer shuttle services to the airport, some travelers may prefer to stay at one of the many hotels near the airport.

There are mainly large chain hotels here, which feature services geared especially towards business travelers. They generally have pools, gym facilities, a nice restaurant, and regular shuttle services to the terminals (every 5 or 10 minutes). In this area, prices generally range between $100 and $200 per night for a room.

Of course, not all visitors looking for accommodation in the airport area are planning on visiting downtown Toronto. Many of the hotels here also feature large conference centers that regularly host large meetings and industry conventions. In addition to the facilities located in these hotels, adjacent to Terminal 3 is The International Centre, one of the largest convention facilities in the city, with almost 1 million square feet of total space.

The largest concentration of hotels are located on the east side of Pearson Airport, in the area surrounding Dixon Road. Leading up to Pearson’s Terminal 1, Dixon Road turns into Airport Road as it skirts the northeast edge of the airport. Here, a forest of high-rise hotels poke out above the characteristically low buildings in the area.

Sheraton has several hotels in the area, including the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre, on Dixon Road, and The Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport and The Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto, both on Airport Road. In terms of proximity to the airport, it’s difficult to beat the Sheraton Gateway, which is located directly in Terminal 3.

Right across from Terminal 1 on Airport Road you’ll find the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel, while a few blocks north on Caroga Drive Hilton has another location with the newly-built Hilton Garden Inn Airport Hotel. The Hilton Garden Inn is also one of the best rated hotels in the area. Also on Caroga Drive are The Hampton Inn and Suites, and the Fairfield Inn and Suites.

Dixon Road is where the largest cluster of airport hotels are, sandwiched between Highway 427 in the west and Highway 401 in the east. Options include the Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport (which features a saltwater pool), The Sandman Signature Hotel Toronto Airport (which has family suites with bunk beds and beanbag chairs), The Travelodge Hotel Toronto Airport (one of the lower-priced options in the area), and The Quality Suites Toronto Airport. In addition to those, hotels from Marriott, Crown Plaza, Westin, and Radisson can be found, among others.

Hotels in the vicinity of Dixon Road also have the benefit of many restaurant and bar/lounge options, mainly of the upscale chain variety. There are several steakhouses, bar and grills, Tex-Mex restaurants, and Japanese restaurants.

South of the airport there are several well-rated hotels along Eglinton Avenue, including The Homewood Suites by Hilton Toronto, The Sandalwood Suites Hotel Toronto Airport, and The Best Western Plus Travel Hotel. The draw of hotels here is that they are located across the street from Centennial Park, a large city park that also has an adjacent 27-hole executive style golf course (Centennial Park Golf Centre).

A little further our to the southwest of the airport are more options for travelers to Toronto. There is another large cluster of hotels along Dixie Road in Mississauga, centered on area where that road meets Highway 401. Holiday Inn, Delta, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn and Courtyard by Marriott all have offerings in the neighbourhood. Family-friendly options include the Stage West All-Suite Hotel, which features a large pool, waterslide, arcade, spa facilities and a “Theatre Restaurant.”

Basement Apartments

Basement apartments are an affordable and comfortable option for people looking to settle in the city of Toronto.

Toronto has long been an attraction for people wanting to set down roots. Vast job opportunities and the exciting sports and entertainment attractions make it an ideal setting for those who want to enjoy everything a big city offers.

A basement apartment in Toronto is a second suite or self contained rental unit in a single detached or semi detached home. When you are searching for a unit in Toronto you may also come across phrases like granny flat, accessory suite or in-law suites. These are also considered basement apartments.

Many Toronto home owners make the decision to build a basement apartment or granny flat in their residence so there is a lot to choose from. Due to the multi-cultural nature of the city, this means that you can have an apartment in an Italian, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian or Canadian neighborhood, just to name a few. There are in fact, over 50 languages spoken in the city of Toronto. 

If you want easy access to the downtown core, but don’t want to live right in the city of Toronto. The former municipalities of York, East York, North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough, which are now considered part of the Greater City of Toronto, also have many basement apartments for rent. These communities are all a short 20 or 25 minute commute to the downtown area.

Basement Apartment Guidelines

All basement apartments in Toronto have to adhere to strict rules to protect both the homeowner and the renter. The suites must comply with the Ontario Building Code and require a permit. They must also comply with the fire code, zoning and property standards.

The City of Toronto can provide you with an overview of the rules. Some apartment hunters turn to home inspectors for a check list of what to look for in a basement unit. One example would be a working smoke alarm.

How to Find a Basement Apartment in Toronto

If you are unfamiliar with the city of Toronto, real estate specialists suggest you start by deciding what kind of neighborhood you want to live in. Once you have determined where you want to live, you can start your search by simply checking the classified section of the newspaper in the specific neighborhood you desire.

Another option if you are searching for a basement unit or granny flat would be through a realtor office close to the desired community. While realtors focus on selling houses, they also know the community well and are familiar with areas where there are a lot of basement suites.

Toronto’s popular arts and culture magazine called NOW lists apartment rentals, including basement units that are available all across the city. www.Toronto.rentershotline.com is a popular online source that lists available units with detailed descriptions of amenities and special features.  www.gottarent.com is another source that apartment hunters use to search for the perfect place.

Many apartment hunters may not think of this, but political officials are also a good source of information when it comes to finding a new home.  Political representatives in all parts of the city know their neighborhoods very well so getting in contact with a public official could lead you in the direction of a great place. Both Kijiji and Craigslist also advertise basement apartments for rent in Toronto so you can consider logging onto a computer each day to check for new listings.

Size and Price

If you are a student looking for a room, a young couple or a small family, basement apartments can usually house two to four people comfortably. Some units are hundreds of square feet while others span the entire space of the floor above.

Laundry rooms are often located in the basement and could be for your use only or shared with the owner of the house. In some cases you will have access to the floor above, the garage, and the backyard.

The cost to rent a basement apartment in Toronto largely depends on the size of the unit and the location. The accessory suites can include one, two or three bedrooms and some also have a walkout to a deck or even access to a pool.

A basic, one bedroom can start at around $500 per month and go up from that point.  Two and three bedroom apartments generally start around $900 per month. Remember, if you venture 20 to 30 minutes outside the city you will pay less.

What to Consider

There is a lot to consider when searching for a basement unit. The location and price are probably the first concern, yet there are so many other aspects to think about. You have to ask yourself, what can I live with and what can I live without? What can I sacrifice if I really have to? What kind of apartment will suit my personality?

Once you have the answers to these questions you can put together a list of questions to take with you when you do your physical search.  Here is a basic list to get you started:

  • Is there a separate entrance?
  • How many electrical outlets exist and where are they?
  • Is there enough closet space?
  • How is the water pressure?
  • Will my furniture fit?

If there are appliances, how old are they?

With so many basement apartments in Toronto to choose from and so many accessible neighborhoods, finding a place that fits your budget, style and personality should be a relatively stress free task in the city of Toronto.

o-_-o

Bed & Breakfast

Toronto Bed and Breakfasts are the perfect alternative to the hustle and bustle of commercial hotels and motels.  It can be cost efficient in some cases and adds a more intimate and personal feel to your experience.  You are often treated as a guest in the home, rather than a customer.

Many people are often unsure of the differences between a Toronto hotel and a bed and breakfast.  Hotels tend to be chains, yet this is very rare for a bed and breakfast and most are simply homes converted to accommodate guests.  Another main difference is a hotel usually has 50 or more rooms, where as a bed and breakfast typically have one to 5 rooms for guests.

Toronto bed and breakfasts are usually a private home that has been renovated for this style of accommodation.  Most of the time the owners of the bed and breakfast design the establishment to have themes.  These themes vary depending on where the bed and breakfast is located.  They can be historical themes, seasonal themes, modern themes or sometimes fun themes such as animals or ghosts.

The rooms are often given specific names such as ‘The Victoria Room’ or ‘The Fall Room’ and can vary from size and amenities.  If you are staying at a Toronto bed and breakfast in the winter, you may inquire for rooms that have fireplaces, where as a guesthouse with a patio or balcony would be ideal for spring and summer. 

Family Toronto bed and breakfasts are fun and affordable.  Although due to spacing and amenities, these are sometimes not suitable for kids.  Sleeping accommodations to look for when picking a Toronto bed and breakfast for your family are rooms with twin beds.  These can often be pushed together to create a queen sized bed, but will state they are in fact, two twin beds. 

Unfortunately, there are also some Toronto bed and breakfasts that are not accessible due to the layout of the dwelling for those requiring wheelchair access.  It is best to call ahead of time to make sure they are fully equipped for your needs. 

Other things to keep in mind are certain terminology used by most Toronto bed and breakfasts.   The term “public ensuite bathroom” means you will be sharing a bathroom with other guests.  “Private bathroom” means you have a private bathroom, but in some cases you will have to leave your room to get to it.  Whereas “private ensuite bathroom” means you have your own bathroom connected to your room.

Bed and breakfasts in Toronto are well known for their breakfasts.  It is often the only meal you are served, which is something to keep in mind if you have little ones with you.  This is another difference between Toronto hotels and bed and breakfasts.  You enjoy breakfast at a large dining table with the other guests, giving you a chance to meet and converse with your temporary neighbours.

Before reserving at a bed and breakfast in Toronto, you should check what restaurants or stores are in the area, as you may need to provide yourself with lunch and dinner.  Usually there are packages or deals with surrounding stores, restaurants, and other attractions you can find on each bed and breakfast website if you are researching online.

Toronto bed and breakfasts can cost considerably less then hotels, but can sometimes cost more depending on the location and amenities.  Winter is considered “off season” for most Toronto bed and breakfasts and you can expect rates to be lower at this time. The peak season and higher prices are found in the summer and vary transitioning into fall and spring. 

The average cost of a moderately priced Toronto B & B is $70 to $180 for the peak seasons.  The average cost for the off-peak season ranges from $60 to $140.  Some Toronto bed and breakfasts require you to stay for 2 nights in the off-season, while in the peak season you can often stay one night.  This depends mostly on the specific location of the bed and breakfast.

Some of the best bed and breakfasts can be found in Toronto and just outside of the city.  Popular locations include those in Niagara-on-the-Lake, as this is also part of Ontario’s wine country.  You can often get packages for 2 nights stay, and a wine tour for a great price. Northern Ontario also has a large number of bed and breakfasts.

Some of the best Toronto bed and breakfasts include Jarvis House, Sweetheart B&B, Suite Dreams Toronto B&B, Toronto Downtown Bed & Breakfast, Beach Accommodating -The Soul Bed and Breakfast, and JacoB22 B&B. 

Toronto bed and breakfasts are hugely popular and are a great alternative to those busy hotels.  It is advised to book quickly, as the rooms tend to sell fast even in the off peak seasons.

Boutique Hotels

Toronto offers a wide variety of boutique hotel experiences for people who want more than a typical room for the night. Boutique hotels set a new standard in luxury service.

The boutique experience goes a step further than big hotel chains, catering directly to your individual needs and lifestyle. Modern design, contemporary classic or cutting edge, no matter what your style preference is Toronto boutique hotels can accommodate you.

Sometimes called “design hotels“, this option for travelers was first established in the 1980’s; for the most part in major U.S cities. Canadian cities like Toronto soon followed and are now leading the way in exemplary service. True boutique hotels are furnished in a themed and inspirational style. They are normally much smaller than chain hotels, with anywhere from 3 to 50 guest rooms.

Boutique hotels are always focused on providing a unique, comfortable setting that guests will never forget. While some of these accommodations offer a lot of technology and gadgets, others concentrate on quiet comfort. Once considered for the hip and trendy crowd, there are now boutique hotels that appeal to every segment of the population.

Most of Toronto’s boutique hotels are located in the downtown core, close to transportation, vital amenities and tourist attractions. The best part of your luxury encounter is the comfort that awaits you at the end of your day of work or play.

It is the little extras that visitors say keeps them coming back to boutique hotels. What does it cost to indulge in the boutique experience in Toronto? At the time of publication, anywhere between $200 and $1,000 depending on the size and type of room you choose.

Urban and Chic

Toronto is a progressive city that keeps up with advances in urban design and detail. An example of this is the Cosmopolitan Hotel, considered one of the best accommodations in the world; it is described as a perfect mix of Ancient Eastern philosophy and modern technology, complete with natural gemstones fountains, bamboo plants and yoga mats in each suite.  The idea here is to make the visitor feel comfortable and special. The Cosmopolitan is on Colborne Street near King and Yonge, within walking distance of the King subway station.

The Pantages Hotel and Spa features many of the same lifestyle elements with an upbeat twist. The hotel offers fully equipped kitchens and en suite laundry facilities. When you are not in your suite you can enjoy their famous Martini Bar along with live entertainment. The spa at the Pantages is a complete body and mind treatment designed to lift the spirit and rejuvenate the soul. The Pantages is on Victoria Street, close to Queen and Yonge in what is often referred to as the “Garden District.”

Modern Mode

Located in Toronto’s entertainment district, the Soho Metropolitan is a modern masterpiece with its glass elevator and marble-clad bathrooms. At this boutique hotel, smart technology is incorporated so guests can relax and simply push a button to adjust lighting or the drapes. Making your stay as comfortable and stress free as possible is the objective at the Soho.

Equally modern is Hotel Le Germain, where a combination of glass, mental, wood and ceramics complete the décor. This boutique hotel can also accommodate man’s best friend. Your dog can be pampered too with just a quick phone call to the main lobby. It is however, recommended that you call ahead and let the staff know that you will be bringing a furry friend along.

Historical

Once a railway hostel, The Drake Hotel, was transformed into a sleek looking property and attracts visitors from around the world. Located on Queen Street West, it is a hub for established as well as aspiring artists.

A neighbor to this hotel in the art district of Toronto is The Gladstone. This Boutique hotel stands as the city’s oldest hotel. It was built in 1889. The original details and flavor of Victorian architecture are a big attraction for tourists.

Charming

The Windsor Arms is a warm, discreet luxury boutique located in trendy Yorkville, where a butler is at your service 24-hours a day. Close to some of the best shopping in Toronto, this hotel has a long and successful reputation.

The Wellesley Manor, situated downtown, is also considered cozy with a heritage romantic theme.

These are just a few examples of the Boutique Hotel options in the city of Toronto. There are others to choose from; however, they all have one thing in common, they advertise that they have exceptional service, a delicious menu and extensive wine selections.

Budget Hotels

Toronto has a wide selection of hotels to suit not only your specific tastes, but your budget as well. 

Toronto has been deemed one of the world’s most livable cities. No matter what type of stay visitors are searching for, the city has a long list of appropriate accommodation.

Budget hotels can be found right downtown or on the outskirts of Toronto. There is no shortage of comfortable and stylish low cost hotels.

In years past, budget or cut-rate hotels offered the bare minimum. A room would simply include a bed, night table and a chair or two if you were lucky. Today these hotels extend their services and often include a private bathroom, a desk for working purposes, a phone, and small refrigerator for drinks and snacks. Some budget hotels even include access to a small gym and/or indoor pool.

Many of the budget hotels are conveniently located close to major attractions, tasty restaurants, cafés and shopping areas. There is no reason why people staying at budget accommodation can’t enjoy the full downtown experience just steps away from their doors. 

While this is perfect for some travelers, others prefer to be close to the airport. There are several options close to Toronto’s International Airport that include conference centers where large meetings and industry conventions are held.

On the north-east edge of the airport, specifically around Dixon Road, there are several hotels dotting the landscape. These airport hotels are surrounded by restaurants including steak houses, Italian eateries, Japanese restaurants, Tex-Mex and Chinese. It is also easy to find a bar & grill close by.

Travel with family is made easy in Toronto. Affordable hotels are near the Casa loma, Royal Ontario Museum and the Metro Zoo. Sports enthusiasts who stay at The Holiday Inn Express on Lombard Street near Jarvis and Queen Street East, as well as Hotel Victoria on Yonge walk a short distance to get to places like the Air Canada Centre and the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Alexandra Hotel is situated in the heart of the city and is known for its high efficiency practices, friendly staff and attentive service. It is close to the Canadian National Exhibition, the C.N tower and the Kensington market; an outdoor, multicultural market that is one of the most photographed areas in the city.

For a similar hotel experience there is the Bond Place Hotel, in close proximity to the Eaton Centre, The Grange Hotel, which provides easy access to Nathan Phillips Square, the Metro Convention Centre and the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

When getting around quickly and easily is a priority, the Strathcona Hotel is a viable option. Close to Union Station and Via Rail, it is considered quite stylish for the price. Rooms at the Strathcona start at just over $100 per night.

Some travelers looking for bargain priced hotels like to stick with familiar chains. The city has a wide selection close to amenities and attractions……they include: The Best Western, Howard Johnson, Travelodge and Super8.

There are also several chain options close to the airport.  People flying in for a few days of business turn to the following chains for bargain-rate hotels near the airport:  Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Delta Toronto and Westin Britol Palace. Some of these accommodations offer convenient shuttle service to and from the airport and are equipped with free internet service.

To indulge in culture at a discount hotel there is always The Rex, on Queen Street West, two blocks west of University Avenue near Patrick Street. It is known as much for its jazz and blues lounge as its accommodation. While considered a boutique hotel, The Drake on Queen Street West offers reasonable rates and is also a favorite for those who want to enjoy a night of art and entertainment.

Although visitors are away from home they don’t have to feel like they are. The Comfy Guest House on Gerard Street East provides a unique, yet affordable opportunity that gives you the feeling that you are right in your own living space. It is a cross between a budget hotel and a bed and breakfast. At the time this article was first published the rates for this budget hotel ranged from $39 to $95. Keep in mind that these rates are based on 2-nights and prices could vary for a shorter stay.

For those who don’t mind a bit of a drive, The Days Hotel, formerly known as Yorkland Hotel is considered one of the best discount accommodation on the outskirts of the city of Toronto. Situated in on Yorkland Boulevard, at the Don Valley Parkway and Sheppard Avenue, the Days Hotel has large conference and meetings facilities, a business centre, fitness rooms, pool and sauna. It is just 20 minutes north of downtown Toronto.

Whether it is business, a quick vacation for two or a family trip, budget hotels is Toronto are plentiful and offer a wide range of services and amenities.

Condos

Condominiums, apartments or high-rise buildings are among the various types of accommodation found in Toronto.  Condominiums or condo for short are owner-managed units within a high-rise facility.

Each unit is sold to individuals, while the building manager or property manager maintains the shared facilities.  The individuals that own the units of course can rent their units.  Many condo owners use this as an investment opportunity when purchasing their condominiums. 

There are many International investors in the Toronto condominium market as well as domestic purchasers.  Individuals also purchase condos prior to completion of construction as speculative opportunities, hoping the prices of the unit will increase before the sale closes thus allowing for a profitable resale.

When purchasing a unit prior to the completion of construction only a deposit is required initially.  This is often approximately $50, 000 to show proof of commitment.  This money is often not refundable, though the date for completion may change and the price of the unit may also change. 

The deposit guarantees your purchase price to remain as it was at the time of your deposit.  If the market is on an upswing your unit will have increased in value by the time you close. If the market is suffering the units may be lowered in value, though you will still be paying the same price at the time of your deposit. 

The latter is rare, as the prices of materials and labor tend to increase as opposed to decrease, and the value of the unit tends to either stay the same or increase during construction.

Apartments are buildings that are owned by an individual, corporation or business and the individual units are rented out to interested parties.  There is a property manager that works to maintain the facilities and common areas.  

The owners of the building hire property managers, or in the case of a condominium, are hired by the board.  The Board of directors in a condo are elected individuals with interest in the building either tenant or owner.  An annual election will allow new individuals an opportunity to apply and run for positions on this board. 

The Board will also host an annual general meeting where the new board members are announced and returning board members reinstated.  At the meeting several items are discussed including the finances of the building fund, and the ongoing projects and maintenance needs of the building.When living in a condo each unit is charged a maintenance fee.  This fee is charged in an amount per square foot of the unit.  Therefore larger units often incur greater maintenance fees etc.  

These fees are pooled into a fund overseen by the board in order to cover the maintenance costs of the common areas and amenities.  Amenities in many condos and apartments include the elevators, stairs, parking garage, swimming pools and gyms.  Today many condo communities boast theatres, tennis and squash courts, mini-putt golf and even bowling alleys.  

Toronto real estate districts are defined demographically by location. There are of course areas that will have clusters of high-rises and areas that are predominantly houses. 

The downtown core of Toronto is home to many condominiums and apartments.  Space is limited and the convenience is priceless.  Most condo units increase in price for the upper floors of the structure.  This can be in the range of $1,000 per floor for the same unit.

For example, a 500 square foot unit in a given building could charge $300,000 on the first floor and the same unit on the 30th floor may be at least $30,000 more.  Some buildings will change the design from the 20th floor up and increase the height of the ceiling adding a premium of $10,000 plus or minus to the unit, thus the unit on the 30th floor in our example would be $13,000 more.   

The maintenance fee is subject to change and generally increases as the condo ages and the cost of maintaining the facilities also increase.  

Often the penthouse or top floors offer premium floor plans and are extraordinary large units.  Many condo developers/builders reserve these units for themselves, however many of these units are also for sale, again with many premiums attached to the sale price. 

The HST or harmonized sales tax has also affected sales of the condominiums in terms of price.  If one is purchasing any new unit less than $400,000 the unit is HST exempt because the government considers this to be a first time home buyer exemption.  If the purchase is of a unit greater than $400,000 the tax is charged on the full amount.  This increases the price of the unit by 13%.

Cottages

Ontario cottages are the ultimate getaway in almost every season. Ontario cottage country is on the rise, growing every year.  No matter the season, Ontario cottage country has a certain magic that is hard to compare elsewhere.

What once was an area for family cottages, has now grown into an entire community.  Ontario cottages have started becoming home year-round for many families; with city centres, schools, farmer’s markets and government offices opening up it is the best place to settle down.

With its huge expansion, the large cottage communities have rightfully earned the name ‘Cottage Country‘, which are a few areas in northern Ontario.  Here you will find everything you need from stores, to restaurants, to cottages for rent.

The main areas known for excellent cottages for rent include Rideau Lakes in Eastern Ontario along with Parry Sound, Muskoka, Haliburton, Georgian Triangle, Simcoe Lake and Kawartha Lakes in the Central Ontario region. These areas are scattered with man-made and natural lakes offering the perfect place to have a home away from home. 

There are many who do not own cottages, but fret not!  Cottage country offers cottages to rent for a weekend, a week or longer.  When looking for cottage rentals in Ontario’s cottage country, you are bound to find something matching your requirements. 

Depending on the season, most cottages will offer some kind of water activity such as boating, fishing, or simply enjoying the surroundings.  If you are looking online, they will state ‘4 season’ if they are available for rent year round.  Cottages can be situated on the lakefront while others are a short distance from a local lake. 

Some cottages have specific regulations pertaining to smoking and pets, so it is best to inquire ahead of time of any special requirements you may have.  Usually cottages in Ontario’s cottage country are homes for half the year so please be respectful of the area.

Ontario cottages vary in size, and the cost of the rental often depends on how many rooms are available, the specific location (proximity to lake), what is included (boats, hiking equipment, etc) and how many people are in your party. 

The price range of a two bedroom cottage sleeping up to 6 guests for a week stay ranges from approximately $650-800 CDN.  The larger cottages have around 8 rooms and can sleep 20 people comfortably. For the large cottages in cottage country, the price range is between $5,000 -8,000 CDN weekly.

An Ontario cottage is a great place for enjoying your summer with the family, and is relatively cheap for the smaller cottages. You can also rent one for you and your friends and once you divide the price between the group, the individual price can range from $80 to $140 (depending on the number of guests and price of cottage).

Rideau Lakes is a beautiful township in Eastern Ontario that is known for some of the best cottage rentals.  It also has some great historic trails and scenery, farms are plentiful, and the people are genuine. The resident population of Rideau Lake is just over 10,000 (as of 2006 survey). 

Parry Sound is located in Central Ontario and its cottage rentals are not all it is famous for.  It was the birthplace of hockey star Bobby Orr and also has the world’s deepest freshwater port. With a population just under 6,000 residents, Parry Sound is a great place to escape to, offering some of the finest cottages for rent at a reasonable price.

Muskoka in Ontario is one of the most popular of all cottage country regions. It has a population of around 6,500 residents, but grows to 34,000 in the summer. The beautiful greenery and cool refreshing lakes is not the only thing bringing people back to Muskoka; the number of cottages to rent is high and the prices can be very low.

Haliburton in Ontario is one of the older regions of cottage country and got its name from author Thomas Chandler Haliburton who was popular in the mid 1800’s.  It is a family favourite for locals in southern Ontario and for tourists visiting the region. It has an average population all year round of about 16,000.

Georgian Triangle, Simcoe Lake and Kawartha Lakes are also located in Central Ontario.  Each region is unique and has a lot to offer. So plan an escape today to the relaxing regions of cottage country and experience what Ontario really has to offer.

Downtown Toronto

Downtown Toronto has numerous options for accommodation, from 5 star hotels to backpacker hostels.

Most of the major hotel chains have locations here, in addition to a significant selection of smaller boutique hotels. Furnished apartment rentals are also available in the downtown area in a variety of locations.

Meanwhile, for those looking for a place to stay on the lower end of the price scale, most of the hostels in the city are also located in the downtown core. With so many options, it’s easy for travelers to pick the right place to stay that is located near the tourist attractions they will be visiting.

Downtown Toronto Hotels

Toronto hotel prices in the downtown area generally range from $120 – $250 for most locations, but up to $400, $500 and beyond for some of the ritzier types of accommodation.

The densest concentration of accommodation can be found not far from the waterfront, along King Street and Front Street (which run parallel). Anchoring this neighbourhood is the most iconic Toronto hotel, The Fairmont Royal York, a “chateau style” building that was completed in 1929.

Located on Front Street across from Union Station, the Royal York was the tallest building in the British Empire at the time of its completion. The Royal York also has a focus on being particularly accessible for those with physical disabilities.

Le Meridien King Edward, located on King Street East, is one of the highest rated hotels in Toronto. It first opened its doors in 1903, and Frommers calls it Toronto’s best historic hotel. On the other end of the cost scale, the nearby Hotel Victoria was named the city’s best budget hotel. Other popular hotels in the area include The Westin Harbour Castle, The Ritz-Carlton Toronto, the Hyatt Regency and The Strathcona Hotel.

While many Toronto hotels are found along Front Street and King Street on the east-west axis, the supply of hotels continues northward towards Midtown along Yonge Street.

Many of the main hotel chains have locations in this area, including Ramada, Delta, Comfort Hotel, Best Western, and Marriott are among the options. Popular options include The Delta Chelsea, a family-friendly hotel that features a 4 story indoor water-slide, as well as the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre, which as the name implies is located next to the Eaton Centre.

Downtown Boutique Hotels

Toronto has a great selection of boutique hotels, which are smaller and offer more individualized experiences than standard hotels. Some are geared towards those looking for a romantic getaway, while others are focused on serving travelers with dogs. The Hotel Le Germain, located on Mercer Street in the Theatre District, is one of the best known and regularly tops lists of the best hotel in the city. Nearby, The SoHo Metropolitan is another top-rated boutique hotel, a good example of the city’s more luxurious accommodation.

Downtown Toronto Hostels

Although there are many beautiful hotels in the downtown area, some travelers are looking to spend their budget elsewhere. For them, there are numerous hostels available. All the major downtown Toronto hostels tend to offer wireless internet for laptops, secure luggage facilities, kitchen facilities, and coffee & tea. Breakfast are also usually included in the price, although in the cases where it costs extra it is rarely more than a few dollars. 

Prices for a shared room at backpacker hostels in Toronto tend to range from $25 a night on the cheap end of the scale to $35 on the higher end. The main hostels also offers private double rooms for about $80 a night, but these are harder to get so book ahead.

Arguably the most well-known hostel in Toronto is the Canadiana Backpackers Inn, located in the Entertainment District. Regularly voted one of the best backpacker hostels in Canada, the Canadiana is a ‘themed’ hostel that aims to provide a very Canadian experience. They also provide access to a wide range of activities and tours, including daily trips to Niagara Falls.

Many hostels can be found on the western side of downtown, between King and Queen Street. Clarence Castle, located near King Street at Spadina Avenue, is one of the best rated hostels in Toronto. They were voted the #1 hostel in North America in 2008 by Hostelworld, and #3 in 2009. Although a smaller facility, they have the advantage of a quiet location which is also right in the heart of the downtown core.

The Global Village Backpackers Hostel is one of the bigger hostels in the city. In the mid-2000s they were regularly rated one of the best hostels in Canada, but they have slipped somewhat in recent years. Travelers here tend to enjoy the lively nightlife of nearby King Street West and Queen Street West, and the hostel features a pub on site as well as a large outdoor patio.

Downtown Furnished Apartments

Furnished apartment rentals are another option for the traveler visiting downtown Toronto. Furnished apartment rentals are also available, many in the $100 – $150 range, but be aware that some operators have requirements for a minimum length of stay.

Furnished apartment rentals are a popular choice as they have more space than a hotel room, as well as a kitchen for those times you don’t necessarily feel like going out to eat. This option can be a particularly good option for those planning a medium-to-long stay in the city.

Many of Toronto’s major property management companies offer these rentals. Minto, DelSuites, and MAC Suites are some of the companies that have a large selection of rentals. 

However, it’s not necessary to book a furnished apartment through one of these large companies. Individual people often put places up for rental on websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji. This is a good way to find a good deal, but as always be wary when arranging Toronto accommodation over the Internet.

East Accommodation

Toronto is made for visitors in many ways; colourful cultural neighbourhoods, delicious foods from every corner of the globe, and a large amount of all different kinds of accommodation.

Toronto’s east end accommodations are really popular since they are typically less expensive than downtown, yet still close enough to get to the central area.

Neighbourhoods where you can find accommodation options in the east end are:

  • The Beaches
  • East Danforth
  • Little India (Gerrard St)
  • Greektown
  • Leslieville
  • Main Square
  • Riverdale
  • Upper Beaches

Each Toronto neighbourhood has a different sub-culture as well as varying prices on all forms of accommodations.

Hotels in Toronto’s east end are a good option for a comfortable bed if you require accommodation for a few nights. Accommodation located in the east end vary from budget, moderate, boutique, and luxury. But Toronto east hotels seem to focus more on the moderate priced facilities (for the most part). Almost all the major hotel chains can be found in the east end throughout its neighbourhoods.

Bed and Breakfasts in the east of Toronto can be a little more pricey – although less expensive then a luxury hotel – than some other types of accommodation. The comfort and intimacy of this kind of accommodation is the major appeal for most travellers; it is generally in someone’s home with average 4-5 rooms. This option might not be the best if you have children, so be sure to call and inquire about their child amenities.

Motels in the east end of Toronto are for those who have a very small budget but want a safe, comfortable place to sleep. It has the most basic of amenities and usually does not include a breakfast. It is also convenient in that you are not required to pay a booking fee, and if there is a booking fee it is less expensive then a hotel.

Hostels are the very lowest in price, comfort, and amenities. But you get a bed, a public bathroom, and a quiet place to rest your head – all at a fraction of the price for a hotel room. Certain hostels located in the east of Toronto are more family friendly then others, so it is always smart to call ahead of time and check. If you don’t have kids, you should still call ahead; lest you want to be in a hostel filled with children.

Homes are on this list for Toronto East accommodations because of the increasing popularity in renting out homes for a short or long period of time. If you have an extended stay, with family or friends, a smart option might be renting a home. Toronto East has many great properties available for these kind of trips for a fair price. The closer to downtown, the more expensive – and convenient in some cases – it will become.

Condos in the east of Toronto are for short-term rent follow the same principles as homes; it is affordable, comfortable, and convenient. The other great thing about finding accommodation in  a Toronto East condo is the full access to phenomenal amenities. Amenities can include; pools, saunas, fitness rooms, party rooms, and meeting spaces.

Apartments in Toronto East can be used as accommodation, but it usually is less formal and varies in price. It is good to research this option a lot before hand, as well as get to know the person whose apartment you are renting.

Toronto has many colleges and universities, so student housing is hugely popular. Most schools have some form of housing or dorms available to its fulltime students. For those wishing to find a place outside of the school housing, Toronto East has many accommodations for that.

The kind of accommodation available for student housing are; houses with 5-10 students living within, apartments in the vicinity, rented condos, and dorms on the school property. You can contact groups or companies outside of your school to find the appropriate housing for you; these companies can find the best deals in the best locations.

Toronto east accommodation for travellers should be researched ahead of time. Find out what you wish to be near, if you require the public transit TTC, if you need any special amenities, what your budget is, how much room you need, if there is a washer and dryer available, and how far you are to food or entertainment.

Toronto East Accommodations differ from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.  Whether you need a place to stay for one night or one year, Totally Toronto can help you find the perfect place.

Furnished Apartment Rentals

For those looking for furnished apartment rentals to stay in while visiting Toronto, there are a variety of choices available across the city.

Furnished apartment rentals are an increasingly popular option for travelers who are looking for accommodation that go beyond standard hotel fare. Chain hotels, property management companies, and even individual people all provide possibilities for renting a place to stay in Toronto. This choice can be particularly good for those planning a medium-to-long stay in Toronto.

Furnished apartment rentals in Toronto are generally a little cheaper than standard hotel rooms, depending on who you are renting them from. The majority of furnished apartments in the city fall in the $100 – $150 range, but as you reach the luxury end of the price scale those rates can range up to $300 and higher. Most rental companies offer pricing at weekly and monthly rate, for longer stays.

Furnished apartment rentals have the advantage of providing more space than a hotel room, which can be useful for families or large groups that are traveling together. In addition, apartments are equipped with a kitchen for those times you don’t feel like going out to eat. When renting this type of accommodation, one consideration that should be made is to be aware that some operators have requirements for a minimum length of stay.

Many of the Toronto’s chain hotels offer furnished apartment rentals to visitors, so that is one place to start your search. This choice has the advantage of having all the facilities that a hotel has with a furnished room. The downside is that it is usually more expensive than some of the other choices.

Many of Toronto’s major property rental companies also offer condo and apartment rentals. These offerings are found throughout the city, but generally closer to major attractions. The downtown Toronto area has a large number of options (in addition to the hotels there as well), especially in the vicinity of the CN Tower and Rogers Centre, where a forest of new condos has sprung up in recent years.

Minto Group has several locations, including locations near Yorkville, Yonge and Eglinton, and North York. Metro Luxury Suites offers apartments near the CN Tower, near High Park, and in North York as well. Toronto Suites offers bachelor, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartments at their location at St. Clair Avenue and Yonge Street.

Canada Suites has locations near The Eaton Centre, The Financial District, and near Rogers Centre. Another company, DelSuites, has locations that include The Entertainment District and Queen Street West.

On the more luxurious side, there are several companies that offer rentals in Yorkville. Yorkville Suites, Minto, and Canada Suites all have offerings in that neighbourhood, as well as many smaller companies and individuals. However, your best bet for high end furnished apartment rentals are through the city’s more luxurious hotels. Hotels like The Fairmont Royal York and The Metropolitan Hotel Toronto are examples of hotels that rent out luxury apartment suites.

These are all useful choices when looking for a furnished apartment for a visit to Toronto, but it’s not necessary to book through one of these large companies. Individual people regularly advertise rentals on websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji. Here you will often be able to find better deals, and more flexibility in terms of location. This can be an easy solution particularly when visiting parts of the Toronto that don’t have as many options for accommodation. Rates for rooms when renting from individuals can often be found in the $50-$100 range.

It is good to remember to be always wary when arranging accommodation over the Internet. While the vast majority of cases are safe and reputable, there are always cases where such locations are not as advertised or non-existent . When possible use reputable websites, and be sure to do your research when making a booking with an individual renter. An easy way to check your potential furnished apartment rental in Toronto is to use Google Street to ensure the building is as described.

Guest Houses

Guest Houses in Toronto have become more and more popular over the past few years. The appeal is the intimate experience and hospitality one receives at a Guest House compared to a number in a large Hotel chain.

Toronto Guest Houses can be highly affordable, comfortable, and in some cases very quaint.

A Guest House can be named many things, as well as change in details from place to place. In the United States, a  boarding house is the equivalent to a Guest House in Toronto. In other places around the world, a Guest House is the only option for travellers and visitors.

A Guest House is generally a large house or mansion that is renovated strictly for guest accommodation. The owner of the house is the owner of the Guest House; they will often live on the property or close by the property. The price range varies from place to place; while some might be the same cost and quality of a Hostel, others might be the equivalent to a luxury hotel.

You can find Toronto Guest Houses all over the city. Depending on your reasons for staying in a Guest House, the best place to start looking one is in either Toronto East, Toronto North, Toronto West, or Downtown Toronto.

Toronto East Guest Houses range a lot in price. The East end of the city can be geared towards budget and moderate accommodation, so the Guest Houses here are comfortable yet affordable. The closer towards Downtown Toronto you are, the higher the room rate will be.

Toronto east neighbourhoods to look for Guest Houses are:

  • The Beaches
  • East Danforth
  • Little India (Gerrard St)
  • Greektown
  • Leslieville
  • Main Square
  • Riverdale
  • Upper Beaches

Toronto North provides a more upscale experience in some of their Guest Houses. The neighbourhoods are older and the culture is chic. Some of the most expensive Toronto neighbourhoods are in Uptown Toronto, so it only makes sense that the Guest Houses are also more expensive.

Toronto North neighbourhoods include:

  • Casa Loma
  • Deer Park
  • Forest Hill
  • Lytton Park
  • Midtown
  • Rosedale
  • Summerhill
  • Wychwood Park
  • Yonge and Eglinton

Toronto West Guest Houses are like the East end; there is a wide variety of room rates and styles. The West end is quickly expanding and some neighbourhoods have become more upscale while other have a thrift, bohemian atmosphere.

Toronto West neighbourhoods include:

  • Bloor West Village
  • Brockton Village
  • Carleton Village
  • Corso Italia
  • Davenport
  • Dovercourt Park
  • Dufferin Grove
  • Earlscourt
  • Fort York
  • High Park
  • The Junction
  • Koreatown
  • Liberty Village
  • Little Italy
  • Little Portugal
  • Mirvish Village
  • Parkdale
  • Roncesvalles/Little Poland
  • Runnymede
  • Portugal Village (Little Portugal)

Downtown Toronto (Central) Guest Houses are in the form of hostels or in the form of luxury hotels. The variety Guest Houses are great, but the room rates is higher. You also will need to book far in advance, as downtown Toronto accommodations are the most popular in all the city.

Downtown Toronto neighbourhoods include:

  • The Annex
  • Cityplace
  • Chinatown
  • Church and Wellesley
  • Corktown
  • Distillery District
  • Entertainment District
  • Fashion District
  • Garden Districtv
  • Harbourfront
  • Kensington Market
  • Moss Park
  • Queen St West
  • St James Town<
  • University of Toronto
  • Yorkville

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) also has a huge selection of Guest Houses from budget to luxury. The regions within the Greater Toronto Area are:

  • East York
  • Etobicoke
  • Scarborough
  • North York
  • >York

Toronto Guest Houses often offer services for those staying short term and long term. Staying in Toronto for a few months? Contact a Guest House to find out the rates and amenities included with staying long term.

The main differences between a Bed and Breakfast and Guest House in Toronto is the size. Guest Houses have more rooms then B&B’s – which have about 4 to 5 rooms – but less then a hotel. They usually include breakfast with the total cost.

In Toronto, the Guest Houses differ in style, such as cheap sleeps, boutique, moderate, and luxury. But they can also differ in theme. Toronto has many Guest Houses with individual themes such as cultural and period-based. You can also find some Toronto Guest Houses that cater directly to the gay and lesbian communities.

If you are travelling with your family, it is advisable to inquire ahead of time if the facility is child-friendly. Some Guest Houses are geared more towards backpackers while other are 100% dedicated to kids.

If you are looking for a comfortable, intimate travel experience, a Toronto Guest House might be the best option for you.

Hostels

For those looking to visit Toronto on the cheap, the city offers a wide variety of hostel accommodation with easy access to major Toronto attractions and public transportation.

The majority of hostels in Toronto are found in the downtown area near King and Queen Streets. There are also a few more scattered elsewhere in the city, still not far from downtown, and usually along the subway lines.

Prices for a shared room at backpacker hostels in Toronto tend to range from $25 a night on the cheap end of the scale to $35 on the higher end. The main hostels also offers private double rooms for about $80 a night, but these are harder to get so book ahead.

All the major downtown hostels tend to offer wireless internet for laptops, 24-hour reception, secure luggage facilities, kitchen facilities, and coffee & tea. Breakfast is also usually included in the price, although in the cases where it costs extra it is rarely more than a few dollars. Pancake breakfasts are popular with guests, but make sure to ask for real maple syrup.

Toronto hostels are a great starting point for touring the city and other nearby attractions. Most hostels organize daily tours and activities, such as trips to museums, sporting events, and regular pub crawls. They also organize tours to more distant attractions, such as Niagara Falls, and at cheaper prices than tours organized elsewhere. Employee and other guests are also great sources of information on the city.

Arguably the most well-known hostel in the city is the Canadiana Backpackers Inn, located in the Entertainment District. Regularly voted one of the best backpacker hostels in Canada, the Canadiana is what you could call a ‘themed’ hostel. Every room is named after a famous Canadian, and they generally focus much of their energies into providing an ‘authentic’ Canadian experience. They also provide access to a wide range of activities and tours, including daily trips to Niagara Falls.

Clarence Castle, located near King Street at Spadina Avenue, is one of the best rated hostels in Toronto. They were voted the #1 hostel in North America in 2008 by Hostelworld, and #3 in 2009. Although a smaller facility, they have the advantage of a quiet location which is also right in the heart of the downtown core. Among the amenities they provide are cheap bicycle rentals.

Also in the King and Spadina area, the Global Village Backpackers Hostel is one of the bigger hostels in the city. In the mid-2000s they were regularly rated one of the best hostels in Canada, but they have slipped somewhat in recent years. Travellers here tend to enjoy the lively nightlife of nearby King Street West and Queen Street West, and the hostel features a pub on site as well as a large outdoor patio.

On the east side of downtown on Church Street, Hostelling International Toronto is another spot that organizes a lot of tours and activities. They also have a café on site, as well as a rooftop patio that hosts regular barbeques in the summer. Prices are also cheaper for Hostelling International members.

Outside of the downtown core, there are a few hostels near the neighbourhood of Kensington Market. Located on College Street just west of Spadina Avenue, Planet Traveller Youth Hostel bills itself as “Canada’s Greenest Hostel.” This brand new hostel was built in what was until recently a derelict building, and is instantly recognizable due to the large solar panels located on the roof, which actually encloses a stunning rooftop bar.

Another option in the summer is to stay in the dorms of one of the city’s universities. From May through August, the University of Toronto and Ryerson University open up dorms to travellers. The advantage in these cases is that travellers can get private rooms for cheaper rates that at other hostels or hotels. Bookings for these accommodations are generally done online.

Further north on Eglinton Avenue West, the Sage Wellness Hostel features somewhat different accommodations than the backpacker hostels of the city. This spot is a female-only hostel run by a “holistic practitioner and chef,” and is geared towards a spa-type environment. Although more expensive than the city’s backpacker hostels, this spot features yoga, organic food, and access to other spa services.

Other hostels around the city include the All Days Hostel and City Guest House, both near Bloor Street and Sherbourne Street, as well as the City Guest House II, which is located on Bathurst Street near Queen Street West. When looking for and booking hostel accommodations in Toronto, the best resource to use is the Internet.

Hotels

When you are visiting Toronto, obviously you need a place to stay. Toronto has many hotels that range from budget accommodation to luxury hotels.

The majority of hotels in Toronto are found throughout the downtown area. Most of the major hotel chains have locations here, in addition to a significant selection of smaller boutique hotels. With so many options, it’s easy for travellers to pick a place to stay that is located near the attractions they will be visiting.

The most iconic Toronto hotel is the Fairmont Royal York, a “chateau style” building that was completed in 1929. Located on Front Street across from Union Station, the Royal York was the tallest building in the British Empire at the time of its completion. It is located on the higher end of the price scale, and is also known for the honey produced from their own beehives on the roof. The Royal York hotel also has a focus on being particularly accessible for those with physical disabilities.

Due to the proximity to many of Toronto’s main tourist attractions, the downtown waterfront area has a large concentration of hotels. Le Meridien King Edward, located on King Street East, is one of the highest rated hotels in the city. It first opened its doors in 1903, and Frommers calls it the city’s best historic hotel. On the other end of the cost scale, the nearby Hotel Victoria was named the city’s best budget hotel. Other popular hotels in the downtown lakeshore area include The Westin Harbour Castle, The Novotel Toronto Center, the Hyatt Regency and The Strathcona Hotel.

Moving away from the waterfront, the zone within a few blocks of Yonge Street is where much of the city’s accommodation can be found. Many of the main hotel chains have locations in this area running north to Bloor Street. Ramada, Delta, Comfort Hotel, Best Western, and Marriott are among the options. Popular options include The Delta Chelsea, a family-friendly hotel that features a four-storey indoor waterslide, as well as the Days Inn Toronto Downtown, which is located across the street from the old Maple Leaf Gardens.

Northeast of the intersection of Yonge Street and Bloor Street, Yorkville is a popular high-end neighbourhood of stores and restaurants. Consequently, hotels located here are on the more expensive side, but are also some of the most highly regarded in the city. This tends to be the area of choice for visiting celebrities and dignitaries. The Park Hyatt, Four Seasons and Hazelton Hotel are some of the most prominent options.

In recent years the city has seen a rise in popularity of boutique hotels. These hotels are smaller and offer a more individualized experience than standard hotels. Some are geared towards those looking for a romantic getaway, while others are focused on serving travellers with dogs. The Hotel Le Germain, located on Mercer Street in the Theatre District, is one of the best known and regularly tops lists of the best hotel in the city. They also have a partnership with Porter Airlines.

West of downtown on Queen Street West are several popular boutique hotels. The Drake Hotel is a favourite of the young and hip crowd, but with 19 rooms it’s not the easiest place to get a room. Nearby is also The Gladstone Hotel, which is about twice the size and features rooms that have each been decorated in a different style.

Outside of the downtown core, accommodation tend to be concentrated around the major highways and interchanges, as well as northwest of the city near the airport. Hotels that are further out from the city and adjacent to the 400 series highways are generally less costly, with dozens of options from major hotel chains such as Holiday Inn, Travelodge, Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Best Western.

On the western side of the city near Pearson International Airport are a dozen or so hotel options. Located mostly on Dixon Road leading up to this airport terminal, these large hotels feature service geared especially towards business travellers. Most of them also feature large conference centres that regularly host large meetings and industry conventions.

Motels

When visiting Toronto by car, what are your options? Motor hotels, or motels in Toronto, are one such option that are also generally on the less costly end of accommodation.

While the term motel is generally being phased out by the tourism industry, the concept of the motor hotel is one that continues to be relevant. Hotels designed for those travelling by car, with easy access to major transportation routes and free parking facilities, are still in high demand. Hundreds of thousands of travellers from other parts of Canada and the United States visit Toronto by car every year.

A motel, or motor hotel, is a hotel designed for motorists. While the majority of hotels tend to have parking available for guests, downtown Toronto can be expensive. In addition, traffic and other concerns can make driving in downtown Toronto difficult at times.

The majority of motor hotels in the city tend to be located outside of the downtown core, closer to the city’s main highways. Running roughly east-west across the north of the city, Highway 401 is the main artery for all of Southern Ontario, and connects Toronto with Montreal on one end and Windsor / Detroit on the other. Further north of that, Highway 407 is a toll road that also runs east-west, effectively bypassing the city.

Meanwhile, in terms of main highways running north-south, Highway 404 is located on the northeast part of the city. In the center-north region, Highway 400 runs up to Barrie and cottage country, while Highway 427 runs north-south on the western side of the city adjacent to the airport. Highway 410 skirts the city’s western edge beyond the airport before turning south towards Hamilton and Niagara Falls.

There are motels and hotels located at most major exits on the 400-series highways, especially those in close proximity to where these roads meet. Northeast of the city, the area around the interchange of Highways 407 and 404 offers Howard Johnson, Courtyard by Marriott and two Holiday Inns. While these establishments are hotel chains, their location with access to the major highways and parking facilities would effectively categorize them as motor hotels.

Another cluster of motels are located in the area where Highway 407 meets Highway 400. Again, several major hotel / motel chains have locations here including Travelodge, Super 8 Motel, Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn. These spots also have the benefit of being close to nearby attractions such as Vaughan Mills shopping area and Canada’s Wonderland Amusement Park.

While the neighbourhood of Pearson International Airport has numerous hotels for travellers, the area a little further west on Highway 401 has more options for those looking for motel accommodations. This area is handy for those travelling in from London and Windsor / Detroit in the west, and from Buffalo and Niagara in the south. Motel 6, Super 8 Motel, Comfort Inn, Sheraton and several others have offerings in this area.

Sticking with motels on the western side of the city, south of the airport as you get closer to Lake Ontario there are several well rated motels on Lakeshore Blvd. West. Motels in this area are close to the Queen Elizabeth Way (or QEW), a freeway that begins as the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto and connects with highway 410 south of the city. The Ivy Motel and Green Acres Motel are options near the Dixie Road exit, while off the Gardiner closer to the city you’ll find The Beach Motel, The Hillcrest Motel and the Shore Breeze Motel all on Lakeshore Blvd. West.

For those coming in from locations in the east, Scarborough has numerous motel options located on Highway 2 south of the 401. Running parallel to the shoreline of Lake Ontario, accommodation in this area offer easy access to lakeside parks and the Scarborough Bluffs. Chains like Super 8 Motel and Howard Johnson have locations here, as well as several independent old-fashioned style motels such as the Roycroft Motel, Park Motel and Hav-A-Nap Motel.