The Best Hostels in Toronto
The best hostels in Toronto satisfy three crucial criteria. They're cheap, conveniently located and comfortable. While anything but luxurious, these are places where travellers can count on basic amenities and, typically, a sense of camaraderie with fellow globetrotters. As you might expect of a city once hailed as "New York run by the Swiss," from an international perspective, our hostels are clean and safe.
There aren't that many of them to be found around town — say about 20 or so — but of these about half standout as superior to the rest of the pack for one reason or another. And while locals might not care too much about the state of Toronto's hostels, try to bear in mind that young tourists help to contribute to the vibrancy of cities — so it's always good to draw as many travellers as possible.
Here are the best hostels in Toronto.
One of the newest hostels in Toronto, Planet Traveler is also housed in one of the city's most energy efficient buildings. While geothermal temperature control, solar and photo voltaic panels, water reclamation facilities and motion sensor LED lights might not be a huge draw for the weary traveller looking to rest his or her head, the newness of the facilities, the location (College and Augusta), the quality of the washrooms, and the excellent rooftop patio are all very attractive. Rates range from $30 (dorm) to $80 (private room).
Located near Church and King, Hosteling International (HI) is a colourful hostel with bright rooms and plenty of security features. Rooms range from 10-person dorms ($29) to deluxe singles with private bathrooms ($99), the latter of which offer near hotel-like comfort at a lower cost. While the area isn't necessarily the most exciting, the location is central enough that exploring the city should be a cinch. On-site facilities include a lounge and TV room, kitchen, in-room lockers, and video surveillance.
Clarence Castle occupies a quaint early 19th century building on Clarence Square near Wellington and Spadina. One of the smaller hostels on this list, there's an almost bed and breakfast type feel to the place, with a well-stocked kitchen and decent breakfast on offer each day. The free WiFi is spotty in some rooms, so you'll have to hope to get lucky. This isn't really the place to party with other travellers, but HI and Global Village Backpackers are close enough to cover that off. Prices range from $28 (dorm) to $45 (private, double bed).
Neill-Wycik is first and foremost a student co-op, but given that many of its residents leave town when school is out, it takes on its identity as a hostel over the summer months. This place isn't in the best condition compared to others on the list, but the apartment-style accommodations (there are private quad rooms) will appeal to those travelling in groups and the location is central (Gerrard and Mutual) with easy access to transit. Rates range from $28 for a bed in a dorm to $53 for a private single to $120 for a private quad.
The Only Backpacker's Inn might not be the most centrally located hostel in Toronto (Danforth and Donlands), but it makes up for that in beer. Yeah, that's right - the hostel is located above one of the city's premier beer destinations, the Only Cafe. Along with proximity to the cafe, the hostel boasts cable TV, free WiFi, a guest kitchen and air conditioning. Security is on the lax side, but that's because it's not entirely necessary here. Dorm-based accommodation comes in at around $25 (which includes a decent breakfast).
Located on Augusta Avenue at the north end of Kensington Market, College Hostel has got some serious competition from the nearby and newer Planet Traveler, but a renovation a few years ago makes it a viable alternative for those looking to stay near the action of Kensington Market. With 140 total beds, this is one of the larger hostels in the city, and comes with amenities like free WiFi, cable TV, and on-site laundry facilities. Prices range from $26 (dorm) to $90 (private room, two beds).
Backpackers on Dundas is a relatively new hostel (compared to others on the list), though that doesn't mean it's in pristine shape (as the website wants you to believe). What this place has going for it is twofold - location and price. It's on the cheaper side of Toronto hostels and being just north of City Hall, it's easy to trot around downtown on foot. A bed in a dorm room ranges from $26 to $28 during the summer months.
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