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College St. "boutique" hotel rents out rooms by the hour

Posted by Robyn Urback / May 11, 2012

Jun Jun Hotel TorontoAttention adulterers, teens who live with their parents, and Kensington lovers who occasionally find themselves in sudden fits of passion. There is a hotel in Toronto that will rent you a standard, temporary room for $50. Because sleeping over is for losers.

No, it is not the Econo Lodge adjacent to the so-called "Hooker Harvey's" on Jarvis. Nor is it attached to a strip club or other venue for adult entertainment. Rather, this is the Jun Jun Hotel, a self-described "boutique hotel" on College, at one point affiliated with a sushi joint dowstairs.

Jun Jun will take your deposit in cash, so you don't have to use your marital/mom's credit card. It also offers a cable-equipped TV in each room — just in case things don't work out. Rooms are available in various sizes and for periods as long as a week, but it distinguishes itself from the rest of the hotel lot with its three- and four-hour options.

Ever the sucker for Toronto's supposed seedy gems, I decide to head to Jun Jun myself to see how it compares to the Ocho, Gladstone, and the city's other boutique hotels. Like every would-be tourist (I just happen to be in my own city), I peruse online reviews before heading out. I quickly learn that one hindsight-sick visitor would rather "sleep on a park bench then [sic] stay here," and that another, after battling for the integrity of his/her reservation, entered a room to find "the sheets were somewhat damp and smelled very musty." Oh joy! That's just a bit different that the sanitized picture one gets from the hotel's website (see below).

Jun Jun HotelI find Jun Jun's hotel entrance nestled by doors to a restaurant and clinic of the same name. The printer-paper sheet of room rates, however, is my clue to enter in the correct door. I climb a narrow metal staircase to what is ostensibly the hotel lobby, and find it dark (as in, the lights are off) and vacant with no one at the front desk. Shucks. To make things worse, there's no bell or alarm to alert management of my presence, and I can't tell which door might be for hotel staff. So I wait, breathing in the smell of stale smoke and listening to female voices (talking voices, that is) coming from behind various doors.

About five minutes later a man emerges from one, opening the door just enough to squeeze his body through. Think of how a teen might slip out of his room after a particularly boisterous bong session — it was just like that.

"Can I help you?"

I asked if I could get a glance at one of the rooms — any room — and was promptly, and predictably, denied.

"There are people in all of them," he said, looking at the clock affixed to the wall above our heads. "Then after, they need to be cleaned. You need to come back later."

Online reviews had warned me that a peek at a room was a privilege denied even to those who had made a reservation. I knew I was pressing my luck.

"If I come back later, and I want a room for a bit, can I get one?"

If I bring cash or credit card, I should be good to go. Or stay, rather.

Discussion

48 Comments

Daniel / May 11, 2012 at 11:46 am
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Does BlogTO not pay their writers? Just like movie reviews and restaurant reviews you have to pay for the service/product and then you can write the review. This is pretty weak even for BlogTO standards. Go back, pay the $50 and write a proper review and then update this sorry excuse for an article.
Pk / May 11, 2012 at 11:46 am
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Eeeeuuuughh.....
Justin / May 11, 2012 at 11:54 am
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I completely agree with Daniel. Poor performance.
Brandon / May 11, 2012 at 11:56 am
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I walk by this place a lot since I work in the area, and at one point there was a pack of stray cats living in the stairwell. Can't be a good sign. As Daniel said though, it would've been nice to see an actual review with actual pictures, though I'm sure it must be a classy joint if their website picture includes a blanket that any 10 year old boy would be overjoyed to have adorning their racecar bed.
EricM replying to a comment from Daniel / May 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm
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Agree with Daniel as well... so does that mean the picture of the bedroom is the reviewers bedroom since the $50 was never paid and a room never seen? Nice hockey sheets...
Lee / May 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm
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I agree with Daniel a bit. Where is the review? This isn't story time Robyn. We want to use this article as a resource to know what this place is about. Not the 5 minutes you stood there for. If you think THAT warranted an ENTIRE article then you're crazy.
Derek / May 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm
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This was never intended to be a review, guys — just a quick little look at quirky business on College Street.

If you want to read hotel reviews, there's a section for that:

http://www.blogto.com/hotels
irks / May 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm
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I look forward to the review of the hostel over the Only Cafe. I got crabs from a girl I met (and banged) there but it's a great hostel otherwise.
Sub Art / May 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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Damn, this is weak.
Ian replying to a comment from Derek / May 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm
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It's not a "quick little look at a quirky business" without actually taking at least a quick little look. There's entirely no point to this story existing without the author having set foot in one of the rooms. They were told to come back later. Did they?
Mondayjane / May 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm
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Not sure what's worse: this awful article or the writer attempting to qualify that it's not "a review" here in the comments. Sheesh, BlogTO!
asdf / May 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm
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I for one do not need to see how this place compares to Ocho or Gladstone... this 'boutique hotel' is more akin to The Waverley than the other two. Are those calling for a 'proper review' really serious?
Greg replying to a comment from Mondayjane / May 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm
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You know what's worse? You not being able to distinguish between the author and another commenter. How can you comment if you didn't even read the article? More lame-ass commentary on BlogTO. Let's try to get some sunshine today folks. It'll do you all some good. As for the article, meh, but whatever. I didn't have to pay for it (ahem, Globe & Mail).
John / May 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm
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Wow, I can't believe some of the rude comments. I didn't even know this place existed, so now I do and I know a little bit about it. Sure, it would be interesting to learn a bit more, but this is a blog, not a source of investigative journalism. Even if you didn't like the article, is there any reason to be so mean about it?
OM_G / May 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm
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This sounds very shady. However, I guess it was a matter of time before we got a Japanese love hotel in town.
smh replying to a comment from OM_G / May 11, 2012 at 01:05 pm
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It's not even that. It's connected to a couple of massage joints by the same name (including the "clinic" mentioned in the article).
Furnished / May 11, 2012 at 01:17 pm
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Are the rooms furnished with Japanese hookers? If so, I'd be very interested.
Scott / May 11, 2012 at 01:28 pm
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Ian hit on the head with his respond to Derek: "It's not a "quick little look at a quirky business" without actually taking at least a quick little look. There's entirely no point to this story existing without the author having set foot in one of the rooms. They were told to come back later. Did they?"

I read these articles exclusively to find great comments from readers about how dumb the articles are.
Ian replying to a comment from John / May 11, 2012 at 02:00 pm
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I don't think it's particularly mean to call something out for being a lazy piece of journalism. It's critical, sure, but there's a big difference between that and being mean.
Cam / May 11, 2012 at 02:06 pm
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Worst. Article. Ever.
Dear BlogTO / May 11, 2012 at 02:47 pm
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What happened? There use to be articles here that made this very much a worthwhile read and I use to read it almost every day. There have been some MAJOR clunkers as of late however. The Morning Brew piece use to be up when I started work, now? Not so much. Is it lack of writers? To many writers all demanding publication? Is the aversion to pieces of depth turning the whole thing in to one huge street style? Honestly, what's up? It's becoming hard to watch/read... like hearing about what RIM is doing these days. Seriously though, perhaps time for all the writers and editors to sit down and re-evaluate.
Lola / May 11, 2012 at 03:04 pm
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What is the point of this article? Absolutely nothing. I could have figured this out on my own. Next time BlogTO should pay for you to go into the room, so we can get a real story.
ROB / May 11, 2012 at 03:11 pm
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Robyn,I was intrigued by the title of your article then I read it. Please go back and rent the damn room and write a proper review of your experience. Very disappointing that this would even pass muster with BlogTO.
Steve / May 11, 2012 at 03:18 pm
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I don't get the hostility here. It's clearly not meant to be a review. It's a funny anecdote. Did anyone really expect a serious review of a sketchy hotel that rents out rooms by the hour. It's supposed to make you laugh, not to give you serious advice about the quality of the rooms.
Gary / May 11, 2012 at 03:38 pm
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Bitch bitch bitch! I'm guessing the place is legal?
w-hat / May 11, 2012 at 03:44 pm
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This article will be useful later if you ever run a "top ten places to get bedbugs" piece.
EricM replying to a comment from Steve / May 11, 2012 at 03:45 pm
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Why publish a funny anecdote? Really, it isn't even that though.
Graham Giggity / May 11, 2012 at 03:46 pm
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I heard that the Hav-A-Nap rents out rooms by the hour. That would be a good place to have a shaggy in Scarboro.
Sam / May 11, 2012 at 03:57 pm
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I did a prostitute above the Comfort Zone a few years back.
I rented the room for 1 hour. Very shady place but it was perfect because I didn't have to check out. Just left when the bell dinged.
Adam replying to a comment from Steve / May 11, 2012 at 03:59 pm
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I agree with Steve completely. To anyone who's ever walked by the place/heard a single rumbling about its incredibly shady reputation, there's hardly a reason to justify a comprehensive piece on it. While it would have been nice had the man at front desk shown Robyn a room, the fact that he didn't and in the way he was refused are enough to fill a small anecdotal article such as this. And like a few choice others have already mentioned - this isn't TripAdvisor, this is blogTO. Settle down.
Evian naive / May 11, 2012 at 04:09 pm
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Give me a break people. Are writers at Blogto this naive? Are the readers here this naive? This junjun place is connected to rub and tug joints around the city. Hourly rooms, the stale smell of smoke, women's voices behind all the doors...put two and two together people. Lol. Hilarious.
Tee replying to a comment from Daniel / May 11, 2012 at 04:25 pm
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Hahahahahaha
BITELINK / May 11, 2012 at 04:40 pm
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GG BEDBUGS!
Mike replying to a comment from Daniel / May 11, 2012 at 04:41 pm
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I agree, is there no budget here?!? I didn't expect the article to end so abruptly... BlogTO is kind of like a "teen on a boisterous bong session". Slack.

What's next? Incomplete sports games reviews for not having the gate money? Incomplete... how very "Toronto".
rek / May 11, 2012 at 04:44 pm
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So did you delete my comment because I mentioned the embarrassing Steamworks review, or for some other reason?
Magda / May 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm
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Worst article ever, seriously. The end was so abrupt, and anecdote or not, use some creative linguistic finesse, please!
Meist / May 11, 2012 at 10:55 pm
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These 'hotels' are not unusual in Japan, Europe, etc
Eric26 replying to a comment from rek / May 12, 2012 at 10:04 am
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Were you the one embarrassed by the Steamworks review? Cuz I wasn't and neither was BlogTO.
Adam / May 13, 2012 at 11:40 am
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Daniel you suck
RealTalk / May 16, 2012 at 10:30 am
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This article is a major FAIL.
rek replying to a comment from Eric26 / May 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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Everyone else was. Read the comments – or were they deleted too?
Greg / May 16, 2012 at 08:46 pm
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Hey guys, let's take up a collection for BlogTO to actually stay at this place and finish the article. I pledge $5.
Adam / May 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm
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You know what, most of you are too stupid to realize this was just a cool little article. Take an IQ test before posting a comment.
whatever replying to a comment from Adam / May 17, 2012 at 06:13 pm
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If you think this is a "cool little article" then you are the who is stupid.

Either do your craft in a professional manner or don't bother wasting the time of those who follow this blog.
Alan / July 13, 2012 at 04:59 am
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Can teens rent out a room?
Michael / July 21, 2012 at 07:35 pm
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No: they do not pay their writers. They still owe me $$ for a few. And they ignore your emails for weeks on end if they feel like it.
glackstone / December 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm
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sounds shady, though a few portals seems to offer "day rooms" now (dayguest.com, between9an4.com, etc.). how low will humankind go.
Jones / July 27, 2013 at 12:24 am
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"I asked if I could get a glance at one of the rooms — any room — and was promptly, and predictably, denied."

This should have been the only sentence in this article, if any, the rest I'd find out myself, thanks!!

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