Where to Stay in Toronto (Areas + Hotels) → Honest Guide

where to stay in Toronto

If you are planning a visit to the city, congrats, you’re in for a real adventure! During my two weeks road trip Canada itinerary I visited this awesome city for two and a half days and I really enjoyed every moment!

But you might now be wondering where to stay in Toronto for the best vacation. This is an important subject, considering that Toronto is quite a big city, divided into maaany different areas and neighborhoods! You probably want to be as central as possible, close to the main attractions, am I right?

No worries, I will explain everything you need to know about the best Toronto neighborhoods, like Dowtown, the Entertainment District, and Midtown & Yorkville in this ultimate guide! Plus you will find a selection of the best hotels in the city from luxury to budget!

Toronto is a VERY popular destination, so the hotels get booked far in advance, trust me! Make sure to secure your spot if you want to pay the best prices for the best accommodations out there. Remember: prices are only getting higher as time passes, not lower!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

If you’re in a hurry…

Don’t have the time to check all the accommodations? Here’s a shortlist with the top hotels, all located in Downtown Toronto:

Here’s a map that will help you visualize all the areas that I will be talking about in this post.

NOTE: All of the areas I am mentioning below are very central or within walking distance from the city center, so your choice will be based on your personal preferences and budget, basically!

  1. Downtown (incl. Yonge & Dundas Square) – for first-timers
  2. Entertainment District – for nightlife
  3. Midtown & Yorkville – for families & luxury
  4. Harbourfront  – the best views
  5. West Queen West – the trendiest place
  6. Chinatown – for budget travelers

1. Downtown (incl. Yonge & Dundas) –  for the first time

where to stay in Toronto

Downtown is, basically, the main core of Toronto and the best area to stay if you want to be as central as possible!

Staying in Downtown Toronto (located in Old Toronto District) is the most convenient choice if you ask me, especially if you are visiting for the first time or if you only have a couple of days in the city.

In this area you will find the heart and lungs of the city: Yonge-Dundas square which is basically the Times Square of Toronto of course, it’s a lot smaller but it has all the main attractions in the area. Expect many billboards, a metro station, shops and lots of entertainment throughout the year!

Needless to say that if you choose Downtown as your base, you’ll be surrounded by countless restaurants and many attractions like the famous St. Lawrence Market. Honestly, this area is perfect for any type of traveler! That’s why most people choose to stay here, so booking your hotels in advance is super important!

That being said, let’s see which are the best hotels in Downtown Toronto, I organized them by prices for your convenience. While you’re at it, no trip to Toronto would be complete without visiting Niagara Falls, so check out this post with the best hotels to stay on the Canadian side!

Luxury (US$170 and up)

where to stay in Toronto

  • The St. Regis Toronto – This is one of the best hotels out there, with easy access to Yonge Dundas Square! This hotel was first called “Trump International Hotel”, so you might’ve heard about it because it was associated with President Trump. That’s not that important – the main thing I want to say is that this hotel offers real top-notch service and facilities!
  • One King West Hotel – Here’s one of the best hotels in Downtown Toronto, really! The location is simply perfect and you’ll definitely enjoy the city views, the delicious food at the restaurant and free Wi-Fi. What more can you wish for?
  • The Omni King Edward Hotel Toronto – This is truly one of the best luxury hotels in Toronto! This 4-star luxury hotel has a fabulous on-site restaurant, beautiful rooms, its own fitness center, and many other cool advantages! Plus, it’s very close to Yonge Dundas Square, the very center of Toronto!

Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)

  • Home in Downtown – In case you want to stay as central as possible and enjoy great value for the money, then choose a room at this guesthouse, you definitely won’t regret your choice! Expect some comfortable beds, cozy rooms, and free wifi.
  • Pantages Hotel Toronto – Wine, dine and hit the gym at this fancy hotel in Downtown Toronto that offers some incredible views from its ceiling-to-floor windows. The rooms are spacious, clean and equipped with a flat-screen tv and free wifi.

Budget (up to US$110)

  • Elegant Suite at Bloor/Bathurst – If you are looking for a place where to stay in Toronto on a budget, this is a great choice as well! They have everything you’ll need for a pleasant stay including free Wi-Fi, a buffet or American breakfast, nice rooms and a fabulous location in the center!

Things to do in Downtown

  • Shop for fresh goods at St. Lawrence Market
  • Check out the billboards in Yonge&Dundas Square
  • Shop until you drop at Eaton Shopping Center
  • Take a picture at the famous Toronto Sign
  • Pass by St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica
  • Go on an aerial tour of the city
  • Catch a Toronto Maple Leafs game and visit the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Admire the architecture of the Toronto City Hall and the Gooderham Building

2. Entertainment District –  where to stay for nightlife

where to stay in Toronto

Put your dancing shoes on and go paint the town, because as you will probably see there’s no dull moment in the Entertainment district.

The Entertainment District is both very central and vibrant, so a great choice for anyone that’s looking for nightlife, convenience, and being close to all the main Toronto tourist attractions like the CN Tower.

Known before as the Garment District, this area is home to lots of abandoned factories which were turned into nightclubs, music venues, and theatres.

I would start with dinner first, as the restaurants are great here! For that, you will probably head to King Street, the core of this area. And as I personal note, I recommend booking your hotels near King Street, so you can be close to everything!

The Entertainment District is also great if you want fabulous upscale hotels and big chains of accommodation, so expect the prices to be higher and the selection of budget hotels a bit lower. Still, I found some great options for your stay, grouped by budget!

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Fairmont Hotel Toronto Royal York – In case you’re looking for hotels near Union Station in Toronto, this one’s a perfect choice, as it’s right across the street from it! This gorgeous 4-star hotel awaits 5 on-site restaurants, spacious and cozy rooms, their own gym, and even on-site shopping options. What more can you wish for?
  • Marriott Hotel Toronto City Centre – If you didn’t make up your mind yet, no worries, I got even more high-end hotels for you! This one offers 4-star luxury service and different types of rooms that you can choose from. Regardless of your choice, you’ll surely be spoiled!
  • Delta Hotels by Marriott – Fancy a swim with one of the best views of the city? Well, then you’ve come to the right place! This unique hotel not only has a fabulous swimming pool but also a bathtub in the room next to the windows! Order some room service and enjoy a relaxing day!

Middle-priced (US$100 – US$200)

where to stay in toronto

  • Modern Apartment – This accommodation has everything you need for your stay in Toronto! It’s located just a short walk away from the CN Tower and it has lots of space, and a flat-screen tv for those nights when you’re too tired to do anything else!
  • Cozy Apartment – Wake up to a fantastic view of Toronto in the comfortable bed of this apartment! Get some coffee and crawl back in bed for a lazy morning! The place also has a small balcony, a kitchen, and free wifi.

Budget (up to US$100)

  • Rex Hotel – If you’re looking for cheap accommodation in the Entertainment District then look no further than the Rex Hotel! Enjoy some fun days of mingling and live music, at this cool place that has a restaurant on-site.

Things to do in the Entertainment District:

  • Admire the iconic CN Tower
  • Dance all night long at Fiction Club
  • Spend a fun day at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Catch a play at Royal Alexandra Theatre
  • Go on a craft brewery tour in Toronto
  • Have a drink at Roxy on King club
  • Catch a game at Rogers Centre Stadium
  • Eat a delicious Japanese dinner at Minami Toronto

3. Midtown & Yorkville –  best for families & luxury

where to stay in Toronto

Midtown is located a bit North of the city center and it’s a very interesting neighborhood, combining both old and modern buildings, many shops and restaurants, as well as museums.

Yorkville is part of the Midtown area, however, it’s more expensive when it comes to accommodations and restaurants. This is the neighborhood where celebrities hang out, so naturally, the prices are higher.

There are plenty of hotels in both areas and you can choose which one you like depending on your preferences. For example, Midtown has tons of parks and natural spots, so if you’re looking for a nice place to stay with your family which is close to Downtown, you’ve come to the right place!

Yorkville is home to one of the most expensive shopping streets in the entire world – yep, I’m talking about Mink Mile, nestled in this fabulous neighborhood! Chanel, Burberry, and other high-end brands are waiting for you to treat yourself to a shopping session!

Below you’ll find my hand-picked hotel recommendations for where to stay in Toronto in case you think Midtown & Yorkville are the best places for you:

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Kimpton Saint George – I think this is one of the best Toronto luxury hotels if you want to be spoiled during your stay in the city! It’s also a great option because the hotel is only a short walk away from Royal Ontario Museum or Bata Shoe Museum, for example. The rooms are modern and very cool, and the staff is super friendly and helpful!
  • The Annex – The name of the hotel says it all – book a room here if you want to stay inside The Annex area, a very good place for your stay in Toronto! You can choose from different types of rooms, all of them spacious and clean.
  • Four Seasons Toronto – Here we have THE best luxury hotel in the entire Toronto (and maybe in North America as well), no kidding! It awaits world-class 5-star service and stunning reviews from travelers. Plus, it’s located in the gorgeous district of Yorkville, many shopping opportunities, culture spots, and other popular attractions are very close!
  • The Hazelton Hotel – Here’s another stunning 5-star hotel for your stay in Toronto. The rooms are very modern and bright and they even have an on-site spa, marble bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, a movie room, and an on-site restaurant as well.

Middle-priced (US$120 – US$200)

best hotels in Toronto with a view

  • The Anndore House – If you’re looking for a comfortable property for your stay in Toronto that won’t break the bank, this one might be a very good choice for you! It’s located in the fab district of Yorkville and it boasts a 4-star service, an on-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi, a cafe, and many other useful amenities and facilities.
  • Town Inn Suites – This 3-star accommodation awaits free Wi-Fi, a great restaurant, friendly staff, and all the facilities you might need. Oh, did I mention they also have an indoor pool? So cool!

Unfortunately, there are no budget options in these areas that I can recommend, you know I always give you the best hotels and where there are none that seem good enough. But if you have your mindset on cheap accommodation I think you will like Planet Traveler Hostel in Chinatown!

Things to do in Midtown & Yorkville:

  • Admire the beautiful architecture of Casa Loma
  • Go on a private and personalized tour in Toronto
  • Escape the city noise with the family at Park Drive Reservation Land
  • Visit the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum 
  • Shop until you drop at Chanel & other high fashion stores
  • Take the kids to the Ramsden Park playground
  • Explore the trails in David A. Balfour Park
  • Go on a fun food tour with the family in Kensington Market

4. Harbourfront – where to stay in Toronto for the best views

best hotels in Toronto with a view

Harbourfront is very close to the Entertainment District; technically, it’s located north of Lake Ontario, on the banks and it’s a great place walking distance to the city center.

Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is also here, the gateway if you want to visit the Toronto Islands. You will also find many restaurants and bars here, as well as charming cafes and art galleries, green areas, artist studios, and swimming spots (such as Bluffer’s Park).

What’s more, is that you’ll be able to spend some time on the beach as well! Yep, HTO beach it’s open for tourists and it’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the nice weather!

There are many great hotels in this area, and the best ones have a wonderful view of the lake and the islands.

If you want to stay in Harbourfront, here are the best hotels you can choose from:

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Delta Hotel Toronto by Marriott – This wonderful 4-star hotel in Toronto is the ideal location for those who want to be super close to Rogers Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame, or the Aquarium of Canada, for example. One of the best advantages of staying here is probably the indoor pool – perfect for some relaxation!
  • The Westin Harbour Castle – Here’s another awesome option for all travelers that want to stay in style. The list of awesome facilities here includes an indoor pool, gorgeous rooms, and impressive facilities. Plus, it’s only a short walk from Union Station and the Aquarium of Canada, in case you’re interested in visiting this landmark!
  • Radisson Blu – In case you’re searching for a hotel that has an outdoor pool, this one’s for you! The rooms are simply stunning and they have a view of the city or of the harbor. They have their on-site restaurant, as well as a fitness center!

Middle-priced (US$150 – US$200)

best Toronto neighbourhoods

  • Waterfront Condo – This one’s a stunning vacation home in Harbourfront, perfect for a group of maximum 4 people! Shopping malls, bars, art galleries, and Scotiabank Arena (formerly Air Canada Centre) – are literally a stone’s throw away from this accommodation!
  • MiCasa Suites – This awesome 4-star apartment is ideal if you want to be right in the heart of the city, in the Harbourfront district. It has beautiful, vibrant decor and it’s surrounded by tons of attractions and shopping options!

There are no budget hotels good enough for me to recommend in this area, but if you want to stay in a cheaper place then I think this Lux 1BR Suite in West Queen West will be a perfect spot nearby.

Things to do in Harbourfront:

  • Rent a kayak and go on the lake to admire the views
  • Grab a chair and an umbrella and relax on HTO Beach
  • Take lots of cool pics at the Simcoe WaveDeck
  • Visit The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
  • Spend a sunny afternoon in Harbour Square Park
  • Take the ferry and go on a bike tour of the Toronto Islands

5. West Queen West – the trendiest place in Toronto

Best Toronto restaurants

If you go a bit to the West from the Entertainment District, you’ll get to West Queen West, a super cool and trendy neighborhood!

Actually, in 2014 Vogue named West Queen West as being the second coolest neighborhood in the entire world!

It’s the perfect area for young people who don’t want to get bored, even for a second! There’s always something to do in West Queen West and around Queen Street, regardless of whether you visit it during the day or night.

In this area, you’ll encounter artists, fashion lovers, and street art everywhere you look, as well as cool bars, excellent restaurants that serve international cuisines, cafes, and many galleries.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, here are the best Toronto accommodation options in this area:

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel – In case you’re on the search for Sheraton hotels in Toronto, you’re in luck! This famous chain of hotels has a property in Toronto as well, where they await the same flawless service you’re already familiar with!
  • The Drake – This is another great option for your stay in West Toronto, near Arts and Design District. Book a room here if you want to be surrounded by art galleries, popular attractions, and a gorgeous park full of maple leaves. An amazing choice!

Middle-priced (US$140 – US$200)

things to do in Downtown Toronto

  • Gladstone Hotel – This is actually an iconic hotel in the city! Pick it as your base if you want to be located in a gorgeous Victorian building and if you want to enjoy great service, a unique decor that combines both old and new, an on-site cafe, and more!
  • Sonder at The Liberty –  Elegant, classy, and a great view of the city! What more could you need for your holiday in Toronto! Each room has a private bathroom and a flat-screen tv.

Budget (up to US$140)

  • 1BR Suite in King West – Being the coolest district in the city, unfortunately, the budget options are a bit scarce for Queen West district. But here’s a great option, especially if you are traveling in a group of 3 people. Plus, it has a great location, located right in the heart of the city!

Things to do in West Queen West:

  • Explore the area and admire the street art
  • Visit the John B. Aird Gallery
  • See the works of up and coming artists at the Koffler Centre of the Arts
  • Have a delicious dinner at Frankie’s Diner
  • See the Cherry Blossoms in High Park
  • Escape the city noise in the Trinity Bellwoods Park
  • Go on a tour to Niagara Falls from Toronto

6. Chinatown – the best area to stay in Toronto on a budget

things to do in Downtown Toronto

Actually, did you know that Toronto has no less than six Chinatowns? I wasn’t kidding when I said that this is a multicultural city!

But I’ll be talking about the Chinatown in Downtown Toronto here. This is a very lively and interesting neighborhood where you’ll find many shops and local restaurants everywhere you look around.

Trust me, if you’re a foodie, THIS is the perfect place where to stay in Toronto! This is also one of the best neighborhoods for budget travelers and backpackers, as you’ll find many good accommodations with accessible prices here. And considering this is a very central area, I think that’s an amazing combo!

Okay, enough talking, let’s see what are the best hotels in this awesome Toronto neighborhood:

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Shangri-La Hotel Toronto – Here’s a very beautiful choice and one of the best 5-star hotels in Toronto, located only 15 minutes from Chinatown by foot! It is also about 10 minutes walking from the Art Gallery of Ontario and Toronto Symphony Orchestra, so it’s great for those interested in culture and entertainment.
  • Bisha Hotel Toronto – Didn’t make up your mind yet? No worries, here is another excellent 5-star hotel located very close to the Chinatown district. The rooms are simply superb and it also has a rooftop outdoor pool as well – what more could you wish for?

Middle-priced (US$100 – US$190)

toronto luxury hotels

  • Hotel Ocho –  Located in a factory from 1902 this hotel has comfortable rooms equipped with a flat-screen tv. There’s a restaurant on-site where you can grab a quick breakfast before heading out and you can even rent a bicycle for an additional charge!

Budget (up to US$80)

  • Planet Traveler Hostel – Enjoy the free breakfast at this friendly hotel that offers modern rooms, with en-suite bathrooms and free wifi. You will also have access to a personal locker with integrated power points.

Things to do in Chinatown:

  • Buy some souvenirs from the Sonic Boom record store
  • Start your morning with a coffee at Dark Horse Espresso Bar
  • Have a delicious meal at Liuyishou Hotpot
  • Go on a walking tour and learn more about Chinatown
  • Drink traditional Asian tea at Icha Tea

👑 Luxury price: $450
💵 Mid Range: $220
🛏️ Budget: $110
🏠 Airbnb: $100
💰 Accommodation prices: High
📍 Best neighborhood: Downtown
👪 Best area for families: Midtown & Yorkville
🛎️ Best luxury hotel: The St. Regis Toronto
💵 Mid-range hotel:  Home in Downtown
👛 Best budget hotel: Elegant Suite at Bloor/Bathurst

BONUS 1 : Best apartments in Toronto

where to stay in toronto family

In case you’re the type of traveler that likes to feel right at home while traveling, maybe an apartment would be the best choice, what do you think? No worries, Toronto is full of amazing Airbnbs that offer everything you might need for a great stay.

By the way, staying in an apartment is also a very good choice for people traveling with their family and kids, as the extra space is much welcomed, as well as the extra amenities such as the kitchen or seating area.

I have made research for the best apartments where to stay in Toronto, all of them right in the center of the city. Here are your options:

Luxury (US$160 and up)

  • Upscale Condo – This is a simply stunning hotel that has incredible views of the city! It’s very stylish and it has floor-to-ceiling windows. Plus, the location is amazing, very central, and close to Yonge Street. All guests loved it!

Middle-priced (US$100 – US$160)

best hotels in toronto

  • Beautiful Condo – This is a sparkling clean apartment with modern decor and all the facilities you might need for a pleasant stay. It’s very close to the iconic CN Tower and the building even has an infinity pool, how cool is that?

Budget (up to US$100)

  • Cozy Suite – A comfortable accommodation that’s located just a short walk of Queen Street and that has a spacious room and a private backyard. Come back from a day of sightseeing and exploring and enjoy all the privacy you need!

BONUS 2: Best hotels near Toronto Airport

toronto canada international airport

In case you have a late-night flight or you want to return a rented car after your stay in the city, maybe staying in a hotel close to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) might be one of the smartest choices for you!

Oh, and by the way, even though the area close to the airport is usually kind of boring in many of the world’s cities, Toronto is an exception! You will surely find many great restaurants that you can choose from here.

Below you have a mixture of mid-range and budget hotels where to stay in Toronto near the airport:

  • Four Points by Sheraton – Nothing feels better than spending a full day relaxing by the indoor pool after your flight! Luckily this pet-friendly hotel, which is located a 50 minutes bus drive from the airport, has one! And on top of that, it also has a garden, barbecue facilities and they offer a free airport shuttle!
  • Alt Hotel – Sleep, eat, and regain your strength after a long flight at this lovely hotel that’s located 1 mile (2 km) away from the airport. This pet-friendly accommodation has a fitness center and free wifi.
  • Best Western Plus Travel – This hotel is located a bit further away from the airport: 3 miles (5 km) but don’t worry because they offer a free airport shuttle service! There’s also a restaurant on-site, a gym, and a business center!

Frequently asked questions about Toronto

💯 WHAT ARE THE BEST AREAS TO STAY IN TORONTO?

Downtown and the Entertainment District are 2 of the best area areas to stay in Toronto as you’ll find many attractions like the CN Tower and amazing hotels like The St. Regis Toronto and Fairmont Hotel Toronto Royal York.

🛑 WHAT PLACES TO AVOID IN TORONTO?

Toronto is mostly a safe city but I recommend avoiding some parts of it such as the Jane & Finch area, Cabbagetown after dark, and Kipling & Albion area.

🏨 WHAT ARE THE BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN TORONTO?

The St. Regis Toronto and Fairmont Hotel Toronto Royal York are the best luxury hotels where to stay in Toronto, both offer amazing services and they have great reviews.

🤔 HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED IN TORONTO?

Between 4 and 5 days should be enough to stay in Toronto, that way you’ll be able to check all the big attractions and maybe do some day trips to some cool spots like Niagara Falls.

🏒 Where to stay near Scotiabank Arena (formally Air Canada Centre)?

The Scotiabank Arena is located in the Harbourfront and Entertainment District area. The closest hotels to the stadium are Delta Hotels by Marriott and Le Germain (these are also good options near Union Station).


Conclusion

toronto tourist attractions

That’s it! You reached the end of my very detailed post about the best neighborhoods and hotels in Toronto, North America’s gem!

In this post, I explained everything about the best Toronto areas for all types of travelers and budgets and I gave you my hand-picked hotels in each of them for your convenience. If you’re finding it hard to make up your mind, here are my top 2 favorites Downtown:

I hope that you already found the dream place for your vacation and I wish you a great trip to Toronto, Canada! Just keep in mind that you have to book the hotels in advance if you want to get the best prices and deals!

By the way, if you need more travel inspiration about Canada, you can check out all of my articles about this amazing country here.

Happy travels,

Yulia

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2 Comments

  1. rene 05.02.2020 at 21:01
    • Yulia 07.02.2020 at 14:49

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