I have to admit, I've only ever stayed in a hostel once, in Montreal, and it was hardly a Hostelling International hostel - more like a former abbatoir with some bunk beds and a really creepy owner. Nevertheless, I've heard pretty good things about this place, and it does have brand power to back it up. Be careful, though, as you need to be a member of the Hostelling International network to be able to stay there (I think that requires you to buy a HI membership).
Unique Quality: HI has some obvious price advantages - it's way cheaper than most places you can stay in Toronto. Its also close to some of the main tourist attractions in the city, like St. Lawrence Market and the Eaton Centre, as well as the theatres and restaurants around those points. It also happens to be located at the southern end of the Gay Village, which means that it is close to many gay-oriented bars, restaurants and clubs. The location advantage, unfortunately, also happens to be a disadvantage. On the one hand, things in this area are more expensive than other areas of the core, and the neighbourhood is a little seedy, with many homeless people sleeping in nearby St. James' Park and fair number of drug dealers hanging out a bit farther east.
Directions: East of Yonge, closest to King and Queen stations
On this particular trip to Toronto, I tried to book several downtown hotels that were all sold out because of some big conference, so I decided to check out the hostel in Toronto and see what it was like.
It turned out to be just fine. I got a private room for $79.00 and it included two meal vouchers. I used both own morning and got a hearty Canadian Breakfast, fruit salad, a coffee and an orange juice. I thought it was a great deal.
The bunk bed in the room is sort of what you would expect, I did get a little cold so I piled on some more bedding. They did tell me I could get wireless internet. Even thought the computer picked up lots of networks I wasn't able to connect to any of them.
The hostel is in a great location in old Toronto, it's right downtown and just a short walk right to the heart of downtown. It seemed like it was a busy place and there was nice people there at the time of my visit. I briefly met a girl from Ireland and nice guy from Melbourne, Australia.
Behind the hostel was a nice garden area and overall.
I would have to say the location of this hostel is important. It’s at 76 Church Street which is right downtown in the old district but just a 5 minute walk from more famous streets like Bay and Younge. They are busy there. I tried to get a room there on the way back and was unsuccessful without the reservation.
Didn't enjoy my stay here. It seemed kind of small and barren. I shared a room with some guys that must have been living there full-time, and who were keeping an iguana as a pet in the room...bizzzarre. They would come in at 4 am being loud and stupid. They probably ruined my opinion of the hostel. But, it seems like they were fixing it up(or maybe it was just run-down) while I was there. Kitchen was too small...blah...complaint...blah.... Sometimes you get what you pay for...eh?
Directions: Downtown Toronto
21 Avenue Road, One block north of Bloor St., Toronto
255 Wellington Street West, Toronto
1150 Queen Street West, Toronto
21 Old Mill Road, Toronto
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Address: 76 Church Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 2G1, Canada