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Toronto: Where to Stay
Toronto has a vibrant and safe downtown area that's easy to get around on foot, by transit, or by taxi.  Downtown is also where you'll find the largest cluster of attractions, restaurants, and shopping, so it is by far the best area for most visitors.  (Downtown is roughly the area east of Spadina Avenue and west of Jarvis Street, running from the lake to just north of Bloor Street.)
It's not a good idea to stay by the airport, unless you have a flight to catch the next morning.  There's a good selection of airport hotels, but transit options from the airport area to downtown are either expensive or very slow.  Staying near the airport, especially without a car, will make it more difficult to see the city.
Book early if visiting the city in the summer.  The busiest time of year for Toronto hotels is during the Toronto International Film Festival (ten days in early September, starting the Thursday after Labour Day).
The remainder of this page lists:
  • Budget Options (Hotwire, Priceline, and budget hotels)
  • Hotels by Location
  • Hotels by Category (trendy, suite, family, etc.)
Staying in Downtown Toronto on a Budget 
A downtown hotel in a good location doesn't have to break the bank.
Using Hotwire and Priceline
You won't find rooms advertised at under $100/night for any reputable downtown Toronto hotel, but both Hotwire and regularly offer such rates at major brand-name hotels. 
On Hotwire, you specify your dates, and you'll see a list of hotel offers by area, star rating, and amenities.  The name and address of the hotel are only revealed once you've made your non-refundable booking.  In Toronto, stick to "Downtown West" for best results.  You can use Better's Hotwire hotel list to try to guess which hotel you're being offered (the list was originally posted in 2003 but has been updated regularly; because listings do change there are no guarantees).
Priceline works similarly, except their "Name Your Own Price" system allows you to "bid" the rate you want to pay, and see if any hotels will accept your bid.  The BiddingForTravel forum lists recent Priceline bids for Toronto-area hotels; again, make sure to specify "Downtown" in order to get a hotel in a convenient location.
Finally, make sure you're aware of the restrictions for both services:
  • You pay in full when you make the booking, and there are no refunds.
  • You do not get to choose the number or type of beds.  Priceline assumes double occupancy; Hotwire asks for the number of adults in the room.
  • Some hotels sell their less marketable rooms -- low floors, near elevators, etc. -- through Hotwire and Priceline, so if you're picky about hotel rooms you may be disappointed.
  • While many hotels will honour special requests and allow room upgrades for Hotwire and Priceline guests, they are not required to do so.
Budget Hotels
If you want more flexibility than Hotwire and Priceline offer, the following hotels provide decent, clean accomodation in good locations:   
Hotels by Location
With any downtown hotel, you shouldn't have to worry too much about location -- it's easy to get around downtown on foot or by public transit.  But if you must be as close as possible to a particular spot, check the lists below or ask in the Toronto forum.
Hotels Within 400m
(5-Minute Walk)

Hotels Within 800m
(10-Minute Walk)

Union Station
(VIA Rail,
GO Transit) and
Hockey Hall of Fame Air Canada Centre
(Maple Leafs
hockey, Raptors
concerts) Metro Toronto
Rogers Centre/
(Blue Jays
Argonauts CFL
CN Tower, and
Ripley's Aquarium
of Canada
Theatre District
(Roy Thomson
, Princess
of Wales
, Royal
Bell Lightbox
) Toronto Eaton
, Yonge-
Dundas Square
Ed Mirvish
Massey Hall,
Royal Ontario
neighbourhood) Hotels Attached to Malls/the PATH
Several downtown hotels are connected to the maze-like PATH system of underground walkways.  The PATH is lined with shops that typically cater to office workers above, and connects to the Eaton Centre, Union Station, and many of the downtown subway stations.  Hotels with PATH connections are: Hotels Near Toronto Pearson International Airport
Before deciding to stay at the airport, make sure to read the note at the top of this page about getting downtown from airport hotels.
  • Directly connected to Terminal 3 is the Sheraton Gateway Hotel (reviews)
  • Adjacent to the LINK inter-terminal shuttle train is the ALT Hotel Toronto Pearson (reviews)
  • Nearby hotels, most of which offer free shuttle bus service to/from the airport, can be found via a TripAdvisor hotel search
  • Starting in mid-2015, it may be just as fast (though likely more expensive) to take the Union-Pearson Express train into the city and stay downtown, where you'll have much more within walking distance of your hotel
Hotels by Category
Trendy Hotels Spa Hotels Upscale Hotels All-Suite Hotels Family Hotels Bed & Breakfasts
Many of these are located in quiet, tree-lined residential neighbourhoods near downtown.  There are over 116 Bed and Breakfast located in Toronto. Many are located in historic homes with award winning gardens. Others are conviently located near the subway line with easy access to the (TTC) Toronto Transit Commission. You can also discover the lovely charm of Toronto's many "villages" such at trendy Bloor West Village with it's Polish and Ukranian flavour, Cabbagetown or Little Italy.  You also have the option of a quaint little B & B's on Toronto Island or even a Boatel (Boat Bed and Breakfast) in downtown Toronto waterfront.  If you haven't stayed at a bed and breakfast before, don't worry B & B owners are infamous for making people feel right at home in their home. So if you want unique accommodations that are a refreshing change from a traditional hotel then try a B & B in Toronto.   See B&B listings and reviews on TripAdvisor.

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