No-Frills Hostels in Toronto for Budget Travelers

Youll find plenty of budget-friendly accommodation in Toronto if you know where to look
You'll find plenty of budget-friendly accommodation in Toronto if you know where to look | Courtesy of HI Toronto Hostel / Expedia
Sophy Grimshaw

The largest city in Canada celebrates its international influences in a lively cultural scene mirrored in its good-value hostels and modest hotels, providing affordable and fun accommodation options in creative Toronto.

From the celebrated indy vibes of its Kensington Market neighborhood to the starpower of the annual Toronto International Film Festival, Canada’s largest city is also its creative heart. Toronto is home to a network of major cultural attractions – including internationally renowned museums and galleries, such as the Art Gallery of Ontario. The city also wears the wide-ranging influences of its international communities proudly on its sleeve, not to mention on its restaurant scene. Affordable, conveniently located accommodation does exist – and we’ve found some of the best hostels in Toronto for you, all bookable with Culture Trip.

1. HI Toronto Hostel

Hostel

A modern dorm room with two sets of bunk beds at HI Toronto Hostel
Courtesy of HI Toronto Hostel / Expedia

Room choices at this downtown Toronto hostel range from a 14-bed dorm setup to a private room with ensuite bathroom, with varying numbers of bunk beds in dorms in between. What its shared rooms necessarily lack in privacy, this Toronto edition of the Hostelling International franchise aims to make up for in lively communal spaces – most notably with the Cavern, a bar and performance space (by night) and quirky coffee shop (by day).

2. The Clarence Park Hostel

Hostel

A private double room with modern decor at The Clarence Park
Courtesy of The Clarence Park / Hostelworld.com

In a converted townhouse in the arty, downtown King West Village neighborhood, this cheap hostel in Toronto overlooking Clarence Square Park is warmer and more hospitable than your average backpacker haunt. Dorms are fitted with heavy wooden bunks that whisper Canadian coziness, and there are private rooms available to those willing to pay extra for an even more homey stay. The communal facilities include a contemporary kitchen that’s spacious enough to actually cook your own meals, so put away those instant noodles and settle in.

4. The Planet Traveler Hostel

Hostel, Hotel

A simple dorm room with street views at The Planet Traveler Hostel
Courtesy of The Planet Traveler Hostel / Hostelworld

The one for sustainably minded travelers on a budget, this dorm-room Canadian hostel has been purpose built with energy-saving technology at its core – including solar panels, geo-thermal heating and water recycling. Eco credentials aside, this is one of Toronto’s most socially minded hostels, with free barbecues, movie screenings and karaoke nights all making it easy to mix with and meet fellow guests if you’re so inclined. If not, you have the city right on the doorstep.

5. The Only Backpacker’s Inn

Hostel

Bunk beds in a dorm room at The Only Backpacker’s Inn
Courtesy of The Only Backpacker’s Inn / Hostelworld.com

Recognizable from some distance by the rainbow-bright mural on its exterior, this East Toronto hostel is a social hub inside, with a downstairs pub and coffee bar beneath its dorm-room accommodations. A terrace, garden and library complete the picture, as well as a shared kitchen for preparing cheap dinners. Head down for the morning breakfast buffet, before striding out into the Danforth area of the city – famous for its shopping.

6. Two Peas Pod Hostel

Hostel

A rooftop lounge are at the Two Peas Pod Hostel
Courtesy of Two Peas Pod Hostel / Expedia

In the bohemian Kensington Market neighborhood, this bright hostel is one of the best in Toronto and offers a mix of small private rooms and dorm options. Bedroom floor space is in short supply, but bunk beds are equipped with individual smart TVs to give you some sense of private leisure time. Communal spaces include a cute roof terrace, with a statement swing chair and sofas. Then it’s out the front door to peruse vinyl shops, vintage boutiques and edgy art galleries to your heart’s content.

7. The Strathcona Hotel

Hotel

A modern lobby with table and chairs and a lounge seating at The Strathcona Hotel
Courtesy of The Strathcona Hotel / Expedia

This hotel’s got some serious sticking power. Having been open on this spot on York Street since 1933, the affordable but grown-up-feeling stalwart has just under 200 rooms and its own British-style pub and cafe. You’ll be within walking distance of big-hitter tourist sites like the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Rogers Centre stadium and Toronto’s stellar theater district. No wonder the hotel’s still going strong.

8. The Rex Hotel

Hotel

The bold concrete exterior of The Rex Hotel
Courtesy of The Rex Hotel / Expedia

There’s live music every night at the Jazz and Blues Bar of this Queen Street-area downtown hotel, which has been a Toronto fixture for more than 40 years. A well-liked local institution that doesn’t take itself too seriously, the hotel has modest bedrooms but an epic in-house burger and nachos joint – called the Rextaurant.

9. Woodbine Hotel & Suites

Suite Hotel

A simple hotel room with large bed at Woodbine Hotel & Suites
Courtesy of Woodbine Hotel and Suites / Expedia

Flying into Toronto Pearson Airport? Then this airport-adjacent hotel that’s just outside Toronto – but easily accessible – is a logical choice. It’s also in close reach of out-of-town attractions like the Wet’n’Wild Toronto water park and Paramount Wonderland – Canada’s first and largest theme park – should you want to indulge in a thrill-seeking day trip. Get that out of your system before exploring the trendier parts of downtown Toronto, which are about 15mi (25km) from here.

Start planning your Toronto getaway by viewing where to stay in town, with hotels bookable via Culture Trip. Also, check out the coolest apartments in Toronto. Fill your itinerary by learning about the best things to do in the city, as well as the best outdoor activities. Grab a drink at one of the best cocktail bars in Toronto while you’re at it.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Tom Smith.

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