Where to Stay in Toronto, Canada, for a Local Experience

Hotel X Toronto is a luxury accommodation with incredible views from every room
Hotel X Toronto is a luxury accommodation with incredible views from every room | Courtesy of Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection / Expedia
Debra Smith

Canada’s largest city and the capital of Ontario, Toronto has so much to offer that it deserves a second visit. A cosmopolitan melting pot, the city’s dining, arts and culture scenes are a rich and spicy ragout peppered with international influences. With dozens of neighborhoods, such as Queen Street West, Harbourfront and the Distillery Historic District, to explore, you’ll want to return often. The city is also home to some top-rated hotels offering an authentic Toronto experience. Here’s where to stay in Toronto to experience the city like a local, bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Canada Suites – 832 Bay Street


A bright and modern double room with a private balcony and stunning city views at Canada Suites – 832 Bay St.
Courtesy of Canada Suites – 832 Bay Street / Expedia

Close to Queen’s Park, the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, Canada Suites offers apartment-style units with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, fully equipped for long or short stays. Culture buffs will appreciate the short walk to the Royal Ontario Museum, with its stunning galleries full of international exhibitions and natural history displays. Walk a few blocks east to colorful Church-Wellesley Village, an LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood with indie shops, DJs and drag shows on offer.

2. Cambridge Suites Toronto

Apartment, Hotel

A spacious and modern suite at Cambridge Suites Hotel.
Courtesy of Cambridge Suites Toronto / Expedia

A sophisticated take on executive suite living, with attention to details such as high-thread-count linens and goose-down duvets, Cambridge Suites will shelter you from cold Canadian winters. Keep to the 19mi (30km) underground PATH system, lined with shops, restaurants and entrances to all of the major sports facilities in the city, or pop above ground to the designer furniture district of King East. Explore the finest in contemporary European and Canadian design, then take your pick of an array of dining options in the area – from all-day Belgian waffles to pad thai.

3. The Drake Hotel

Boutique Hotel

A stylish and contemporarily furnished double room with a glass-walled bathroom at The Drake Hotel Toronto.
Courtesy of The Drake Hotel / Expedia

To say the Drake is a passionate supporter of the arts would be an understatement. Every floor is adorned with paintings, installations and sculptures, which may be why it’s found a place in the heart of Queen Street West. Crowded with cafes, galleries – including one hidden in a basement – unique shops and everyone’s favorite local bookstore, Type Books, this area is a tight-knit artistic community.

4. Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection

Spa Hotel

The rooftop pool at Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection.
Courtesy of Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection / Expedia

An outpost of the famous Library Hotel Collection that includes Hotel Elysee in New York City, Hotel X laid claim to a prestigious site in the Harbourfront district when it opened in 2018. Expansive views of Lake Ontario and the CN Tower beckon from every room and the three-level rooftop bar. Sports lovers can take advantage of the 90,000sqft (8,361sqm) athletic center with nine indoor tennis courts, squash courts, yoga, pilates and cycle classes, surrounded by panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows. If the weather cooperates, go for a run along Remembrance Drive, or take in a live show or fireworks at the Echo Beach pavilion.

5. Hotel Ocho

Boutique Hotel

The dining room at Hotel Ocho Toronto.
Courtesy of Hotel Ocho / Expedia

This four-story former textile factory has repurposed exposed beams and brick walls into contemporary loft-style rooms in the heart of Chinatown. Take your pick from dozens of Asian restaurants in the neighborhood, but leave room for a trip to Mother’s Dumplings. These puffy pillows of goodness are highly rated by locals in the know.

6. Old Mill Toronto Hotel

Hotel, Spa Hotel

A double room at Old Mill Toronto.
Courtesy of Old Mill Toronto Hotel / Expedia
Set on a river ravine, the stone-covered Old Mill is a welcome respite from busy downtown Toronto. Soft armchairs and crown moldings set the scene in the comfortable bedrooms. The Bloor West Village, with its European ambience, is perfect for strolling. Visit a local cheese shop for some samples, buy some flowers for your room or browse through a stationery shop, such as Marlborough’s, in business since 1922.

7. Executive Hotel Cosmopolitan Toronto

Spa Hotel, Hotel

A stylish and contemporary double room at Executive Hotel Cosmopolitan Toronto.
Courtesy of Executive Hotel Cosmopolitan Toronto / Expedia

This hotel knows how to work in the spotlight. A favorite with film crews, the hotel has hosted many actors, including Kate Hudson and Kevin Costner. Take a short walk to the Distillery Historic District, filled with beautiful architecture and vintage shops, and try the gin and vodka at Spirit of York Distillery, made from Canadian spring water. When you return, expansive windows and subdued decor make the Executive Hotel Cosmopolitan Toronto the perfect place to unwind.

8. Le Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer

Hotel, Apartment

Stylish lounge at Le Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer.
Courtesy of Le Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer / Expedia

Part of a group of family-owned hotels that has been expanding across Canada, Le Germain provides European service in well-appointed surroundings. Every detail has been personally curated to offer a perfect blend of beauty and functionality. Steps away in the Entertainment District, enjoy live comedy at the Second City. Alumni include Joan Rivers, Bill Murray and many original Saturday Night Live cast members. Music lovers can attend performances by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. The Toronto International Film Festival rolls out the red carpet annually at TIFF Bell Lightbox just a block away and screens films year-round.

Looking for more places to stay in Toronto? Explore the city in style from the comfort of one of these chic, boutique hotels in Toronto or bring your animal pal along for the ride with a stay at one of these pet-friendly Toronto hotels — all bookable with Culture Trip,

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