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Backpackers on Dundas

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Hostelz.com's Review
Backpackers on Dundas is definitely not winning any awards for best hostel. The location is good and the staff are nice, but the facilities and people staying their are a major letdown. Also worth noting is that they only accept cash payment and there is a key deposit.

The Location

The hostel is located in downtown Toronto on the fringes of the entertainment district and extremely close to the Toronto bus station. It is located on the second floor, so it's not the easiest to find. It is on the Dundas Streetcar Line (which runs twenty-four hours) and a subway station is a short walk so it is easy to get around the sprawling city. In the Downtown District there is plenty of shopping as well as restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. You can also walk to the CN Tower and the waterfront.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are only three dorm rooms for guests and one for staff. There is one six-bed, girls-only dorm and two mixed dorms (one with six beds and one with ten). The rooms do not have locks but you are provided with a key to the front door of the hostel, which is locked when the reception is unattended. There are three showers and two toilets located in the common area. The showers are very temperamental and rarely have hot water. You also do not get a towel.

Common Spaces

There are two common areas a TV room and a dinning kitchen area which has a large table. There are two or three computers available with internet access in the main reception area for guests -- otherwise there is Wi-Fi throughout the hostel. The kitchen has a fridges, microwave, and freestanding cooktop, though there is no oven. There is a washing machine/dryer for guests to use for a fee. There are small lockers for valuables in the common area if you have your own lock. There is no free breakfast at this hostel.

While we were there, there were quite a few sketchy characters, which definitely ruins the atmosphere of the hostel, as it is so small. It makes it uncomfortable for many of the guests. It's probably not a good hostel for solo travelers as there are no organised events. Most people are friendly and the staff are generally helpful though during our stay, they were making no attempts to fix the water problem, which apparently they have had since the hostel opened.

Summary

The hostel is cheap, but you do not get much for your money. Most other hostels in Toronto include breakfast and towels with similarly good locations and most probably have hot water. We would recommend this hostel if you are in Toronto for a small amount of time and are traveling in/out of the bus station, as it is exceedingly close.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
October 2011

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Map
Location/Contact
How is Backpackers on Dundas rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
67%
64%
70%
84%
63%
64%
Hostels.com  
68%
66%
70%
84%
64%
67%
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
68%
65%
70%
84%
64%
66%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Avoid at all costs This has to be the worst place I ever stayed at. The staff is unbelievably unhelpful and frankly quite rude. I was under the impression that they only wanted to take my money, which was probably the case. The whole place is awfully dirty and unwelcoming. The rooms are not that comfortable and they're also noisy and they didn't even bother to replace the broken blinds so we when woken up by the sun at 6-7 AM. For 30$ a night, you can get so much better hostels in the city and if you're a group of 4+ a nice hotel room will cost you the same. Basically, if you like being disappointed or paying more for less, this place is perfect for you!  , age 21, Canadian ()
3   Too tight it's a cheap hostel in very close place in the downtown. The hostel is average, tv room, table for eat or sit with laptop, kitchen, but rooms are too tight,the room shared with other 6 guys, btw I booked room of maximum 6 people. The problem was that at least half of them live in the hostel permanently, not tourists, and there was almost no enough space to move. not towels (you pay 3 dolars for rent of old towel. and the big problem was the shower, just one shower with hot water to all the hostel! so tired too wait for it. the staff was nice, except the owner (apparently) was a bit unfriendly and was sitting in the hostel as your office, using the phone which certainly advertised as a plus but it was his personal phone rather than the phone's hostel.  , Spain ()
1   Appalled! I live in Canada, and was traveling in Canada so I didn't have my passport. I was staying in Niagara Falls for a few days, and booked ahead so I wouldn't be stranded without a bed, as it is very busy in Toronto, for beds. I arrived in Toronto and was turned away at the door, by the owner, because I did not have a passport or driver's license, even though I explained I would have nowhere to sleep as all the other hostels were booked, he did not care. I was angry and told him his staff should have explained that I needed I.D. Shame on him for turning a woman away, in Toronto, I am now without a bed, as I can't afford to stay anywhere else, and all the hostels are booked. I told him the person should have stated I needed ID, I have stayed in many hostels, without ID. I would have stayed in Niagara if I had known and secured another bed, somewhere else. Shame on him, that is not what hostels are all about, I am a very decent, friendly quiet person, and have stayed in many hostels without problems. Shame on him, would not recommend any place that turns some away, with a bed.  , Canada ()
5   Very friendly This place is friendly and the staff are great, very clean. Everyone that works here lives here and the guests and staff all get along well.  , Canada ()
1   AVOID AT ALL COSTS! We turned up at the doorstep of this hostel (after having booked online) to find it up a set of dodgy steps above a takeaway shop. The stairs smelled awful and the place looked nasty. We tried to open the door to the hostel, but it was locked. We knocked and knocked and knocked, but nobody answered. So we went outside, asked a kind passing stranger to direct us to a better hostel, and got the hell out of this sh*thole. Stay away, folks. Not worth the hassle.  , AVOID AT ALL COSTS! ()
3   Girls -- beware! This is a cheap option, downtown. The hostel is average -- Average clean, average rooms, and so on. The big problem is the owner, Mike. He is very touchy with women. During my stay, he touched me in ways that made me feel really uncomfortable, he touched another woman's breast, he kissed another without her consent. Beware, girls.  , British ()
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