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Hostelling International - Toronto

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Hostelz.com's Review
HI - Toronto Hostel instills faith in HI Hostels. The number one thing that is noticeable about the HI Toronto is its atmosphere -- fun, friendly, and lively, it's a great place to base a city break.

Location

Given Toronto's excellent public transportation network, nowhere is ever in a particularly difficult location. The hostel is conveniently enough located near King underground station, which is about two hundred meters away, or if you're coming off the Airport Express bus the nearest stop is the Royal York Hotel, about a five- or ten-minute walk.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel offers dorm and private rooms, which are all clean and comfortable. Privates have ensuite bathrooms.

Common Spaces

There is also ample luggage storage, a coin-operated laundry system, reasonably priced internet access on a panel of computers along the back wall of the common room. The common room has comfortable (if a little limited) seating. There's a kitchen, a pretty roof-top patio which often hosts barbecues and, best of all, a great little cafe downstairs in the basement serving delicious breakfast and dinner (not included in bed price). The place pretty much has everything a guest could really want.

The crowd staying here are predominantly young, fun-loving and eager to participate in the many activities on offer at the hostel. From comedy nights, quiz nights, and karaoke to guided walks, sporting excursions, pub crawls, and barbecues there's an extensive list to keep anyone occupied during their stay and build up friendships with fellow guests. Even the lone traveler can't help but have a social buzz at this hostel.

Summary

It's easy to enjoy a great stay amid this friendly, fun, safe, and comfortable environment that makes for one of the best hostels around.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
July 2009

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Location/Contact
How is Hostelling International - Toronto rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
86%
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Hostels.com  
85%
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HostelBookers  
90%
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HostelsClub  
85%
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HI Hostels  
87%
80%
93%
94%
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Average  
87%
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91%
Hostelling International - Toronto Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Of the 4 hostels I stayed at in Toronto ... this was the worst. I don't know what more I can say for my experience with HI Toronto other than it was a complete disappointment from the word go. I was, admittedly, staying in Toronto during one of the busiest times of the summer, however was given little to no assistance by the staff at HI in finding any accommodation for my time in Toronto. Luckily other hostels in the area were prepared to put me on wait lists daily so that I was able to find a place to stay each night, but HI would offer no such assistance (despite me having one night already booked there). Although the beds were (from the 3 hours I could actually stand to spend in the room) were reasonably comfortable and the room spacious; all other aspects of the room were lack luster. I was allocated a top bunk, which meant that I had no access to a power point near my bed that was compatible with my Australian converter. The power point that was accessible was an old fashioned, non-grounded port which looked as though it had previously caught alight at some stage. Next, there was the bathroom. If you can call it that. It was a toilet cubicle smushed right up against the edge of the shower. The shower needed bleaching, re-tiling and a new shower curtain, just for starters. You would also end up ankle deep in shower water after a few seconds of the water running because it didn't drain properly. Luckily the basin/mirror were in a separate area, but the fact that it was not separated from the remainder of the room meant that using the sink was near impossible after anyone had gone to bed/before anyone woke up. Just to finish up my stay, when I got in to my room I found myself overwhelmed by the most disgusting smell. It wasn't until I shone the light from my phone around that I realised someone had vomited all over the sink and floor, and I was standing right in the middle of it all. After a failed attempt at trying to wash away some of what was glued to the sink, I asked at the front desk what I could do with regards to sleeping arrangements as my bed was the closest it could possibly be to this repulsive mess. As it was fairly late, I was told that it was a difficult situation because it was late, people were sleeping and there were no other rooms free. After spending roughly $40 on my nights accommodation here, I found myself sitting on a couch in the downstairs lounge, charging my phone, using the wifi (which, by the way, does not work in the bedrooms) and attempting to sleep with the lights on in the cold. HI Toronto was one of the most disappointing hostel stays I have ever had. Admittedly, most people probably won't have the luck of walking through vomit on their way to bed, but a regular hostel would clean it up, offer alternate sleeping arrangements or offer some form of compensation. If a central location is all you're after, then you've come to the right place. If you want to socialise, use the Internet, have a decent shower, AND be centrally located, however, then I recommend staying anywhere else.  , age 22, Australia ()
1   Horrible, AVOID We reported the theft of my room and the "manager" of the front desk was really snobbish, and did not help at all. It was a really bad experience, and the place is not much to look at, actually quite dirty -- they just did not care.  , USA ()
1   The place has fly infestation in kitchen area I will never stay here ever again! The drainage doesn't work properly, so every time you flush or take shower there is a little flood on the bathroom floor! I stayed at a 6 all girls dorm and the smell at night was really muggy and drainage/what I imagine a sewer without poo smells like. As well, the kitchen area/basement area had a drain fly or fruit fly infestation, so don't leave your food that you're going to consume uncovered/unattended -- the fruit flies/drain flies will sit on it! As well, the staff were unfriendly and didn't seem to be bothered by the flies that were in the basement! Why? Are they dirty/unhygienic or just unaware of the problem? Either way it doesn't bode well for the hostel.  , cananda ()
1   Impossible to sleep never again! if you are looking for a good nights sleep go somewhere else. i have been here in winter 08/09 and stayed in two different dorms. both had an awfully dry air. the heating/air conditioning sucks you dry and if you didnt arrive with a cold then you will leave with one. all three of us got sick. the rooms (also the common hall) never seems to be aired. i havent seen an open window in that time. also, people enter and leave the rooms often at night and the cafe is noisy, even at four in the morning. ok to hang out and meet travelers if that is your intention, but stay away otherwise!  , germany ()
2   Not impressed Stayed at HI-Toronto Hostel, 76 Church Street early summer 2007. Got to the room and the light switch didn't work. Couldn't figure out what bed was assigned in the dark and first picked the bed near the window with a bit of street lighting to put the sheets on. Felt around the wall looking for the washroom and found enough light from a washroom light to see the inside of the dormitory with about six beds and realized that my assigned bed was near the washroom and had to strip the first bed and bring the sheets to the assigned bed. Evidently there was some renovation going on because there was a note on the washroom door that the washroom wasn't completed yet and that occupants had to go down one floor and use a public washroom. Had paid for a room with a washroom in it (because the other rooms were full). Brought the note downstairs and told them that the washroom renovation looked complete and wanted to use it. No, was told to go downstairs to use a public washroom. Was refused a lower rate for having to use the public washroom because my bed was in the room with a washroom. Complained about the lack of screen on the window -- "Oh, our windows don't open that far anyway" Later found that it didn't matter -- no insects from the outside traffic. Complained about the lack of lighting in the room (no comment). One of them would have to go fumble around in the dark like me when one wanted to go put the note back on the door. Used the public washroom down one floor, Got done shaving and was motivated to hurry out while some retarded looking character started staring at me in the mirror. On the way back a little old man with a desperate look on his face wanted somebody to show him how to open a door with a plastic card. Older tourist the next morning in the kitchen wanting correct time from me with a nearby clock on a microwave oven. Found out why the lights didn't work. The light fixture had been removed and there were bare electrical wires dangling from the ceiling a few centimeters from the upper bunk. If anybody had left the light switch on after trying to turn the room light on, anyone trying to occupy the upper bunk could have been electrocuted trying to prepare their sheets.  ()
2   I wouldnt stay again When i arrived one of the staff said i'm finished now would you mind waiting for the next shift staff to help you! Twenty minutes later i was helped -- last thing you need after a long period of travel. The hostel in general -- particularly the bathrooms and kitchen -- were filthy! rooms are small and cramped but you expect that in a hostel so not a big issue. The activities that were "organised" well i would say not so organised. One night was drinking games -- i felt like i was eighteen again so the activities dont really cater for everyone. Other activities seemed to revolve around what the staff wanted to do and were very ordinary activities. There are a lot of long term stayers here so this changes the atmosphere as they stick to themselves and were quite cliquey. I was also sitting in the common area on my computer to hear a full discussion from supervisor or manager with another staff member about other staff. This was not a conversation for the common area couch nor was it appropriate for someone at his level. However is a good location. In general i wouldnt stay here again!  , Australia ()
2   Could be better The hostel itself is adequate, but some of the staff members are really not at all accommodating. When I checked in late at night, due to a late train, I was charged more than my confirmed reservation amount, and put in a room that was already full. It took several tries to convince the desk clerk to actually book me into a room with an empty bed. The hostel was not at all full, and once he finally got me a different room, it was an eight-bed dorm with only two occupants.  , USA ()
4  I love the atmosphere of this hostel! I've stayed in it many times now on our annual trip to TO, and I love it more each time. The staff are friendly and make you feel at home. It's right in downtown, so most sightseeing locations are a quick stroll away. Absolutely love this place!  ()

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