This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Toronto.
There are quite a few Toronto hostels to choose from when you're planning your visit. As always, be sure to check the hostels ratings before you book and book early, especially during the summer, to have the best chance of getting a bed at one of the best hostels.
Toronto is Canada's largest city and one of the most multicultural urban centres on the planet, with more than 150 nationalities calling this city home and one in two Torontonians born outside of Canada. This diverse mix of cultures creates an eclectic mosaic of neighbourhoods throughout the city, and offers an exciting array of cuisines to tempt your tastebuds.
These include Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy, Little India, the old-money affluence of Rosedale, the former working-class neighbourhood of Cabbagetown (now a haven for urban professionals), the hip Queen Street West, and the chilled-out ambiance of the Beach. Toronto's neighbourhoods offer something for every taste. Most of the "tourist" sights are clustered in the downtown core, from the world's tallest free-standing structure -- the CN Tower -- to the outstanding Art Gallery of Ontario and the quirky variety of museums (Bata Shoe Museum, anyone?). The streets pulse with energy with the beloved hometown hockey team, the Maple Leafs, have a home game; baseball, football, soccer and basketball fans bring their own kind of passion to Toronto`s teams in their favourite sports. Culture vultures take heart, however, it`s not all about sport; world-class theatre, opera and music of every kind can be found throughout the city. And shopaholics rejoice — whether vintage is your style, or you prefer the latest designer togs, Toronto’s got it all for you.
Night owls keep the streets alive till dawn as they pack the clubs of the Entertainment district, and wine lists and gourmet offerings impress the foodies out for an evening’s enjoyment at one of the city’s thousands of restaurants and bars. Early risers can often be found taking advantage of the beachfront path that runs the length of the city`s waterfront and beyond, running or cycling or roller-blading as the sun rises over the steel-blue expanse of Lake Ontario. Hot summer days draw crowds to the peaceful oases of the Toronto Islands, or to the festivals on offer nearly every weekend: from first-rate jazz festivals with performers from all over the world; to Caribana, the largest celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture in the country; to the world`s largest Gay Pride week. Locals laugh at the chill when winter rolls in, taking advantage of the weather to skate on outdoor rinks throughout the city.
Hostels in Toronto are centred in the walkable downtown area, and have easy access to transit within the city. The long-distance bus station and the train station are also downtown, and transit links will get you to your hostel from the airport and back, making is straightforward to get here and get away.
Complex but unpretentious, Toronto manages to offer all the stimulation of an urban metropolis while retaining its safe, courteous and tolerant vibe that make it a must-see for any visitor to Canada.
Written by local enthusiast for Toronto hostelscanuckatlarge