I stayed at this hostel about 6 different times over the past 3 years (although I have yet to stay in the summer months). I live about 3 hours from here in Pennsylvania and often come up for a few days or stop here for a night on my way to/from visiting a friend in Toronto.
The place is nice, better than average. It has a colorful "artsy fartsy" atmosphere to it. One of the best things about it is that it's very near the train/bus station. If your standing in front of the train station just look to you left a bit and back across the street a bit... it's only about 100m. One of the worst things is this place is it's about a 25 min. walk to the falls and downtown area.
The rooms and furniture are alright, and there is no problem with heat in the winter. They have some pretty neat posters and art. The halls, lobby, and kitchen are painted in bright colors of various things, but give the place a sense of being tacky... as if it was done by a group of school children.
The common room located in the basement is a gem of a find. There are plenty of couches, a TV with cable, and a working stove fireplace, which is great in the winter, and a pool table. There are also penty of movies and books. It's a great room just to chill and relax in..... however, the furniture is pretty worn out and dirty. A fellow guest was entertained by the fact he could wack the couch cushion with a stick and a cloud of dust would appear.
The place is not family run, so every few months or so the staff changes. Most of the time they have been nice though, and they did some tours down to the falls. They also have activities most nights, and on one stay a guy who worked there was kind enough to invite me to go with him to a bar about a 10 min. walk away..."The Daily Plannet"... which is a popular bar for locals and guests at this hostel, and a nice fand riendly place I might add.
This is the best place for atmosphere, being social, and meeting international people. If you're looking for a quiet rest or here in the winter, however, there is another hostel only a few hundred meters closer to town that is located in a house and is family run....and they also serve a tasty breakfast, and have better accomodations, but lack social atmosphere (you can see more of my thoughts about here under their listing)
The last time I stayed was December 2006, and they were closed this past winter for the first time, and plan on doing the same for future winters... the manager said she was going to do some renovations over the winter for this place and I'll write an update the next time I'm back (probabbly this August or September) as well as a formal review since I write reviews for Hostelz.com and have this place reserved for writing one. The last time I was there they replaced their dinosour pay kiosk internet computers with new (and faster) desktop ones and a better place to sit...you pay for a code they give you and enter that, which is much more efficent.
I'm looking forward to my next visit, which by then hopefully they will have replaced the furniture downstairs.