So you are traveling to Toronto Airport and onward to Toronto, the fifth largest city in North America and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Toronto is famous for lots of things like the world's third biggest zoo, its impressive visual and performing arts scene, delicious food found served in its thousands of restaurants, as well as seven different major league sports teams. On average, 40 million people visit this city every year, and Toronto benefits greatly from its tourism.
There are over 35,000 hotel rooms within the city which means that you have a lot of hotels to choose from. It is important to do some research on the different neighborhoods in the city and make a decision on where you want to stay. If you are planning to spend a lot of time in one area then it is a good idea to find a hotel nearby so you can save money by traveling less within the city.
Toronto is a big place but this guide should help to introduce you to some different neighborhoods and help you choose the best one for you to stay in. When looking for the best hotel room, leave your bags with a luggage storage service in Toronto. Pick them up once you've decided on a spot and then start your holiday!
Where to stay in Yonge, Dundas Square
Found right in the heart of Downtown Toronto is the Yonge, Dundas Square neighborhood. It is one of the busiest places in the city and is surrounded by billboards, shops, restaurants and entertainment. Lots of businesses are set up here and the neighborhood is often filled with locals and tourists who need to do some shopping or want to meet up with friends.
This is where you can find the Eaton Centre which is a huge shopping mall with hundreds of stores. Some of your big brand names are here which makes it a great spot for a shopping spree in Toronto. If you get hungry and are looking for some street food you can visit an area near Ryerson University which is where lots of food trucks set up to sell delicious meals.
You can watch some of the latest films at the nearby cinemas or get tickets to a live performance at the Wintergarden Theaters. The Yonge and Dundas Square area is also home to the famous Toronto sign by Nathan Philipps Square so make sure you stop by to snap a photo during your visit.
One of the top rated hotels in this neighborhood is The St. Regis which has 65 stories of modern rooms, a spa, a fine dining restaurant on-site and is close to the top attractions of the area. Another option is the Sheraton Centre which offers some nice views of Toronto City Hall and has indoor and outdoor pools. If you want to save some money for shopping you can stay at the Chelsea Hotel Toronto which is close by and one of the more affordable hotels in Toronto.
Where to stay in Harbourfront
The Harbourfront is a neighborhood situated on the city's waterfront that has become quite a popular location in Toronto. Some people include the Distillery District in the same area because of how close by they are to each other. This part of the city includes everything between Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street.
It is a great place for people who want to get to know Toronto and participate in some of its top attractions since most activities are within walking distance of this neighborhood. You can even reach the Toronto Islands easily from here at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.
If you are looking for things to do in this neighborhood then you won't be disappointed. You can spend the day relaxing at Sugarbeach, enjoy creative arts and entertainment at the Harbourfront Centre, or go for a walk or bike ride along the Waterfront Trail. Shopping, dining and performances are common here, so you can definitely find something to do just by exploring the area.
Le Germain is your top pick for fancy hotels in the Harbourfront and is located in Maple Leaf Square near Yonge Street. Check out the Westin Harbour Castle for somewhere to stay with an indoor pool and on-site fitness center, or the HI Hotel located close to St. Lawrence Market where you can go to try some of the city's best food.
Where to stay in Entertainment District
This neighborhood spans from University Avenue to Spadina Avenue and between Front Street to Queen Street and is a local financial district. It is a busy and lively part of Toronto that is recommended for those who don't mind staying up all night. Many people say that Toronto's Entertainment District is perfect for first time visitors because of its close proximity to most of the city's top landmarks and attractions. It also has an active nightlife making it a popular spot for tourists and young people.
Some of the best things to do here include visiting the popular CN Tower which was once the tallest skyscraper in the world. If you want to see some truly spectacular views of the city or if you want to get your heart racing, make sure to try the CN Tower Edgewalk! Sports fans might be interested in stopping by the Rogers Centre or the Hockey Hall of Fame which is full of 3D films, interactive displays with information on some of the world's best hockey players as well as the Stanley Cup. For artistic performances and entertainment try visiting the Royal Alexandra Theatre or the Roy Thompson Hall. The Canadian Walk of Fame is also located in this neighborhood.
If you want to treat yourself you can stay at the best Entertainment District luxury hotel; the Ritz Carlton. Other options include the modern Thompson Hotel or the Strathcona Hotel which is a good choice if you prefer to stay in budget hotels.
Where to stay in King West Village
The King West Village is a trendy spot full of great food and within walking distance of most of the activities in the Entertainment District. It is one of the fastest growing areas in the city and is an up-and-coming neighborhood. Many young citizens and visitors like to spend time here so it is a good spot if you want to feel youthful and party during your stay. The neighborhood is dynamic and lively, and is definitely worth stopping by even if you don't choose a hotel here.
King Street West has some great shopping and dining options that you should definitely check out. Other highlights of the area include Union Station and the Rogers Center which is home to the Toronto Bluejays, which is the local major league baseball team. Are your kids sports fans? Check out the Scotiabank Arena, the former Air Canada Centre, which hosts games for the Toronto Raptors, the local National Basketball Association team, as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs from the National Hockey League. If you want somewhere to take a walk and relax you can stroll through Clarence Square, which is a small local park, or the Victoria Memorial Square.
When you are looking for places to stay, some of the best Toronto hotels in this area include the One King West Hotel and Residence which is housed in a beautiful building that was constructed back in 1914 and is close to the area's main attractions. Hotel Victoria is another good choice, they offer free Wifi and an on-site restaurant. Luxury travelers will enjoy everything that the Adelaide Hotel Toronto has to offer.
Where to stay in Midtown
Found just North of Toronto Old Town is the Midtown neighborhood. It is the business center of the city and you will see some prestigious houses lining the streets. This neighborhood is a good mix between entertainment and relaxation making it the perfect spot for anyone who wants to enjoy the city's attractions but also wants to take it easy. Midtown has lots of local public parks and greenspaces and is just far enough away from the bustling city center to be relaxing, but still close enough to get there easily.
Some spots that you should stop by include the Moore Park Ravine and the Don Valley Brick Works Park. The Gardiner Museum is found in Midtown as well as the Casa Loma which is an impressive old Gothic Revival mansion that looks like a medieval castle.
When you are looking for somewhere to stay in Midtown make sure to consider the elegant Park Hyatt Hotel. Another option is the Parkway Place Guesthouse whose rooms are furnished with everything that you need including Wifi, a flat screen TV, on-site parking and a kitchenette.
Where to stay in Bloor and Yorkville
If you are looking to treat yourself to the best that the city has to offer and want to experience luxury during your stay in Toronto then this is the place to be. Bloor Street and Yorkville is a glamorous area close to the city centre that is by far the best for shopping and maybe even celebrity spotting. This part of town is one of the best places to find boutique and fashion shops, beauty salons and fancy restaurants. Most of the neighborhood can be traversed by foot making it a great spot to walk around and do some window shopping.
The top attractions here, aside from shopping and dining, include several great museums and art galleries. Stop by the Royal Ontario Museum or Bata Shoe Museum for some impressive exhibits about the city and celebrity shoes. If you are searching for an art gallery, there are several in this neighborhood alone including the Mira Godard Gallery, the Canadian Fine Arts Gallery and the Loch Gallery.
Despite the wealth of this neighborhood, its hotels can vary in price although they will be more expensive than in other areas. The Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is perfect for luxury travelers and is where most celebrities choose to stay thanks to its on site restaurant, bar and spa. Try the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville for a nice but affordable hotel room, and the Town Inn Suites is a great budget hotel in this part of Toronto.
Deciding Where to Stay When Visiting Toronto
You will most likely enter the city by the Toronto Pearson International Airport or the Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island. Each hotel in Toronto has different pros and cons that you should consider; for example make sure to book a pet friendly hotel if you are traveling with animals or a hotel that offers free airport shuttle if you need to be close to the Toronto Pearson Airport.
Once you have chosen your hotel you can get out and see the city's biggest landmarks and attractions like the CN Tower, the Air Canada Center, and the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Other places that should be on your bucket list include the coast of Lake Ontario, Ripley's Aquarium and a performance by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
The Toronto district that you stay in will have a big impact on your vacation so choose wisely, but if you have trouble deciding consider finding a neighborhood with a central location so you will be just a short walk away from most of the main events and attractions. Toronto is home to some of the best luxury hotels but there are also cheap hotels in every neighborhood so you can travel to Toronto even if you are on a budget.