Where to Stay in Toronto: Best Areas and Hotels

Toronto’s vibrant city center is a great place to spend a week or a weekend. The city is home to the iconic CN Tower, some of the country’s top cultural attractions, and a fantastic entertainment district with Broadway shows and fine dining. The city offers a full range of holiday options. Finding the right hotel in Toronto may depend on your plans and your budget, but there are plenty of options for couples, families, singles and business travelers.

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Where to Stay for Sightseeing

Toronto harbor front

Most of the major tourist attractions are located in downtown Toronto, and many are within walking distance of each other. If you’re in town for some general sightseeing, the best place to stay is in the heart of downtown, near the CN Tower or on Toronto’s beautiful waterfront.

One of the most centrally located hotels for sightseeing is the Delta Toronto by Marriott. Featuring large suites and tasteful décor, this new property is located just half a block east of the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium and connected to the Toronto Convention Center and Union Station. In the same neighborhood, located on Front Street West, is the luxurious InterContinental Toronto Center. This hotel regularly offers special packages around holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, or the opening of new musicals and other events taking place in the city.

Particularly beautiful in summer is the Radisson Admiral Toronto Harbourfront, along a scenic stretch of the waterfront and still within walking distance of the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and Rogers Centre. Further east along the water, next to Harbor Square Park, the waterfront walkway and the Center Island Ferry Terminal, is The Westin Harbor Castle. Both are luxury homes with views of Lake Ontario or the CN Tower. The Radisson has a seasonal outdoor pool and the Westin has an indoor pool.

Ice Rink at Toronto City Hall | Photo copyright: Lana Law
Ice Rink at Toronto City Hall | Photo copyright: Lana Law

In winter, the Sheraton Center Toronto Hotel is a good choice, directly across from City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square, with a popular outdoor ice skating rink. Just down the street and within walking distance is Eaton Centre, downtown Toronto’s premier shopping center. Around the corner from the Sheraton is the Hilton Toronto, another top hotel. Both hotels are located in high-rise buildings and offer modern and comfortable rooms with beautiful views of the city and year-round heated indoor and outdoor pools.

Where to stay for luxury

Photo copyright: Ritz-Carlton
Photo copyright: Ritz-Carlton

Toronto has no shortage of luxury hotels. Topping the list is the five-star The Ritz-Carlton, with a fantastic location just steps from King Street in the heart of the entertainment district, and within walking distance of the CN Tower, Rogers Center and Ripley’s Aquarium. In typical Ritz fashion, the hotel offers elegant rooms and suites, excellent customer service, a spa and a choice of restaurants. The Omni King Edward Hotel, affectionately known as “The King Eddie,” is a historic property, with large rooms, high ceilings and traditional décor. This luxury hotel first opened in 1903 and was extensively renovated in 2014-15. It has returned it to its former grandeur while retaining all the modern comforts.

Le Germain Hotel, Toronto Maple Leaf Square is a premier hotel near the Air Canada Center, the sporting venue for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors. If you are in Toronto to see a game this is the best place to stay. Well-appointed rooms come in a variety of styles, from rooms with round beds to suites with balconies.

Where to stay for the best value

Photo copyright: Drake Hotel
Photo copyright: Drake Hotel

Mid-range and economical hotels can be found in the city center and in the periphery. Prices vary considerably depending on the season and events that may take place during your visit. The Drake Hotel is a funky hotel with contemporary art exhibitions. Uniquely furnished and decorated rooms come in different themes and different price categories. The Drake is located west of downtown, on Queen Street West, in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighborhood.

North of downtown, yet within walking distance of City Hall, The Saint James Hotel is just a few blocks north of trendy Yonge Street and Dundas Square. This boutique hotel offers modern rooms, an on-site restaurant and a business center. This is also a pet-friendly property.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is another good choice, with a prime location just north of City Hall. The hotel offers modern and spacious rooms, as well as one-bedroom suites that are ideal for families. Family packages, which include breakfast, are available.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Streetcar in Toronto
Streetcar in Toronto

Budget-minded travelers can find reasonably priced accommodation on the edge of the city center or in the suburbs just outside Toronto. One of the best located budget hotels in Toronto is the Super 8 Downtown Toronto. In Toronto’s popular Chinatown, on Spadina Avenue, the Super 8 is within walking distance of good restaurants and a long walk or quick taxi or tram ride from the main attractions and entertainment district. Rooms are clean and comfortable and come with free breakfast.

The Comfort Inn City Center has a good location on the northeastern edge of the city center, near Ryerson University, and offers basic rooms at a reasonable price. If you have a vehicle you may want to consider the Stay Inn, about 15 minutes from the city center. The hotel is close to Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), the main highway to downtown Toronto.

Where to stay for food and entertainment

Photo copyright: One King West
Photo copyright: One King West

Many visitors come to Toronto to enjoy the theater and Broadway shows. Most of this action can be found in Toronto’s entertainment district, which is located on King Street. This is where many of the major theaters are located, as well as all kinds of restaurants. You can also find several quality hotels in this area.

At the top of the list is the trendy One King West Hotel & Residence, named after its address and located on the corner of King Street and Yonge Street. This is a luxury hotel in an elegant historic building, within walking distance of the Princess of Wales Theatre, the Royal Alexandra Theater and the Roy Thomson Hall symphony hall. Designed for extended stays, this hotel and hotel features large suites with a kitchenette or full kitchen.

Located in a modern high-rise just down the street a few blocks at 370 King Street West, the Hyatt Regency is also within walking distance of these same locations. The modern rooms and suites offer views of the CN Tower and the city. The hotel also features a seasonal outdoor pool.

In the same neighborhood, one block south of King Street, Le Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer is another luxury hotel with a variety of uniquely designed rooms and suites, an on-site restaurant, gym, rooftop terrace and even a putting green.

Where to stay for families

Photo copyright: Residence Inn Toronto Downtown
Photo copyright: Residence Inn Toronto Downtown

Families looking for more space, or suites with kitchens, can find a number of options in downtown Toronto. Just a few blocks from the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Rogers Center and the entertainment district, the Residence Inn Toronto Downtown is one of the top choices for families. In addition to its great location, this property features a pool and hot tub and offers large studios and one- and two-bedroom suites, all of which include a kitchen. Prices here are usually very reasonable.

Also well positioned is the Cambridge Suites, near City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square with its seasonal outdoor track. Although this is more of a business traveler hotel, the spacious suites provide extra space that families can appreciate. This hotel does not have a pool, but does have laundry facilities and a fitness studio. In the Entertainment District, the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown offers a full range of rooms and suites complete with a microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker. This hotel also has an indoor pool, fitness center and restaurant.

Where to stay for couples

Photo copyright: Ivy at Verity
Photo copyright: Ivy at Verity

The two most romantic hotels in Toronto are without a doubt the Fairmont Royal York and The Omni King Edward Hotel. Both historic properties offer an elegant, old-world charm and romantic feel that you just can’t get in modern hotels. Located in the heart of downtown, these are both luxury hotels, where you can pamper yourself with massage or spa treatments and walk to many of the city’s most popular attractions and fine restaurants.

The Ivy at Verity is a romantic European-style boutique hotel in a fully restored chocolate factory from 1850. The individually decorated rooms feature underfloor heating, bathtubs, terraces and comfortable beds with handmade Italian linen. Breakfast is included with the room.

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