HI Hostels Canada is the king of the hill when it comes to budget accommodations across Canada. While there are dozens upon dozens of amazing local mom & pop hostels across Canada, most travellers seem to lean on the “Big Kid” when they first arrive in Canada. Whether its for their comfy beds, warm smiles, or the social side of things, theres plenty of reasons to start here. Incase you aren’t convinced, here’s 5 more! Pah!
1. Easy to get to!
Whether by plane, train, or automobile, HI Toronto is incredibly easy to find.
If you’re flying from Eastern Canada with Porter Airlines, you can land like a rockstar in downtown Toronto at the Island Airport. A free ferry, and free Porter shuttle will get you as far as the Fairmont Royal York. From there you can easily hoof it for 10 minutes or grab a cab or street car and find yourself on the front steps of the HI Toronto Hostel.
If you’re coming from the Pearson International Airport you can hop on the Airport Express and get to the Fairmont Royal York as well. From there walk (10 minutes) or cab up to HI Toronto.
If you want to get your train on, you can take subway from Union Station to King. From there its an easy walk east to Church St. Turn left and walk up a bit and the bright orange building will be in sight.
2. Awesome Sauce Staff
Rumour has it the staff of HI Toronto takes a shot of awesome sauce every morning to maintain peak performance. Whether its booking tours, answering questions, giving high fives, or locking up your luggage, the friendly staff go out of their way to make your stay in Toronto as pleasant as possible.
Question about the nearby food? Boom! They’ll answer that. Question about nearby pubs? Double boom! They’re all over that. Most of the staff have been in Toronto long enough to be able to share their vast knowledge of the city and its people. This is super valuable if you’re intimidated at all by getting around Toronto.
3. Hostel Activities
If you’re flying solo on your Canadian adventure, chances are you’ll be keen on meeting new people. HI Toronto makes every effort to ensure you’re not the anti social leper you know you sometimes can be. Weekly pubcrawls & BBQ’s are a great way to meet new people and get a better understanding of the layout of Toronto.
If you’d rather hustle than bustle, there’s a free billiards table in the commons room where you can show off your pool prowess. The commons area also has several computers to get your Facebook on; however, I should note those aren’t free. Wifi is free though, so as long as you have a phone that isn’t from the stone age you’ll remain connected should you desire.
Boardgames & drinking games are a great way to save money and meet new people. During my most recent stay Beer Pong was on the agenda for the evening, however they also have Quiz Nights, Beach Trips, and Movie nights. If crowds aren’t your thing, head up to the 5th floor rooftop patio. While not technically an activity, it’s a great spot to hang out and take in some fresh air.
4. Great Deals & Savings
We’re all cheap. Let’s face it. Thankfully HI Toronto puts in their best effort to keep that hole in your pocket from burning too much. You can save a bit of cash by just carrying your HI Card on you, but they don’t stop there. If you know you’ll be in Toronto for more than a couple nights, you can save some extra Sir Wilfred Laurier’s (5$ bills) and earn a good meal by booking for multiple nights. Their 3 night and 5 night pass earn you a bunch of savings, including some free sights and attractions within Toronto.
5. The Cavern Cafe
Walking down to the Cavern Cafe may feel like you’re entering a bit of a dungeon. But as soon as the warm red glow of the cafe envelopes you, there’s no turning back. This cafe is neat! The Cavern Cafe serves up a warm breakfast and dinner to travellers from all over the world. While the shared kitchen is only a short walk down the hall, I assure you that it will be tough to walk by without ordering something.
Meals from the Cavern Cafe are offered with several of the discounts and packages or can be purchased separately. Be sure to ask their Awesome Sauce Staff.
In summary, HI Toronto is full of everything you’ll need to get started on some serious Cross Canada action. Meet some people, drink some beer, share some stories, shoot some pool, and figure out Toronto like a local. Can’t get a whole lot better than that.
HI-TORONTO YOUTH HOSTEL
76 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2G1