Canada Toronto Travel Travel Destinations

Where To Stay In Toronto – Best Areas and Hotels for First Time Visitors

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Toronto is a city of many neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is this city has a different cultural inspiration, identity, and vibe. For a tourist, however, some neighborhoods are better suited than others. So, what is the best area in Toronto for a first-time visitor or a tourist? Ideally, it’s somewhere close to Toronto attractions, has good subway access, close to hop-on-hop-off bus stops and close to restaurants and shopping.

To make your search simple, I start with a list of the best areas in Toronto for tourists followed by recommendations of hotels in every budget. To jump directly to a particular section, click on the links below.

Best Areas In Toronto For Tourists

1. Entertainment District – Hotels near CN Tower and Rogers Centre

  • Entertainment district is the best area for tourists in all respects. Many well-known attractions such as the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Ripley’s Aquarium and ferry to Toronto Islands are within walking dstance.
  • The area has excellent access to public transport. The Union Station at Front street West gives you access to Toronto Subway, GO transit and Via Rail where you can catch a train to Niagara Falls, and also board the UP Express from Union Station which takes you to the Toronto Pearson International Airport in 25 minutes. .
  • The area has good restaurants, shops and theatres.
  • The Hop-on Hop-Off tour buses have a stop at the CN Tower, Union Station, Hockey Hall of Fame and Sony Centre.
  • However, hotels in this area are generally more expensive and they fill up quickly during the summer months due to high demand.
  • 2. Yonge Street from College to Queen Street

    • If you find the hotels in the Entertainment district too expensive, the next best area in Toronto is the area on Yonge Street between College Street and Queen Street as shown on the map. The hotels in this area are relatively cheaper and have great access to attractions and the subway as well.
    • There are great places to shop in this area such as the Eaton Centre, the Hudson’s Bay, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Apart from the big malls and shopping centers, there are a lot of independent shops along Yonge street as well.
    • From the Hudson’s Bay building, You can also access the PATH Toronto – an underground pathway which connects many buildings in Downtown Toronto. You can also find many shops and restaurants on the PATH and walk up to the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and some other attractions through the PATH. Read my linked article for more information.

    3. Bloor-Yorkville

    • Bloor-Yorkville area is a trendy area with many high-end designer shops and restaurants on Yorkville avenue and Bloor St. West.
    • It has good subway acess. You can access both Line 1 and Line 2 of the subway from Bloor-Yonge subway Station
    • The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Bata Shoe Museum and the University of Toronto are within walking distance from hotels in this area
    • The Hop-on Hop-Off bus tours have a stop at Bloor and Yonge, Royal Ontario Museum and Bata Shoe Museum. So, if you have bought a bus tour ticket, it’s easy to see other attractions.
    • However, this area mainly has luxury hotels/ high-end hotels which may not be affordable by everyone.
    • Also, it’s not within walking distance of attractions such as CN Tower and other popular attractions.

    4. Chinatown Toronto

    • Hotels in China Town are less expensive than other areas. I have listed some great budget hotels in this area in a section below.
    • Chinatown also has good streetcar service which will take you to downtown and Harbourfront within half hour.
    • Nearby attractions include Art Gallery of Ontario(AGO), Kensington Market and Grafitti Alley. This area also has some of the best restaurants serving Asian cuisine.
    • Tour buses have stops at Art Gallery of Ontario

    Where To Stay In Toronto – Best hotels in Downtown Toronto

    #1. My First Choice For The Best Hotel In Toronto Is The Intercontinental Toronto Centre

    Where to stay in Toronto : Intercontinental Toronto Centre
    Intercontinental Toronto Centre. Image credit:

    The reason I picked this hotel is:

    1. This hotel is in the in the Entertainment district right next to the CN Tower and Rogers centre.
    2. The hotel is also close to the Union Station , so it’s very easy to access the subway and UP Express which takes you to the Toronto Pearson International Airport in 25 minutes.

    #2. My Second Choice For The Best hotel To Stay In Toronto Is Delta Hotels By Mariott Toronto.

    Best hotels in Toronto: Delta Hotels
    Best hotels in Toronto: Delta Hotels. Image credit:

    Benefits :

    1. This hotel is also in Entertainment District and has excellent location. It’s within walking distance to many attractions, subway stations and UP Express. It comes with slightly lower price tag of approx. $300 USD/night .
    2. The hotel has rooms overlooking the city and the lake. The floor to ceiling glass give fantastic views regardless of where your room is facing. High-end rooms even have bath-tubs with a view of the CN Tower!
    3. Facilities include: Swimming pool, Fitness centres, Facilities for disabled guests , on-site restaurants, WiFi in all areas, Bar and excellent breakfast.

    Check Price On

    #3. My Third Choice Is The Slightly More Affordable Sheraton Centre Toronto.

    Best hotels in Toronto: Sheraton Centre.
    Best hotels in Toronto: Sheraton Centre. Image credit:
    1. Situated right in front of Toronto City Hall , you are in the heart of the city . The area around this hotel has a great local atmosphere..
    2. This hotel is steps away from the best shopping malls in Toronto CF Eaton Centre and Saks and Hudson Bay .
    3. You also have great access to subway and street cars. The Queen Street Subway Station on Line 1 is just two minutes away and the street car stops right in front of the hotel!.
    4. The hotel has rooms starting from approx. $200 USD/night .
    5. Facilities include: Swimming Pool, Fitness centre, Facilities for disabled guests , Spa, restaurant, bar and breakfast.

    Check Price On

    Best Mid-range Hotels

    Here is my list of the top Mid-range hotels that provide the best bang for your buck.

    #1. My First Pick For the Best Mid-range Hotel in Toronto is Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre

    Where to stay in Toronto: Holiday Inn
    Best hotels in Toronto: Holiday Inn. Image credit:


    1. This hotel is in the ideal location in Downtown. Located on Carlton street, it is steps away from Yonge street, College Street Subway and streetcar station.
    2. The hotel has good facilities like spa, swimming pool, fitness centre, bar, restaurant, good breakfast and facilities for disabled guests.
    3. Average price per night is approx. 180 USD/night .

    Check Price On

    #2. My Second Pick For The Best Mid-range Hotel in Toronto is Chelsea Hotel Toronto

    Best hotels in Toronto:  Chelsea Hotel Toronto
    Best hotels in Toronto: Chelsea Hotel Toronto. Image credit:


    1. This hotel is also in the ideal flipped “L” location of downtown Toronto. Located on Gerrard St. W, very close to Yonge street, this hotel is just a block away from College Street Subway Station and Street Car.
    2. Steps away from the vibrant Yonge Street, great shopping and dinning.
    3. Facilities include swimming pool, fitness centre, good breakfast, bar, facilities for disabled guests, and good Wifi in all areas
    4. Average price per night is approx. 180 USD/night .

    Check price On

    Best Luxury Hotels In Toronto

    If you are looking for the ultimate luxury, Toronto has many world-class hotels. Here’s my list of the Top 3 Luxury hotels in Toronto.

    #1. My First Pick For The Best Luxury Hotel Is The Ritz-Carlton Toronto

    Where to stay in Toronto: The Ritz Carlton
    Best Hotels in Toronto: The Ritz Carlton. Image credit:


    1. Nothing says Luxury better than the Ritz chain of hotels all around the world. The Ritz-carlton Toronto lives up to its brand and provides a luxurious experience.
    2. As expected the Ritz-Carlton Toronto is in an ideal location in the Entertainment District.
    3. Prices of the room start from approx. $450 USD/per night for the Deluxe King/Queen room. However, if you are looking for the ultimate luxury, go for the Luxury King Suite which can cost you approx. $1360 USD/night.

    Check Price On

    #2. My Second Pick For The Best Luxury Hotel In Toronto Is The Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

    Where to stay in Toronto: Shangri la
    Best hotels in Toronto: Shangri la. Image credit:


    1. The feeling of luxury is all about “attention to detail” . The Shangri-La Hotel scores very high when it comes to customer service and attention to detail. Check out the glowing reviews this hotel has received from customers on
    2. The floor to ceiling windows in each room of the hotel give amazing sights of the city. Some of the rooms even have a view of the CN Tower.
    3. Prices start from $400 USD/per night. The One-Bedroom suite which has marble flooring can cost approx. $500 USD/per night.

    Check Price On

    #3. My Third Pick For The Best Luxury Hotel In Toronto Is Four Seasons Hotel Toronto at Yorkville

    Where to stay in Toronto: The Four Seasons Yorkville
    Best hotels in Toronto: The Four Seasons Yorkville. Image credit:
    1. This hotel is located in the popular and affluent area of Yorkville north of Bloor Street in downtown Toronto
    2. Though the hotel is not within walking distance of the CN Tower and other attractions in downtown Toronto, you can easily reach these attractions by car in 10 minutes or board the subway which is very close by.
    3. It is within walking distance to ROM and Bata Shoe Museum and High-end shopping.
    4. The hotel has excellent decor and has rooms starting at $430 USD/per night to $870 USD/per night.

    Check Price On

    Budget Hotels In Toronto

    My First Pick For Budget Hotels in Toronto is Toronto Travellers Home

    Cheap Hotels Toronto: Toronto Travellers Home
    Budget Hotels Toronto: Toronto Travellers Home. Image credit:


    1. The number 1 advantage of this hotel is its location. This hotel is located in Downtown in China Town. It has a great local atmosphere.
    2. It is very close to Kensington Market and Art Gallery Of Ontario
    3. It also has excellent street car access so you can get to all other attractions like the CN Tower, Ripley Aquarium in about 20 mins.
    4. Price of hotel rooms with shared bathrooms are very affordable at approx. $66 USD/per night. Some rooms even have private bathrooms.

    Check Price On

    Best Deals In Toronto Hotels Today!

    Check out’s Deal finder which finds the best deals on hotels in Toronto today.

    I hope this hotel guide helps you find suitable accommodation in Toronto. Please plan and book your accommodation early as the hotels in Toronto get booked very quickly, months in advance, during peak tourist season April – September. Also, remember that there’s 13% HST in Toronto which may not be shown upfront by the hotels while booking.

    If you need any help planning your visit to Toronto or have any specific questions about Toronto, feel free to ask me by commenting on the post. You may find my post on Top 25 free things to do in Toronto helpful. It may save you some money on some Toronto attractions if you time your visit right.

    If you find this post helpful, please share with your friends and family on social media.

    Scroll Back to Top


      • Pari Reply

        Thank you. I hope the recommendations are useful to you on your next visit!

    1. LOL a real taste of home this was – I’m from London Ontario and love reading about my home Province and my favourite thing to do was visit Toronto. Love Chinatown, Kensington Market not to mention the Distillery District. Some excellent choices of hotels here really well done.

      • Pari Reply

        Thank you Faith :). I hope you visit Toronto soon. We are having a pleasant summer.

    2. I have still yet to visit Canada, probably because the cold scares me! But this is a great help for when I’m planning my trip to Canada!

      • Pari Reply

        Hi there, Thank you for commenting :). Many people have an impression that Canada is cold year round. However, it’s not really true.
        In Toronto, we have snow only from December to April. Rest of the year we have pleasant/warm weather. In summer(June to August) the temperatures
        range from 25 degree celsius to 33 degree celsius (almost too hot!). I hope you take that into consideration and make future plans to visit Canada.
        It’s a lovely, unspoiled country.

    3. Loved your article on Toronto. You have posted all the needed info that will be so useful for travelers planning to be there.

      • Pari Reply

        Thank you Indu :). I am glad you found it useful. I hope other travelers to Toronto will find it useful too.

      • Pari Reply

        Thanks Sakina, feel free to reach out to me for tips in case you visit πŸ™‚

    4. Had a lot of fun reading this post as I am from Toronto and still live here! I think you’ve certainly identified places to maximize your time in the city. The Shangri-La certainly has the best restaurants, so if it’s good food you are after that would be a top pick!

      • Pari Reply

        Thanks Lauren. It’s great to get a fellow torontonian’s (had to google this word LOL) stamp of approval. A high compliment πŸ™‚

    5. I would so love to travel to Toronto, it looks amazing. I have to research hotels for their disabled access too, but thank you for this info if I ever I go at least I have an idea of where best to start my searches.

      • Pari Reply

        Thank you Kate. I am so happy that you found the post helpful. Feel free to reach out to me for any questions/tips on Toronto if you visit sometime.

    6. Great information, as a Canadian I am ashamed to say I have never been to Toronto! (shh Don’t tell!!) But when I do this is a great list of hotels! Every budget is hit, great job at doing research.

    7. Thanks for your recommendations on places to stay in Toronto. Booking a hotel is one of the most difficult task when you are making bookings without seeing the place. Thanks for highlighting about the 13% tax and 4% city tax in Toronto as that can be overlooked when budgeting!

    8. Ah this will be so useful when we visit Toronto! The matrix comparison of the different areas is such a simple yet brilliant idea. I haven’t seen it on other blogs before. Makes it very quick and easy to look for what I need πŸ™‚

      • Pari Reply

        Thank You Alex, I am glad you found it helpful. It is always satisfying when someone finds what you have done useful :).

      • Pari Reply

        Thank you Sarah. I personally love staying at apartments rented on Airbnb since my trips are longer(more than a month). I definitely recommend staying at Airbnbs in Toronto. There are some very nice ones right in Entertainment District that rent out the whole apartment at a slightly lower price than the hotels in the area.
        I will write another post about it recommending the best ones. I will update this comment when I do so that you can check it out.

    9. You have done such a fabulous job listing the most recommended hotels in Toronto! This is so informative for visitors going their for the first time.

    10. I love how you’ve incorporated the graphics into this post. I would definitely love to visit Toronto and you’ve listed some pretty amazing hotels to stay at!

      • Pari Reply

        Thank you Yeshi. I am a believer of pictures speak louder than words. I wanted the post to inform people, at a glance, about where to stay in Toronto and the best areas. I am glad that my message has come across.

    11. Very helpful information! This is quite a detailed post on the list of great hotels in Totonto including luxury and budget ones. It seems you’ve done a lot of research on this. I agree it’s difficult to choose the best suited hotel when you have so many choices. Thanks for this great list. Saving it for future.

      • Pari Reply

        Thank You Shaily :). I hope this list helps you in future.

    12. Well, I don’t have plans for going to Toronto, but I love how you classify the hotels. It just becomes so easy to find the one that is suitable for you.

    13. This is such a comprehensive guide, love the ticks you’ve put together! This will really help so many people get the experience they want most out of Toronto.

    14. I really appreciate that “best Toronto neighborhoods for tourists” graphic. That’s really handy. Toronto is high on my list of cities to visit, and I have some friends there, too, so this guide is going to come in handy for sure.

      • Pari Reply

        Thank You Jessica. I hope you do use my guide to find a hotel when you visit Toronto.

    15. It’s always so nice hearing about where to stay and what to do in a place before visiting. Thanks for sharing.

    16. I love that you have a mix of everything from affordable to luxury! Not gonna lie, the Ritz sounds pretty amazing. Let me just round up $1500 haha

    17. I have never been to Canada! And Toronto looks like so much fun, now I know where to stay too!

    18. Toronto seems awesome, but these places are way out of reach for me as a solo traveler. Are there any hostels that might be more budget friendly?

      • Pari Reply

        Sure, there are some hostels and some good airbnbs for a budget traveller. I will make a separate post about just affordable hostels. I will update you then.

    19. If I ever get a chance to step my feet in Canada, I think Toronto is the best place to explore their urban life. I love how you provide the infographics with the pros and cons of staying in each area. That’s super helpful. Not sure when I will be able to go there, but I’ll definitely keep this post for the reference. Thanks for sharing!

    20. Awesome post!! I’ve never been to Toronto, but I’ve only heard great things about it! And your post definitely makes me want to go even more. But, now I know where to stay, where to go, and much more. Thanks for the great post!

    21. I keep meaning to visit Toronto! This is great info for planning my trip…maybe I’ll get up there for jazz fest some year.

    22. Last I stayed in Toronto, I stayed at the InterContinental and it was in a wonderful location! Easy access to many of the sights. Only downside was it was a bit far from Casa Loma but it was still fairly easy to get to this sight.

    23. I really like the way you deep into explain things and sort things out. The images and lists are so well done.
      Thanks for your post. I will follow your blog from now on!

      • Pari Reply

        Thank you gonca. I am really happy that you enjoyed the post. That’s the best compliment ever πŸ™‚

    24. I love that you did that chart- that is so helpful more than seeing it all in writing!! I hope to make it to Toronto soon since I am only a short plane ride away!!

    25. wow you really did do the research for us. Great post. If only I could afford the upmarket ones…they look amazing!

    26. great suggestions on where to stay in Toronto, i will bookmark this article for future reference.

    27. This is really great information! You really did your research thank you! I love this site.

      • Pari Reply

        Thank you Lori :). I am glad you found the information useful.

    28. Pingback: Top 25 Free Things To Do In Toronto - Traveling Pari

    Write A Comment

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.