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Where to Stay in Toronto: Best Areas & Hotels

Toronto's vibrant city center is a wonderful place to spend a week or weekend. Home to the iconic CN Tower, some of the country's best cultural attractions, and a fabulous entertainment district with Broadway shows and fine dining, the city delivers a full range of vacation possibilities. Finding the right hotel in Toronto may depend on your plans and budget, but there are plenty of options for couples, families, singles, and business travelers.

Where to Stay for Sightseeing

Toronto harbor front
Toronto harbor front
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Most of the main tourist attractions are located in downtown Toronto, and many are within walking distance of each other. If you are in town for some general sightseeing, the best place to stay is in the heart of the city center near the CN Tower or along Toronto's beautiful waterfront.

One of the most centrally located hotels for sightseeing is the Delta Toronto by Marriott. This new property, with large suites and tasteful decor, is just a 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 vicinity, located along Front Street West, is the luxury InterContinental Toronto Centre. This hotel frequently offers special packages around holidays, like Valentine's Day, or the opening of new musicals and other events taking place in the city.

Particularly lovely in the summer is the Radisson Admiral Toronto Harbourfront, along a scenic section of the waterfront and still within easy walking distance of the CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium, and Rogers Center. Farther east along the water, next to Harbour Square Park, the waterfront walking trail, and the Centre Island Ferry Dock, is The Westin Harbour Castle. Both of these are luxury properties with views out over Lake Ontario or to the CN Tower. The Radisson has an outdoor seasonal pool, and the Westin has an indoor pool.

Skating rink at Toronto City Hall
Skating rink at Toronto City Hall | Photo Copyright: Lana Law
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In winter, the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel is a good choice, directly across from City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square, with a popular outdoor skating rink. Just down the street and within easy walking distance is Eaton Center, Toronto's best downtown shopping center. Around the corner from the Sheraton is the Hilton Toronto, another top-end hotel. Both hotels are located in high-rise buildings, offer modern and comfortable rooms with fine views over the city, and have year-round heated indoor/outdoor pools.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Photo Copyright: Ritz-Carlton
Photo Copyright: Ritz-Carlton
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Toronto has no shortage of luxury hotels. Topping the list is the five-star The Ritz-Carlton, with a fantastic location just one block off King Street in the heart of the Entertainment District, and within easy walking distance of the CN Tower, Rogers Center, and Ripley's Aquarium. In typical Ritz fashion, the hotel offers elegant rooms and suites, outstanding customer service, a spa, and a choice of restaurants. The Omni King Edward Hotel, more affectionately known as "The King Eddie," is a historic property, with grand rooms, high ceilings, and traditional decor. This luxury hotel, first opened in 1903 and underwent extensive renovations in 2014-15, returning it to its former grandeur while maintaining all the modern comforts.

Le Germain Hotel, Toronto Maple Leaf Square is a top-end hotel near the Air Canada Centre, the sports 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
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Mid-range and value hotels can be found in the city center and on the periphery. Prices vary considerably depending on the season and on events that may be happening during your visit. The Drake Hotel is a funky hotel featuring contemporary art exhibitions. Uniquely laid out and decorated rooms come in a variety of themes and different price points. The Drake is west of downtown, on Queen Street West, in Toronto's Little Portugal neighborhood.

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

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

Where to Stay on a Budget

Streetcar in Toronto
Streetcar in Toronto
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Budget-minded travelers can find reasonably priced accommodation around the edge of the city center or in the suburbs just outside of Toronto proper. One of the best situated budget hotels in Toronto is the Super 8 Downtown Toronto. In Toronto's popular Chinatown, along Spadina Avenue, the Super 8 is within easy walking distance to good restaurants, and a long walk or a quick taxi or streetcar ride from the major attractions and the Entertainment District. Rooms are clean and comfortable and come with free breakfast.

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

Where to Stay for Dining and Entertainment

Photo Copyright: One King West
Photo Copyright: One King West
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Many visitors come to Toronto to enjoy the theater and Broadway shows. Most of this action is found in Toronto's Entertainment District, which centers around King Street. This is where many of the big 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 for its address and located at the corner of King Street and Yonge Street. This is a luxury hotel in an elegant, historic property, within walking distance of the Princess of Wales Theatre, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, and the Roy Thomson Hall symphony venue. This hotel and residence is designed for extended stays and features large suites with kitchenettes or full kitchens.

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

In the same vicinity, 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, fitness room, rooftop terrace, and even a putting green.

Where to Stay for Families

Photo Copyright: Residence Inn Toronto Downtown
Photo Copyright: Residence Inn Toronto Downtown
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Families looking for more space, or suites with kitchens, can find a number of options in downtown Toronto. The Residence Inn Toronto Downtown, just a couple of blocks from the CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium, Rogers Center, and the Entertainment District, 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 come with kitchens. Prices here are usually very reasonable.

Also well positioned is the Cambridge Suites, near City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square with its seasonal outdoor skating rink. While this is more of a business traveler's hotel, the spacious suites allow extra room that families can appreciate. This hotel does not have a pool but it does have on-site laundry facilities and a fitness studio. In the Entertainment District, the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown has a full range of rooms and suites, complete with microwaves, fridges, and coffee makers. 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
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The two most romantic hotels in Toronto are without a doubt the Fairmont Royal York and The Omni King Edward Hotel. Both of these historic properties offer elegant, old-world charm and a romantic feel you just can't get at modern hotels. Located in the heart of downtown, both of these are luxury hotels, where you can pamper yourself with a 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 set in a fully restored 1850s chocolate factory. The individually designed rooms feature heated floors, soaker tubs, outdoor terraces, and comfortable beds with hand-crafted Italian linens. Breakfast is included with the room.

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