Downtown, the best area to stay in Toronto
Best for – Art Lovers / Food Connoisseurs / Nightlife Seekers
Downtown Toronto pulsates as the city's vibrant heart, effortlessly intertwining the rich tapestry of its past with a lively contemporary scene. It's the premier destination for first-time visitors, encapsulating Toronto's essence within a walkable radius.
Iconic landmarks like the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the historic Distillery District beckon culture enthusiasts. Nightlife thrives here with renowned venues such as the Scotiabank Arena for events and King Street West and Queen Street West for clubbing. Shoppers can meander through the Toronto Eaton Centre, home to over 250 retailers. For epicurean explorations, O&B Café Grill and Canoe offer a taste of the city's gastronomic finesse.
Luxury seekers will find solace in esteemed accommodations like the Fairmont Royal York and the Shangri-La Hotel. Whether you’re immersing yourself in Toronto’s rich arts scene or dancing the night away, Downtown is the place to be.
Hotels in Downtown Toronto
Downtown Toronto Areas
Best for – Luxury Shopping / Culture / Fine Dining
Nestled in Toronto's upscale quadrant, Bloor-Yorkville exudes luxury, heritage, and sophistication. A shopping mecca, it hosts the Mink Mile, where aficionados can find high-end boutiques such as Gucci, Prada, and Chanel.
For culture enthusiasts, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum offer intriguing dives into art and history, while the numerous galleries, including the Liss Gallery and the Izzy Gallery, showcase contemporary and classical artworks. Food connoisseurs are in for a treat, with elegant dining establishments like Café Boulud located in the Four Seasons Hotel, and ONE Restaurant serving gourmet dishes.
Amidst the modern allure, traces of Victorian architecture lend a unique charm. Stroll along Cumberland Street or explore the historic Yorkville Village, and the area's rich tapestry unfolds. For visitors seeking an opulent blend of shopping, culture, and culinary delights, Bloor-Yorkville stands unmatched in its offerings.
Hotels in Bloor-Yorkville
Best for – Culture / First-Time Visitors / Food Connoisseurs
Old Town, the historic heart of Toronto, promises a journey through time. Its well-preserved architecture, featuring landmarks such as St. Lawrence Market, one of the world's best fresh markets, draws both first-time visitors and history enthusiasts. The district’s cobbled streets echo yesteryear, while sites like the Distillery Historic District showcase 19th-century buildings repurposed into trendy boutiques and eateries.
The Gooderham Building dating from 1892 stands as a testament to Toronto’s architectural past. Food connoisseurs will adore the diverse gastronomic options available, with highlights like the Carousel Bakery, known for its iconic peameal bacon sandwiches, and the George Restaurant set in a red brick building reflecting its historic surroundings. Cultural attractions such as the St. James Cathedral, with its neo-Gothic spires, further enrich the area.
Ideal for those eager to experience Toronto's historical essence coupled with modern-day delights, Old Town offers a captivating blend of the past and the present.
Hotels in Old Town
Best for – Nightlife / LGBTQ+ Community / Culture
Toronto's vibrant Village, often referred to as the Gay Village, stands as a beacon of inclusivity and diversity. Located around Church and Wellesley streets, this neighbourhood pulsates with life, especially after sundown.
Renowned bars such as Crews & Tangos and Woody's offer lively entertainment and drag shows, making it a nightlife hotspot. It's also home to Toronto’s annual Pride Festival, a colourful celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. First-time visitors and culture seekers will appreciate the area’s rich history showcased through murals, art installations, and the tranquil Barbara Hall Park features the Toronto AIDS Memorial.
The Dining options are diverse, with establishments like Hair of the Dog and O'Grady's providing culinary delights. For those seeking both a cultural immersion and a lively atmosphere in a space that champions acceptance and pride, The Village serves as an ideal destination in Toronto.
Hotels in The Village
Best for – Business Travelers / Fine Dining / Modern Architecture
Toronto's Financial District, with its towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, is the heartbeat of the city's commerce. Positioned around Bay Street, it's the connection for global corporations and major Canadian banks, making it a prime location for business travellers.
This area isn't just about work; it's also about play. Fine dining options are plentiful, with celebrated restaurants like Canoe and The Chase offering gourmet experiences with views from atop. Architectural enthusiasts will marvel at the contemporary designs, including the iconic Brookfield Place and the historic Commerce Court. For shopping, the interconnected PATH system offers a labyrinth of underground retail spaces.
While the district pulsates with corporate energy by day, by night, upscale lounges and bars like Cactus Club Café cater to after-hours relaxation. For those looking to combine business with leisure in a modern urban setting, the Financial District is the place to be.
Hotels in Financial District
Best for – Families / Waterfront Activities / Cultural Events
Toronto's Harbourfront is a refreshing escape from the urban hustle, offering serene waterfront views and a myriad of recreational activities. Nestled along Lake Ontario, families are drawn here for attractions such as the Harbourfront Centre, which hosts year-round cultural events and arts festivals.
The nearby Toronto Islands, accessible by ferry, promise green parks, sandy beaches, and places to eat like The Riviera and Island Cafe. The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery displays thought-provoking exhibitions, while the Queen's Quay Terminal offers diverse shopping and dining experiences. For food enthusiasts, restaurants like Amsterdam Brewhouse and Miku provide both delectable dishes and lakeside seating. As the sun sets, the boardwalk comes alive with performers and vendors, ensuring entertainment for both adults and kids.
With its blend of cultural engagements, waterfront allure, and family-friendly activities, The Harbourfront stands as an inviting destination for a well-rounded Toronto experience.
Hotels in The Harbourfront
Best for – Food Connoisseurs / Budget Shoppers / Cultural Exploration
Toronto's bustling Chinatown, located primarily along Spadina Avenue, immerses visitors in a vibrant blend of East Asian culture and traditions. Food connoisseurs are in for a treat, with eateries such as Rol San for dim sum and Mother's Dumplings serving authentic Chinese fare.
For those on a budget, a plethora of shops offers a wide array of affordable goods, from intricate trinkets to fresh produce. The area frequently hosts cultural events, including the Lunar New Year celebrations, that both families and first-time visitors would find engaging. Beyond the food and festivities, there are herbal medicine shops and traditional bakeries that provide glimpses into daily life and customs. A short stroll would also lead to the Art Gallery of Ontario, making it an enriching cultural experience.
Chinatown offers an eclectic blend of culinary delights, cultural festivities, and budget-friendly shopping, ensuring a memorable Toronto stay.
Hotels in Chinatown
Other areas to stay in Toronto
Best for – Families / Outdoor Activities / On a Budget
Nestled on Toronto's western edge, Etobicoke boasts a blend of suburban charm and green expanses. Families often favour this area for its array of parks and recreational spaces like James Gardens, known for its meandering pathways and scenic pond.
The Humber Bay Park, with its shimmering lake views, provides ample opportunity for picnicking and leisurely strolls. For those on a budget, Sherway Gardens, a major shopping centre, offers diverse retail without the downtown price tag. The district is also home to the historic Montgomery's Inn, which showcases local history and frequently hosts cultural events. Dining is a delight in Etobicoke, with local gems such as Sanremo Bakery offering mouthwatering pastries and bites, and Three Brother’s Restaurant offering the finest Balkan cuisine that will delight you.
With its tranquillity, family-friendly attractions, and affordability compared to central Toronto, Etobicoke presents a delightful alternative for visitors seeking a more relaxed pace.
Hotels in Etobicoke
Best for – Families / Cultural Attractions / Shopping Enthusiasts
North York, once a separate city, now stands as a vital part of Toronto’s urban expanse. Families will appreciate attractions like the Ontario Science Centre, a hands-on museum providing educational fun for all ages.
For those interested in culture, the Aga Khan Museum offers a deep dive into Islamic and Iranian art, history, and architecture. The area doesn't shy away from shopping opportunities either, with the sprawling Yorkdale Shopping Centre housing a vast selection of brands, both upscale and affordable. North York also boasts lush green spaces like Edwards Gardens, perfect for leisurely strolls or picnics and Black Creek Pioneer Village an 1800s living museum.
Dining is diverse here, with options ranging from authentic Korean dishes in Koreatown North to Italian delicacies in various local trattorias. Its combination of family-friendly activities, cultural landmarks, and shopping makes North York a multifaceted choice for Toronto visitors.
Hotels in North York
Best for – Families / Food Connoisseurs / On a Budget
Scarborough, a diverse and culturally rich suburb of Toronto, offers an array of attractions suitable for families and those travelling on a budget. The Toronto Zoo, one of North America's largest, is a family favourite, providing interactive experiences with wildlife from around the globe.
For food enthusiasts, Scarborough brims with authentic culinary delights, notably in its renowned Golden Mile and Agincourt neighbourhoods. Here, taste buds travel the world, from aromatic South Asian curries to zesty Caribbean flavours. The Scarborough Bluffs, an impressive natural escarpment, offers breathtaking views of Lake Ontario, ideal for nature lovers and photographers. Budget-friendly accommodations, coupled with the TTC subway, an easy transit option into downtown Toronto, make Scarborough a practical choice for travellers.
Its unique blend of cultural activities, diverse eateries, and serene landscapes showcases a different side of Toronto, perfect for those seeking depth and affordability.
Hotels in Scarborough
Pearson International Airport
Best for – Transit Travellers / Business Trips / Quick City Access
Toronto's Pearson International Airport stands as an essential transit hub, tailored for short to medium stays and convenience. Particularly suited for transit travellers, its proximity ensures ease for early flights or layovers. Business travellers frequent this locale, drawn by adjacent hotels like the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Alt Hotel, and the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites.
These accommodations not only promise luxury but also quick shuttle services to terminals. The UP Express train, a mere 25-minute ride, offers rapid access to Union Station in downtown Toronto, perfect for brief city explorations. Shopping at Pearson ranges from unique Canadian souvenirs to high-end brands, satisfying last-minute purchases. The airport's varied eateries, from Caplansky's Deli to Fetta Panini Bar, showcase Toronto's culinary range.
While this may not be Toronto's cultural hub, Pearson’s amenities and quick city link make it a preferred choice for many visitors to the city.
Hotels near Pearson International AirportDowntown Toronto