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Canadiana Guest House & Backpackers (Toronto, Canada)

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3 Reviews

42 Widmer Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2E9. Phone: +1(416) 598-9090. Fax: +1(416) 598-8940. email: canadiana@inforamp.net

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    3 Reviews
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      18.02.2007 21:06
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      Good, cheap accommodation

      Another day brings another hotel review from our trip across Canada! Toronto was our third stop. We decided to find and book our accommodation before we left the UK and this was one of the places recommended in our guide book. It seemed to tick our boxes of cheap, safe and providing private rooms so we booked it online straight away. LOCATION: The address of the hostel is 42 Widmer St., Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2E9. We found it quite convenient and did not bother with any public transport (although this is not necessarily recommended as Toronto is huge!). We walked from the train station which took around 15 minutes. It was around 10 minutes walk to the CN Tower and the Roger's Centre. The public transport to get to the hostel from the main station included underground and bus I would not recommend this. I would not say that it was the most central hostel but it did us well enough. ACCOMMODATION AND PRICES: The hostel offers various rooms. There are private rooms (either single or double), and we stayed in a double private room. There are also beds available in dorm rooms. ). A dorm bed costs $27 (around £13.50) per night, a double room costs $75 per night and a single room costs $65 per night. In winter (Oct. 15th - Apr. 14th) you receive a small discount on all beds if you are a ISIC card holder or Hostelling International member; the rest of the year there aren't discounts on the private rooms. Taxes are included in these prices which is good because these can really add to a bill. OUR EXPERIENCE: After our trek with our cases from the station, we found the hostel. Toronto is laid out in a grid system so it's not too bad to find your way around - but a map is a good plan! We got to the hostel and headed straight for the reception. The staff checked us in very easily. We had to give a $5 deposit for keys and another $5 for the bedsheets. We were then ready to head off to our room. Our room was a few houses down (the hostel seems to own most of one side of the street). The houses are all Victorian in style. There was a lock on the front door of the house which the room keys opened. The building inside was plain but smart and looked as if it had been recently renovated. Our room was on the first floor and there was no lift as far as we could see (there were also steps up to the front doors of all the houses so the hostel did not seem to be accessible for disabled. Our room was extremely basic. It basically consisted of bunk beds, a mirror and a couple of hooks. The room was very spacious and would have suited three people as the bottom bunk was almost like a double, and we just slept on this. The bed was not the most comfortable I've ever slept on, with a lovely plastic mattress, but it did not leave me sore in the morning. The sheets we were given were freshly laundered. The room also had plenty of sockets (i.e. plenty of places for me to plug in my straighteners!). Our room was fully air-conditioned which really helped in the 30 degree Toronto heat! The floors were wooden and the room looked fairly newly decorated. There was a toilet next to our room which was unisex, so there wasn't too far to walk at night. The shower (again unisex) was just down the hall. There was always hot water and the shower was very clean and was fairly big as well. We did not have to wait at any point for the shower which was a bonus as there were obviously a lot of people sharing. Back down in reception there are other facilities. There are sofas, tables and chairs where you can talk to the other guests. There is a kitchen area where guests can cook their own food. At breakfast time there were free pancakes which were great. Tea and coffee were available throughout the day and they were free. If the pancakes weren't enough to fill you up (there was a limited supply) you could purchase other breakfast products such as bread, jam and juice, from reception. There was an outside terrace where you could chat and eat your pancakes in the morning sun. Also in the reception area were internet terminals, which were free for a period in the afternoon but were charged for the rest of the day (although it was reasonable). There was also a bookcase full of books which you could borrow for the duration of your stay. Apparently the hostel also has an 18-seater movie theatre, although we were not made aware of this during our stay. There was also a laundry which we did not use but it was nice to know that we could have. The hostel holds various events each night. These range from karaoke to quizzes. We missed the quiz by one night, unfortunately as I love quizzes. All the activities are advertised on a blackboard in the reception. We did book some tickets to see the Toronto Argonauts at the Rogers Centre through the hostel and these were discounted. The hostel also offers day trips, such as Niagara Falls. The reception desk is not open all hours and we left before it opened. We therefore collected our deposits back the evening before we left and paid and then we took our sheets and left them in the appropriate baskets and put the keys through the slot in reception and off we went. MY OPINION: Overall I was quite happy with this hostel. Being someone who is not comfortable sharing rooms with strangers I wanted somewhere that felt safe and had private rooms and this was great for providing that. Our room was basic but we weren't planning on spending much time in there so it was perfect for our needs. We found everything clean and the staff were very friendly. The free pancakes were an added bonus. The location was pretty good and we were able to walk to all the attractions. I would recommend this to young people or lone travellers. Although we probably did not make the most of the 'community' provided by the hostel, it would be great if you were travelling with friends or alone and there did seem to be lots of people who were making new friendships in the hostel. I wouldn't really recommend it to families as there were so many student types. Perhaps it would be better for families in the winter when there would be less student travellers. According to their website they have been voted as the best hostel in Canada. I can't say whether this is the case but I'd say they have a pretty good claim. Overall, it was a good stay and as a cheap base it was perfect.

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      • More +
        23.01.2003 03:29
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        This hostel is beautiful! The atmosphere is warm and refined- a great hang-out for traveler's. The rooms, kitchens, and most importantly, bathrooms, were IMMACULATE!! (If you have ever gone hostelling, you can appreciate what a treat this was!) The Canadiana was always organizing fun activities to do at the hostel and around the city. Getting to know the staff was part of the fun - they are all friendly and helpful, and make you feel right at home. It's a great location, near all the major tourist sites. I definitely recommend this hostel to anyone planning a trip to Toronto. I can't wait to go back!

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        • More +
          08.11.2000 07:32

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          The Canadiana hostel, situated in downtown Toronto, is a pretty good hostel. Arriving in Toronto with nowhere to stay - on Thanksgiving Weekend probably wasn't the best idea in the world, but it could have been worse. Most of the hostels were full, but the Canadiana had a few places. The hostel is situated in an adaquate, but not exclusive, area of Toronto. It's about a ten-minute walk away from the CN Tower, and the Toronto Skydome - home to the Toronto Bluejays, and in this respect has a lot going for it. The facilities at the hostel were not as good. The rooms were clean, but small. The bathrooms were somewhat less than numerous, and for some reason the laundry facilities were for staff use only - which isn't helpful when you've been travelling for two weeks, and have no clean socks. there's a small kitchen, but not many utensils. There were a few tours offered - including a day-trip to Niagra Falls. The hostel cost a relatively pricey $25 per night - this seemed quite a lot in a country renowned for being cheaper then America. All-in-all, it would be an idea to book ahead, and try the Global Backpacker's.

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