Where to Stay in Toronto – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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A culturally diverse and modern metropolitan city, Toronto is a favorite for tourists visiting Canada. Located on the north-western shore of Lake Ontario, the city is famous for being a hub of finance, business, arts, culture and entertainment in Canada. In fact, Toronto has been recognized as the second most competitive business city in the world. Interestingly, the metropolitan has often been touted as one of the most culturally diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Regarded as one of top 5 livable cities in the world, Toronto is home to the largest single-day parade in North America – Caribana, a 3.6-kilometer-long parade which is attended by over a million spectators and about 10,000 costumed participants. PATH, North America’s largest underground pedestrian system, plays host to the largest underground sidewalk sale in the world that takes place once every year along the thousands of restaurants, shops, and businesses that scatter along the PATH.

Let us now explore some of the most popular areas of the city so you can decide where to stay in Toronto during your visit.

Downtown/Bloor Street

Downtown TorontoSource: Diego Grandi / shutterstock
Downtown Toronto

The central business district of the city, Downtown Toronto is located in Old Toronto District and makes up for the largest concentration of skyscrapers in the country. The beating heart of the city, this neighborhood is where you can experience the real Canadian culture and have a great time. More than 600 retail stores and 150 bars are packed around the area. But, it’s not all shopping and entertainment. Downtown Toronto also holds an important place in the financial circuit as well, as it houses the Toronto Stock Exchange, the seventh largest in the world. Bloor Street is home to Toronto’s most famous fashion street – the Mink Mile. A mix of a major residential neighborhood as well as commercial centers, Bloor Street is the longest street in Canada (after the financial district and Yonge Street) and shares its boundaries with the historic downtown neighborhood as well as midtown Toronto. Another notable attraction in the area, St. Lawrence Market, a foodie destination in operation since 1803, has been named as the “Best in the World” by none other than the National Geographic.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.

Other Highlights: Ricoh Coliseum, CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Bata Shoe Museum, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, and Hockey Hall of Fame.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • The Omni King Edward Hotel – Located within a 2-minutes’ walking distance from the subway and 16-minutes’ walk from the Convention Centre, the pet-friendly hotel features a full-service spa and wellness center, an on-site bar and restaurant, and a fully-equipped fitness center. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto – A contemporary hotel located in the in Downtown Toronto, Delta Hotels is one of the most luxurious stays you can ever expect to find in the region. Some of the amazing features include floor-to-ceiling windows, free Wi-Fi, suites with separate living rooms, and much more. Perfect for luxury solo travelers and couples.
  • The Hazelton Hotel – With chic rooms and separate sitting areas for each room, Hazelton Hotel offers a comfortable stay to all kinds of guests. It features plenty of posh amenities, including a restaurant, a cinema room, pet grooming and walking services, and a world-class spa and wellness center. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.


Bloor-Yorkville districtSource: JHVEPhoto / shutterstock
Bloor-Yorkville District

One of the country’s most exclusive shopping districts, Yorkville was established in the year 1830. It is home to one of the world’s most expensive shopping streets in the world i.e. The Mink Mile. A shopper’s paradise, the street is lined with exclusive outlets and luxury brands such as Town Shoes, Gucci, and Chanel. The Royal Ontario Museum, located further west, is one of Toronto’s most significant attractions and is the largest of its kind in Canada. Opt to take a walking tour of the museum to get up, close, and personal with Toronto’s city life. A former hippie neighborhood, the area is now readily known as the fashion district and is visited by the who’s who of the glamour world. Ironically, the neighborhood is bordered by the University of Toronto even though students can’t afford the luxuries of Yorkville.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.

Other Highlights: Toronto Reference Library, The Gardiner Museum, Yorkville Park, Yorkville Village, and Queen’s Park.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel – One of Toronto’s most premier hotels, Toronto Marriott Bloor is just an 11-minute walk from the Ontario museum. With a 12000 square feet meeting hall, 12 meeting rooms, a sophisticated restaurant, and out-of-the-world luxury in every room, you are surely in for a treat. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • InterContinental Toronto Yorkville – This 4star hotel is located a couple of kilometers from the Art Gallery of Ontario and features a delightful restaurant with patio dining, a fitness center, a steam room as well as world class in-room amenities in the hotel. If you are on a business trip, you can always make good use of the business center, which houses 8 meeting rooms. Great for all kinds of travelers
  • Four Seasons Hotel Toronto at Yorkville – A fashionable hotel located in the heart of the city, Four Seasons offers sophisticated rooms with separate kitchen and dining area. You can also enjoy the luxurious terrace bar and the on-site luxe spa. Additionally, there is a pool and whirlpool tub where you can unwind yourself after a long day of exploring the city. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.


Harbourfront TorontoSource: Jon Bilous / shutterstock

Located on the northern banks of Lake Ontario, the Harbourfront neighborhood is a part of the Toronto waterfront which has been a major shipping and industrial area of the city since the city was founded. Home to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (the port you use to get to Toronto islands), the area is dotted with several art galleries, event spaces, and four craft studios dealing in metal, glass, textiles, and ceramic. Bluffer’s Park, one of the most pristine sandy beaches in the city, is a great swimming spot with great water quality and shallow depth. However, the beach’s most impressive feature is its 15km white cliff ridge known as Scarborough Bluffs that rise 90km above the lake’s glistening waters. While here, book yourself a boat tour of the lake to see an entirely different but undoubtedly spectacular view of the waterfront and the city’s skyline.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.

Other Highlights: Harbourfront Center, The CN Tower, The Sunnyside Pavilion and the Sunnyside Beach Park, Air Canada Centre, Waterfront Trail, and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto – Located within a 10 minutes’ walking distance from the beach, the Westin Harbour Castle is a high-rise hotel offering an Italian restaurant with magnificent skyline views of the neighborhood. Furthermore, the property also houses a gym, multiple tennis courts, and a terrace that overlooks Lake Ontario. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Radisson Admiral Toronto Harbourfront – A place famous for its bright contemporary rooms, the hotel offers all the latest amenities you can ask for. An outdoor pool with a hot tub, a 24-hour business center, and a fitness center all add up to make it a desirable place to stay when in the neighborhood. Plus, the Art Gallery of Ontario is just a short drive away. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Amazing CN Tower View Modern Suite – Located in the heart of Harbourfront, Amazing CN Tower View Modern Suite is a great place to spend your vacation. Offering spacious, self-catering apartment units, the property is within a short distance from many important sites in the city, including Air Canada Center and Hockey Hall of Fame. Suitable for couples, families, and groups.


Chinatown, TorontoSource: JHVEPhoto / shutterstock

The ethnic enclave of Toronto, Chinatown is famous for its high concentration of people with Chinese ethnicity. The second largest of its kind in North America, the area is not only known for its authentic Chinese eateries but also Vietnamese, Japanese, and other Asian cuisines. If you like the thrill of bargaining and shopping at flea markets, this is where you will find amazing deals on jewelry, clothes, trinkets, and other household products. Set next to the neighborhood is the Kensington Market area. Filled with an intriguing mix of residents, including Latin Americans, Vietnamese, and Caribbeans, Kensington Market is known for its vintage shopping venues and vibrant market stalls. To experience the best of Chinatown, time your visit with the Chinese New Year.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.

Other Highlights: Art Gallery of Ontario AGO, Dragon City, Queen’s Park, and Whippersnapper Gallery.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Super 8 Downtown Toronto – Facilities such as free Wi-Fi, complimentary continental breakfast, and an on-site bar and lounge make staying at Super 8 Downtown Toronto an amazing experience. Extra facilities at the property include a business center with two meeting rooms and underground parking. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Alexandra Hotel – Set within a 5 minutes’ driving distance from Kensington Market, The Alexandra Hotel offers well-appointed guestrooms with modern facilities such as cable TV, wardrobe/closet, kitchenette, and a private bathroom with free toiletries. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Chinatown Family House – A safe and cozy place in the neighborhood, Chinatown Family House is just 1.3 Km from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Housed in the Kensington Market District, the hotel offers all the latest amenities you can expect for a comfortable stay. Polite staff and comfy beds wait for you, and all within a walking distance from Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Perfect for all kinds of budget travelers.

King West/King Street West

King West, TorontoSource: JHVEPhoto / shutterstock
King West

One of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Toronto, King West is popular with the cites youthful residents. A symbol of the city’s dynamic lifestyle, the neighborhood has plenty of exciting hotspots to offer, including some of the best shopping, dining, and nightlife venues. Studio Event Theatre, frequented visited by celebrities – you never know who will walk in and out. The former hub of Toronto’s textile industry, King Street West is rightfully now filled with an exquisite range of fashion stores, clothing outlets, and retailers.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.

Other Highlights: Victoria Memorial Square, Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre, and Clarence Square.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • One King West Hotel and Residence – Located within a 5-minutes’ walk from the Hockey Hall of Fame, One King West is a grand beaux-arts-style 1914 building. Sleek studios, as well as their 1-bedroom suites with all the latest amenities, are something you are certainly going to enjoy staying in. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel Victoria – A stone’s throw away from the financial district as well as the beach, Hotel Victoria offers well-appointed guestrooms with free Wi-Fi, cable TV, iPod dock, ironing facilities, and private bathroom. An on-site restaurant serves delightful breakfasts and lunches. Suitable for solo travelers and couples.
  • The Adelaide Hotel Toronto – A swanky 5-star property boasting a 2-level spa and wellness center with a juice bar, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an indoor pool, the Adelaide Hotel Toronto belongs to the famous Marriott Group of Hotels. Guests can enjoy wine and cocktails at the on-site bar and cherish a fine-dining experience at the hotel’s international restaurant. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.

Entertainment District

Entertainment District, TorontoSource: kylauf / shutterstock
Entertainment District

One of the most famous neighborhoods in Toronto, the Entertainment District houses some of the best theatres and performing arts centers in the country. Be sure to expect an array of cultural and family attractions when you are in this part of the city. John Street is known to house some of the city’s top attractions, namely the CN Tower, the Rogers Center, and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada – inaugurated in 2003, it is the largest of its kind in Canada and is home to over 16,000 marine species, one of the most extensive displays of jellyfish, and the largest collection of sharks in North America. CN Tower, however, is great for adrenaline junkies. Make your way to the tower’s EdgeWalk and dare yourself into a half-hour, handsfree walk through a five-foot-wide metal ledge suspended 1,168 feet in the air.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.

Other Highlights: Steam Whistle Brewing, Art Gallery of Ontario, Second City Toronto, Toronto Eaton Centre, St. Lawrence Market South, and Hockey Hall of Fame.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hyatt Regency Toronto – A short walk from the beach, Hyatt Regency Toronto features a contemporary décor, an outdoor pool, a sauna, and a 24-hour fitness center. Located at a 12-minute walking distance from Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the guestrooms at this elegant property include cable TV with pay-per-view channels, tea/coffee maker, ironing facilities, and ensuite bathroom. Every room offers a view of either the city or Lake Ontario. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Fairmont Royal York Hotel – Adorned with a skylit indoor pool, a historic ballroom, a state-of-the-art fitness center, on-site shopping, and 5 in-house restaurants, Fairmont Royal York Hotel is an eco-friendly, affluent property within a couple of kilometers from the famous Easton Center Mall. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Residence Inn Toronto Downtown / Entertainment District – Located in the heart of the Entertainment District, Residence Inn offers various polished studios as well as 1 and 2-bedroom suites. Featuring an indoor pool, a currency exchange counter, and a well-equipped fitness center, the property is within an arm’s distance to many notable attractions in the area. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Garden District

Garden District, TorontoSource: Jon Bilous / shutterstock
Garden District

Named after the indoor botanical garden located in the vicinity, the Garden District houses some of the most notable heritage sites in the city as well as a section of Toronto’s Gay Village. A short distance from the thriving streets of downtown Toronto, Garden District, and the neighboring Gay Village, are at the epicenter of all the happening events in the city even though you are safely tucked in the tranquility of the surrounding greenery. Toronto Gay Village, the city’s bustling gay community, hosts the annual Pride Week celebrations and is noted not only for its vibrant gay community but also its lovely Victorian architectures.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.

Other Highlights: St Michael’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Canon Theatre, Ryerson Image Centre, Yonge-Dundas Square, and Massey Hall.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Bond Place Hotel – A couple of minutes’ driving distance from the Eaton center, Bond Place Hotel features wonderfully-designed guestrooms with facilities such as tea/coffee maker, seating area, flat-screen TV with pay-per-view channels, refrigerator, and private bathroom with free toiletries. The on-site restaurant specializes in pizzas, Mediterranean dishes, and vegetarian delights. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Grand Hotel & Suites – Boasting a world-class spa and wellness center, rooftop patios with heated whirlpools with a spellbinding view of the city, a well-equipped fitness center, a 24-hour gift shop, and a lounge area for evening tea and cocktails, Grand Hotel & Suites is among the most sought-after vacation properties in the city of Toronto. Guests can savor mouthwatering European delights made from the freshest local produce at the on-site restaurant. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre – A stone’s throw away from Eaton Center, the Pantages Hotel Toronto Center features spacious, non-smoking guestrooms fitted with a flat-screen TV and pay-per-view channels, iPod dock, refrigerator, and an ensuite bathroom with free toiletries and a spa bath. A complimentary full English breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.


Where to Stay in Toronto – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

  • Downtown/Bloor Street
  • Yorkville
  • Harbourfront
  • Chinatown
  • King West/King Street West
  • Entertainment District
  • Garden District