Posted: 08/04/22 | August 4th, 2022
Toronto is Canada’s version of New York City. It’s a diverse, multicultural city with a vibrant nightlife, amazing food scene, and tons of fun things to see and do — no matter what season you visit in.
While it may lack the historic charm of Montreal or the natural beauty of Vancouver, Toronto is a massive metropolis that will easily keep you entertained.
However, it can also be an expensive city to visit.
Budget hotels are inconveniently located and Airbnb prices rise every year. Fortunately, the city has a few budget-friendly hostels that will help you save money — money you can spend enjoying the city and all it has to offer!
That said, there are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel. The top four when picking the best hostel in Toronto are:
- Location – Toronto is huge and it can take some time to get around. Pick a place that is central to the sites and nightlife you want to see. All the hostels listed here are in central locations.
- Price – In Toronto, you really get what you pay for, so if you go with a really cheap one, you’re probably going to get a hostel that is small, cramped, and doesn’t offer great service.
- Amenities – Every hostel in the city offers free Wi-Fi, and most have a free breakfast, but if you want more than that, be sure to do your research to find the hostel that best meets your needs!
- Staff – All the hostels listed here have amazing staff! They are super friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t end up staying at one of the places listed below, be sure to look up reviews to ensure you end up somewhere where the staff is helpful and friendly! They can make or break a hostel!
Price Legend (per night)
- $ = Under $40 CAD
- $$ = $40-50 CAD
- $$$ = Over $50 CAD
1. Planet Traveler Hostel
Planet Traveler is a fantastic hostel because they really get what we travelers need. All of the rooms are ensuite (including all dorm rooms), there’s a fully equipped kitchen with free breakfast until 1pm (and it’s actually pretty decent), there are 2 private lockers for every guest, and best of all, there’s an awesome rooftop terrace with incredible views over downtown Toronto.
It’s a fun hostel and very easy to meet people here, with the super friendly staff hosting regular weekly events like trivia nights and pub crawls. The beds are super comfy too so you can a decent sleep (a big plus in my book!), with several rooms offering pod-style beds for extra privacy. The hostel is located in Kensington Market, one of the coolest neighborhoods in Toronto, with tons of affordable eateries and interesting shops right at the hostel’s doorstep.
Planet Traveler Hostel at a glance:
- Hosts lots of events
- Free breakfast (until 1pm)
- Great central location
Beds from 58 CAD per night, privates from 125 CAD per night.
2. The Only Backpacker’s Inn
This is your standard chill backpacker hostel. They have a bar (with over 200 beers), a café, lot of common areas (including an outdoor patio), and free breakfast.
The staff are super friendly and it’s located near the subway so you can easily get around the city and explore. It’s also one of the cheapest hostels in the city. In short, it’s your laid-back, classic backpacker hostel and a good choice for solo travelers looking to meet people.
The Only Backpacker’s Inn at a glance:
- Free breakfast
- Helpful staff
- Chill outdoor patio
Beds from 37 CAD per night, privates from 95 CAD per night.
3. The Parkdale Hostellerie
This is the most affordable hostel in the city. There’s no free breakfast but the money you save makes up for that. There’s a lot of common space as well as a communal kitchen. It’s not as central as the other hostels but it’s near Vegandale, an up-and-coming vegan area of the city, as well as Echo Beach and Fort York (a national historic site). The amenities and design aren’t the most modern, but it’s super cheap and has a welcoming, homey feel to it.
The Parkdale Hostellerie at a glance:
- Super affordable
- Social atmosphere
- Near lots of great restaurants
Beds from 26 CAD per night, privates from 78 CAD per night.
4. The Clarence Park
This centrally located hostel is just a few blocks away from the CN Tower, the Roger’s Centre, Toronto’s harbor front, and many other famous sights. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be in the heart of it all.
The Clarence Park is a social hostel, with a cozy lounge offering free tea and coffee, weekly events, and a rooftop terrace and BBQ (seasonal, this is Canada after all!). There’s also a large, fully equipped, and modern kitchen, which is great for cooking your own meals to save some money. Desks in every room as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the property make it easy to get in some laptop time if you need to.
The Clarence Park at a glance:
- Communal kitchen
- Weekly social events
- Rooftop terrace and BBQ
Beds from 42 CAD a night, private rooms from 95 CAD a night.
Toronto is a world-class city. The hostels here are especially social and fun, making it easy to meet people and have fun with other travelers. Just make sure you book your stay in advance as there are not many hostels here – and they fill up fast (especially in the busy summer months)!
Book Your Trip to Toronto: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. My favorite places to stay are:
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Toronto?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Toronto for even more planning tips!