TORONTO: Cheap Hotels in Toronto
It is a large city and staying in the heart of it in a Toronto hotel is the best option for anyone who wants to explore. Regardless of whether you are traveling with family or on your own, you will never be short of things to do in Toronto.
There are world-class museums on offer, top art galleries, some of the most impressive theaters in the world, exciting markets and a lively harbor area.
Hotels in Toronto can be found in all areas and in all budgets so you will have the freedom to find exactly what you are looking for. When the sun goes down, the city really comes alive.
Bars, restaurants and some of the top hotels in Toronto open their doors to live bands, classical musicians and other live entertainment.
There is the chance to party until dawn if you wish and equally to have a nice dinner while listening to some relaxing jazz and making your way back to your Toronto hotel.
If you need to escape the city for a day or two, there is the chance to enjoy a number of daytrips. Niagara Falls should be on everyone's must-see list and there are also some nice parks close the Great Lakes.
Toronto hotels do not limit themselves to the city center; it is also possible to stay in regions close by.
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Local expert's tips
Vacationing in Toronto, Canada in 2017, and staying on budget
To begin with, choosing your hotel and its location is key to saving money on transportation as well as your food budget in some cases. You can do well without a rental car in Toronto, by using the hotel free shuttle if available from airport, or using a cab or local shuttle service. Getting around the city using public transportation is a dream, and if you want to visit the falls, go on a tour. The monies you will save without the vehicle, insurance, gas and parking will totally pay for tours and much more.
The best thing you can do to see the top sites and attractions in Toronto, is to purchase the Toronto CITYPASS. Among other attractions, you get discounted entry to the Zoo, Science Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, Royal Ontario Museum and my favorite, the CN Tower. For as little as $60 per adult and $40 per child 4-12, you get unlimited options to visit. Keep in mind that this equals about a 43% discount on these tickets.
If you a hoping to really experience Toronto’s food scene, and are vacationing during the summer months, are you in luck. It seems like there is always something food related going on summers in this city. Pretty much every weekend Toronto’s “Little Italy” area of College Street offers a “Taste of Italy Celebration”, sure to “get your Italian on”. At Fort York, a historic site in Toronto, you can also catch one of the “Taste Toronto” food fests offered on weekends. With so many different races that make up Toronto, Taste Toronto is like taking a “world food cruises”, in one place.
Of course the granddaddy of all Toronto food events is “Summerlicious” that takes place between the 7th and 23rd of July.
Another awesome place to visit during pleasant weather of course is Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. What you get to stroll about in is an actual 1809 Pennsylvania German log barn and the historic farm of actual pioneers, Daniel and Elizabeth Strong. The village sprawls over thirty acres of countryside, with over 40 historic buildings, housing for your pleasure, more than 50,000 historic artifacts.
If traveling with smaller children, this can be a lifetime experience. I remember as a child, growing up in New England, visiting Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. Experiencing how the early settlers lived was an eye opening experience for me.
The best part is during Spring Break as well as kids being free admission weekdays in July and August.
If you are a fan of the British and their love of Gin, you might be surprised that the largest distillery for the British back in 1800’s was located in Toronto, Canada. Today that distillery is part of the “Historic Distillery District”, now the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, and a “pedestrian-only” shopping, arts and culture area. Today you can stroll about fifteen art galleries, fine boutiques, and especially cafes and restaurants. All in all, a nice places to experience for a few hours.
From May through the end of October, you might want to check out the Kensington Market on Sundays, when they offer “Pedestrian Sundays. It’s a super “people watching” experience, and the food isn’t all that bad either. With roaming street performers and artists everywhere, find a place to sit and relax.
Need to know before your visit to Toronto in 2017
The Canadian currency is quite interesting, especially if you are an American “Baby Boomer” who watched cartoons as a youngster. The Canadian one dollar coin is called a “loonie” and the two dollar coin a “toonie”. See what I mean, “Loony Tunes”?”
If you are planning to see the major sites, then you definitely should purchase the CityPASS Toronto that runs you under $60 per person. This pass gets you I to sites like Toronto Zoo, CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Royal Ontario Museum and more, and is quite a deal.
A visit to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will open your eyes to the creatures that inhabit Canada’s own oceans, lakes and rivers. It opened in 2013 and offers high-tech special effects, with coral beds, fascinating jellyfish and of course the Dangerous Shark Lagoon. It’s a perfect destination if you are planning to visit the tallest tower in the world, CN Tower. This massive thrill-giver is 1,815 feet high overlooking the city and Lake Ontario below. You will need to get your “tough on”, because the top floor is glass. If that isn’t enough of a thrill, get harnessed up and walk glass “EdgeWalk” around the outside perimeter of the tower top.
Shoe fetish tip: If shoes are your life, you might visit the Bata Shoe Museum, featuring the world’s largest collection of shoes. It includes Elton John’s platform boots, ancient Egyptian sandals and Queen Victoria’s ballroom slippers.
For a fascinating journey, check out the Royal Ontario Museum, showcasing an 80-foot totem pole, Sitting Bull’s war bonnet and so much more of Canada’s history.
There are a few extremely awesome festivals we want to let you know about, one being the 29th Beaches International Jazz Festival July 7-30th. This is a free music event featuring jazz, Caribbean, African, reggae, hip-hop and more.
And then there is the Toronto International BunkerFest September 1-4. The Beaches neighborhood of Woodbine Park brings hundreds of magicians, clowns, acrobats and even fire-eaters to this free event.
After a day of touring and museums, you might be yearning an ice-cold brew, and maybe some “small-plate” food. We have an excellent choice for you if near the St. Lawrence Market. C’est What? Is a pub located in a century-old cellar, featuring many local brews, comfort food and even live music?
Looking for a “fine dining” experience for a night out? We recommend making reservations and dining at The Keg Mansion located on Jarvis Street. Specialty of the house is all things seafood, and top of the mark beef. As you would expect the wine list is fantastic, as are the martinis.
Best Happy Hours in Toronto
A nice warm and cozy bar offering discounted drinks and superior comfort food is the AFT Bar located on Queen Street between opening and until 6PM. Every day they offer a different meal deal, like 2 steaks and fries with a bottle of wine, or Wednesdays you can choose fried chicken and $6 bourbon and anything cocktails.
If seafood is your desire, look no further than Adelaide Street, and Pearl Diver.
This restaurant obviously specializes in oysters, and they are awesome. Monday through Friday every week, you can enjoy their “Zinc and Drink” special between 3PM and 6PM. What you get is a dozen of fresh oysters for $15 and featured well drinks for $5. If you and your lady are in Toronto on vacation and “romance” is in the wind, you just might want to give the “100 oysters for $100 a shot!
If you want to enjoy some Irish fare, fresh oysters (we are on a roll with oysters), and at the same time support the fight against cancer, the Black Irish Whiskey Bar & Oyster Saloon on Queen St. is the bomb! If you are offended easily, this may not be the place for you, because the special is “Shuck & the “F-bomb”, where you will get oysters for $1.50 between 2-7 PM. For every oyster you buy, $0.25 goes to the “F-bomb Cancer” benefit program. Every day they offer buy one get one free, with $5 pints and shots of Jameson & Olmeca for only $3.50. The place can get rowdy, but it’s worth it.
Earls Kitchen and Bar located on King Street is another local hangout during happy hour, from 3-6 PM daily. Each day offers different appetizers for a reduced price and a daily drink menu especially for happy hour. Come in on a Wednesday, order some food and you can get a great bottle of wine for only $20.
If vodka martinis are you’re things, then maybe its time for a journey to the Soviet Union, in Toronto at the Pravada Vodka Bar. Seriously folks, walk through the door and you’ll be seeing red, gold and the hammer and sickles everywhere. From 4-7 PM you can get a specialty vodka martini, shaken or stirred, for only $6.15, along with complementary appetizer dish with each martini.
Finally we have probably one of the most outrageous happy hours anywhere. Every Wednesday, the Wide open Bar on Spadina Ave. offers you the best deal in the city, between 5-8 PM, with it’s offer of $2.50-for-anything Happy Hour! They are often heard to boast that “no one tops this **** in the city!” Now, the other days of the week have specials too, like the Monday $ everything day, Friday and Saturday $5 drinks all night and so on. This is always a great place to check out.
Toronto’s Top Unique things to do when visiting
You can easily spend the whole day in this indoor/outdoor marketplace, where the main attitude is stroll slowly and don’t miss anything. And the #1 rule is be sure to arrive hungry. You will enjoy fresh seafood and veggie markets, to some awesome restaurants, its just one big party for your mouth. Some of the more popular places to dine are Scheffler’s Deli and Mikes Seafood Restaurant.
If you’re from the U.S. you have most certainly seen in almost every major vacation destination, Ripley’s Believe or Not theaters. The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada isn’t quite one of those, but instead quite an excellent place to visit. This large modern and impressive front entrance houses some excellent underwater creatures for you to visit with. There’s something for everyone inside, from live exhibits showcasing the Canadian waters, a beautiful underwater reef gallery, to an exhibit all about Giant Rays. And for a little excitement, you must visit Dangerous Lagoon with its collection of sharks. Especially for the youngsters, the Shoreline Gallery offers the ultimate “hands on” opportunity for children. Touch stingrays, sharks and other underwater creatures, and take a pic of your children for a lifetime of memories.
For a super inexpensive and rewarding what to see Toronto, either as a single, couple or the whole family, is via the 506 Streetcar that runs from Main Station at it’s East end all the way to the West at High Park. No matter what time of year you visit, especially during winter months, you are in climate control with air or heat. If with the family, you can get a day pass for the whole family for just $10! You’ll get to hop off for a coffee or cocktail and some lunch and hop back on to explore further down the line at the India Bazaar or Chinatown Shops. There are so many options for shopping and sightseeing, from Riverdale Farm, Kensington Market to Queens Park, one of the major attractions of the city.
Because Toronto has really come alive to the sounds of Jazz, we just have to mention one of the top Jazz Clubs for you to visit and relax during the evening after your busy hectic day. Seven days a week, you can enjoy not only local but international Jazz artists on stage at The Rex. This club is quite casual, and the drink menu is very affordable, as you will notice with an abundance of martini-swirling jazzaholic’s moving to the music.