The Top 6 Canadian Hostels

Just as with the United States, Canada has some catching up to do when competing with Europe for hostel choices in their main tourist cities. Fortunately, just as in the United States, new hostels are popping up all the time in Canada, so the outlook for budget independent travelers keeps getting better. What this huge country may lack in number of hostels, it does make up for in quality. Every major city has at least one exceptional hostel with a convenient central location, and several cities have other hostels that are great backup choices too.

Here at BootsnAll we are all about independent budget travel, and hostels are one of our specialties. So we’ve had a careful look at each of the most popular Canadian cities to come up with our list of top hostels. We based these choices on the experiences of our writers and editors, ratings from past visitors, location information, combined with value for money. We can’t guarantee you’ll have a perfect stay, but we do feel comfortable recommending these hostels as great places to try in each city.

>> Obviously, there are more than six hostels in Canada… And you can browse through the rest of them in our hostels in Canada listings!


Clarence CastleClarence Castle

There are quite a few hostels in Toronto, and yet still the Clarence Castle stands out for having an excellent location combined with above average facilities. In 2007 they won an award as North America’s top-rated hostel, so you know they are doing pretty much everything right. The bed price includes breakfast, and there is free Wi-Fi and internet terminals available to all guests as well. The staff and the general cleanliness always get high marks, but the location in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district might be the best feature. The public transportation in the city is excellent for North America, and yet the CN Tower, downtown, and many of the more interesting ethic neighborhoods are all a close walk, so many guests will only need the transport for the runs to and from the airport.

>>book a hostel in Toronto


Alexandrie-Montreal Youth HostelAlexandrie-Montreal Youth Hostel

This centrally located hostel is another one that just seems to do nearly everything right. The staff always get high marks for making newcomers feel welcome, even those who don’t speak any French, which can otherwise be a challenge in this city. The layout is interesting with loads of character, and the included breakfast is another highlight for most visitors. It’s located within walking distance to much of Montreal’s excellent nightlife as well as to Old Montreal and the Latin Quarter, but it’s also very close to a subway stop so getting further out is never a problem.

>>book a hostel in Montreal


SameSun Backpacker LodgeSameSun Backpacker Lodge

The largest hostel in Vancouver also gets more rave reviews from previous guests than all the others. The SameSun Backpacker Lodge is the best hostel in the city for those looking to meet other travelers, and it might still be the best even for those whose top priority is a good night’s sleep in the city center. The staff are generally friendly and outgoing, the common rooms tend to be welcoming and social, while their own backpacker bar is one of the best of its kind anywhere. The location on Granville is also a big plus, as it’s in the center of the main nightlife district, yet also close to the different bar scene in Gastown and to the Granville Market as well.

>>book a hostel in Vancouver


HI Ottawa Jail HostelHI Ottawa Jail Hostel

Most backpackers and budget travelers are priced out of anything with a true novelty value, so it’s nice that one of the cheapest places in Ottawa is also the most unique and memorable. This isn’t the world’s only hostel located in a former prison, but it may be the only one that keeps the jail theme going as part of the fun. This Victorian building has an excellent location in the heart of the city, so everything the visitor wants to see is at his or her doorstep, although the stay at the Ottawa Jail Hostel might end up being the highlight of a city visit anyway. You’ll sleep in a former cell, and you can even tour an un-renovated area where prison life is still on display just as it was. If you want a bit of privacy you can upgrade to the Warden’s Quarters, which is an apartment with its own small kitchen and is suitable for small groups. This might not be the most comfortable place to sleep in the city, but it could be the most fun for a short visit.

>>book a hostel in Ottawa

Quebec City

HI Auberge Internationale de QuébecHI Auberge Internationale de Québec

The name alone reminds travelers that French is the first language in this region, but the staff at this well regarded hostel are notorious for making everyone feel welcome whether they are a Francophone or not. Choosing this as the top Quebec hostel wasn’t difficult as its charms are no secret in the traveling community. This is a large place with hundreds of beds, yet it still gets crowded even in the off-season, so booking well in advance is advisable. The place is as clean as you could possibly expect for such a busy hostel, and the beds are unusually comfortable as well. The location in the center of the old town is another excellent feature, as it puts guests a close walk from most attractions and also makes transportation connections very easy.

Victoria, British Columbia

Ocean Island Backpackers InnOcean Island Backpackers Inn

The Ocean Island Backpackers Inn is a standout among the few hostels in Victoria for its combination of great value, extensive facilities, and an ideal central location. Their private rooms are only a bit more expensive than the dorm beds, and this place gets high marks for providing an atmosphere where solo travelers can easily meet others on the road. The kitchen is large and the bathrooms are clean and plentiful, and they’ve even got a private lounge that has frequent events in the evenings so it’s not even necessary to leave in order to have a good time. But the central location makes sightseeing and enjoying the Victoria nightlife quite easy, so guests always have several good options from which to choose. They even organize daytrips to local sights in their own 8-seater “fun mobile” so exploring the area beyond the city center and harbour is also a breeze.

>>book a hostel in Victoria

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