Best Areas to Stay in Toronto: Family-Friendly Hotels

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I know that I’m sharing our Toronto trip SO late with guys! This been a very busy season for me with so much going on! hahaha! However, I still wanted to share not only our fun family trip with you, but also some of the best areas to stay in Toronto, while my memories are still fresh about this beautiful city! LOL!

Finding the best areas to stay in Toronto, Canada is not hard since the city offers lovely hotel choices including luxury, business, boutique, and family hotels.

However, if you are trying to “find family-friendly hotels”, it’s a good idea to research different areas and neighborhoods more! This is true about every city that you travel with your children!

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As a mom of two little girls, I always like to learn about the hotel’s location, surroundings, convenience, amenities, and safety before booking!

The good news is Toronto offers so many great options! Those options are simply perfect not only for couples, or business travelers, but also for families traveling together. From world-class restaurants to breathtaking views of the cityscape and lake, there is something for everyone in this lovely city!

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In this post, I will I be sharing some of the top family-friendly hotels in Toronto, but I will also share some of the top luxury hotels, business-friendly hotels, and boutique hotels. I also like to share some information with you guys about the best dining and entertainment options in the city!

Exploring Toronto for the First Time

While I have visited other beautiful parts of Canada with my family such as Vancouver and Banff-Alberta, we have never been to Toronto! I have several close families, and great friends living in this beautiful city!

Kereshmeh (my sister), and I decided to go on a short little trip during Valentina and Alina’s fall break (mid-October)!

Not only we were excited to see the breathtaking fall leaves, but also, we were SO excited to see our family and friends after so long!!! Although our trip was short, we still got to see and experience so much of this beautiful city.

As a first-time visitor to Toronto, I found it exciting to explore the city and stay in an area that gave us easy access to top attractions and the local food scene.

We were lucky to have our cousins living there… As “locals”, they suggested incredible family-friendly hotels to us close to major attractions! I will share the hotel names shortly 🙂 

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Just like any other big cities, Toronto offers a huge range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels and cozy boutique inns.

Downtown Toronto is definitely a popular choice for its proximity to major attractions like the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium. However, if you prefer “quieter neighborhoods”, I will share some options with you!

Finding the Perfect Stay in Toronto

Honestly, I’ve always found that the best places to stay in any city, are the ones that offer a central location! The central locations usually put you within a short walk or at least within “walking distance” of the city’s attractions. To find the perfect area to stay in Toronto, you can start by considering your budget, preferred activities, and your transportation needs.

Downtown is a popular area for tourists, with many great hotels, shops, and restaurants. Yorkville is another popular area, known for its high-end shopping and dining.  Each area has its own unique characteristics and advantages, making them both great options. The Entertainment District is also a good choice for first-time visitors due to its proximity to major attractions and dining options.

Downtown Vs. Yorkville

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Since our family and friends have lived in Toronto for several years, we asked them for advice on the locations. Simply because I think the “locals” have a lot more personal experiences about each area of the city. haha! We ended up staying in Yorkville, which we absolutely loved!!


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Downtown Toronto is known for its vibrant atmosphere, with a bustling city center full of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. This area is ideal for those who want to be in the heart of the action, with easy access to popular attractions such as the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Toronto Islands.

There are also plenty of hotel options available in downtown Toronto, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury accommodations (I will list them all for you)! Downtown Toronto has more options for entertainment and attractions (if that’s what you are looking for)! 

In terms of crowds, both areas can get busy depending on the time of year and the specific events taking place. However, Yorkville may be slightly “less crowded” than downtown Toronto, as it is a smaller and more exclusive neighborhood. 


Since I was traveling with my little girls, my family suggested that Yorkville might be a better option for us. They recommended a beautiful hotel called “The Hazelton Hotel Toronto“. The hotel is located in Yorkville. This was a phenomenal hotel, (especially for us traveling with little kids)!

I truly believe this hotel is a fantastic choice, whether you are traveling with family, as a single person, or as a couple! I highly recommend this hotel!

Forbes Travel Guide has recognized The Hazelton as one of the finest boutique hotels in Toronto. The rooms are spacious, modern and so comfortable! The staff were so kind and welcoming! The hotel’s location is fantastic!

Upscale Neighborhood

Yorkville is also known for its high-end boutiques, art galleries, fine dining restaurants, and its upscale neighborhood. This area is ideal for those who want a more relaxed and sophisticated area, with plenty of opportunities for shopping and enjoying gourmet cuisine.

Yorkville also tends to be “quieter” at night, making it a good choice for those who prefer a more peaceful sleep environment. While there are fewer hotel options in Yorkville compared to downtown Toronto, the accommodations available tend to be more upscale. Yorkville is also known for having more “cafes and restaurants” nearby!

Which Area to Book?

Overall, whether you choose to book a hotel in downtown Toronto or Yorkville will depend on your personal preferences and travel style. If you prefer a lively area with plenty of entertainment options, downtown Toronto may be the better choice for you.

However, if you prefer “less crowded” and sophisticated area, with easy access to high-end shopping and dining, Yorkville may be the ideal option.

Toronto Hotel Highlights 

Toronto Luxury Hotels

Toronto Family-Friendly Hotels

  1. The Anndore House: This hotel offers family rooms and suites with kitchenettes, as well as a rooftop terrace with a hot tub.
  2. Intercontinental Toronto Center: This hotel has a pool, fitness center, and spa, as well as spacious rooms and suites.
  3. One King West Hotel & Residence: This hotel has spacious suites with kitchenettes and separate living areas, as well as a fitness center and restaurant.
  4. Fairmont Royal York: This hotel is located in the heart of downtown Toronto and has a pool, fitness center, and several dining options.
  5. Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto: This hotel has spacious rooms and suites with city views, as well as a pool and fitness center.

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Toronto Mid-Range Hotels 

Toronto Boutique Hotels

Best Areas to Stay in Toronto for Nightlife

There are several areas that are perfect for those travelers looking to experience the best the city has to offer: 

The Entertainment DistrictOne of the best areas to stay in Toronto for nightlife is the Entertainment District. This area is the main nightclub hub of the city and offers a mix of trendy bars, clubs, and lounges. It is also home to the famous CN Tower, which is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Toronto.

Yorkville: Yorkville stands out as one of the premier areas to stay for nightlife, which offers a great blend of sophistication and excitement. It is known for its upscale ambiance, trendy bars, upscale lounges, and world-class restaurants.

I loved how its central location makes it easily accessible, attracting both locals and visitors seeking a lively night out. The area hosts numerous cultural events, live music performances, and exclusive parties, catering to a diverse audience.

West Queen West: If you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, the West Queen West neighborhood is a great option. This area is known for its eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, and shops, and is a great place to explore during the day and night. It is also home to several art galleries, making it a great destination for those interested in the arts.

King Street West: This area offers cool bars, nightclubs, and great lounges that bring the party to life. It’s like a “nightlife playground” (LOL), especially with the Entertainment District right around the corner. The street is always buzzing with events, live music, and concerts, adding to the whole experience.

Overall, Toronto has several great neighborhoods for nightlife, and the Entertainment District, King West, and West Queen West are some of the best options for those looking to experience the city’s awesome nightlife scene.

Top Dining and Entertainment Spots

Toronto is an incredible “Foody City”. Don’t even let me start it (LOL)!!! Our family & friends took us to some awesome restaurants, bars, and great brunch spots! I will share the names of those restaurants as well as other amazing ones! 

Toronto’s Top Restaurants

  1. Alo
  2. Canoe
  3. Actinolite
  4. George Restaurant
  5. Scaramouche Restaurant
  6. Farmhouse Tavern
  7. Sushi Kaji
  8. Casa Madera
  9. Reign
  10. Grey Gardens

Toronto’s Top Rated Steak Houses

  1. Jacob’s & Co. Steakhouse: Jacob’s is a high-end steakhouse known for its premium cuts of beef, extensive wine list, and upscale ambiance.
  2. Barberian’s Steak House: Barberian’s is a classic steakhouse with a long history in Toronto, offering a wide selection of steaks and a vintage, upscale atmosphere.
  3. Hy’s Steakhouse: Hy’s is an elegant steakhouse with a rich, traditional steakhouse menu and a welcoming, upscale setting.
  4. The Keg Steakhouse + Bar: The Keg is a popular chain of steakhouse restaurants in Canada, offering a range of steak options and a classic upscale steakhouse ambiance.
  5. Jacobs & Co. Wine bar & Grill: This is a sibling restaurant to Jacob’s & Co. Steakhouse and offers an extensive wine list to complement its menu of premium steaks.

Toronto’s Top Bars

  1. Bar Raval
  2. Civil Liberties
  3. The Cloak Bar
  4. The Shameful Tiki Room
  5. Bar Isabel
  6. The Drake
  7. Smith
  8. Café Cancan
  9.  Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine 

Toronto’s Top Brunch Spots

  1. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
  2. Lady Marmalade
  3. Saving Grace
  4. School Restaurant
  5. The Federal
  6. Ladurée Toronto
  7. Almond Butterfly Bistro 
  8. The Lakeview 
  9. Farmhouse Tavern 
  10. Bonjour Brioche 
  11. Kiin 
  12. Grapefruit Moon 
  13. Insomnia 
  14. Chadwicks 
  15. Chica 
  16. Avenue Diner 
  17. Oretta 

Top Toronto Attractions

  • CN Tower
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Royal Ontario Museum 
  • Art Gallery of Ontario 
  • Harbourfront Centre 
  • The Distillery District 
  • Toronto Zoo
  • High Park
  • Yonge-Dundas Square
  • Toronto Botanical Garden
  • Ontario Place
  • Toronto Island Park 
  • St. Lawrence Market 
  • Casa Loma 
  • Ontario Science Centre
  • Kensington Market 
  • Black Creek Pioneer Village 
  • Hockey Hall of Fame 

Best Time to Visit Toronto (Season by Season)

Fall Season in Toronto

Toronto’s beauty changes with the seasons, making it a year-round destination. As I mentioned earlier, this was the first time that I have visited Toronto! So, I have never experienced other seasons! However, in the fall, the city transforms into a breathtaking canvas of fall colors!!

The colors truly take your breath away if you visit at the right time! We visited in mid-October… However, the leaves became even more colorful a week after we left! If I could, I would fly back to see the leaves one more time! hahaha 

I highly recommend visiting Toronto during the fall season! You will love it!! To make the most of your visit during this season, make sure to visit High Park! This is where the maple trees create a stunning display of reds and oranges.

You can also stroll along the Harbourfront to witness the changing leaves while enjoying the cool breeze off Lake Ontario. Don’t miss the Toronto Islands, where you can rent a bike and explore the serene landscape.

Things to Do in Toronto, Ontario During the Fall Season

Here are some places to visit and things to do in Toronto, Ontario during the Fall season: 

  • Rattlesnake Point for stunning fall colors (source: To Do Canada)
  • Local apple-picking farms or pumpkin patches for autumn outdoor activities (source: Destination Toronto)
  • Visit Toronto’s newest museum, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Casa Loma, and take a train ride at Rail Fest (source: Fleming College Toronto)
  • Niagara area, Northumberland & Prince Edward County, SW Ontario (Kitchener-Waterloo), and north for exploring (source: TripAdvisor)
  • See the best views in Toronto from the CN Tower – The Top of Toronto, satisfy sweet cravings at the Toronto Chocolate Festival, and more (source: TheTravel)
  • High Park, Glen Stewart Ravine, and Scarborough Bluffs for fall colors (source: Diary of a Toronto Girl)
  • Visit Toronto’s history museums, the Fall Harvest Festival, go on a gorgeous fall hike, and more (source: Curiosity)
  • Forks of the Credit Provincial Park in Caledon, Mount Nemo Conservation Area in Burlington, Dundas Peak in Hamilton, and more for breathtaking fall colors (source: Ultimate Ontario).

Winter Season in Toronto

As you know, Toronto’s winter season is known for being COLD! However, it can be quite beautiful, especially if you enjoy a snowy and festive atmosphere (like I do)! Haha!

The city is known for its scenic winter landscapes, and if you’re a fan of winter sports like ice skating or skiing, there are opportunities in and around Toronto.

Here are some reasons why visiting Toronto during the winter season, especially around Christmas, can be worth it:

  • CN Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city (source: Tripster)
  • Skating at Nathan Phillips Square, Harbourfront Centre, The Bentway, and more (source: BlogTO)
  • Winter festivals like the Toronto Light Festival, Winterlicious, and the Toronto Christmas Market (source: Destination Toronto)
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada for an underwater adventure (source: BlogTO)
  • Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario for indoor cultural activities (source: To Do Canada)
  • High Park for winter nature walks and Grenadier Pond for ice skating (source: Wandering Carol)
  • Hockey games at Scotiabank Arena or basketball games at the Scotiabank Arena (source: Quora)
  • Visit Casa Loma for a magical winter wonderland experience (source: BlogTO)

Spring Season in Toronto

Toronto is definitely worth visiting during the spring season. The city comes alive with color, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy.

Whether you’re interested in natural beauty, cultural experiences, or outdoor adventures, Toronto has something to offer during this time of year. Just be prepared for weather changes! Spring can bring rain and temperature fluctuations, so it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before packing! 

Summer Season in Toronto 

Although I think every season has its own beauty in Toronto, this is the season that most locals look forward to… I don’t blame them!!! haha! The city has relatively mild and pleasant temperatures during the summer months, typically from June to August. Daytime temperatures usually range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F), making it a perfect time for outdoor activities.

Here are some places to visit and things to do in Toronto, Ontario during the Summer season:

  • Visit the Toronto Islands for a beach day (source: Canadian Train Vacations)
  • Explore Rouge Park for hiking and biking trails (source: Canadian Train Vacations)
  • Attend cultural festivals like Caribana, Pride Toronto, and Taste of the Danforth (source: Destination Toronto)
  • Visit Scarborough Bluffs for stunning views of Lake Ontario (source: Canadian Train Vacations)
  • Enjoy food festivals like the Toronto Food Truck Festival and the Toronto Ribfest (source: Explore With Lora)
  • Take a stroll through the Distillery District and enjoy the outdoor art installations (source: PlanetWare)
  • Visit the CN Tower and try the EdgeWalk for a thrilling experience (source: TheTravel)
  • Attend concerts and outdoor movie screenings at Yonge-Dundas Square (source: BlogTO)
  • Go on a road trip to nearby places like Collingwood and Bancroft for outdoor activities (source: Quora)

Exploring Toronto’s Best Areas

First off, you can’t go wrong with the Downtown Area, where you will find the bustling heart of the city. This area is home to many of the city’s main attractions, shopping centers, and business districts, including the famous Financial District. As I mentioned earlier, staying in this area can be convenient if you want to explore everything the city has to offer with ease.

Just west of the Downtown Core, the Entertainment District lives up to its name. This lively neighborhood is packed with theaters, nightclubs, and trendy restaurants, making it a perfect choice if you enjoy nightlife and being in the heart of the action.

For something a bit more “hip and trendy”, you can venture into West Queen West. This neighborhood has a cool and artistic vibe, with so many galleries and artsy shops.  

In contrast, North York is a suburban area north of the city center that is peaceful, and laid-back. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the downtown area, North York might be an excellent option for you.

Toronto’s Unique Neighborhoods

There are several hidden gems and diverse neighborhoods that are definitely worth exploring:

  • Kensington Market: This is a vibrant, bohemian area filled with colorful street art, eclectic shops, and diverse food options from all around the world. 
  • Little Italy: You will find countless charming cafés in this area. Simply perfect for a relaxed afternoon with a good book. The neighborhood is lively, with plenty of bars and entertainment options.
  • Little Portugal: which has a rich culture and history. I was drawn to its colorful streets, filled with Portuguese bakeries, eateries serving traditional dishes, and authentic neighborhood bars. 
  • The City Centre: is a must-visit. In the heart of Toronto. You will find the iconic CN Tower, the famous Eaton Centre mall, and many great entertainment options. 
  • The Harbourfront: This is a picturesque part of the city that offers amazing views of Lake Ontario. It’s lovely to walk along the edge of the lake, sit down at a waterfront café, or even rent a kayak and explore the waters. The serene atmosphere is a great change from the city’s fast-paced life.

Toronto’s Best Shopping Areas

Toronto has many great shopping areas! The city offers incredible luxury shopping areas as well as shops that cater to different budgets and styles. Here are some of the best areas to shop in Toronto:

  • Bloor-Yorkville: This neighborhood is known for its high-end designer boutiques, art galleries, and luxury hotels. It’s a great place to shop for upscale fashion, jewelry, and home decor.
  • Queen Street West: This trendy area is home to many independent boutiques, vintage shops, and art galleries. It’s a great place to find unique fashion, accessories, and gifts.
  • The Toronto Eaton Centre: This large shopping mall in downtown Toronto has over 250 stores, including popular brands like H&M, Zara, and Sephora. It’s a great place to shop for mid-range fashion, beauty products, and electronics.
  • Chinatown: This vibrant neighborhood has many shops selling Asian groceries, herbs, and spices, as well as clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to shop for affordable fashion and gifts.
  • Kensington Market: This bohemian neighborhood has many independent shops selling vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, and unique gifts. It’s a great place to find one-of-a-kind items.
  • The Distillery District: This historic neighborhood has many shops selling artisanal goods, including handmade chocolates, candles, and clothing. It’s a great place to shop for unique gifts and souvenirs.
  • Greektown on the Danforth: This neighborhood has many shops selling Greek food, clothing, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to shop for Mediterranean-inspired fashion and gifts.

Explore Other Shopping Areas/Neighborhoods

These are just a few of the best areas to shop in Toronto. Each neighborhood has its own unique character and shopping experience. We loved the beautiful stores around our hotel in Yorkville! There were many charming boutiques, local shops, and luxury brands/stores.

I wish I had more time to explore the shopping area around our hotel as well as other great shopping areas in Toronto! 

Bottom Line! 

Toronto is a great city to visit with your family. Like I mentioned earlier, it offers several family-friendly attractions, such as the Toronto Zoo, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and the CN Tower. Another wonderful thing about Toronto is that the city is known for its diverse food scene and great cultural events.

 When it comes to hotels, Toronto has a big range of family-friendly, luxury, and mid-range hotels that cater to different needs and budgets. The top-rated hotels for families in Toronto offer play centers, pools, and kid-themed tea parties and so much more! 

Overall, Toronto is a great destination for anyone looking to explore a vibrant city with plenty of activities and attractions for all ages. We had such a wonderful time in Toronto and made unforgettable memories!

Our little Alina and Valentina were also both so disappointed when we left Toronto! In fact, Alina said, she wants to move and live in Toronto!! hahaha! Not only did they enjoy exploring the city, but more so, they truly loved spending time with our family and friends! We can’t wait to go back and visit our friends, family, and this lovely city! 

I hope this post was helpful and you will be able to make a better decision about which hotel to book based on your needs 🙂 

Happy Travels! 


Sherry XOXO

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