3 reasons to stay at a Canadian hostel

November 6, 2014

From meeting new friends to connecting with local culture and events, find out why staying in a Canadian hostel is better than a hotel in more ways than one.

3 reasons to stay at a Canadian hostel

Whether you're visiting major cities like Vancouver and Montreal or heading off into the untouched wilderness of Cape Breton Island or Banff National Park, Canada offers hostels in almost every popular tourist destination.

  • Staying at a hostel has long been associated with bottom-of-the-barrel budget travel, but the truth is hostels offer several attractive features that traditional hotels just can't beat, and these days almost every hostel also hosts private rooms as well as dorms so privacy is not an issue.
  • A hostel might be a better decision for you, especially if you want to make connections and dive deep into the local scene.

1. Instant friends

Perhaps the top reason for staying in a hostel is the access to common areas where other travellers hang out.

  • Most hostels sport living rooms, kitchens and other areas such as yards, patios, game rooms and pubs where guests gather to chat and trade stories.
  • Unlike even the finest hotels where emphasis is placed on personal space and common areas are restricted to lobbies or the occasional bar, hostel culture revolves around meeting new people and fostering group interactions.

2. Free tours and activities

While many hotels have partnerships with local tour companies that may offer deals to guests, most hostels run their own daily activities and tours that are low-cost or free.

  • From visits to top museums during the day to bar crawls at night, hostels give guests the chance to explore the area with a local and gain an insider's perspective.
  • Many hostels also host on-site events such as open mic music nights and film screenings.
  • If you want guided tours with an outside company, hostels can usually set you up with the best-quality, economically priced outfits in the area.

3. Unique atmosphere and properties

Many of Canada's top hostels are situated in amazing historic properties that have been renovated and sport hip, bohemian vibes. Both the Ottawa Jail Hostel and the Canadiana Backpackers Inn in Toronto are great examples.

  • The Ottawa Jail Hostel is housed in a 150-year-old jail house that now features a popular pub and a huge patio for hanging out.
  • The Canadiana Backpackers Inn is situated in a row of 19th-century Victorian townhouses, and offers guest barbecues on the outdoor patio and movies in the 18-seat, in-house cinema.

When travelling, it's important to select the right accommodations. Staying in a hostel can be better than a hotel for many reasons. Like the unique atmosphere, low-cost activities and opportunities to form lasting friendships with other hostel patrons.

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