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A Guide To Finding an Affordable Place to Stay During The Toronto Film Festival

A Guide To Finding an Affordable Place to Stay During The Toronto Film Festival

There seems to a bit of anxiety among the folks planning their trips up to Toronto now that the fest has mostly migrated south. Being nine years an on-and-off again Torontonian, I figured I should share some of the advice I’ve given a few folks already on here. There’s plenty of routes to go – high end middle-range, budget… or renting out apartments from locals (a tricky thing to arrange, and technically illegal – but e-mail me at peter@indiewire.com if you’re looking as I know a few Torontonians that are up for vacating for 10 days in September). Note that Toronto is getting more and more expensive by the minute and the Canadian dollar is 1.06 US and counting, which sucks any way you look at it… But you have about 7 weeks to figure out some way of getting around that. So below I offer a list of suggestions.

Before we get to them… on another travel-to-Toronto related note, if you live in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Halifax, St. Johns, Moncton or Ottawa: FLY PORTER. I can’t swear by that airline enough. The staff are amazing, the internet in the lounge is fast and free, the food and wine free and on real dishware, you’ll truly be able to WALK from the airport to festival central in like 10 minutes, and, AND for some reason most of the the people that fly Porter are unusually attractive. Flyporter.com.

Anyway, some hotels:

Higher End, Close By, But Probably Already Sold Out

Check out the film festival’s hotel guide, which has a bunch of high-end to upper-middle end hotels in and around the Bell Lightbox, most of which are probably pretty close to being sold out. Also note that due to some new liquor laws, the Hilton Garden Inn near festival central actually offers all-inclusive packages including free food & booze the entire time you’re there (I just checked and it’s NOT sold out just yet).

Middle End Hotels That Vary In Closeness But Are All Quite Nice

Cambridge Suites Hotel (Richmond & Yonge) Website
-Mildly pricey 4-star hotel (a favourite for my mother when she comes to visit myself or siblings) that is quite nice
-Right on the subway line; lots of stuff around including Eaton Centre and St. Lawrence Market
-15 min walk to Bell Lightbox; 2 min walk to Elgin

The Strathcona Hotel (York & Wellington) Website
-Decently priced 3-star hotel that many folks I know have stayed at & enjoyed (and it’s also a mother favourite; she’ll actually be staying there during the fest so itf you’re straight, male, over 35 and under 55 and reasonably good looking and smart….)
-Right on subway line; lots of stuff around including Union Station and St. Lawrence Market.
-10 min walk to Bell Lightbox

Novotel (The Esplanade & Church) Website
-Somewhat decently priced 4 star hotel that everyone seems to rave about
–Right on subway line; lots of stuff around including Union Station and St. Lawrence Market.
-20 min walk to Bell Lightbox

Hotel Victoria (Richmond & Yonge) Website
-Decently priced 3-star boutique hotel that’s very pretty and allegedly has excellent service
-Right on the subway line; lots of stuff around including Eaton Centre and St. Lawrence Market
-15 min walk to Bell Lightbox; 2 min walk to Elgin

Cheap and Close But Potentially Gross

Super 8 Toronto (near Dundas & Spadina) Website
-Cheap budget hotel with mediocre but doable rooms
-Right on the subway line; lots of stuff around including late night Chinatown eats, and next door to Kensington Market and Queen West
-7 min walk to Bell Lightbox

The Grange Hotel (near Dundas & University) Website
-Very cheap budget hotel with mediocre but doable rooms (with kitchenettes!)
-Right on the subway line; lots of stuff around including Art Gallery of Ontario; late night Chinatown eats
-5 min walk to Bell Lightbox

89 Chestnut (near Dundas & University) Website
-Very cheap university residence that rents out rooms that aren’t the worst
-Right on the subway line; lots of stuff around; lots of stuff around including Art Gallery of Ontario; late night Chinatown eats
-7 minute walk to Bell Lightbox

Not So Close or Cheap But Would Be a Lot More Fun

The Drake Hotel and The Gladstone Hotel
-Mildly pricey, ultra chic Queen West boutique hotels that are close to a shitload of bars and restaurants.
-Not on the subway line, but Queen streetcar would take 15-20 min to get to Lightbox
-35 minute walk to Bell Lightbox, and probably a few minutes from a lot of TIFF parties

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