Archive for January, 2010

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE CANADIANA

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

We always write about being a “downtown” hostel. In fact we are the most downtown hostel in Toronto!

We are right in the middle of the “Entertainment District” three blocks from the landmark CN Tower. We are one block from the new Film Fesival Towers  currently under construction. (When completed, the new building will house and attract  visiting film stars.)

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The hostel is located two blocks from major theatre venues and a multi-screen Cineplex Movie Theatre is right across the street!

In short, there is a lot happening at and around the hostel each and every day!

Movies, television shows, rock videos are filmed on our street and at times, even in the hostel itself. This is in addition to the lives, activities and stories of our resident backpackers.

The pics below were taken on a typical day – both the day and photos, randomly chosen.

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candiana backpackers-hostels toronto

Backpackers around the reception desk.

candiana backpackers-hostels toronto

A reunion of backpackers after seven years (See previous entry: “Hostel Reunion”)

candiana backpackers-hostels toronto

Mary and Grace – two Irish beauties!

candiana backpackers-hostels toronto

All the girls love Francois our Mascot Bear!

candiana backpackers-hostels toronto

Filming a Rock Video on our front steps!

candiana backpackers-hostels toronto

The filming showing the Muti-Plex Cinema across ther street!

DOMINIC AND MARTIN GOING AWAY

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

All good things must eventually end.

In the late fall of 2009 two Irish Tradesmen, Domo and Marto arrived at the hostel. They had come over to find work in the mines and oil fields of  Northern Alberta and the  Northwest Territories.

But we found we could use the skills of two qualified plumbers right here at the Canadiana. We put the two lads to work!

They have been with us for more than four months and they are both personable and popular additions to hostel life.

But the lads have decided it is time to move along to see some more of this vast country.

The hostel is going to miss them and organized a visit to the pub for chicken wings and beer (compliments of the Canadiana!)

They flew out last week headed for Calgary and Vancouver. But they have promised to return next summer.

Meanwhile, have a great time lads!

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Domo and Marto (left) with hostel staffers Robyn, Sandra and Michel at their farewell party.

THE DESIGNERS

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

We’ve just had a lucky 13 Industrrial Design students here to attend the Annual Interior Design Show at the Toronto Convention Centre.

The students are seniors from the University of Alberta (Edmonton) where it was a frigid -40C just before Christmas!

For most of them. this was their first visit to Toronto and were basking in our balmy +4C temperatures.

The students were exhibiting some of their furniture designs at the show. They took time to do the obligitory “tourist” attractions such as the Royal Ontario Museum; Art Gallery of Ontario, Hockey Hall of Fame, Night Clubs, CN Tower etc.

One thing that seemed to impress them about our hostel is the fact that ALL of the above mentioned attractions were within easy walking distance of our doors.

Even the design show was a mere three blocks from the hostel!

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designers-toronto hostels-backpackers

SALSA NIGHT

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Question: What do Chris, A..J, Elise, Sophie and Pauline (the Canadiana Hostels Gang) have in common with Tom Selleck, Glenn Close, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gloria Estafan, Forest Whiteaker and Jennifer Love Hewitt (the Hollywood Gang)!

Answer: They’ve all been seen Salsa dancing at Babaluu’s in the trendy, upscale Yorkville district of Toronto!

Salsa is the latest dance craze and is to the new millennium what Disco was to the ’70’s or what Line Dancing is to Country Music Fans.

“Salsa” translated literally from the Spanish means, “Sauce”, which suggests its’ style is a little spicy and a little hot! It has its roots in a fusion of dance styles of largely Caribbean origin (Cuba and Puerto Rico) with a strong African influence in both the music and dance.

Every Wednesday night, the hostels event is Salsa Dancing at Babaluu’s. Yorkville is the “in” place of Toronto and the haunt of the rich and famous; so don’t expect cheap drinks and dress smartly for the occasion. But there is no entrance fee and Salsa dancing lessons are included free of charge!

Our lovely Latina ladies (language students from LatinAmerica) all took to Salsa dancing like ducks to water. It is as if it is in their blood! A. J. from Ireland and Elise from France weren’t too shabby either according to reports.

As far as the guys were concerned, the Latino lads all seemed to have the moves as well. As for the rest of the men, Babaluu’s is what might be termed a “target rich environment” with lots of ladies! Enough said!

So remember, join us every Wednesday and sign up for Salsa Dancing at Babaluu’s. It’s a heck of a lot of fun and you might even spot a movie star or two!

Salsa dancing - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Budget Toronto Accommodation

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HOSTEL REUNION

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Kiara and Barry were two recent guests from places that were not too exotic. (At least, not to us!)

Kiara is from Montreal – less than 400 miles east along Highway 401.

Barry (originally from Scotland) now lives in Guelph, Ontario only about an hour and a half west of Toronto. He has been here in Canada for about nine years.

They met seven long years ago when they were both employed at a Backpacker’s Inn in Nelson. B.C. They were colleagues and pretty good friends.

Over the years, as many experienced, travelers know, you meet a lot of interesting people and over time lose contact with like the proverbial “ships-in-the-night”.

But it happens less and less these days with the advent of the Internet. It has made information much more accessable and the world mch smaller.

They two reconnected after seven years by using Facebook. They decided to meet in Toronto and make a short holiday out of their reunion.

Barry and Kiara’s reconnection occurred long after the hostel where they both worked and met has disappeared. But it speaks to our constant theme in this blog that hostel’s really are a place where enduring friendships are very often made.

candiana backpackers-hostels toronto

DESIGNS ON TORONTO

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

We’ve just had a lucky 13 Industrrial Design students here to attend the Annual Interior Design Show at the Toronto Convention Centre.

The students are seniors from the University of Alberta (Edmonton) where it was a frigid -40C just before Christmas!

For most of them. this was their first visit to Toronto and were basking in our balmy +4C temperatures.

The students were exhibiting some of their furniture designs at the show. They took time to do the obligitory “tourist” attractions such as the Royal Oontario Museum; Art Gallery of Ontario, Hockey Hall of Fame, Night Clubs, CN Tower etc.

One thing that seemed to impress them about our hostel is the fact that ALL of the above mentioned attractions were within easy walking distance of our doors.

Even the design show was a mere three blocks from the hostel!

BORDER WOES

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Philip is a member of the ‘Irish Invasion’ the hostel is experiencing with more than 50 citizens of Ireland currently in residence. He is here on a working/holiday visa – almost.

Almost? Well, yes actually.

You see, he’s been here a month but not working as of yet because Canadian Immigration would not stamp his visa into his Irish Passport.

Why not, you ask?

Because Philip doesn’t have an address or even any close relatives in Ireland.

He’s from west Belfast, which is a part of the six counties of Ulster that comprise NORTHERN IRELAND. Which is still a part of the United Kingdom.

But Eire or Ireland (a.k.a. “the Free State”) the sovereign portion of the Emerald Isles, claims domain over Ulster. It’s residents are therefore entitiled to Irish Citizenship.

Philip arrived with his Irish Passport and was told he needed a “permanent” address to have a working visa.

So Philip got his British Passport and now must “leave” Canada to get his working/visa stamped on re-entry.

He just left for Niagara Falls, a mere 80 miles down the road, to walk across the bridge to the U.S.A. then walk back to Canada to get his working/holiday visa stamp!

Enjoy the Falls Phil!

Vo Bist Sarah?

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Sarah was a very popular and valued member of the hostel’s staff. She was always ready with her easy going disposition and ready smile.

She met Nico ( a young German lad who was here for a year on a work/travel visa). The hit it off very nicely.

When it was time for Nico to return to Europe to complete his studies, he decided to attend university in Switzerland.  Compared to North America, Europe is pretty small. And the couple couldn’t bear the thought of being separated for so long by such vast distances.

Fortunately, Sarah speaks French fluently having lived for some time just outside of Paris.

So she has moved near the French/Swiss frontier to work and where she can be close enough so they can visit each other regularly.

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Sarah - Canadiana Backpackers Toronto Youth Hostel Accommodation

Viva Las Vegas! Viva Toronto!

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Christine is a Las Vegas girl. So she’s used to bright lights, dry desert air and hot, hot weather.

She arrived at the hostel last fall and stayed to enjoy our pleasant winter season. Oddly enough, that’s when a lot of Toronto residents are looking to head to places like Las Vegas to give their money to the Casinos there.

Christine fit int to hostel life quite smoothly. She made a lot of friends here.

She’s hoping to move here on a permanent basis. I guess our winter did not deter her.

In fact, this winter (so far) has been a very mild one. Mild, by Canadian standards, that is. We’ve still got about six or seven weeks left before spring. So there is plenty of time for Old Man Winter to savage us!

Christine had to leave a few days ago to attend to0 her affairs down south. However, she has promised to return very soon.

She has commented on this blog and on our Facebook site that she really misses the hostel and Toronto.

Confidentially, we all miss her as well. And we can’t wait until she returns.

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canadiana backpackers toronto youth hostel

Christine as “Little Miss Muffet” at our Haloween Party.

BEWARE SOCIAL NETWORK SITES!

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

When you put pics out on Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin or Youtube (especially Youtube!) etc. You might just as well forget privacy or discretion.

Take, for instance, our summer tours to the beautiful Algonquin Wilderness Park, located abot 3.5 hours north of the city.

They are popular 3 day, co-ed excursions.

The “guys” all claim to want to go because of the presence of all the lovely ladies. But the truth is finally coming out thanks to some ill-advised postings on Facebook!

Seems like our macho male backpakers enjoyed a lot of their own company! Cavorting around the woods naked. (NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT!)

So just have a look at some of the pics of one of our trips from this past summer – and you decide!

Canadiana Backpackers Budget Youth Hostel Accommodation

Canadiana Backpackers Budget Youth Hostel Accommodation

Canadiana Backpackers Budget Youth Hostel Accommodation


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