Archive for February, 2012

“Young Ron”

Monday, February 20th, 2012

A lot of people still refer to hostels as “Youth Hostels”. To call them such is not merely inaccurate; it is straight up wrong.

Hostels (such as ours) merely provide less-expensive lodging for budget minded travelers – of all ages. In a city like Toronto, you would be hard pressed to find a place to stay “downtown” (at least in a safe, decent part of downtown) for less than $150 or up to $300 (and more) a night on average.

In the early days of hostels (when there were precious few of them), many of them did indeed restrict admittance to a younger age demographic only.  That is really a thing of the past. Try as we might, we can’t think of any of the hostels in Canada that restrict entry based on age. (The only exceptions are unaccompanied minors or some “party hostels” deemed “unsuitable for children”.)

“Young Ron” is a retired Canadian electrician who has retired to the mountains near Penticton, BC and often finds himself in Toronto on personal business. Ron is active and healthy in his late seventies. He always opts to stay with us.

We have hosted (with great pleasure) “backpackers” from 8 months old to the mid-eighties. So if you want clean, quality, lower cost accomodation, do not Google Search “Youth Hostels in Toronto”; simply restrict your query to “Hostels in Toronto”.


Deja Vu all over again!

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

He’s done it again!

Way back in 2005, we had an Aussie staff member (Shane King) who was paid a visit by his younger brother Brett who was a professional inline skater.

Brett stayed for about 10 days but, before leaving, he contributed to this blog and gave us a sketch of his time here at the hostel. It was a generous piece too as he wrote about how staying at the Canadiana hostel in Toronto was a positive and life-altering experience.

You can read it here:

Unannounced, Brett showed up again at the hostel in 2009 and surprised everyone. He was on his way to France determined to learn the language. He is now fluently francophone.

We were in the main building two days ago and ran straight into Brett again! He’s back. Unannounced again! (His visit was not entirely unexpected. A staff member was tracking his movements on Facebook and noted his flight from Singapore to Vancouver. So dropping in on old friends in Toronto seemed a logical step).

It’s always good when old hostel friends return. Most of them call or write ahead signaling their intentions. Not Brett. We think he likes seeing the surprise on familiar faces when he shows up!

Nonetheless, it’s always good to see Brett again. it was a real surprise; but, a very pleasant one, indeed. He’s on his way to France again but plans to live and work in Canada for a time before moving on.

Brett - Canadiana Toronto Hostels in Canada

THE WARM WINTER of 2011/2012 (Pt. 2)

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

It’s been a warm winter (thus far). To make such an outrageous statement in CANADA in FEBRUARY, seems like a classic oxymoron. Nonetheless, that’s how it has been this winter in Toronto.

Our previous post; “Toronto’s Unusual Winter”, detailed the unusually temperate climate as of the end of January 2012.

It is now February 10 and it continues to be mild. We Torontonians, in our collective experience, have never experienced a winter in which we were not savaged by cold and snow, Lots of snow!

But the past few years, have seen much less snow than was expected (likely the result of Global Warming). About the coldest it has been is perhaps -10 at night (that was several weeks ago).

But we are Canadians! We will not be lulled into complacency by Old Man Winter! In fact, we are guessing that he is going to hit us hard! That’s just the way it is here in the Great White North.

But we are ready. So winter, do what you will! In less than a month, Spring will be here to kick your ice cold a..!


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