Notable Guests at the Canadiana

Plumbers - Canadiana Backpackers Toronto hostel


As almost anyone can attest, finding good tradesmen when you really need them is often difficult. This is especially true when it comes to plumbers.

We found a couple of skilled tradesmen in residence at the hostel. Like the vast majority of our visitors from the Emerald Isles, They are fun-loving individuals with a good sense of humour and enjoy their pints of Guinness Stout.

Dominic and Martin (Domo and Marto) have come to Canada looking for work and adventure.  They have a strong work ethic to accompany their good natured approach to life.

Those are qualities that should hold them in good stead as they head west and seek employment in the mines and oilfields in the Territories of the far Northwest.



AJ - Canadiana Backpackers Toronto hostel


A.J. is a carpenter who is on an extended holiday in Canada. He is well-liked, temperate and considerate towards others; some started to doubt he could possibly be as nice as he seemed.

Don’t get us wrong, A.J. likes to party, drink and carouse as much as the next guy; but, he did so with so much class. He really enjoyed a laugh but was always careful to share laughs with others and never at others!

As a result of his good manners and modest demeanour A.J. was one of the most popular guests at the hostel. In spite of his usual stellar behaviour, we have photographic evidence of him running around Algonquin Wilderness Park, buck naked! (See our Blog entry titled: “A.J.” – Nov. 23/09.) We all have our moments, it seems!


Aisling - Canadiana Hostels in Toronto Canada


Aisling Riordan is a former television reporter for the Irish Network RTE.

She was part of the first-wave of Irish visitors to the hostel of late 2009 and early 2010. This massive influx of working/holiday travelers from Eire was occasioned by the World Wide Economic downturn. Young professionals like Aisling decided to put careers on hold and see the world.

But Aisling is still involved with journalism and continues to file reports for RTE Radio. In Toronto, she is Marketing/Program Coordinator with “Diaspora Dialogues” which is an organization that assists immigrants integrate. They also mentor writers, poets and playwrights.

She likes it here: “I love Toronto and Canada. I’ve met lots of great people and I love the cold! I’ve just returned from Thailand and it was too hot! I thought I would die! I was so happy to feel the cold.”


Nathan - Canadiana Backpackers Toronto hostel

NATHAN – a.k.a. “Studmuffin”!

Nathan came to us from Eire where he had a pretty successful career in banking. But the clock was ticking and he would soon be past the age when he could obtain a year-long, working/holiday visa.

He decided to put his career on hold to experience travel while he was able. He joined our staff where he is the resident “Studmuffin” who is irresistible to the ladies! (This must be true as he told us this himself!)

He likes to sport sleeveless T-shirts in his off times so the ladies can check out his “guns”!

 Kiwi cop - Canadiana Backpackers Toronto hostel


About a month before Christmas 2009 Raymond, from New Zealand, arrived at our doors.

Ray is on extended leave from his government job in Auckland. He’s a native born New Zealander of Chinese ethnicity and apparently, there aren’t a lot of Chinese policemen there.

But Ray is young and adventurous and decided to take advantage of the working/holiday visa program while he was still eligible.

He stayed with us for more than a month before heading to Vancouver to apply for a security position at the 2010 Olympic Games. As expected, Ray got the job. As a trained and fully qualified and sworn law-enforcement officer he was eminently qualified for the position.


Meerkat - Canadiana Toronto hostel in canada


A Meerkat is a small creature from South Africa that looks and acts like a Canadian Prairie Dog but is longer and thinner. The real things they have in common are they are both very gentle, alert and move very quickly.

Wouter (Walter) is a South African born Canadian. It’s a bit of a long story but he has citizenship by dint of his mother being born in Canada. Walter has worked at the hostel since moving here in 2008.

He’s a pretty popular staff member because like his namesake (other staff members have taken to calling him “Meerkat”) he is gentle, friendly, very hard working and tall and thin, traits much like an actual Meerkat. His easygoing nature has made it easy for him to fit into life in Canada and he is well liked by everyone he meets.

Gary & Emma - Canadiana Backpackers Toronto hostel


There have been a lot of marriages between people who have met right here at the hostel. As of Jan. 2010, there have been more than dozen couples who have met, dated and eventually wed.

That isn’t counting couples who have arrived here together (there are four engagements currently planning weddings this year.

Gary and Emma stayed with us in the winter of 2007. They have been a couple since their university days in Lancashire, U.K. 12 years ago. They have been traveling the world for the past three years and eloped in New Zealand in 2009.

Grace - Canadiana Budget backpacker youth hostel in toronto canada


Grace is a young lady who hails from County Cork, Ireland. She was part of the Irish Invasion of the hostel in 2009 – 2010.

She stayed with us for some time before getting her own place nearby. In a way, she never really left the hostel and dropped by regularly having made a lot of friends here.
She loved to party and had a great sense of humour. Grace was a standout in any crowd. Her magnetic personality, infectious laughter and gorgeous looks ensured that her presence never went unnoticed!

Some of her compatriots remarked that they were certain her parents were being intentionally ironic when they named her “Grace”.

Keith - Canadiana Backpackers Toronto hostel


The beauty of our “Wall of Notable Guests” is that it is easy to find candidates for inclusion. Virtually every backpacker has an interesting story to tell.

Keith Connolly is a Dubliner – part of the flood of Irish who arrived in 2009 – 2010. He stayed for a few months and made a lot of friends here with his gregarious nature. But he wanted to be up on the wall.

Keith circulated a petition to make that happen and got virtually half of the hostel’s guests to sign. That’s initiative. And here’s Keith!


Gary - Toronto Hostels Budget Youth Hostel Accommodation Toronto Ontario Canada


Gary is a social worker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We’re really not sure why he lives and works there because he is always visiting us here at the hostel.

We get a lot of repeat visitors to the hostel but it seems like Gary spends most of his free time in Toronto. He really ought to move here.

He drives or flies up here about once a month on average. Gary is one of our most regular visitors at our toronto hostel. He’s here often enough to qualify as a member of our hostel “family”.



Noriko & Albain - Canadiana Toronto Budget Youth Hostels Canada


It happens so often at our hostel in Toronto that we’ve actually lost count of the number of CONNECTIONS made right here at the hostel!

As closely as we can figure, there have been “More than ten and less than fifteen” “CONNECTIONS” made right here at our Toronto Hostel! We are referring to those who meet here and later marry!

Noriko (from Japan) and Albain (from France) met right here at our hostel in Toronto. It must have been about four years ago (2006).They have been an item ever since. Albain even moved to Japan for a year or two where he taught English - just to be close to Noriko. Well, Noriko and Albain got married in France this past summer. We wish them well.



Elise - Canadiana Backpacking Toronto Hostel Accommodation Ontario Canada


“SPEED!” is the response you will hear from a Cinematographer to the prompt of the Director to “ROLL CAMERA!”

Our staff member, Elise (2009/2010) is a trained cinematographer/camera operator who has been working in Canada for a year. She has worked free lance on several feature films and TV commercial projects in the Toronto area.

Elise is staying on for, at least. another year having been offered an internship with Panavision Cameras. She'll work with us at the backpackers hostel when she's not filming.



Michael - Toronto Budget Youth Hostel Accommodation


Michael was a very successful corporate attorney. He was actually our lawyer. And “was” is the operative word. He’s still quite young and a good number of years short of the official retirement age. He’s packed it in early. Quite a brave move.

Too many successful people have bought into the concept of professional success that will help them buy their dreams. Then they discover, late in life, that by the time they have got their shopping list together, a lot of stores have alrready been closed.

As we have constantly repeated in our blog ad nauseum, life can and should be a grand adventure. And for people like Michael, a new adventure is just beginning!



Christine - Canadiana Backpackers Inn, Toronto Youth Hostels


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 in to hostel life quite smoothly. She made a lot of friends here. She’s hoping to move here on a permanent basis. It seems our winter did not deter her.




Chuck - Canadiana Backpackers Inn, Toronto Youth Hostels


Chuck Soul (nee: Clarke) is a young English lad who is working here at our toronto hostel (2010). He’s our Night Man and the strange thing is that he only about four or five years old!

Let me explain. When Chuck was still a teenager, he decided to re-invent himself. Towards that end, he adopted the surname “SOUL” - legally! And Chuck Soul at the age of eighteen.

If that sounds a bit strange, it is perhaps because it is strange. I mean, fifteen is an age when most boys are thinking about sex, motorcycles and beer.






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