Category Archives: Canada

10 Hostels in Whistler Starting at $30

Where to stay in Whislter Canada

Do you love to ski or snowboard in winter? Or go hiking and biking in the summer? Then it is time to visit breathtaking Whistler and explore some of Canada’s beauty. You may be thinking about where to stay in Whistler, especially on a budget.

There are several hostels in Whistler, situated in British Columbia, to choose from. We’ve also included attractive lodges, cozy suites and affordable B&Bs and hotels in our list of cheap places to stay in Whistler.

You can book your accommodation through one of our links, at no additional fees.

Whistler’s Cheap Hostels and Accommodations

HI Hostel Whistler  – Clean and Chilled Hostel

HI Hostel certainly has an interesting and brief history. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, the building was used to host athletes and then converted to a HI Whistler hostel.

This Whistler youth hostel is right at the border of Garibaldi Provincial Park, Squamish’s biggest wilderness park. The hostel sits at the bottom of Whistler mountain which is outside of Whistler Village itself. A bus can easily take you into Whistler in around 25 minutes.

Rooms are modern and comfortable. Single-sex and dorms are available. People have complained of creaky beds.

[x_icon type=”bolt”] Don’t forget your noise canceling earplugs!

We stayed here and found the place to be immaculate, the dorm room was warm and snug. Although we had a car, we parked at Whistler Village as it is still some distance to the slopes. Take this into consideration when booking.

Wifi, bed linen and towels all available for free. A (slightly smelly!) storage room for all your snowboarding and skiing equipment is available for your use.

Chill in the media room, play a free game of pool or lounge in the cafe ‘Cheaky’s’ downstairs. You can also purchase food and drink here.

No need to struggle with luggage as there is an elevator.

The fully equipped kitchen is never closed so you can make your own meals 24/7.


√ Pros: HI/YHA members enjoy a 10% discount, clean rooms, free guest parking.
× Cons: Further away from Whistler Village, not many planned hostel activities.
→ Best for budget backpackers and visitors.
» HI Hostel Whistler Address: 1035 Legacy Way.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] HI Hostel Whistler price: dorms $ and privates $$

» » Book here « «

HI Whistler Canada


» Read next: one day in Vancouver guide


Whistler Lodge Hostel  – Historic Hostel

Whistler Lodge Hostel was built in 1965 by students from the University of British Columbia’s Varsity Outdoor club and until 2015 was still owned by the university. Now the lodge is under new management.

Whistler Lodge is located between Whistler Village and Whistler Creekside, in the woods, surrounded by awesome scenery. Hiking trails and Lost Lake beach are only an 11-minute drive away.

The lodge has real ski lodge charm with an added bonus of a sauna – perfect for aches after a long day exploring.

There are 42 beds in private rooms, mixed dorms, and two-bed dorms. The lodge has onsite laundry, spacious shared kitchen and dining area.

There is a large outdoor deck and patio surrounded by woodland. Another place to hang is the roomy lounge with a pool table and there’s also a quiet study room.


√ Pros: Sauna, free parking, outdoor terrace, clean.
× Cons: No air con for summer, may need to drive/take public transport.
→ Best for couples and travelers.
» Whistler Lodge Hostel Address: 2124 Nordic Drive.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Whistler Lodge Hostel price: dorms $ and privates $

» » Book here « «

Whistler Lodge Canada


» Looking for a ski/board packing list? Look no further!


Fireside Lodge – Traditional Ski Lodge

Fireside Lodge is a quiet location for a stay in Whistler close to Creekside and Whistler Village. This lodge has newly renovated dorms and private rooms accommodating two people or loft rooms for four or five people.

Toilets and showers are shared.

The Lodge is family-friendly, ideal for bringing children.

There is a large, recently renovated communal kitchen and the dining area is fully equipped and can accommodate 20+ people. The big lounge area boasts a fireplace for the ultimate winter ski lodge feel.

The recreation room has football, pool table, and table tennis all free of charge. There is a lovely porch to relax on outside too.

Let’s not forget about the sauna on-site; a perfect way to wind down after a busy day hiking or skiing.


√ Pros: Very clean and comfortable, the sauna is a plus, friendly staff.
× Cons: Strict check-in time, may need a car if carrying skis etc.
→ Best for families
» Fireside Lodge Address: 2117 Nordic Drive.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Fireside Lodge price: dorms $ and privates $

» » Book here « «


Golden Dreams B and B and Suites – Homely Stay

Anne and Terry have been running their Golden Dreams B&B since 1987 so they certainly have plenty of experience with hosting guests. The reviews of this place are glowing.

The house is directly located on Whistler Valley Trail for hiking and only one mile from Whistler Olympic Village, with plenty of shops and restaurants. It is a five-minute drive from Whistler Blackcomb Ski lifts too.

Each room is decorated uniquely with feature wood furnishings and either private or shared bathrooms. Bathrobes and slippers are provided as a nice touch to the rooms.

There are barbecue facilities on the outdoor covered terrace alongside a much appreciated hot tub.

There is a shared kitchen to make meals on a budget and the free breakfast includes fresh bread and homemade jams. There is a communal lounge with a roaring fire too. Bliss!


√ Pros: Very accommodating hosts, location, excellent facilities, free parking.
× Cons: Young families not allowed, minimum stay.
→ Best for couples.
» Golden Dreams B and B and Suites Address: 6412 Easy Street.


[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Golden Dreams B and B and Suites: rooms $$

» » Book here « «

Golden Dream Whistler


» Don’t miss our guide to BC’s Sunshine Coast aka paradise


Glacier Lodge by Bill – Lodge close to Lakes

Glacier Lodge is a ten-minute walk from the Black Tusk Gallery train station and local bus stops are close by. The location of the lodge allows guests to take short walks to parks and lakes as well as the chair lifts.

Lost Lake is approximately 15 minutes walk away which is a nice spot for a dip during summer or some snowshoeing in winter. The famous Wildflower Restaurant at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is within 110 yards of the property if you fancy trying some local Canadian cuisine, like the delicious wild BC salmon.

Rooms have cable TV, free wifi, a work desk, and each room has its own bathroom. The lodge offers guests free parking. There is an elevator and a shared kitchen for saving money on dining out.

The fitness center and the outdoor swimming pool is an added bonus too.


√ Pros:  Clean, comfortable beds, swimming pool.
× Cons: Some guests complain the rooms are too small.
→ Best for couples and families.
» Glacier Lodge by Bill Hotel address: 4573 Chateau Boulevard.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Glacier Lodge by Bill Hotel price: rooms $$

» » Book here « «


Alpenglow Lodge by Bill – Lodge in Heart of Whistler

Alpenglow Lodge is very central, the Excalibur Gondola and Whistler Village Gondola are only 700 yards away. You can simply roll out of bed in the morning and be on the slopes in no time.

The lodge building from the outside has a very rustic charm to it.

Each unit has a dishwasher, microwave, coffee machine, toaster, and kettle so you are able to make basic food and drinks to save your dollars. Units have a balcony and TV, along with a balcony.

There is an outdoor swimming pool as well as a sauna and fitness center.


√ Pros: Fitness center and comfortable rooms.
× Cons: Parking at hotel is expensive and reports that wifi was slow.
→ Best for couples and families.
» Alpenglow Lodge by Bill Hostel Address: 4369 Main St.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Alpenglow Lodge by Bill Hostel price: rooms $$$

» » Book here « «


Recommended Affordable Hotels in Whistler

Pangea Pod Hotel – Unique Privacy Pods

Pangea Pod Hotel is an ideal Whistler lodging, right in the heart of Whistler village.

Located right on the pedestrian Village Stroll, which means you are only 218 yards from the base of the ski slopes. This is ideal for skiing and snowboarding, no need to walk and drag your equipment for miles! Close to both Village Square and Mountain Square. 

You’ll be able to meet fellow travelers, enjoy some drinks on the rooftop patio or in the living room in the hotel.

There’s a 24/7 reception, with no curfew. Although there are very considerate quiet hours in the pods from 10pm-7apm so you can get a good night’s sleep.

This hotel offers unique ‘pod’ accommodation that is affordably priced for Canada. There are single pods and double pods, offering privacy with a curtain. There are shelves, fans and mirrors in each pod for your comfort.

[x_icon type=”bolt”] Lockboxes are provided although you will need to purchase your own lock.

Late check-out can be requested for a fee if you want to chill for longer before moving on.

Hostelworld reviews give this hostel a 9.3 out of 10 as travelers praise the cleanliness!


√ Pros: More privacy in dorm rooms, bike, and ski/snowboard storage, very central.
× Cons: Not suitable for families, no elevator, no free parking.
→ Best for» couples and visitors.
» Pangea Pod Hostel Address: 4333 Sunrise Alley.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Pangea Pod Hostel price: pods $$

» » Book here « «

Pangea Pod Hotel Whistler Accommodation


» You may also like: Vancouver’s best hostels guide


Whistler Village Inn and Suites – Accommodation with an Outdoor Pool

The location of the Whistler Village Inn and Suites is excellent with Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola only a two-minute walk away. Walking to Whistler Mountain will never be easier!

The hotel has a fitness center, hot tub, dry sauna and a heated, year-round outdoor pool for ultimate relaxation.

Each room has a flat-screen TV, free wifi, air conditioning and there is a restaurant and bar onsite. Reviews say the rooms are very spacious, clean and comfortable.

Suites and family rooms are available and guests must be over the age of 21 unless staying with a parent or guardian.


√ Pros: Very central, clean and comfortable, underground car park.
× Cons: Some guests complain that the location can be noisy.
→ 
Best for: families and couples.
» Whistler Village Inn and Suites Address: 4429 Sundial Place.


[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Whistler Village Inn and Suites price: rooms $$

» » Book here « «


Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside – Complete Hotel Spa Experience

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside hotel is located in Whistler Village, only 150 yards from Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola. This hotel is completely central to all your needs, you can ski to the door!

The fitness center is exceptional, with an outdoor heated saltwater pool and two whirlpools where you can sit and enjoy stunning mountain views. Inside there is a gym and steam room with complimentary pool towels.

Each suite has a private balcony and floor to ceiling windows to appreciate the iconic views of the mountains and valleys in Whistler. There is a fireplace for coziness in each suite too.

TVs are provided, along with a suite telephone that allows free calls to local and toll-free numbers. Perfect for organizing tours and food deliveries.

A full kitchen for cheap dining in is provided and there is free wifi in the suites.

There is an on-site Dubh Linn Irish pub, where you can enjoy tasty breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and drinks. There is a Happy Hour three times daily with discounted drinks on offer.

A free shuttle service runs throughout the resort and there is complimentary ski, bike and golf storage.


√ Pros: Great facilities, bustling pub, fantastic location.
× Cons: Some noise complaints, parking spots were small.
→ Best for couples, families and those wanting to be close to the slopes.
» Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside Hotel Address: 4320 Sundial Crescent.


[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside price: rooms $$$

» » Book here « «

» Heading to Toronto? Check out our budget accommodation review


Alpenglow Lodge by Elevate Vacations –  Close to Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Alpenglow Lodge is located in Whistler Village North, 750 yards from Whistler Mountain Bike Park and Whistler Olympic Plaza which is 350 yards away.

The gondolas, including Excalibur and Whistler Village, are very close by within a 5-7 minute walk. The location is very central to restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, and liquor stores.

There is an on-site fitness center for guests to enjoy, with an outdoor swimming pool, dry sauna and hot tub to relax in after a busy day.

Each apartment has a patio to enjoy the marvellous views of the mountains and the apartments have a kitchen featuring a stove, oven, microwave and small fridge. You can make an affordable dinner in the comfort of your very own apartment if you wish.


√ Pros: Central location and car parking available.×
× Cons: Rooms small.
→ Best for families and couples.
» Alpenglow Lodge Address: 4369 Main St.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Alpenglow Lodge price: suites $$$

» » Book here « «


How to get to Whistler from Vancouver

Highway 99 is the scenic mountain highway used to drive the distance from Vancouver to Whistler. The journey takes approximately two hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions.

If you drive during winter be prepared with a snow shovel and have extra food, water, and clothing. Drive with care and always have snow tires on your vehicle.  

The Sea to Sky Highway is well worth the drive although you may consider taking the hassle out of driving by opting for the shuttle bus instead.

Skylynx, Epic Rides and Snowbus (in winter only) offer daily shuttle transports from Downtown Vancouver and from Vancouver International Airport to Whistler with some baggage included. Fares vary from around $23 upwards.

Final Words

From cheap hostels in Whistler to other types of affordable accommodation, we know you’ll find something to suit your budget. From Whistler backpackers to a family with children, there are plenty of options for all. Final tip, check out Ingrid’s Village Cafe for the best falafel wraps! You may also like our guide to hostels in Banff.

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Author – Karen is a school teacher who enjoys both long and short-term travel. She has backpacked around Australia, lived and worked in Canada and snowboarded in Japan. Her dream trip is to visit the Faroe Islands.

Read next: the ultimate guide to Canada

This is How You Spend One Day in Toronto

One Day in Toronto Itinerary

One day in Toronto is a challenge! To see everything this Ontario city has to offer in a day is impossible, but still a great taster which will have you booking your next trip back! This jam-packed Toronto itinerary includes the top sightseeing attractions and offbeat activities too. Let’s dive in.

As always with our itineraries (hi, we’re Gemma and Craig), there are interchangeable options to help build plans to meet your personal travel preferences.

Toronto in a Day

Morning Itinerary 

Brunch at West Queens

Kick start your morning with brunch in one of the coolest ‘hoods in the world, West Queens West.

Dine at Easy Restaurant for pancakes and eggs Benedict at or at Beast Restaurant for something a little dirtier (biscuit sandwich anyone?)

  • Stay here: The Drake Hotel is the most popular boutique hotel. Hipster decor, a top-rated restaurant and a dance floor for party-goers. Check Booking or TripAdvisor for best rates. 

Graffiti Alley Photography

Once fuelled up, punch Graffiti Alley into your maps app and snap away at this street art corridor of murals and tagging. This is one of the best Instagram spots in Toronto.

Graffiti Alley Toronto street art, profile of woman wearing head dress on wall

Image by my friend German Backpacker

ROM

If you like museums, pop into the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to see dinosaurs, portraits and design. Official skip the line tickets can be bought here. This is one of the top Toronto attractions.

If looking for a coffee/lunch stop, check out Potbelly Sandwich Shop or Over Easy (vegetarian/vegan-friendly). Don’t eat too much, there’s more to come!

Afternoon Itinerary 

If you want to save time, do the Toronto hop on/off bus. The route covers Old Town, St Laurence’s Market, the Distillery District and the price of the ticket includes a summer cruise too. Alternatively, keep reading for things to do in Toronto, Downtown.

St Lawrence Market Toronto

Downtown Toronto

Take the subway to Nathan Philips Square to see the famous 3D Toronto sign and fountain. Be ready to fight off the tourists during summer though!

Spot Toronto City Hall in the background.

During winter, if you can brace the weather, you can skate at Nathan Philips Square’s outdoor rink.

Looking for some retail therapy? Hit the extensive Eaton Centre Shopping Centre. You’ll find popular brands across clothing, makeup and sports gear. There’s a small selection of reasonably-priced takeaway restaurants such as Akashiro by SUSHI Q.

There are tables around the food court for you to enjoy your food.

Entertainment District

Walk 16 minutes to the CN Tower, it’s hard not to spot the Toronto needle in the sky!

If interested in seeing Toronto from up high, enter and take the lift to the viewing platform for 360 degrees views. You are totally safe on the viewing platform of the CN Tower and the views over to Toronto Island really are lovely.

Toronto from CN Tower

St Lawrence Market

Lunchtime! St Lawrence Market is a Toronto must see.  

Every day of the week except Monday, you’ll find vendors selling everything from bread to bacon (the real British stuff!)

Do go with an empty belly to make the most of this foodie experience.

On Sundays, an antique market sets up full of vintage goods like prints, clothes and houseware.

Evening 

The Distillery District

Check out the sculptures at the 19th-century red brick Distillery District. Pose under the red heart or by the love locks with your travel buddy then hop aboard (or hover a board!) a segway tour to explore the 13 acres of 40 heritage buildings.

During winter this is where you’ll find the Toronto Christmas Market and as well as the free Toronto Light Show.

This is where our one-day Toronto itinerary ends! Sip a craft beer at Mill Street Brewery’s nano-brewery and grab a bite to eat at the bar.

Alternatively, book a table for noodles, oysters or tapas. There is heaps of choice at The Distillery District.

  • Other evening options – catch a show at the Scotia Theatre or the Tarragon Theatre.
  • Like live music? Head to Cameron House, Horseshoe Tavern or Lee’s Place.
  • Fancy drinking and meeting other people? Check out the three-hour tapas and cocktails tour. The cover includes three cocktails and four types of tapas. This is a nice option if you are in Toronto for a day by yourself.

Love Locks Toronto Distillery District

Other Itinerary Options

Kensington Market

Kensington  Market is a cool spot to people watch, shop independently and grab a bite of international food. Chinatown is next door.

Close to Kensington Market (20 minutes walk), you’ll find Trinity Bellwood Park if you fancy some green space which is great for people-watching in summer.

Kensington Market Toronto

Toronto Island

One of the Toronto highlights for me was cycling around Toronto Island.

Take a short 20-minute boat ride over Lake Ontario from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal to the unusual community setup that is Toronto Island.

There are three stops; Ward’s Island, Centre Island and Hanlan’s Point.  

Ward Island is home to quaint houses which wannabe islanders join a waiting list for. Wander the paths and peak through the trees at the Toronto skyline.

Centre Island has a lighthouse, fairground, garden and a clothing-optional beach. You can read about ten other day trips from Toronto here.

Toronto Island

Recommended Toronto Walking Tours

To get the most out of one day in Toronto it is worth considering one of the tours.

Distillery District Walking Tour

  • Dig deeper into the Distillery District’s Victorian industrial architecture during this one-hour tour. The tour may be shorter than others but the treats are bountiful! Sample some chocolates and four craft beers. Book here.

Haunted Toronto Tour

  • Like a scare while you stroll? This 90-minute walking tour discusses the darker side of the city starting at Front Street. Book here: Haunted Toronto Tour.

Chinatown and Kensington Market Tour

  • Visit Canada’s biggest Chinatown and contrast these streets against the cool Kensington Market. The two-hour walking tour allows time to shop at the unique multi-ethnic independent stores of Kensington Market. Book here.

Essential Information

Transport in Toronto

Toronto is a grid system which makes it very easy to navigate. However, the city is big and you are short on time so do consider using public transport and purchasing a day ticket.

How to Get to Toronto From Pearson Airport

  • The quickest but most expensive option to get to/from Pearson Airport is by the Union Pearson Express (UPE). This train takes 25 minutes and costs just under $13 CAD one way to Downtown.
  • The more economical way takes longer. For $3 CAD, a 75-minute journey using the public transport system will get you to/from the airport. Take the Book the boat before you go – click here (bus 192) to Kipling (approx. 45 minutes) then the green line subway into the city.
  • A taxi will cost approximately $60-$75 CAD.
  • A pre-book flat-rate transfer hire costs approximately $100 CAD. Book here before you go.

I did option two and was a little hurried at the airport so leave lots of time.

Where to Stay in Toronto

If The Drake doesn’t float your boat, here are some other hotels in Toronto.

  • Queen Street West’s The Beverley Hotel – This three-star boutique hotel is modern, clean, and the staff are friendly. Book here.
  • Prefer to stay Downtown? One King West Hotel and Residence (four stars) is a historic hotel with modern amenities. Its proximity to St Lawrence Market and central restaurants is an appeal but you might not want to dine out with these alfresco views… Book here.
  • Another popular downtown hotel is the DoubleTree by Hilton Toronto Downtown. Guests love how close the hotel is to shops and restaurants and the heated indoor pool is welcomed during winter stays. Book here.

Looking for something cheaper? Read our Toronto hostels guide here.

What’s the Weather like in Toronto?

Great question! It really depends on what season you are visiting. Summer enjoys highs of 80 degrees Fahrenheit with winter suffering lows of 20.

Packing List

Toronto Packing List (Summer)

  • Dresses that can be layered with tops
  • 1 x jeans
  • Shades
  • Leave the umbrella at home, invest in a sturdy but stylish waterproof like my Mountain Equipment Rupal  US / UK
  • 1 x comfortable, attractive waterproof boots, I recommend Salomon hiking boots US / UK
  • 1 x eco bottle such as Tree Tribe – keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold
  • Electrolytes  US / UK for the hangover if participating in craft beer or cocktails
  • Battery packs for an extra charge on phones, I use Anker packs US / UK
  • Camera, charger and SD card

Toronto Packing List (Winter)

  • 100% Merino wool base layers, see Icebreaker’s range
  • Trousers/pants
  • Hats, gloves, scarf
  • Shades
  • 1 x Mountain Equipment Rupal
  • 1 x padded down jacket, I like North Face
  • 1 x Salomon hiking boots
  • Hand warmers
  • 1 x Tree Tribe – keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold.
  • Electrolytes
  • Anker packs
  • Camera, charger and SD card

Pin for later planning

How to spend 1 day in Toronto | best things to do in Toronto in 1 day | what to do in Toronto | Toronto itinerary for 1 day | Toronto travel tips

Final Words

As you can see there are lots to do with 24 hours in Toronto but luckily the efficient transport system and friendly locals will help you tick off your Toronto bucket list in no time!

9+ Cheap Hostels in Vancouver Under $45

Cheap Hostels in Vancouver

Vancouver is a bustling west coast seaport city in British Columbia. Just over an hour’s drive from the Canada-America border, it has star attractions such as the scenic Stanley Park and quirky Granville Island. There are an overwhelming number of cheap hostels in Vancouver, including those with bars and a beach hostel. While the city can be expensive, this guide explores cheap accommodation in Vancouver so your hard-earned dollars can stretch even further on your vacation. We (Gemma and Craig) love Vancouver so much that Craig proposed under the fake stars of the Macmillan Space Centre!

Ps. You can secure the best places to stay in Vancouver via the ‘book me’ button with no additional fees. If you are looking for the best hotels in Vancouver, here’s our guide

Best Hostels in Vancouver For Budget Lovers

Hi Hostel Vancouver – Quiet Downtown Hostel (with Rooftop Terrace!)

HI Downtown Hostel is what the young ones would call retro and old school with frilly linen and brown patterned carpets. The real appeal of this hostel is the large rooftop terrace, perfect for sunny days. The free continental breakfast goes down well too!

The hostel is situated in the West End, but still within walking distance to downtown attractions. Sunset Beach and Robson Street (shopping heaven!) are 10 minutes walk away from the hostel. Yaletown-Roundhouse Skytrain is 0.6 miles away. The West End really is an awesome place to stay for walking and eating.

There are meeting rooms, a shared kitchen, library and communal rooms in the hostel. The small shared rooms sleep up to four people. There is also private double rooms, with sinks and towels provided. Shared bathroom facilities are available and there is an ATM on-site.


√ Pros: quiet location, free breakfast, wheelchair accessible.
× Cons: Refreshing the decor is one suggestion from previous guests.
→ Best for couples and solo backpackers.
» HI Vancouver Downtown Hostel address: 1114 Burnaby Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] HI Vancouver Downtown Hostel price: dorms $$ and privates $$$

» » Book here « «

HI Hostel Vancouver Downtown


HI Vancouver Central – Small Hostel in Entertainment District 

The HI Vancouver Central hostel is right in the heart of the city’s excitement – Granville Street’s pub and club district. You will not be bored when staying here.

Vancouver Central Hostel arranges daily tours to tourist attractions like Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Top 10 Vancouver Highlights Tours. Oh and you can sign up for their famous pub crawls – not for the faint-hearted.

For no additional price, there is a free all-you-can-eat breakfast served every morning saving you $5 per day for more partying or exploring Vancouver. You can also relax in the lounge and TV room, with or without your hangover!

[x_icon type=”bolt”] Don’t forget to your hangover busting hydration tablets US / UK

A range of dorm and private rooms are available with lockers in the rooms. There is a dining room area where you can prepare some food with kettles, refrigerators, microwaves and toasters.


√ Pros: central location, ideal to meet new people.
× Cons: older building, cooking facilities are limited.
→ Best for backpackers.
» HI Vancouver Central Hostel address: 1025 Granville Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] HI Vancouver Central Hostel price: dorms $$ and privates $$$

» » Book here « «

HI Hostel Vancouver Central


Cambie Hostel – Best Vancouver Party Hotel

Are you a social butterfly? Are you a fan of beer pong? What about computer games? Well, the Cambie Gastown is the perfect bed for you Goldilocks! Instead of three bears (depends how the night goes…) you can get friendly with the hostel cat, Oreo. The Cambie Hostels really are known as the party hostels in Vancouver.

Not a fan of cats? Let staff know before you arrive so they can book you a room on the second floor. The same advice goes if you prefer a quiet room.

Cambie @ Gastown is where we experienced our first game of North American beer pong and Craig was terrible at the punchbag challenge!

The next day, after the party is over you can rest in the hostel common room, dine in using the fully stocked kitchen or walk off the hangover at the closeby Vancouver highlights such as the Gastown Steam Clock or the Chinese Gardens (my fave).

While visitors love the party and the location, some aren’t as impressed with the rooms. The main issue is the lack of power plugs for phone charging. Due to the hostel being in a heritage building, plugs can’t be moved closer to beds (which many backpackers now expect).

 [x_icon type=”bolt”] The solution? Pack Anker battery pack US / UK, charge the pack and then charge the phone in bed. 

The Cambie @ Gastown has a mix of two, four and eight-bed shared rooms which come in mixed and female/male-only. Rooms have lockers and towels can be hired.


√ Pros: location, party hostel.
× Cons: noise, lack of plugs by beds.
→ Best for party backpackers.
» Cambie Gastown address: 310 Cambie Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Cambie Gastown Hostel price: dorms $$ and privates $$ 

» » Book here « «

Cambie Gastown Vancouver Hostel Common Room

» Read next: hostels in Banff


Cambie Seymour Hostel – Best Party Hostel in Vancouver II

The Cambie Seymour Hostel prides itself on being one of the most popular hostels in Vancouver, providing tours and backpacking promotions at their bar and restaurant. This is definitely the hostel to meet new people and share all your Vancouver experiences.

You will be central to most attractions and nightlife as the Cambie Seymour is situated one block from Granville Entertainment Strip. Like food? Check out the French-Canadian poutine from ‘Mean Poutine’ one street over – it’s awesome.

This downtown location means there will be no trouble finding your way back after a long day exploring. Don’t forget to check out the Science World in Vancouver and the Omnimax Theatre is also well worth a visit. Here you can see our planet up close and personal on the largest dome screen in the world!

The Cambie Hostel offers private rooms, four-bed dorms and unusually two-bed dorms for the same price as a large dorm room. Free luggage storage is available, towels and hairdryers are for hire. Linens can be changed upon request if required.

[x_icon type=”bolt”]  Don’t forget your noise cancelling earplugs.

The front desk is manned 24 hours a day and there is a computer station if you require internet access, cell roaming is expensive guys! There’s also an ATM on site.

Craig actually lived here for two weeks when he first moved to Vancouver in his early 20s. He met his (Irish) friends for life and new roommates at the hostel bar during that Vancouver initiation process.


√ Pros: location, social, two-bed dorms.
× Cons: noise from the bar downstairs, no elevator, resident cat (if you don’t like cats!)
→ Best for budget backpackers and visitors.
» Cambie Seymour Hostel Address: 515 Seymour Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Cambie Seymour Hostel price: dorms $$ and privates $$


Samesun Hostel – Vancouver’s Most Popular Hostel

The Samesun Hostel Vancouver is a chain of well-known hostels in North America, providing a mellow vibe in Vancouver. There is an onsite bar and restaurant, ‘The Beaver’ providing free breakfast to hostel guests. Breakfast includes muffins, bagels, fruit, eggs and cereal-perfect for setting you up for the day! The onsite bar offers fun, nightly events such as bingo, quizzes and hosts the latest sports games on TV.

Located in Vancouver’s downtown, the Samesun is close to all public transport and sightseeing attractions. Granville Island and Stanley Park are within walkable distance. This is one hostel you need to check out!

A mix of private and dorm rooms, with new ‘pod’ like beds to offer more comfort and privacy than a normal bunk bed. Private rooms include a flat-screen TV and a small refrigerator.

The dorm rooms have enough lockers for each guest.

Let’s not forget the newly renovated bathrooms, shared common spaces and guest kitchen. Free wifi is available. Did we mention the movie room? Yes, there is one at this hostel!


√ Pros: prime location, very clean, free breakfast, friendly staff, number one on Tripadvisor for Vancouver hostels!
× Cons: no elevator, no air conditioning.
→ Best for budget backpackers and visitors.
» Samesun Hostel address: 1018 Granville Street.

 [x_icon type=”bell-o”] Samesun Hostel prices: dorms $$$ and privates $$$

» » Book here « «


HI Vancouver Jericho Beach – Only Beach Hostel in Vancouver

This hostel is only open during the summer months and it’s a prime location for nature lovers. This stunning exterior hostel is in parkland near Kitsilano’s loveable beaches yet only a short distance by public transport to downtown Vancouver.

Highlights include hikes along the nearby beach, hiring bikes and kayaks and exploring Kitsilano’s friendly community. Other sites nearby are Pacific Spirit Regional Park and Spanish Beach.

There are shared rooms, private rooms and family rooms at this hostel. The dorms have shared bathrooms while some of the private rooms have ensuites. Towels and linen are provided. There is free parking and a cafe on-site. A community dining area offers toasters, microwaves, refrigerators and kettles.


√ Pros: quiet location, free breakfast, family friendly.
× Cons: few power points in rooms, older decor.
→ Best for couples and families and those who love the outdoors.
» HI Vancouver Jericho Beach Hostel address: 1515 Discovery Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] HI Vancouver Jericho Beach Hostel price: dorms $$ and privates $$


St Clair Hostel Vancouver – Historic Building, Quiet Hostel

St Clair Hotel Hostel is a unique, history filled hostel being the first concrete building in Vancouver used as accommodation for railway and sea passengers. Located a very short distance from the seawall and North Vancouver ferry, it’s right in the heart of Vancouver – across from a park, fountains and the Holy Rosary Cathedral. The hostel is right next to Granville Skytrain Station so there’s no need to cart heavy luggage around the city.

The renovated dorm and private rooms have their own sink with shared bathroom facilities on each floor. There is a laundry room and free towel hire. The hostel is clean and comfortable – exactly what you need after a busy day exploring in Vancouver.

St Clair is where we stayed on their first ever night in Vancouver! I loved the close proximity to the waterfront and Gastown, a safe location for your first time in the city.

Solo travel fans seem to love St Clair’s Hostel Hostel – ratings of 9.2 for a one person stay on Booking.com. There is a shared lounge and games room, however, the hostel is on the quiet side socially. 


√ Pros: central location, on-site laundrette.
× Cons: no elevator, no air conditioning, very limited kitchen facilities.
→ Best for solo visitors, friends or couples.
» St Clair Hotel Hostel address: 577 Richards Street.

 

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] St Clair Hotel Hostel price: dorms $$ and privates $$$


Vancouver Backpacker House – Cheap Hostel in Vancouver

This is a quiet and clean hostel is located a 10-minute walk from the largest Metrotown mall in British Columbia. Burnaby Central Park is a 15-minute walk away. The Skytrain will take you to central Vancouver within 14 minutes and there is free street parking available.

There is the option of working as part of a homestay – free accommodation in exchange for a small amount of housework each day. This is a great incentive in an expensive city! Dorms and private rooms available. There is a kitchen, shared bathroom and dining facility available.

We tried to get a homestay position but weren’t lucky. Leave a comment below if you manage to secure a position!


√ Pros: quiet location, clean, balcony.
× Cons: towels and toilet paper (!) not provided, not suitable for small children or groups of more than six.
→ Best for couples and backpackers.
» Vancouver Backpacker House address: 7020 Gray Avenue.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Vancouver Backpacker House price: dorms $ and privates $$

» » Book here « «


YWCA Hostel – Helping Vancouver’s Local Community

The YWCA Hostel in Vancouver offers guest rooms to visitors as well as local women and children. For the conscious travel lover, this is ideal as some of the accommodation cost goes directly to helping local community services.

All the rooms are private and there are no dorms available. Bathrooms are a mixture of shared and ensuite. Each bedroom has air conditioning, a mini fridge, desk, cable tv and a telephone. There are three guest area kitchens with a coffee shop on site. This is not your average hostel!

Located just off Robson Street and just two blocks from the Stadium Skytrain station, you are close to Vancouver’s tourist attractions – Gastown, Chinatown and Yaletown all nearby to explore.


√ Pros: wheelchair accessible, elevator, family friendly.
× Cons: thin walls, may be noisy due to construction work taking place until 2020.
→ Best for: couples and friends.
» YWCA Hostel address: 733 Beatty Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] YWCA Hostel prices: privates $$$

» » Book here « «


Final Words

Wondering where to stay in Vancouver while on a tight budget? There is no need to wonder anymore.

This guide highlights some of the cheap places to stay in Vancouver. Whether you are looking for a private room or a dorm bed, beach accommodation or party hostel, downtown or scenic views, the choice can be overwhelming but we have researched the best. We can be sure you’ll have a fantastic trip as British Columbia really does have something to offer everyone!

Where to stay in Vancouver on a budget, best hotels in Vancouver, best hostels in Vancouver, accommodations in Vancouver for under 45, best things to do in Vancouver on a budget, Vancouver travel tips, budget travel in Vancouver

Any comments?
Please leave below and I’ll get back to you.

10 Cheap Hostels in Toronto Under $40 [Updated]

Cheap Hostels in Toronto Canada

Cheap hostels in Toronto, Canada are not actually that hard to come by. Toronto (in Ontario) is an expensive city to visit but there are some budget accommodation options so you can spend your Canadian dollars on more exciting Toronto activities!

This guide will detail safe and affordable Toronto hostels in the heart of downtown and in other cool neighborhoods. Let’s explore the variety of cheap places to stay in Toronto, from the party hostel to your perfect sanctuary for solo visitors.

Ps. You can book through this hostel review with no booking fee, just click the ‘book me’ button.

Affordable Hostels in Toronto

HI Toronto Hostel Review – Best Toronto Hostel Downtown

Want to be smack bang amongst Toronto’s top things to do? Then the Hostelling International Toronto Hostel should be your number one choice of budget hostel.

The HI Toronto is centrally located in Downtown Toronto close to the CN Tower (that big needle in the skyline), Eaton Centre (shopping), St Lawrence Market (quality food), nightlife, and the hip Queen Street (Queens Street West was voted as one of the hippest districts by Vogue!)  

Dorms in Toronto range in size from small to large and the HI Hostel starts at four-bed dorms and goes all the way up to (slightly tight) rooms with fourteen beds. There are male/female-only rooms too. Private rooms are small but serve their purpose. Each room has a bed, side table and aircon.

Aircon is available in each room, albeit slightly noisy. 

Although some of the furnishings are slightly dated, the hostel facilities are clean and the showers are hot. There is an elevator on the premises for heavy luggage and sore feet.

Budget-conscious visitors love it because every guest can enjoy a free ‘amazing’ breakfast (or food voucher for lunch or dinner). Free towels, access to a small electronic safe and Wi-Fi are also included in the price.

 [x_icon type=”bolt”] Don’t forget your padlock.

Free events such as Graffiti Alley walking tours are put on each day which is perfect for those flying solo who want to mingle! 

The Cavern Bar below HI is popular with guests too. The bar food menu, $5 CAD daily drinks specials and free live shows are a pull.


√ Pros: Location, breakfast included, social, HI/YHA members enjoy 10% discount.
× Cons: Small rooms, kitchen lacks oven.
→ Best for budget backpackers and visitors ←
» HI Hostel Address: 76 Church Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] HI Toronto Hostel price: dorms $$ and privates $$$

Planet Traveler Hostel, Toronto – Coolest Party Hostel in Toronto

A very popular Kensington hostel choice, Planet Traveler is located in the super hip Kensington Market, surrounded by lots of cool vintage shops, cafes and bars.

The hostel itself is quirky, cool decor, common room with TV, large iMac desktop computers (also free WiFi) and a rooftop with views to compete with the CN Tower!

The kitchen is well-used and well-stocked. Free breakfast is served until 1 pm which is unheard of in the hosteling world.

There may be a reason for the extended breakfast… There is an upstairs bar and social events are organised every day from boozy bingo to bar crawls, it can get noisy. I had to complain once about the noise.

[x_icon type=”bolt”] Don’t forget to pack hangover busting hydration tablets US / UK.

Like the majority of the hostels in Toronto, there are (very clean) shared rooms (mixed, male/female only) and private rooms.

Each bed has its own power plug, a lamp and aircon. The shared rooms each have their own ensuite bathroom so you don’t have to waddle down the corridor with your towel around you.

Planet Traveler differs from other hostels because it aims to use its green technology – geothermal heating, solar thermal water heating and building-wide LED lighting.

It’s not just the planet that the hostel is generous with. It offers free coffee, tea, breakfast, towels, local calls (in cool phone boxes), lockers with power charging, luggage storage, laundry detergent, and best of all, popcorn.


√ Pros: Modern, social, cool location (tram ride away into downtown or 35 min walk).
× Cons: Two night stay minimum, gets noisy.
→ 
Best for social visitors who like hip areas. Friends on vacation ←
» Planet Traveler address: 357 College St
♥ 
Voted one of the best cheap places to stay in Toronto by hostel users.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Planet Traveler prices: dorms $$ and privates $$

» » Book here « «


Two Peas Pod Hostel – Best For Social People [Who Don’t Want a Crazy Party]

The pod means something in the name Two Peas Pod Hostel. Have you ever seen the capsule hostels in the likes of Japan? Well, Toronto has its own answer to them at Two Peas Pod and it’s in a prime location at Downtown too.

Each dorm bed has its own curtain and TV built in, perfect if you just want some downtime (unheard of in hostels!) Guests report that the beds are extremely comfortable too, however, there are no doors on the rooms.

There are USB charger points and a personal fan in each bed pod too. Lockers are also onsite.

Continental breakfast (with waffle maker) is also included in the price as is access to the roof terrace and movie room. There is WiFI throughout, free towels and use of the limited kitchen facilities.


√ Pros: Cool, private beds, terrace, prime location.
× Cons: New hostel, some renovations taking place. Kitchen limited.
→ Best for people hostelling for the first time ←
» Two Peas address: 403 Spadina Avenue.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Two Peas Pod Price: dorms $$ and privates $$$

» » Book here « «

Two Peas Pod Terrace Toronto

Two Peas Pods Shared Room Toronto Hostel


The Rex Hotel Toronto – Best for Couples and Hipster Friends  

Fancy a serving of Jazz with your downtown budget stay? The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar puts on an energetic show every night but don’t fret, the sounds are soothing rather than disturbing.

The Rex Hotel is located on Queens Street West (super hipster) and it keeps good company amongst lots of eateries (BBQ, crepes, pho – every type of cuisine!) and independent shops. It really is ‘the’ area to be seen in.

The modern rooms all have air conditioning and flat-screen TVs. There is a mix of mostly private rooms, some with ensuites, and dorm rooms are no bigger than four beds. This is a good choice for couples or small group bookings.

Breakfast of coffee, tea and toast is served in the mornings (additional fees) but you might want to bypass it for brunching on Queens Street West. WiFi is available in public areas. Friendly staff willing to offer advice on hand.

There is on-street parking.


√ Pros: Extremely cool location, entertainment in the bar below.
× Cons: No breakfast or kitchen, not a social hostel.
→ Best for couples and music lovers ←

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] The Rex Hotel price: Privates $$


The University of Toronto Hostel – Quirky Hostel in Toronto

Fancy living the life of a student without the hard work of classes? Then check out the University of Toronto Hostel.

During the spring/summer months of May to the end of August, guests can book private single or double rooms with aircon on campus.

Washrooms are communal and there is a shared TV lounge and kitchen with limited facilities. Guests receive free towels, linen and pillows and free WiFi. Breakfast is available during the week, in the Dining Hall of Residence nonetheless.

Looking to work off the poutine? The University’s Athletic Centre can be accessed for a small fee. The fee includes the use of the Olympic sized swimming pool, weights and indoor track.

New College Residence is close to Toronto’s main attractions at the Entertainment District and a streetcar and subway system is directly outside the front door of the Halls.


√ Pros: Friendly staff, washrooms with bathtubs, ironing boards, TV in rooms, elevators.
× Cons: Not a social hostel if that is your desire.
→ Best for independent visitors ←
» Address: 40 Willcocks Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] University of Toronto price: Single private $

» » Book here « «


The Only Backpackers Inn Toronto – Best for Second Time Visitors

If you are looking for a spacious hostel and don’t mind being a little outside of the main city hub then check out the Only Backpacker’s Inn.

Bright, air-conditioned dorms are described as comfortable and the shared bathroom facilities are clean. Private rooms are also available. Guests are provided with a towel and linens. Lockers are free to use too.

Breakfast is a buffet of toast, muffins, boiled eggs, cereal and fruit. Guests can use the kitchen facilities.

If you feel like a social drink, you can buy craft beer at the on-site bar. Why not buy food in at one of the nearby restaurants and cook on the communal BBQ?

The hostel is close to Donlands Subway Station, in the Danforth area. You are only forty minutes away from the beach via public transport, an attraction that is missed by lots of first-time visitors to Toronto.


√ Pros: Home away from home, ‘real life’ Toronto experience.
× Cons: Distance to Downtown if looking to for more central stay.
» Address: 968 Danforth Avenue.
→ Best for long-stay and those wanting off the beaten track ←

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] Hostel price: dorms $ and private $$


The Clarence Park – Great Location

Sitting next to the CN Tower, The Clarence Park shares the same name as the park across the road from the accommodation.

There is a mix of (very clean) rooms types from shared (mixed/female only) to private rooms. Showers receive mixed reviews. Towels included in the price, as is the WiFi.  Clarence Park’s small kitchen is fully equipped and there are supermarkets near if you prefer to cook in.

Complimentary tea is available all day but breakfast is not included in the price.


√ Pros: Rooms cleaned every day, prime location.
× Cons: Small rooms, showers not always hot.
→ Best for cheap hostel Downtown hunters ←
» Address: 7 Clarence Square.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] The Clarence park price: dorms $ and privates $

» » Book here « «


All Days Hostel Toronto – No Frills Hostel in Toronto

All Days Hostel feels more like a budget hotel than a Canadian hostel. The staff are mostly friendly and guests can’t believe how clean this accommodation is.

This basic hostel is a quiet and comfortable cheap stay in Toronto.

There are a variety of rooms from small shared to private. Some rooms have ensuites, others have shared washrooms. Guests state that the room walls are very thin.

[x_icon type=”bolt”]  Don’t forget your noise-cancelling earplugs.

There is no common room but guests have access to a well-used kitchen. There is a supermarket close by, ideal for those on a tight budget.  

All Days is very close to Sherborne metro station, twenty-minute walk to the Eaton Centre so not only is it one of the cheapest hostels in Toronto, the location is good too.


√ Pros: Extremely clean.
× Cons: Three days stay minimum during high season, cash payment, thin walls.
→ Best for independent visitors ←
» All Days Hostel Address: 5 Selby Street.

[x_icon type=”bell-o”] All Days Hostel price: Dorms $ and privates $$

» » Book here « «


Hostel Toronto – Basic Accommodation

Hostel Toronto is a very basic budget hostel in Toronto.  Guests state the Victorian building could do with a little more love. The location is great, close to Toronto’s Distillery District. The staff are friendly but the accommodation itself lacks atmosphere.

Private and shared rooms with lockers are available. The bathrooms are clean but lack mirrors. WiFi runs throughout and there is complimentary coffee available. Breakfast is not included in the price.

College and Sherbourne subway stations are within walking distance.


√ Pros: Location.
× Cons: Two-night minimum stay, not very social.
→ Best for guests looking for a hassle-free base ←
» Address: 209 Carlton Street.

[x_icon type=”bolt”] Hostel TorontoPrice: dorms $ and privates $$

» » Hostel Toronto « «


College Hostel – The Least Recommended Kensington Hostel

College Hostel receives very mixed reviews.

Some guests state that the staff are friendly, others have had weird experiences. Cleanliness appears to be inconsistent. Amenities are very basic.

However, people looking to sample the nightlife love the location of Kensington Market.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a Toronto airport hostel?

There are no hostels at Toronto Pearson Airport.

You have two options. Firstly, you can take the Union Pearson Express (UPE) for under $20 CAD, the journey takes around 25 minutes. There is the cheaper option ($3 CAD) of the Airport Rocket bus then the subway but this takes 75 minutes. Then book one of the Downtown hostels mentioned in our budget Toronto accommodation review.

Alternatively, you could stay at one of the affordable airport hotels such as Comfort Inn Toronto Airport which has a shuttle. The cheapest type of accommodation near the airport is a guest house but they are about eleven miles from Pearson.

Which hostels are near Union Station in Toronto?

Any of the Downtown hostels are your best option. Check out the HI Hostel above which is less than one mile away from Union Station.

Are there any budget private rooms in Toronto?

Naturally, private rooms are more expensive as you are paying for real estate! You can expect to pay double or sometimes triple the amount of a shared room.

However, The University of Toronto Hostel is a quirky yet economical private room option in the city.  

There are over fifteen hostels in Toronto. Check out Hostelworld Toronto for the full list.

Final Words

From shared rooms in social hostels to private ensuites in quiet accommodation, we hope you find your perfect pick from this guide on where to stay in Toronto on a budget!


Save to for later planning

Where to stay in Toronto on a budget, best hotels in Toronto, best hostels in Toronto, accommodations in Toronto for under $40, best things to do in Toronto on a budget, Toronto travel tips, budget travel in Toronto


Any questions?

Leave in the comments below.

» Read next: The best Toronto day trips

Fun Things to Do in Gibsons: Gateway to the Sunshine Coast

Things to do in Gibsons Sunshine Coast BC

Gibsons, surrounded by the Howe Sound fjords, is a beautiful town located in British Columbia. The Canadian town formally known as Gibson’s Landing is the gateway to BC’s Sunshine Coast but it definitely is not an in/out kind of town. Set aside a couple of days to explore these things to do in Gibsons on a weekend trip from Vancouver or as part of your Sunshine Coast road trip. We (Gemma and Craig) spent the summer living in the neighbouring town, Roberts Creek, spending free days hiking, biking and eating ice cream in Gibsons.

Gibsons Ferry

Vancouver to Gibsons is a mere forty-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay which is in the west of the city. BFerrieses run every day for foot passengers and cars. The port town, Horseshoe Bay, has a handful of restaurants and stunning views. Ferries do get busy so it is best to arrive early to book tickets. Check the current prices here. Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons is a scenic ride, head to the outside of the ferry to see the views

Vancouver city centre to Horseshoe Bay is connected via bus and takes 25 minutes on the 257 Express bus. The reverse journey, Gibsons BC to Vancouver, is as straightforward as the journey there. You may need exact money for the bus so carry some loose change in your pocket.

Things to do in Gibsons, BC

1. Marvel at Gibson’s Marina

The one thing that really stands out when you first arrive in Lower Gibsons is the stunning harbour packed with boats of all sizes. The mountainous backdrop sets this Blue Flag boatyard apart from others, especially during Winter when the hills have snow and the sunsets are a cute pink tone. There’s space for up to 380 moorage slips – if you are arriving by private boat check out this site for pricing.

2. Kayaking in Gibsons

Just because you don’t have friends with sails it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time on the water.

We hired kayaks in Gibsons and gave our upper body a right good workout while we paddled to Keats Island which is home to holiday lodgings and Keats Camp.

Remember the sunscreen and waterproof phone covers to avoid sea salt breaking your mobile. You will want some tunes to play while you paddle and the ability to take a selfie!

Kayaking Gibsons Sunshine Coast British Columbia

3. Restaurant in Gibsons

Now that you have worked up an appetite you have the tough choice of selecting where to eat in Gibsons.

The most notable restaurant is Molly’s Reach. Many tourists and Canadians alike flock to Gibsons because Gibsons is famous!

The town was the film set for the internationally renowned 70s TV series, The Beachcombers. The nineteen seasons strong comedy-drama followed the lives of two loggers, Nick and Jesse and their tugboat – Persephone, you’ll hear this word again soon…

The show was centred around the cafe, Molly’s Reach, which was run by the motherly figure, Molly.

Although the show ended in the nineties (with a failed attempt to bring it back), it is still very much celebrated in the town of Gibsons.

Molly’s Reach restaurant serves a variety of burgers, fish and chips along with local beers and a long list of cocktails. All amongst lots of Beachcombers paraphernalia.

Smitty’s Oyster House is always busy on a hot day. This eatery is located at Smitty’s Marina on Gibson’s Landing and serves seafood as you watch halibut and crab trawlers return from a hard day’s work!

For a quick-grab spot of lunch head to the Smoke on the Water huts. This is where we took my parents when they visited us on the Sunshine Coast.

All food is locally sourced and the meat is smoked on-site with real hardwood for an authentic BBQ sensation. The pulled pork, chicken and brisket sandwiches are worth a taste.

Need to leave Gibsons? Ask for it vacuum-sealed.

Mollys Reach Gibsons

4. Gibsons Public Market

At the heart of the Coast is community and Gibsons Public Market is a great way to see locals and businesses come together.
The 6-day per week Public Market is a space to dine, shop, listen to music and learn – all under one roof in Lower Gibsons. Merchants include Art meets Chocolate, Bowen Island Roasting Company, Fromagerie De Baie (cheese), G. G. Greens (healthy, organic produce), The Gibsons Butcher, The Fisherman’s Market, Rainflorist (great name!) and Emelle’s Catering Market Bistro (sandwiches, cakes, poutine).

5. Gibsons Tapworks

Craig will be disappointed to hear that there is a craft brewery he didn’t experience in Gibsons! Gibsons Tapworks sells craft beer and bar food such as tacos and pizza in Lower Gibsons. Vegan tacos available too. On Tuesdays, all growlers are $11 CAD and Saturday is music day.

  • Address: 537 Cruice Lane, Gibsons

5. Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives

Beachcombers fans will want to stop by the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives to check upstairs! The donation entry museum also offers access to 7000 historic photos of First Nations artefacts.


» For more museums, watersports and beer check out our Sunshine Coast bucket list


6. Soames Hill, Gibsons

Although Soames Hill aka Knobs Hill is slightly awkward to get to without wheels (we cycled there), this hike is totally worth the trek. After a short walk through shaded trees, you are met with a tough climb up but these stairs really are the steps to heaven!

The views from the top take in Keats Island and also Vancouver Island. There are a variety of hikes to try with varying difficulty but neither take longer than 40 minutes.

Be bear aware and don’t forget the bug repellent. We travel with DEET free repellent called Avon So Soft because after a year of applying DEET and still getting attacked we decided not to put that poison on our skin anymore. It can melt plastic!

Soames Hill Gibsons Sunshine Coast BC

7. Watch Out, Beers Crossing!

After your Soames Hill trail you will have worked up a thirst, this puts Persephone the brewery in the perfect position.

Nestled behind the hops next to Soames Hill, you’ll find this rustic brewery come bar which sells a selection of home-brewed beers including Craig’s favourite The Golden Goddess. We spent a fun afternoon there with our Scottish friends, Karen and Craig.

Not the biggest beer fan, I sampled the Taster Flight which is four beers of your choice in a cute set. Our friends went home with a souvenir – a growler which is a cool looking refillable beer bottle! This word obviously created hilarity amongst us Scots (look it up)…

Persephone not only does the perfect pint but also provides parties!

We were invited along to the brewery’s anniversary party (disclosure – the $25 cover was waived. Thanks for the tickets, Giddy!) By day, teams battled it out in a Tough Mudder-style event to win the prize of 100 litres of Persephone beer then as dark drew in, we partied in the barn amongst the hay bales to a young jammin’ funk band.

  • Address: 1053 Stewart Road, Gibsons

Persephone Craft Beer Gibsons

Gibsons Events

The Sunshine Coast is a social place with events running throughout the year.

The first kicks off on the April 1st, the April Fools Run in Gibsons. The race includes relays, half marathon and a child-friendly race.

Shuttle buses are provided for those arriving by ferry.  Canada Day festival takes place at Gibson’s Winegarden Park which sits just in front of the marina.

This park is also home to the Jazz Festival (June) and Starlight Film Night (August) plus ongoing events throughout the Summer weekends.

Gibsons Accommodation

There’s a mix of accommodation in Gibsons from hotels, apartments and BnBs.

Gibsons’s Garden Hotel is a modern hotel set amongst a blooming garden. Facilities include a fitness suite and swimming pool. The only downside is that the hotel is not in Lower Gibsons but free parking is also available. Click here to check the availability of Gibsons’s Garden Hotel.

For beachfront accommodation in Gibsons head to Gibsons Harbour Retreat.

This property is only 3 minutes walk from the beach and smack bang in the middle of Gibson’s restaurants and bars although there is no reason to leave the apartment as it has a kitchen, seating area and outdoor hot tub. Grab one of two bedrooms today, click here to check the availability of Gibsons Harbour Retreat.

Gibsons to Sechelt

The next big town from Gibsons is Sechelt. Sechelt also has a number of restaurants, a supermarket, a beautician, waterfront and watersports.

We spent the day paddleboarding at Sechelt Inlet which was a first for me. Obviously, I fell in twice while Craig was confident enough to do headstands on the board. We have video proof!

Don’t miss the towns of Roberts Creek and Davis Bay on the way. Roberts Creek has a thriving art scene, a yoga studio, hiking trails and a beach. Davis Bay is a popular spot for fishing. We were entertained by a whale there!

Homebrews, hikes, wholesome food – what to do in Gibsons has been covered in our guide to the gateway of the Sunshine Coast, BC. We encourage you to visit in Winter as well as Summer because those sunsets really are worth it!

Gibsons in Winter Canada

Any questions or comments?
Please leave below.