Where to stay in Toronto without a car: 6 Best areas

I love to explore places without a car, and on my website, I cover many topics for car-free travelers. In this article, we will visit Toronto and help you find the best places to stay in Toronto without a car

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Toronto without a car, along with a helpful map. I’ll also tell you where I stayed in Toronto and suggest the best hotels in Toronto for all budgets.

Toronto is the largest city in Canada located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. It is one of the most populous cities in North America and is often referred to as one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

Toronto is known for its iconic landmarks, including the CN Tower, which was once the world’s tallest free-standing structure, and the Royal Ontario Museum. Other notable attractions include Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the Toronto Islands, and the Distillery District.

Toronto has a comprehensive public transportation system, making it relatively easy to explore without a car. The Toronto Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport are well connected to the city via dedicated airport express buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates a network of subways, buses, and streetcars. The city has four subway lines (Line 1, Line 2, Line 3, and Line 4) that connect various parts of the city. Line 1 (Yonge-University) and Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) are the most commonly used.

Toronto has an extensive network of streetcars and buses that can take you to various neighborhoods within the city. The streetcar system is particularly useful in downtown Toronto.

You can buy a PRESTO card for convenient, multi-modal fare payment across the TTC and other regional transit systems.

GO Transit provides commuter rail and bus services connecting Toronto with the Greater Toronto Area and even some destinations further afield. 

You can rent a bike to explore the city at your own pace.Toronto is becoming more bike-friendly with dedicated bike lanes and bike-sharing programs like Bike Share Toronto. 

Toronto’s downtown core and many neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly. You can easily walk to shops, restaurants, parks, and other attractions.

Taxis and ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are available in Toronto for convenient point-to-point transportation.

If you need to visit the Toronto Islands, you can take a ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. The islands are a great place to explore and enjoy nature.

Where to stay in Toronto without a car?

The best areas to stay in Toronto without a car are Downtown (Yonge-Dundas), Entertainment District, Harbourfront, Yorkville, West Queen West, and Old Town Toronto. 

Toronto has an excellent public transportation system, so you can easily get around by subway, streetcar, bus, and on foot no matter where you stay.

During my trip to Toronto, I stayed in Downtown Toronto at the 4-star One King West Hotel and Residence. It is within walking distance from main attractions such as Hockey Hall of Fame, Museum of Illusions Toronto, and St. Lawrence Market. Also close to metro stations and lots of restaurants.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Toronto for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Toronto without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Toronto without a car

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Toronto, especially for travelers without a car. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Toronto have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Best areas to stay in Toronto without a car:

1. Downtown Toronto (Yonge-Dundas)

Downtown Toronto, specifically in the Yonge-Dundas area, is a great choice for first-timers and car-free travelers who want to be in the heart of the city with easy access to numerous attractions and amenities. 

Yonge-Dundas Square is a central hub for events, performances, and shopping. It’s often referred to as Toronto’s Times Square. The Eaton Centre, one of Canada’s largest shopping malls, is also nearby, offering a plethora of shopping and dining options. 

You’ll be within walking distance of theaters, such as Massey Hall and Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre, and cultural attractions like the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The Yonge-Dundas area is very well-served by public transportation including numerous metro/streetcar stations such as the Dundas subway station (on Line 1) and the Queen streetcar line, making it easy to access other parts of the city.

You’ll have a wide range of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants, in the area. The Entertainment District with its theaters and nightlife venues is just a short walk away.

Best places to stay in Downtown Toronto without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, great 4-star hotel located on  Bay Street, close to the Toronto Eaton Centre, Dundas Square, and Dundas Subway Station. It has an Indoor swimming pool, good breakfast, and private parking for those who drive.
  • Mid-range ($$): Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre, great 4-star hotel located in central Toronto, right in the middle of everything, within walking distance from Yonge-Dundas Square and the financial district.
  • Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown, an IHG Hotel, 3-star accommodation located on Lombard Street, only a few mins walk/taxi ride from the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Union Station, and the Hockey Hall of Fame. It offers easy access to the train station and the St Lawrence Market. 

2. Entertainment District

The Entertainment District is the area in Downtown Toronto that is known for its vibrant nightlife, theaters, and entertainment venues. The Entertainment District is an ideal area to book your accommodation if you enjoy lively nightlife and central location.

The district is home to many theaters, including the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Princess of Wales Theatre, and the Ed Mirvish Theatre. Check for shows and performances during your stay. The Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Centre are also nearby, hosting concerts and sports events.

The Entertainment District is known for its nightlife, with numerous bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. King Street West and the surrounding streets are bustling with activity in the evenings.

The district is well-connected by public transportation. Staying near King Street West puts you within walking distance of Union Station and St. Andrew subway station (Line 1), which provides easy access to other parts of the city. Streetcars and buses also run along major streets in the area.

In addition to theaters, you’ll find attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and the CN Tower nearby. The waterfront is within walking distance, and you can explore the beautiful Harbourfront area.

The Entertainment District hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, especially during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.

Best places to stay in Toronto Entertainment District without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, 5-star hotel located on Wellington Street West, offering views of Lake Ontario and the city skyline. It is centrally located within a short walk from major sights such as the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Hockey Hall of Fame, and The Princess of Wales Theatre.
  • Mid-range ($$): Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel, 4-star hotel, situated in the Rogers Centre sports and entertainment complex. It is walking distance from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as well as many restaurants and shops in the entertainment district.
  • Mid-range ($$): InterContinental Toronto Centre, an IHG Hotel, great 4-star hotel centrally located close to CN Tower and the Harbourfront Center. It has an indoor swimming pool and a very good breakfast according to guests’ reviews. Easy access Union station, UP Pearson Airport train,  and hop on hop off bus stop.

3. Harbourfront

The Harbourfront is a beautiful and vibrant waterfront neighborhood that offers stunning waterfront views and easy access public transportation. Union Station, a major transportation hub, is not far, providing access to the subway, GO Transit, and VIA Rail.

You can enjoy leisurely walks along the lakefront, rent kayaks or paddle boards, or take boat tours to explore Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands. The Waterfront Promenade offers scenic views of the city skyline and the islands.

Staying in Harbourfront gives you easy access to the Toronto Islands. You can take a ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and spend a day exploring these beautiful islands, which offer beaches, walking and biking trails, and picnicking spots.

There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars along Queen’s Quay, offering a range of dining options with waterfront views.

The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, now known as the Budweiser Stage, is located nearby and hosts concerts and events during the warmer months.

Best places to stay in Toronto in Harbourfront without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto, great 4-star hotel conveniently located close to CN Tower, Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre, and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. It offers direct access to PATH, the underground pedestrian walkway. Also close to Union Station, UP Express and Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
  • Mid-range ($$): Radisson Blu Downtown Toronto, popular 4-star harbourfront hotel located on Queen’s Quay West, only 15 mins walk from Union Station, CN Tower, and Chinatown.
  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection, 5-star accommodation located  just round the corner to BMO field, offering fantastic views of the Lake.

4. Yorkville

Yorkville is an upscale and fashionable neighborhood, known for its luxury shopping, fine dining, and cultural attractions.

Yorkville is a shopping haven with numerous high-end boutiques, designer stores, and art galleries. The Bloor-Yorkville area is a shopping district with stores like Holt Renfrew, Chanel, and Prada. You can spend your days exploring the fashionable shops on foot.

Yorkville is home to cultural attractions like the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Gardiner Museum. These museums often have special exhibitions and events.

The neighborhood has various art galleries and studios where you can explore contemporary and traditional art. The Mira Godard Gallery and the Berenson Fine Art gallery are worth a visit.

You can enjoy the tranquility of nearby parks such as Ramsden Park and the Rosehill Reservoir. These parks provide green spaces for relaxation and picnics.

Yorkville is conveniently located near the Bloor-Yonge subway station, which is one of the busiest transit hubs in Toronto. You can access both Line 1 (Yonge-University) and Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) subway lines.

Best places to stay in Toronto in Yorkville without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Hazelton Hotel, 5-star boutique hotel located on Yorkville Avenue in the  upscale district of Yorkville, easy access to several metro stations including Bay Station, Bloor-Yonge Station, and Museum Station. It is also close to the Royal Ontario Museum, Queen’s Park, and Bloor Street.
  • Luxury ($$$): Four Seasons Hotel Toronto at Yorkville, 4-star hotel, set in a great location, close to the subway and many restaurants.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel Toronto, 4-star hotel, located on Bloor Street West, within only a few mins away from the Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto.

5. West Queen West

West Queen West is a trendy and eclectic neighborhood, known for its artistic vibe, unique shops, and vibrant street art. Staying in West Queen West without a car can be a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Trinity Bellwoods Park is a short walk from West Queen West. It’s a great place for picnics, leisurely walks, and outdoor activities.

Best places to stay in Toronto in West Queen West without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): 1 Hotel Toronto, 5-star hotel, centrally located in the Downtown area of Toronto, very close to major landmarks such as Rogers Centre, CN Tower and Exhibition Place. It has an Outdoor swimming pool and family rooms.
  • Mid-range ($$): Gladstone House, 4-star hotel, located in Queen Street West, at the heart of the art and design district.  Easy access to stores, restaurants  and cafes.
  • Mid-range ($$): Sonder at The Liberty, 4-star safe condo, close to streetcar and bus stops.

6. Old Town Toronto

Old Town Toronto is a historic and charming neighborhood in the heart of the city. It’s renowned for its historic architecture, the St. Lawrence Market, and its proximity to Toronto’s downtown core.

The St. Lawrence Market is a must-visit. It’s a historic market known for its fresh food vendors, artisanal products, and antique markets. You can pick up fresh produce, gourmet items, and enjoy a variety of prepared foods.

Old Town Toronto is home to cultural institutions like the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and the Toronto Sculpture Garden. Check for performances, art exhibitions, and events during your stay.

The Distillery District is just east of Old Town Toronto and is known for its cobblestone streets, art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Best places to stay in Old Town Toronto without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): The St. Regis Toronto, great 5-star hotel centrally located in Old Town Toronto, within a short distance from the CN Tower and Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Mid-range ($$): One King West Hotel and Residence, very popular 4-star hotel, located on King Street West, only 10 mins walk from St. Lawrence Market and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Omni King Edward Hotel, 4-star hotel centrally located in the downtown area of Toronto, easy access to main sights such as Toronto Eaton Centre and Yonge-Dundas Square. 

In conclusion, Downtown(Yonge-Dundas), Entertainment District, Harbourfront, Yorkville, West Queen West, and Old Town are the best places to stay in Toronto without a car. These areas provide easy access to major tourist attractions and amenities on foot and by public transportation.

If you are new to Toronto, you can read this article: Best areas to stay in Toronto for first time. Other articles about Canada are:

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Toronto. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality travel guides.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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