Top 5 hostels: Canada
Updated: Apr 29
Vancouver. Tofino. Montreal. Calgary. Ottawa. The cities were cool, but the hostels made the experience that much better.
The six months I spent travelling Canada were some of the best of my life. The scenery, the people, the experiences, they were all more than I hoped for. Travelling across the country one hostel at a time definitely afforded me more opportunities that I would have come across using any other type of accommodation.
That being said, there are 5 hostels that I enjoyed more than any others. I would 110% recommend them to any other traveller planning to visit Canada in the future. So without further ado, here they are...
Tofino. HI Whalers on The Point
HI Tofino definitely offered the best view out of all the hostels I stayed in. The photo above is the view you get from the lounge/dining area of the hostel. The walk to the main coach drop off is less than 10 minutes, and everything in the tiny town is within walking distance. The hostel offers bike and surfing rentals, there's a games room with a free pool table, and the kitchen facilities are awesome. Plus, if you get up early enough, there are free pancakes.
Calgary - Wicked Hostel
If this list was purely about fun and atmosphere, Wicked Hostel would win hands down. Run by Jeff (the guy in the blue patterned shirt near the middle), Wicked hostel is undoubtedly a party hostel. With numerous alcohol-related events hosted weekly, it's a fun place to be. The staff are super chilled and friendly, the rooms are clean, and there are free waffles daily. If you're heading to the Stampede, this is definitely the place to be. That being said, this place is also good just for meeting other travellers and discovering what downtown Calgary has to offer.
Ottawa Jail Hostel
This hostel makes the list purely because of the building. A repurposed jail, Ottawa Jail Hostel offers a pretty unique experience. Each room has the name of someone who had been housed in that cell and what they had been put there for. The hostel also run free tours that offer a little bit of history. My favourite part? Floor 8 has been left as it was, so you can go and have a little explore and see what the jail was actually like. Super cool, but also a bit creepy if you go in the middle of the night.
This is the best hostel I have ever stayed in, facility wise. Rooftop terraces complete with hot-tubs, barbecues and makeshift bar - check. Basement bar with snacks, pool table and different activities every night of the week - check. Cafe with Netflix - also check. M Montreal has so much to offer for a really reasonable price. The rooms are pretty big and house a lot of people, but it doesn't feel that way. Each bed comes with a little curtain, cubby and hanging rail for your stuff. Once that curtain is closed, it's easy to forget you're sharing with ten other people.
The first hostel I stayed in Canada. This hostel has a lot going for it. There are activities and tours available to join every day of the week, free breakfast, and a pretty awesome rooftop terrace to chill out on at the end of the day. The hostel offers bike rentals, parking, a taxi service, and loads of other little things that make staying here that much better. I would highly recommend staying here if you visit Vancouver. Not only do the hostel offer a lot of activities, but it is also on the doorstep of Sunset Beach and the Seawall, the water-taxi, and Davie St.
If you're planning a trip to any of these cities in the future and you plan to use hostels, all of the above offer really good value for money, and they have those little extra bits that make them stand out from the crowd. Whether it's a party vibe, organised activities or just a really unique building, they are definitely worth looking at.