Perched youthfully at the intersection of King and Spadina, Global Village has bars and clubs in every direction. It’s slap bang in the city’s official Entertainment District — home to slicker clubs and more mainstream drinking venues — but the edgier options of Queen West start only a few blocks away. Two streetcar lines stop outside the hostel — the north-south Spadina cars and the east-west King Street cars. The subway is a ten-minute walk east.
If you’ve never summered in Toronto, you might not know just how necessary air-conditioning is, but if you’re here in July or August, you’re going to be incredibly thankful to slope back into your air-conditioned room and out of the 90 per cent humidity outside. Global’s 165 beds are divided between quads, six-, eight- and ten-bed dorms and private rooms. All are available as men-only, women-only or co-ed. There are shared washrooms on each floor. I always fork out the extra for the private rooms, for two it’s only about CAD$10 more each.
The pub with its licensed outdoor patio is the main place for guests to hang out here, but there are plenty of other common areas to mingle in, from the self-serve kitchen, to roomy TV room, laundry and restaurant. I like that there’s decent security in place — all guests are issued with a swipe-card to get in and out, so it feels safe whether you’re travelling with friends or solo. The reception is open 24 hours, too, so even with jet lag you can still find out when the next trip to Niagara leaves or where the best all-night Chinese food is available.
Eating and drinking
On a sunny afternoon, the patio at the Village Pub and Departure Lounge is one of the liveliest spots downtown. Locals hang out here, too, lured by cheap drinks and an entertainment line-up that includes hot DJs like the city’s energetic Yes Yes Y’all crew.
A friendly international crew man the desks, restaurant and bar.
Who stays there
A young international set of backpackers, a few budget-minded families and (in winter) new arrivals to the city taking advantage of the monthly private room rate.
Free internet terminals and complimentary WiFi are handy cost-savers. So is the free pancake and cereal breakfast that the hostel folks offer.
- High-Speed Internet
- Backpackers / Students
- Culture vultures
- First-time travellers
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Can be noisy