For the uninitiated, Toronto’s Riverside district is an up-and-coming hub that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves. The historic Queen Street, in particular, is home to an excellent collection of restaurants, shops, cafes, and arts and culture communities that appeal to any kind of traveller. Plus, it’s only a 20-minute ride on public transportation from downtown. If you’re considering a weekend (or more) in Toronto but are looking to bypass the exorbitant prices, consider Riverside. Here’s our selection of the six best Airbnbs in the neighbourhood.
Distillery District Loft
It’s hard to find more character than this in an Airbnb. That being said, as it’s part of Riverside and just a short ride from the distillery district, it’s not at all out of place. This spot combines the hominess of worn wood with industrial exposed beams and sharp modern flare. It’s perfect for a getaway for two people, with one bedroom, and being within walking distance to Riverside’s hip spots and daily events. Reviews rave about host Zoey’s availability and attentiveness, and the loft usually hovers around a reasonable $200 per night. As far as good eats, we highly recommend the oyster bar and seafood at Eastside Social.
Loft in Historic Building
Just one block over from Zoey’s Distillery District Loft is another loft in a jaw-dropping historic building. It’s an open concept with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer tons of natural light. It has enough comfortable furniture to make it feel cozy, but also enough modern accents to make it feel professional. It’s a studio with a single bed, and at an average of $115 per night, it’s more economical than many other options. Guests rave about how stylish it is, what great location it has, and how communicative host Cristina is.
The Lazy Loft
If you’re travelling with a slightly larger group or a family, this spot in Riverside has two bedrooms, two beds, and enough chic flare to make you really feel like you’re on vacation. Prop yourself on the window-side seated hammock, or snuggle into the old repurposed bathtub that’s now in the living room filled with pillows. Within three blocks of all kinds of excellent restaurants, bakeries, cheese shops, butchers, fish shops, and incredible cafes, guests certainly won’t be hungry during their stay. Visitors are blown away by the loft’s decor — but be warned taller folks, the ceilings are a bit low. Otherwise, at $144 per night, it’s not a bad spot to sleep four.
Project Empire is a cozy and stylish place with tons of character. This spot is again for larger groups as it sleeps six in three separate bedrooms. In addition to the amazing overall wooden ambiance, perhaps the best perk of Project Empire is the outdoor rooftop patio. Visiting Toronto in the summertime is a treat, and you should definitely try to spend as much time outside as possible. Relax in the wooden lounge chairs with a drink, and then wander over to Jimmie Simpson Park for more afternoon fun in the sun. The neighbourhood’s Riverside walks are also an excellent way to tour the area’s culture, art, heritage, and culinary delights. They’re completely free, and they run from the spring until the fall.
Historic Riverside House
The kitchen design here was inspired by a chef: there’s a backyard with a barbecue, a huge comfortable sectional couch, and a luxurious third-floor media room. What else could you ask for? The overall aesthetic of host Ron’s place is a crisp, clean white, but it has accents of brown that give it a lot more character than a dry hotel room. With three bedrooms, three beds, and two and a half baths, it can fit six guests very comfortably. It goes for around $220 per night, which isn’t bad for a large two-story spot in the heart of Riverside. That said, if you’re looking to be more toward downtown, check out Airbnb Toronto: Where to Stay Like a Local.
Two Story Apartment
It doesn’t get much closer to trendy Queen street than this two-story apartment located above the French bakery, Bonjour Brioche. In fact, guests are treated to a complimentary breakfast upon arrival of their first morning. Feel free to stroll around on foot, or hop on the famous TTC Streetcar which has a stop at your front door. The apartment sleeps four guests, but costs only $130 per night! Guest reviews note the cleanliness, spaciousness, and location as highlights of this apartment.
Dillon is a travel-hungry outdoor enthusiast originally from Encinitas, California. He’s been to 26 countries, travelled around the world on a boat, lived in a tent in the woods for 6 months, and currently lives in Medellín, Colombia. Besides writing, Dillon can be found playing soccer, drumming, cooking, and doing his best impression of a salsa dance.