Stuck in Toronto - boat is full
September 5, 2012 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Stranded in Toronto. New in town, have a job and a place (but not until Oct-1). Film-fest + returning students have filled all hostels and every half-way affordable hotel. Any other options?

I'm asking this question for my nephew. Nineteen, with a pretty good job but ... he couldn't have chosen a worse time to arrive in T.O.
posted by philip-random to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (12 answers total)
Not the cheapest option but how about a motel in the hinterlands (on the Go route).

We stayed in Brampton. There's a Motel 6 out there that's $47 per night.

Here is Toronto Kijiji, he might be able to work out a deal there.

Have him extend his search to the hinterlands like Brampton, Missasauga, etc.

Who shows up to a new city with no lodging in place. Oh. Right. A nineteen year old.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:35 PM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

What do you call "half-way affordable"? Hotwire shows a 3-star hotel out by the airport for $66/night for the period from now until October 1, and a 2 star hotel on the far east side of town for $47/night. I'm not saying he should take either of these (in my opinion Hotwire inflates the quality of their ratings a bit), I'm just saying that there is stuff out there if he goes out far enough.
posted by ubiquity at 12:38 PM on September 5, 2012

Couchsurfing (would probably have to move around a few times)? Airbnb (there are some longer-term options on there)? A quick search of the latter shows this or this, but there are many other options. What is his actual price range?
posted by brainmouse at 12:43 PM on September 5, 2012

I've met a few different people who've couchsurfed 2-3 nights at a time at different people's places for a couple of weeks while they looked for something more permanent, so that is an option, though an inconvenient one, especially if he's got a job somewhere that he needs to get to every day.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:49 PM on September 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks so far. This is helpful stuff. He's monitoring the thread.
posted by philip-random at 12:52 PM on September 5, 2012

Here's some listings for AirBNB.

Some nice looking places there.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:52 PM on September 5, 2012

Try also:

Craigslist - Toronto - Under "Housing", subcategories "Sublets / Temporary" and "Vacation Rentals"

Vacation Rentals by Owner and similar sites like, etc - it's getting to be shoulder season, he may be able to find a small vacation rental willing to go a month.
posted by Ardea alba at 1:02 PM on September 5, 2012

AirBnB is now our go-to for quick places to stay cheap. Much cheaper and more comfortable than hotels in many cases.
posted by SpecialK at 1:09 PM on September 5, 2012

What about Couchsurfing? They too might be swamped with people coming to town for the film festival, but someone might take pity on you. I'd recommend approaching this by trying to find several different hosts over the course of the month, or maybe just using it as a stopgap until things calm down and you can find a paying place to stay. Because I think it might be hard to find someone who'd host a non-paying houseguest for a month.

One upside to couch surfing is that it might be a good way to make friends in a new city. Some cities have huge couch surfing scenes with weekly meetups, parties, and group events. And even if he only uses the site to find a place to lay his head, a lot of people who are on the site as hosts do so because they're interested in meeting interesting people and showing folks around their city.

Similarly, what about WWOOF, Workaway, and the like? Obviously if you're already reporting to a job each morning, it might be difficult to stay out in the hinterlands with the expectation that you'll be helping with farm work. But if you don't start until Oct. 1 (it's unclear from the phrasing), this would be ideal. Also, I've seen listings on Workaway looking for house and pet sitters, childcare, and the like, so he might be able to find something more centrally located where he could stay in exchange for labor that would be a little less manual and a little more just casual helping out type stuff. This is another way to meet people and potentially make some connections in the area if he doesn't have roots there.

I'd also suggest signing up for some kind of housesitting listserv, though his age might be a barrier (not sure I'd let a nineteen year old guy stay in my place alone) and it might not be such a short term solution.
posted by Sara C. at 2:55 PM on September 5, 2012

AirBnB, all the way.
posted by Kololo at 4:16 PM on September 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you all. The problem seems to have been resolved ... by his grandmother pulling out her address book and contacting an old friend. But great answers all around, particularly the introduction (for me) to airbnb ...
posted by philip-random at 9:51 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

For anyone else who might be using the information in this thread, there is a useful site called PadMapper, which pulls ads from kijiji and craigslist, and overlays them on a map of the city. Take their listings with a grain of salt, but it is very useful if you are looking for a place to live in a specific part of the city.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:08 AM on September 8, 2012

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