Prices for accommodation in Canada vary considerably depending on the time and place. In most cities and many tourist areas, expect to pay $100 or more for a good hotel room. When inquiring, always ask if taxes are included; most of the time they are not and can often add 15% to the cost when local, provincial and federal taxes are included.
Hotels are an integral part of Canada’s history, as some of the country’s most famous landmarks are hotels. The Canadian Railway Hotels are a series of large hotels built in the early 1900s in major cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, St. John’s and Halifax). Most are still standing and are owned by companies such as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The Grand Railway Hotels are all four-star hotels with rates ranging from $150 to $400 per night, depending on the city and room size. These architecturally stunning and lavishly designed hotels are not only great places to stay, but tourist attractions in their own right. Even if you’re not staying at a Grand Railway Hotel, it’s worth exploring the main lobby or dining in the hotel restaurant.
In rural areas, motels (short for motor hotels) are small, simple hotels where you can pay between $40 and $60 for a night (especially in the low season). There are fewer and fewer of them as international chains have largely saturated the lower end of the market with limited-service budget hotels along the main roads. Most villages have B&Bs (bed and breakfasts), individual houses with guest suites whose personalities are as varied as their owners. Prices vary widely – from $45 to $140 a night – and include breakfast in the morning. Try bbcanada.com for deals.
Other options include renting holiday homes on lakes and in the countryside, and renting flats in cities. Prices are comparable to hotels and motels and this type of accommodation allows you to feel at home during your trip.
Hostels are a good choice and offer accommodation in shared dormitories ($20-40) or private rooms ($45-80). Hostelling International Canada/, Backpackers Hostels Canada and SameSun are useful resources. Most hostels in Canada meet very high standards.
Some universities rent out their dorm rooms (better known as “residences” or “res”) outside the academic season, from May to August. You can find more information on the universities’ websites.
Some hunting and fishing outfitters rent out cabins or lodges, primitive rooms that provide access to a remote rural spot on a lake.
Finally, there are a large number of campgrounds in Canada. These range from private RV parks to public campgrounds in national and provincial parks and are almost always well maintained and generally very nice. Almost every city has at least one campground, but due to the Canadian climate, these activities are seasonal.