From my experience, you don’t typically find B&Bs in larger cities and urban environments—since my focus is on boutique lodging, I was excited when I found the Banting House Inn in Toronto. I was visiting Toronto for an annual North American travel blogger conference and was in town for nearly a week. The location of Banting House is on a relatively quiet street (especially for an urban area, except during the day when children are on recess at a nearby school), and not far from the center of town where I needed to be for the conference.
The Inn is walking distance to many sites, fine restaurants, museums and much more. If what you’re looking for is not nearby, you can easily hop on a streetcar, subway, or rent a bike (which is part of the public transit system and the form of transportation I used most often). There are stations throughout the area, and if you return the bike within 30 minutes, there is no charge.
The Banting House is a historic three-story home, which was built in 1895 and has seven accommodations from which to choose. Each room is uniquely furnished and varies in size and configuration. The rooms are nicely decorated with modern touches, including upgraded linens, furniture, and original artwork adorning the walls. The Banting House has a European feel, which stems from several factors. First, Toronto is a very cosmopolitan city. Second, the historic style of the home reminds me of a B&B you might find in Europe. Finally, it may have something to do with the clientele; I met a number of guests who were visiting from Germany, Spain and France. It’s also worth noting that five of the seven rooms share two bathrooms, which is also reminiscent of European lodging. The bathrooms appear to be newly renovated and have a chic/modern feel with state-of-the-art fixtures. My only complaint was the lack of adequate shelving and/or areas to place a shaving kit or make-up bag. The same was true with the shower, no place to set shampoo, razor, etc.
Given the age of the house, I was, however, impressed with the upgraded doors and windows, which provided surprising insulation from the other guest rooms. Often in older B&Bs you can hear neighboring guests talk, or hear their T.V., I did not notice this to be an issue.
The first floor has a very spacious common area that guests are encouraged to use…it’s full of modern furniture and accents, along with many pieces of local artwork. My favorite place to hang out had to be the garden…it’s like an urban oasis and the perfect place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee. While outside on the porch or strolling through the garden, you forget you’re in the midst of the largest city in Canada.
Another thing I really appreciated about staying at the Banting House, was how helpful and eager Scott (the Innkeeper) is to be of assistance…whether you need directions or recommendations, Scott is there to be of service.
The morning breakfast is essentially continental style, with freshly baked bread, hot and cold cereals, juice, coffee, tea, and if you like, they will make you some eggs or pancakes. Because of the travel conference I was attending, I was often up and out before the other guests, so I didn’t have an opportunity to take in the full breakfast experience.
If you’re looking for clean, comfortable and affordable downtown Toronto lodging, give the Banting House Inn a look. Click the following link to see more pictures of the Banting House Inn. If you’ve ever stayed at the Banting House, leave a comment below and share your experience.