Howard Johnson Toronto LakeshoreHoward Johnson Toronto LakeshoreHoward Johnson Toronto LakeshoreHoward Johnson Toronto LakeshoreHoward Johnson Toronto LakeshoreHoward Johnson Toronto LakeshoreHoward Johnson Toronto Lakeshore

Older Toronto hotel near St. Joseph's Hospital with off-site parking and many complaints

  • Free amenities: Wi-Fi, breakfast, local calls
  • Some guests found the location handy for accessing St.Joseph's Hospital
  • A few guests found the hotel conveniently located near dining
  • A couple of guests found the beds comfortable
  • No elevator
  • Many guests were displeased to discover that parking was a couple of blocks away and an extra charge of $12
  • Many guests described extremely small rooms
  • Many guests complained of dirty rooms
  • Some guests complained of bad odours in their rooms and bathrooms
  • Many guests expressed concerns about the safety of the area
  • Many reviewers were very disturbed by noise from the street car station next door, making it difficult to sleep
  • Some guests thought the hotel was overpriced
  • One guest complained of bed bugs in Dec 2014
jump to full editor's analysis (below)
Free Wi-Fi
Free Breakfast
Choose dates to check rates & book this hotel
Editor's Analysis
Updated Mar 16, 2015
The Howard Johnson Toronto Lakeshore is located west of downtown Toronto and is across the street from the Roncesvalles Carhouse, home base for the TTC street cars. With only a 5-minute walk to St. Joseph's Health Centre, this hotel may be a convenient resting spot for those accessing the hospital.

Both smoking and non-smoking accommodations are available. All rooms include free Wi-Fi, a TV, free local calls, a coffeemaker, a hair dryer, an iron and ironing board, a desk and air conditioning. Select rooms also include a jetted tub and/or a mini-fridge.

Pets are permitted in select rooms for an additional fee of $20 per night. Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available on the first floor. This hotel has two floors and does not have an elevator.

A free continental breakfast is served daily from 7 am to 10 am. This hotel does not have an on-site restaurant, but there is a McDonalds Restaurant next door.

Parking is a $12 charge for an off-site facility that is a few blocks away. Other on-site amenities include a 24-hour front desk, safe deposit boxes, luggage storage, an ATM, and ice/vending machines.

Public transit bus and street car stops are next door to this hotel, while Marilyn Bell Park, Exhibition Place, BMO Field, Direct Energy Centre Exhibition Place, and the nearest GoTrain station are all about an 8-minute drive away. 

Downtown attractions, including the CN Tower, Rogers Center, Air Canada Center, theatres, and nightlife, are all about 15 minutes away by car. Access to Highway 401 and the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) are both about 16 to 20 minutes away by car. (All driving time estimates: Google Maps)

Verified by a front desk agent on September 15, 2014: On-site and in-room amenities, pet policy, free Wi-Fi, and wheelchair accessibility.
The Good
There were few positive reviews for this hotel, among the reviews sourced for this editorial, and many guests seemed generally unhappy with their stay. However, there were a few positives found for this hotel.

A few reviewers found the hotel well located for accessing public transit and nearby restaurants, while a couple of other guests said it was easy to access area attractions by transit or cabs from this hotel.

A couple of guests found the beds comfortable, while a couple of other reviewers found their rooms clean. However, there were many concerns about the quality and condition of the guest rooms by other reviewers (see below for more details).

Some guests who used this hotel to access St. Joseph's Hospital seemed satisfied to have a place to stay close by.
The Bad
As mentioned above, many reviewers were very displeased with the quality of the accommodations at this hotel, among the reviews read for this editorial. Several reviewers specifically mentioned that they would not stay at this hotel again and that they could not recommend the hotel to others.

Many guests found their rooms small and cramped, while many other reviewers complained of dirty conditions. One guest explained that the rooms were not cleaned daily and even when a housekeeper came to clean they did half a job, leaving bathroom floors still dirty and sticky.

Some guests described unpleasant odors in their rooms. Several reviewers described the hotel as run down, with various guests using words such as dilapidated, disgusting and scuzzy to describe the hotel. One  recent guest complained of burned-out light bulbs leaving the room with no lighting other than the bathroom's lights, dirty sheets and only two random channels on the TV.

This hotel did not appear to meet many guest's expectation of value.

Many reviewers complained that the parking available was too far away (two blocks), while a few guests were unhappy about paying an additional fee for parking.

Several reviewers complained about noise from the nearby street car station where streetcars go in and out at all times of the day and night, while a some other guests were disturbed by noise from neighbouring rooms, fights and even the housekeepers. A couple of reviewers found the in-room air conditioning too loud.

The staff at the hotel received mixed reviews, some guests encountering friendly staff and some encountering rude staff.

A couple of guests mentioned that the neighbourhood immediately surrounding the hotel felt unsafe.

Show Sources
Sources gave this hotel an average score of 2.3 out of 5, with 64% of 332 guests recommending the property. ranked this hotel #126 out of 141 hotels in Toronto, with an average score of 2 out of 5, from 204 reviews. Only 7% of guests from 169 reviews recommended this hotel. rated this hotel 5.7 out of 10 from 170 reviews.

The author called the hotel on September 15, 2014 to verify some information.
Editor's Analysis by Tammy B.
Analyzed by Tammy B.
Writing chose Tammy from the moment she could hold a pencil. The stories may have changed through the years, from creative fiction to television news reporting, but Tammy's passion for words (and fondness for pencils) continues on.
Guest Reviews

Rated 4.2/10 based on 348 reviews

Ranked #140 out of 142 hotels in Toronto


3 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed May 26, 2014

"No restaurant in the hotel except for morning hours. Noisy, street car yard is right behind hotel and runs all hours. 3 Parking spots that you have to drive between a post and wire to get into too. If you book a room with 1 bed, it's so small you can't swing a cat around in it."


9 out of 10 | David stayed March 31, 2014

"great value, glad we came."

"We enjoyed our stay. Great antique stores in the area."


2 out of 10 | Renato stayed August 31, 2013

"thru online agent"

"I would definitely not to recommend to anyone"


5 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed August 30, 2013

"I had a wedding on the lakeshore and the location of this hotel was good. Parking was a nightmare. You have to park two blocks away and then walk to the hotel. Rooms were clean but soooo tiny. for what you pay its not too bad. If you just need somewhere to stay for the night its stay there for a vacation or a romantic evening....don't do it."


1 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed January 14, 2013

"Just a bad experience!"

"This place should be closed down. Only the third floor being used, no elevators and the smell of smoke was really bad. January booking and had to have air conditioner on all the time. Rooms so small you can hardly walk around with 10 inches between beds and the wall, not two mention space to put luggage. And the parking is two blocks away."


8 out of 10 | Roelof stayed October 16, 2012

"god hotel but"

"everything about the HoJo was satisfactory,except the parking sucks. There isn't any or any provision for same."

show older reviews

2 out of 10 | Lynnette stayed July 18, 2010

"Not HoJo Standards, no clean, dissappointing"

"Although the hotel was convenient to everything, the bugs sharing the hotel room with us were not so appealing. Howard Johnson's needs to do A LOT of work here, it certainly does not meet standards of HoJo's or most other hotels for that matter."


1 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed July 10, 2010

"It sucked!!"

"The smell in the room was nasty! the front desk staff did not know what they were doing. I came from an appointment from the Hospital next door to be rudely greeted by the front desk clerk who said I need to get out of the room for someone else even though I booked a room a month in advance. The only good thing we found was the location near the Hospital."


8 out of 10 | Linda stayed February 14, 2010

"Not having parking attached to the hotel was a wee bit awkward - the 3 block walk was chilly in the snow, but the cost of parking was good, especially when compared to downtown Toronto rates. Having the continental breakfast included was great, but it would be better if the hotel replaced the world's slowest toaster with something a faster model."


2 out of 10 | Bruce stayed November 29, 2009

"We are travelers and have booked into Howard Johnson Hotels on many occasions...with confidence gained from previous pleasant experiences at Howard Johnson. However, this time we could not believe the run down condition of the hotel. It was dirty, parking is an inconvenience, (two blocks from the hotel), and expensive. The room was ridiculously tiny, with a sickening odour. Fortunately we only had small overnight bags which didn't cause a problem climbing up three flights of elevator. The carpets in the halls and in our room were badly stained and filthy. The toilet kept running all night. The staff was not part of the problem, they were efficient and professional. Howard Johnson has a decent reputation to uphold and this location is a real blight on that reputation. Gone is the unquestioned confidence in their hotels, if ever we book with Howard Johnson again, we will most definitely research the location, or it will be because we will have no other options."


6 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed April 16, 2006

"It was expensive for it's location, facilities and food. I guess I paid more than what it was worth. Could have been better. May be prices in Toronto demand this, in which case my comments would become void."


3 out of 10 | Eva stayed March 03, 2006

"I had a room with an ill-fitting window the first night (317). The heat stopped in the middle of the night and not even an extra blanket or my wool coat on top of the regular bedding kept me warm. It was 3:30 AM when I decided I had to change rooms and proceeded to pack up my belongings and get dressed. At the same time screaming came from a room on the same floor. "F... YOU !!!!" no "F.. YOU !!! etc. I thought, how original. When I opened the door to go down to the lobby two policemen were taking a statement from a woman who was bruised and holding a towel to her hurt face. If my father wasn't dying nearby and this wasn't a convenient location and I hadn't prepaid I would never stay here. The next two nights were spent in a warmer room (208) but the staff had not made a note that I had moved the night before (there was a lot going on)so the room wasn't cleaned the second night."


2 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed November 13, 2005

"It was an awful looking hotel. We ended up not staying there, walked in our room and walked right out."


2 out of 10 | Mark stayed September 15, 2005

"I am a 45 year old male that travels 4-5 times a year at which time I stay in hotels all over the US. Never in my life have I EVER had the misfortune of staying in a more disorganized, filthy disgusting place. You should be ashamed of listing a hotel like this and taking money for booking it. Check in was at 2:30 and the room wasn't " ready" until almost 6PM. We showed up at 4 and had to wait to check in. I am looking into my rights with the NY state attorney generals office regarding this terrible experience. Mark Menafo"


2 out of 10 | Gregory stayed September 15, 2005

"The hotel is runned down and is in need of remodeling. The location was right at the Street Car station and was therefore very noisy, the neighborhood that it was in did not seem very good either. The only advantage is that it was right on the street car line, if you don't mind the noise. Overall it was not a pleasant stay and it has not made a very good impression to even consider staying at Days Inn again. The first night we stayed in a small, dark, and almost clostrophogic room. There were many burn marks on the bed linens, walls, rug, etc. The pipes rattled when we used the faucets. The staff was able to put us in a nicer, larger room for the second and third night, this room was suprisingly nice; there was an additional fee of $20 per night. I would definitely not stay here again and wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy."


3 out of 10 | Patricia stayed September 17, 2004

"No parking, no elevator, no curtain for bottom half of bathroom window (window faced main street), no closet, questionable clientele, very grubby."


8 out of 10 | Kriss stayed August 29, 2004

"This hotel is right at the far end of Queens st West with easy public transport downtown. There's a 24/7 coffee (not good :) ) place right out side, and a little further down queens st a 24/7 convienence store(good) then a 24/7 inet cafe (best one I went in while there). So although it's on the outskirts of the city center it's well suited for insomniacs."


2 out of 10 | Alicia stayed August 22, 2004

"This was, with out a doubt the scariest hotel I have ever stayed at. Are you familiar with the word 'renovations'?"


5 out of 10 | Melissa stayed August 17, 2004

"There were ants crawling all over the place in our room (Room 211). I closed a bag of chips and set it on the desk beside the bed and by morning the bag was covered both inside and out with ants. It was really gross. Also there was hair in our towels that definately didn't belong to us."


4 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed July 05, 2004

"My biggest disappointment was having the street car station outside my window. The street car traffic did not stop until 2am. I would rather the room be sound proofed than have a window."


2 out of 10 | Carly stayed July 01, 2004

"I feel bad for filling out this survey so negatively but I just can't get over how horriable the hotel was. I have NEVER had such poor service. The room was unbelievable....the bathroom was clean but the rest of the room was ..well there arn't words to describe it. The floors looked like they hadn't been vaccummed ever, behind the dresser was a layer of dirt and old cigarette butts, dust everywhere, no to mention the room was incrediably small(which would be fine if I hadn't paid $120 for the night). I'm from Halifax and came up for the Dave Matthews concert and if it wern't for the excitement of that staying at that hotel would have ruined the trip. I firmly believe in praise when praise is deserved. When we talk about the trip to Toronto we laugh about the hotel and how disgusting it was....I'am sincerely sorry if this sounds harsh but for $120 I felt so ripped off!!"


6 out of 10 | David stayed November 02, 2003

"It is what it is, because of location and size. It was a convenient location for me to stay, so that's why I chose it. I would have preferred a room with a view and jacuzzi or pool and bigger rooms. It is a small old hotel and that is what I expected for that neighborhood. It was clean, had good TV's with cable. The bed was good and service friendly. Breakfast was just OK, but the restaurant was Indian, so that's what I expected. Probably has better Indian food. Location is good if you are adventurous and want to get into the local ethnic culture, which is a good mix. Parking was not the best."

Map Marker Howard Johnson Toronto Lakeshore
14 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON