5 Awesome Youth Hostels in Canada

5 Awesome Youth Hostels in Canada

If you are travelling around Canada on a budget, staying in a hostel will be a great way to cut down the cost of your accommodation and meet other travellers. You can book the cheapest flights across Canada and explore this vast land even on a small budget.

Here are five of the most awesome hostels in Canada from Ocean Island Backpackers Inn on Vancouver Island to the Ottawa Jail Hostel (built in an old prison!). Other hostels include the Shuswap Lake Hostel (dorms inside old restored train cars), the Auberges Montreal (in a 135-year-old mansion) and the SameSun Backpacker Lodge in beautiful Banff, Alberta.

The Ocean Island Backpackers Inn – Victoria, British Columbia

Ocean Islang Backpackers Youth Hostel

Victoria, B.C. has a fantastic laid-back vibe, beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and a great collection of quirky coffee shops, used book stores, vegan restaurants and funky local designers. It is a great place for the creative and the curious with everything from concerts to poetry readings happening throughout the year.

The best place to stay in Victoria is the Ocean Island, a large and colorful building located right in the heart of downtown. It offers cheaper prices than other Victoria hotels and has everything from private rooms to hostel-style dorm beds. The café lounge is a great place to hang out, as it offers live music and events throughout the week.

The Ottawa Jail Hostel – Ottawa, Ontario

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in prison but don’t want to break the law, why not stay in the Ottawa Jail Hostel? Located in the leafy and peaceful Canadian capital, this hostel is a former prison that was in operation for more than 100 years. It’s really nothing like actually being imprisoned — you’ll find the sleeping arrangements much more pleasing.

The dorms are housed in renovated jail cells and they are a lot more comfortable than you might think. The hostel is equipped with all of the amenities you will need, such as Wi-Fi, laundry, a kitchen and a lounge with a TV. You can also take a look up at the eighth floor, which has been preserved as it was in the past.

Shuswap Lake Hostel – Shuswap Lake, British Columbia

This is another great Canadian hostel with distinct accommodations: old restored train cars. The hostel is located in the gorgeous wilderness by Shushap Lake, between Vancouver and Banff.

Each train car has its own kitchen and bathroom and the train cars are located right on the water. There is a free canoe that hostel guests can use and the owners of this hostel are friendly, eco-conscious and happy to show you around the area.

Auberges Montreal – Montreal, Quebec

Otherwise known as the Montreal Youth Hostel, this great place is located right in downtown Montreal. It is close to everything you need to have a great visit including some of the best nightlife that the city has to offer. The hostel is set within a mansion that is over 135 years old, which gives it some great character and charm.

Within the hostel there is a lovely little bistro that serves tea, breakfast, lunch and of course, coffee. The view from the terrace over Montreal is divine.

The SameSun Backpacker Lodge – Banff, Alberta

SameSun banff Youth HostelIf you love the great outdoors, Banff will be your ultimate paradise. This gorgeous resort town in the Rocky Mountains is surrounded by some of the best hiking, skiing, canoeing and other outdoor adventures that Canada has to offer. The SameSun Backpacker Lodge is located right on Banff Avenue in the centre of town, just a quick walk away from all of the action in downtown. It offers a full kitchen, free breakfast, an outdoor patio and free Wi-Fi.

From right outside the hostel, the shuttle bus will take you to the local skiing resorts where you can enjoy racing down the mountains in fluffy, fresh powder. There are also several great hikes in the region that you can enjoy as well as the scenic tram ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain. After a big day of exploring, you can soak in the natural hot springs!

These are just a few of the best examples of Canadian youth hostel accommodations.  So why not start exploring Canada today!

About the Author: Sam Worthington is a freelance writer and travel blogger from Chicago. He recently traveled across Canada on a small budget, staying in youth hostels along the way.


  1. Nicole B says

    I have been to the Ottawa and Banff hostels (before I had kids!) and it was such a great way to meet other people and they both had fantastic locations!

  2. Susan T. says

    I’ve stayed in many hostels internationally but never considered them here in Canada. These look much nicer than most I’ve stayed in!

  3. Jaime Brown says

    I am so glad there are places that are clean and safe for youths to stay. My youngest daughter is turning sixteen in a couple months and for the last few years she has decided to travel after she is out of school, which scared me to death, but knowing that there are places like that makes me feel a little bit better( still scared, but not to death anymore) Thank you for writing about this:)

  4. Victoria Ess says

    I’m so excited to have this list! When I travel with my partner we always try to do it on a budget, but for some reason, the thought never crossed my mind to stay in a hostel when travelling within Canada. Some of these hostels are so neat, they are worthy of being put on a bucket list!

  5. Karine says

    Hey thanks for that information, I think I’ll look into the Montreal and Ottawa ones for when my boyfriend comes to visit me.

  6. says

    I spent a lot of time in hostels while travelling through the UK but never any in Canada – these are all great! I’m going to pass the info on to my niece who has made it her life’s mission to backpack the world :)

  7. says

    Great article! I knew that hostels existed in Europe but I never knew they were in CANADA too??!! Good to know! The pic of one looks like they are well kept too!

  8. says

    Thanks for sharing!! I’ve never stayed in a hostel but have a friend that used to always rely on them for travelling :) So good to know!

  9. says

    okay a youth hostel is one place I have never stayed! lol once I rented a dorm room at an East Coast university during a summer road trip!

  10. Holly Messana says

    I have never stayed in a Youth Hostel, my sister and her husband had stayed at them on a cross canada trip. She really enjoyed them and felt safe and comfortable

  11. Soozle says

    Huh! I’ve never thought of hostels in Canada.. don’t ask me why – but I’ve always thought of them as a place to stay internationally!

    Thank you for sharing! Very much something to consider on my travels!

  12. Tara Gauthier says

    I never would have thought to look up hostels in Canada, but what a great way to travel on the cheap!

  13. says

    Wish I had known some of this info when I was younger! They sound much better than what I would imagine a hostel to be. I love the idea of restored train cars! Thanks for the post – if I ever come across anyone looking to stay at a great hostel, I will pass along this info to them!

  14. says

    These all hostel accommodations are amazing and I likes the The Ottawa Jail Hostel in Ottawa so much, It is one of the best hostel accommodation I have experienced. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post.

  15. loriag says

    I am definitely keeping the The Ocean Island Backpackers Inn – Victoria in mind if it is needed. Looks awesome.

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