When visiting Toronto by car, what are your options? Motor hotels, or motels in Toronto, are one such option that are also generally on the less costly end of accommodation.
While the term motel is generally being phased out by the tourism industry, the concept of the motor hotel is one that continues to be relevant. Hotels designed for those travelling by car, with easy access to major transportation routes and free parking facilities, are still in high demand. Hundreds of thousands of travellers from other parts of Canada and the United States visit Toronto by car every year.
A motel, or motor hotel, is a hotel designed for motorists. While the majority of hotels tend to have parking available for guests, downtown Toronto can be expensive. In addition, traffic and other concerns can make driving in downtown Toronto difficult at times.
The majority of motor hotels in the city tend to be located outside of the downtown core, closer to the city's main highways. Running roughly east-west across the north of the city, Highway 401 is the main artery for all of Southern Ontario, and connects Toronto with Montreal on one end and Windsor / Detroit on the other. Further north of that, Highway 407 is a toll road that also runs east-west, effectively bypassing the city.
Meanwhile, in terms of main highways running north-south, Highway 404 is located on the northeast part of the city. In the center-north region, Highway 400 runs up to Barrie and cottage country, while Highway 427 runs north-south on the western side of the city adjacent to the airport. Highway 410 skirts the city's western edge beyond the airport before turning south towards Hamilton and Niagara Falls.
There are motels and hotels located at most major exits on the 400-series highways, especially those in close proximity to where these roads meet. Northeast of the city, the area around the interchange of Highways 407 and 404 offers Howard Johnson, Courtyard by Marriott and two Holiday Inns. While these establishments are hotel chains, their location with access to the major highways and parking facilities would effectively categorize them as motor hotels.
Another cluster of motels are located in the area where Highway 407 meets Highway 400. Again, several major hotel / motel chains have locations here including Travelodge, Super 8 Motel, Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn. These spots also have the benefit of being close to nearby attractions such as Vaughan Mills shopping area and Canada's Wonderland Amusement Park.
While the neighbourhood of Pearson International Airport has numerous hotels for travellers, the area a little further west on Highway 401 has more options for those looking for motel accommodations. This area is handy for those travelling in from London and Windsor / Detroit in the west, and from Buffalo and Niagara in the south. Motel 6, Super 8 Motel, Comfort Inn, Sheraton and several others have offerings in this area.
Sticking with motels on the western side of the city, south of the airport as you get closer to Lake Ontario there are several well rated motels on Lakeshore Blvd. West. Motels in this area are close to the Queen Elizabeth Way (or QEW), a freeway that begins as the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto and connects with highway 410 south of the city. The Ivy Motel and Green Acres Motel are options near the Dixie Road exit, while off the Gardiner closer to the city you'll find The Beach Motel, The Hillcrest Motel and the Shore Breeze Motel all on Lakeshore Blvd. West.
For those coming in from locations in the east, Scarborough has numerous motel options located on Highway 2 south of the 401. Running parallel to the shoreline of Lake Ontario, accommodation in this area offer easy access to lakeside parks and the Scarborough Bluffs. Chains like Super 8 Motel and Howard Johnson have locations here, as well as several independent old-fashioned style motels such as the Roycroft Motel, Park Motel and Hav-A-Nap Motel.