Walking into the wide, high-ceilinged marble lobby of the Intercontinental Toronto Centre, you might worry that your kids won’t exactly fit in, so to speak, at this elegant hotel. Rest assured: as soon as you reach the check-in desk and see the friendly ‘kids’ check-in’ station, you’ll know you’re in the right place. While the Intercontinental is attached to Toronto’s sprawling conference center and event space, it’s not an all-business hotel. The location is absolutely perfect for families: you’re so close to the CN Tower, you can practically reach out and touch it, you’re adjacent to subway lines, and you’re within two blocks of the waterfront. The perfect Toronto hotel with kids, the Intercontinental’s placement on Front Street also gives families direct access to many restaurants as well as nearby St. Lawrence Market.
This said, the area around the hotel does get busy with party-goers and late-night bar crowds on weekends, but from within the hotel, we never heard a peep of noise. Our room on the 14th floor overlooked the train station, which is fun for kids, and had sweeping views of downtown and the CN Tower (I had to crane my neck up to see it, it’s so close). Parents can park their car in the underground parking and forget about it, opting to walk or take subways nearly everywhere. Within walking distance: the Watefront and Harbourfront Centre, Rogers Centre, the CN Tower, Sugar Beach, ferries to Centre Island, St. Lawrence Market, Roundhouse Park, and plenty of dining.
Pool and Spa:
We had a great time in the pool area, which is located adjacent to the award-winning spa. The heated indoor saline pool includes a fun waterfall feature kids love, and a spacious hot tub. There’s also an attached wading pool for not-quite swimmers, also saline and heated. The pool area is very relaxing, with oversized lounge chairs and complimentary tea and water. This is a great option for families who need to relax and let kids burn off some energy after being out of the day and before dinner plans. There’s a two-rooms exercise facility as well that’s above average.
Room rates and amenities:
At the time of our visit, our king bed room (with optional rollaway) started at $249/night. In-room amenities include a coffee maker, robes, shower/tub combo, and mini-fridge. The fridge was stocked, but there was room to store a few small items. (Remember, parents can always ask for mini-bar fridges to be cleared out should they prefer.) WiFi was $13 for a 24-hour period. Service from bell staff and front desk staff was very friendly and efficient during our entire stay.
The Intercontinental does have a full restaurant off the lobby, as well as room service, but there are numerous other options. Directly across the street on Front Street is the underground food court attached to the CBC offices, with many low-cost options for families needing a quick meal. On the street level are many hot dog stands and a few food trucks as well. Front Street also boasts the Loose Moose and Cedar Creek restaurants, both of which we found to be fun for families while offering a lively atmosphere.
The Intercontinental is located at 225 Front Street. From the airport, families can easily take public transit for under $3 per person (take the 192 Rocket to Kipling Station, then grab the subway. From Kipling, get on the Bloor-Danforth line to Spadina Station, then get on the Yonge-University line to St. Andrews Station. A taxi will cost you $55.
Disclaimer: as I disclose whenever applicable, I stayed at the Intercontinental as a guest of the hotel, for the purpose of review. This compensation came with no expectation of a positive review.