Review: Courtyard Toronto Downtown | Prince of Travel

I recently went home to Toronto to reconnect with my family for a brief weekend sojourn.

It was important for me to find a hotel that had an excellent price-to-quality ratio, especially since I hardly needed luxuries such as free breakfast or full service due to the brevity of my stay.

Fortunately, the well-situated Courtyard Toronto Downtown fulfilled all my needs at a fair price, and had surprisingly modern and attractive amenities for a limited-service hotel. 

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Booking

I was lucky enough to score an industry rate for the Courtyard Toronto Downtown, which greatly reduced the cost of my stay. However, I’ve seen that prices at this location tend to hover around the $210–300 (CAD) mark, depending on demand and seasonality.

On weekends in the summer, prices can surge precipitously, so book early if you can.

For a limited-service hotel, this can seem a little steep, but the main price point is in the location, which we’ll address in due time.

If you’re looking to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points, then expect nights to come in at around 25,000–30,000 points. This means that you could realistically surpass our target goal of 0.9 cents per point, making redemptions a decent value when compared to cash rates the Courtyard Toronto Downtown. 

As nights cost less than 35,000 points, this also makes the hotel a decent choice for a Free Night Award, such as those granted by annually renewing loyalty credit cards such as the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card.

Because Toronto isn’t a town known for its lack of expense, feel free to also use any and all corporate codes to which you may be entitled to further reduce the impact to your pocketbook.

If you’re booking a Marriott hotel, consider making your booking through the Prince of Travel affiliate link, which helps to support the website.

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Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Location

As its name would suggest, the Courtyard Toronto Downtown is located in the heart of the city, right next to the historic Maple Leaf Gardens (now an ultra-premium Loblaws), as well as a slew of other services, restaurants, and experiences.

I grew up in this neighbourhood, and my childhood home is only a few blocks away in neighbouring Cabbagetown, so please excuse my biases in favour of the locale.

The hotel is located at the crossroads of Yonge and College Streets, two major thoroughfares in Ontario’s capital.

It’s also a mere block away from the College Park plaza, an underground network that connects to the arterial College TTC station, which runs along the Yonge–University line.

A mere two stops to the north is Bloor–Yonge station, the major connecting hub for Downtown Toronto. One stop to the south is the iconic Eaton Centre, which houses the country’s flagship Hudson’s Bay Company showroom, amongst other shopping destinations.

All of these are also easily walkable from the Courtyard Toronto Downtown, and you can wash down any exhaustion incurred with dinner and drinks at Kinka (formerly Guu), my favourite Japanese-style izakaya in Canada.

Also within walking distance is the famous Phoenix Concert Theatre, an icon of the Toronto music and performing arts scene, which has hosted almost every famous act the mind can fathom.

To sum up, the location is much of what you pay for when you choose to stay at this hotel, and it is wonderful if you’re looking for the Bohemian bon-vivant image Downtown Toronto aspires to.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Check-in

I arrived late at night due to my evening flight in from my new home of Edmonton in freezing Alberta. While I was annoyed at having lost two hours due to time zone differences, I was very happy that the hotel’s front desk staff were highly responsive to my entreaties via the Marriott Bonvoy app.

The front desk staff also advised me that because the hotel is in the downtown core, its front doors would be locked to all persons except guests between 9pm–8am. They also informed me that they’d be on standby to open the doors as soon as I arrived, which was true.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Exterior
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Entrance

When I arrived, the front desk staff had my room keys ready for me, and went out of their way to make my check-in process quick and painless. This was fortunate because I was tired, hangry, and slightly sore from sitting on a plane for four hours.

They were also happy to let me know that the front desk was usually quiet on Saturday mornings, so I could delay taking pictures until then. I was also thanked for my Titanium Elite status, and offered a choice of 500 Bonvoy points or a $10 food and beverage credit.

I was only staying for a short time and had no intention to dine at the hotel, so I went for the points, and didn’t mind the lack of mention of a suite upgrade.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Check-in desks

Next to the front desk area is an open seating area. During the day, it has a concierge desk for guests looking to find out more information regarding their surroundings, and provides a good place to sit and wait for an Uber or taxi to arrive to take you to the airport or elsewhere.

There were also some public-use computers available.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Lobby lounge
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Concierge desk
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Lobby lounge

The hotel has two separate towers, a south tower and a north tower, which are connected by separated diverging hallways. I was in the south tower, so I made my way down that hallway to the Marriott Bonvoy-branded elevators.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – South tower hallway
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Elevators

Then it was up to my room on the 15th floor, and I made my way down the hallway to room 1516.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Hallway
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Room 1516

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room

Even though I had a mere base-level room, I am not afraid to admit I was impressed by its modernity, comfort, and, above all else, size. Space is at a premium in Downtown Toronto, and this room had it in spades.

The layout was interesting: a hallway led into the room, with a half-bathroom on the left-hand side. This bathroom contained the toilet and shower.

However, the sink was in a separate, open space on the right-hand side of the hallway next to the room’s closet. The sink area also contained all the towels.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room bathroom
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room sink & towels
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room closet

I’ve only ever seen this open concept at ultra-chic W-branded hotels, and never at a Courtyard. Personally, I like open-concept living.

Many do not, so perhaps this room isn’t for you should you wish to avoid it. Everything was also meticulously clean, which should be expected at the price point but was nice to see, regardless.

Moving on to the bedroom, there was a large king bed. The linen was crisp, and I slept without complaint.

The artwork was a nice bonus, too, as was the seating area which featured a plush armchair. 

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room bedroom
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room bedroom

The seating area further overlooked the downtown core with a functional balcony, though there wasn’t much in the way of a view from my particular room.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room seating area
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room balcony & view

Across from the bed were the usual amenities, such as a flat-screen television and coffee maker, as well as a desk and office chair.

Once again, the television was a newer model, and even featured streaming capabilities from your mobile device, so no need to use cable or overpriced hotel pay-per-view for your entertainment needs.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room flat-screen TV and desk
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – King Guest Room coffee maker

My one critique of the setup would be the coffee, which was virtually undrinkable. Then again, it did contain a large amount of caffeine, which can be said to have merits of its own, regardless of flavour.

Also of note is that full turndown service is available every day on request; however, you need to leave the room in order for cleaning to be completed.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Other Facilities

I didn’t have the chance to partake in any breakfast foods at the Courtyard Toronto Downtown because my itinerary was filled with family visits, which often included dim sum.

However, the hotel is home to a restaurant where elites can use their $10 food and beverage credit, should you wish to forego the 500 Bonvoy points in its favour.

The restaurant appeared to be a combined counter-service offering that also sells Starbucks coffee. As the restaurant is licensed, you can also order beer, wine, and spirits between 11:30am and 8pm most days.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Café

There is also a grab-and-go style series of options available 24/7. I didn’t wind up buying anything, but I can’t imagine prices are low due to the convenience factor.

Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Beverage coolers
Courtyard Toronto Downtown – Snacks & television

A word to wise late-night snackers: the Courtyard Toronto Downtown is right across the street from both a Shoppers Drug Mart and a Pizza Pizza, which are open late. While these may not contain the most palatable foodstuffs, their offerings are equal or superior to anything in the lineup at the hotel.

So, feel free to pop across the street, should you be hankering for something to eat.


The Courtyard Toronto Downtown is an enjoyable place to stay, and I don’t regret choosing it for my family visit needs.

The room was neat, fresh, and modern in its inspiration, and I genuinely enjoyed its open-living concept and sheer size, which was excellent for Downtown Toronto.

I also have many positive words to say about the front desk staff, who helped to expedite my check-in and made every aspect of my stay, from requesting turndown service to checking out quickly, that much easier.

On the other hand, the hotel lacks luxury amenities such as an Executive Lounge or a meaningful elite breakfast, and the food at the grab-and-go market seems uninspired considering the rich diversity of Toronto’s culinary scene.

But then again, who among us can claim to stay at North American Courtyards for their transcendental gustatory experiences? For what I needed – a comfortable bed, a great location, and excellent service – I got more than what I desired, and would stay again without hesitation.

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