We love to visit Toronto with the kids and check out all the great attractions downtown. What we do not love about visiting the downtown core is all the traffic and the fact that downtown Toronto hotels can be very expensive, especially when you are bringing the whole family along. Lucky for us though, we recently had the opportunity to discover the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at the Toronto International Airport.
The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is a convenient and comfortable downtown hotel alternative that is both cost-effective and a reliable 25 minute trip to downtown on the new UP Express train. My husband and I loved the location right in the Toronto international Airport which is easy to get to without any of the traffic of downtown Toronto, it really is the perfect home base for exploring downtown.
My girls absolutely were in heaven when they discovered our rooms had a fantastic view of the tarmac and that they could sit at the window and watch planes take off and land. It really is a unique view.
We stayed in the International Suite which is on the Sheraton Club level and includes club perks like complimentary continental breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres, complimentary in-room wireless internet access, and more. The rooms were comfortable, clean and offered plenty of room for our family. The hotel also offers traditional sized guests rooms.
When we travel as a family we tend to prefer suites so that the kids can follow their normal bedtime routines, allowing my husband and I to relax until we are ready for bed.
The girls loved having their own comfortable and cozy beds and got plenty of sleep. On day two of our trip they desperately needed a late afternoon nap and with the curtains pulled shut the room was perfect for sleep.
The suite also features a small kitchenette and a large dining room. The dining room was perfect as we were able to enjoy meals inside our room in comfort instead of dragging everyone to a restaurant after a long day of exploration.
It was really nice to be able to enjoy the comforts of home including a lovely family room where we were able to spend some time as a family after dinner.
The suite also offers three different bathrooms which was fantastic at bedtime and for getting ready to go in the morning.
Our own room was quite spacious and comfortable with a desk for me to get some work done. We were able to get some much needed sleep in the comfortable bed with no noise from the airport at all thanks to the triple-paned windows. It was incredibly quiet actually, I was a bit surprised as our house is under the flight path into the Hamilton International Airport and while we are still quite a bit away from the actual airport, it can get quite loud, especially at night.
Breakfast in the Sheraton Club Lounge was fantastic – scrambled eggs with plenty of fixings, bacon, pancakes, pastries, cereal, fruit, yoghurt, juice and coffee were all available.
The Sheraton Gateway Hotel also features a fitness centre and pool which is perfect for staying fit on the road.
Of course, the best part of our stay was how easy it was for us to get from the hotel to downtown Toronto. We simply hopped on the terminal link train for a quick ride to Terminal 1 and got directly on the UP Express train to Union Station. It’s a quick (and traffic free!) ride to Union Station and the kids absolutely loved riding on the train.
Once downtown we took advantage of Citypass to visit some of the fantastic family attractions in Toronto.
Our first stop was Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada which is a short walk from Union Station along the SkyWalk.
Ripley’s is Canada’s largest indoor aquarium and features more than 16,000 marine animals, including some of the most incredible jellyfish exhibits, stingray and bamboo shark touch pools, and live dive shows.
The kids had a blast exploring the Aquarium and there are plenty of hands on activities that keeps even the littlest of visitors engaged. My favourite part of the museum is the Dangerous Lagoon which begins in an underwater tunnel on a conveyor belt that weaves through the gallery to see many different species of sharks, fish and turtles.
We even enjoyed a scarlet cleaner shrimp manicure. Trust me, you don’t want to miss that!
Our next stop was the CN Tower which is right next to Ripley’s Aquarium. The kids loved the view and were totally fascinated by how high up we were. They even walked on the glass floor – something I completely avoided.
We spent our final day at the Toronto Zoo where we were able to check out Canada’s only giant panda cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue. It was a rainy day when we visited but plenty of the exhibits are indoors and some of the outdoor exhibits were still viewable and because of the weather there were no crowds. It actually turned out to be a perfect day!
Other great attractions downtown included in the CityPASS Admission includes Casa Loma and Royal Ontario Museum.
The Sheraton Gateway Hotel’s location was ideal for our family trip. We were able to get easily get to any of the downtown Toronto attractions via the UP Express train and could easily catch transit to any museums or attractions we wanted to visit outside the core too.
We loved our stay at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at the Toronto International Airport and can’t wait to return. It is the perfect hotel for exploring downtown Toronto with your family.
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary stay and CityPass in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are honest and my own.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!