Hotels are all well and good for a short stay, but if you're going to be in the city working out a deal for work, you might want more homey surroundings than a hotel can provide. In this case, you might opt to choose a homestay option where you receive room and board from a homeowner in exchange for a nominal fee. To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of this arrangement and how to find a homestay, consult our room and board guide to Toronto homestays.

The major advantage of a homestay over a hotel is that homestays are significantly cheaper. Homeowners don't enter into homestay arrangements because they want to make buckets of money off the extra rooms in their house. They do it because they like people and want to help out. Other advantages include having your meals made for you instead of having to eat out all the time, having the companionship of the homeowner instead of being by yourself, and having access to kitchen appliances and other features not commonly found in hotels.

However, there are disadvantages to a homestay arrangement that you should be aware of as well. Since you're sharing a property with the homeowner, you won't have as much privacy as you would in a hotel. In most homes you'll likely have to share the bathroom, show up on time for meals if you want them, and obey the rules the homeowner sets out (such as no TV after a certain time to avoid waking up the rest of the household). In many cases your bedroom will not have a lock and you'll have to check with the homeowner before inviting guests over.

Homestay arrangements are more popular with some types of travelers than others. They're most popular among students who are mostly young, inexperienced at caring for themselves and unable to afford their own real estate. Homestay arrangements are also popular with itinerant workers who won't be in town long enough to make buying property worthwhile or want to save money. Those with larger budgets usually choose to rent a place from a provider of furnished accommodations.

If you want to book a homestay in Toronto for while you're visiting, online is probably a good place to start. Easyroommate.com has more options for travelers who are not students and classified ad websites like Kijiji and Craigslist are also a likely place to find rooms. If you're attending a school, check with the student office to find out if there's a certain organization they recommend working through.

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