Dare to explore Ontario, Canada, where the past intertwines with the present in unsettling, eerie ways. Step inside a historic hotel when darkness falls across the province, and you may get more than you paid for. We’ve created a collection of Ontario’s eight most haunted hotels for those who tread the line between thrill-seeking and historical exploration.

Read on to fill up your nightmare fuel before booking your stay at one of these notoriously haunted hotels. From the historic hotels in Niagara-on-the-Lake, scarred from the War of 1812, to former jail cells ravaged by tortured inmates. Ontario has room for every soul, whether of this life or the next!

1. Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa

Ottawa Jail Hostel covered in ivy with cobbled fence
Ottawa Jail Hostel, 75 Nicholas St, Ottawa, ON | BOOK A STAY

The Ottawa Jail is a hostel now, but before it was a place for guests to call home for a night, it was home to death row inmates. The Ottawa Jail was built in 1862 next door to the courthouse and was connected via an underground tunnel. It served as a jail until 1972 when it was closed and converted into a hostel.

This jail is considered one of the most haunted places in Ontario, having appeared on multiple ghost hunting TV shows because of the cruel conditions the prisoners were held in. The prisoners ranged from murderers and mentally ill to those arrested for drinking offenses, and even women and children were held there.

The living conditions were inhumane and prisoners died from disease, harsh conditions, and malnourishment. Officials have found over a hundred unmarked graves on the property, ensuring these prisoners are unable to rest in peace.

Now, these prisoners wander the building, slamming doors, appearing to guests, and calling out to them. One such commonly seen spirit is that of Patrick J. Whelan, who was hanged for a murder he swore he didn’t commit. What keeps him trapped here is the broken promise that he would be buried in his family plot, but was buried in an unmarked grave on the jail grounds. Guests see him standing at their beds and walking in the death-row wing.

Another area of ominous activity is the solitary confinement cells, where prisoners were handcuffed to the floor.

All it takes now to stay in this historically accurate jail is booking a reservation. The Ottawa jail Hostel offers rooms in jail cells starting at $95 per night and hostel-style rooms, sleeping up to 8 people and starting at $33 a night. They offer free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and tours.

2. Chateau Laurier, Ottawa

Chateau Laurier Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Fairmont Château Laurier, 1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON | BOOK A ROOM

Fairmont Château Laurier was opened in 1912 and is still an icon in Ottawa. Often called a castle, the Chateau’s Tiffany stained-glass windows, hand-moulded plaster decorations, limestone walls, and marble floors have been a hub for films, film stars, and royalty for over a century. It is Canada’s most elegant hotel and one of Ottawa’s most haunted. The origins of this haunting go back to the beginning.

Grand Trunk Railway president Charles Melville Hays commissioned the hotel. Hays was returning to Canada to attend the grand opening of his hotel, but unfortunately, he would never make it alive – at the last minute, he decided to board the Titanic and lost his life when it sank.

Related: The Most Haunted Places in Canada

Some say Hays’ spirit is the one who roams the halls of the hotel and there may be something to this, as many people say that much of the paranormal activity occurs on the fifth floor, which is where the Charles Melville Hays memorial suite is located.

There have been several deaths at the hotel, including suicide by jumping from the upper floors. Guests claim to see apparitions often on the upper floors and have uneasy, negative feelings.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio studio was on the 7th and 8th floors for over 80 years. Their employees had many experiences, and the chairman experienced many things in his time living there, such as things in his room breaking or being moved and loud noises waking him.

Chateau Laurier has 429 rooms, split into beautiful guest rooms and splendid suites. They have a restaurant, tea room, and a bar inside. Rooms start at $497 a night and include free Wi-Fi and the potential for room renovations courtesy of unseen hands.

3. Hochelaga Inn, Ottawa

The Haunted Hochelaga Inn, Ottawa
Hochelaga Inn, 24 Sydenham St, Kingston, ON K7L 3G9, Canada | Book a Room

Built on land inherited from his wife’s family, the Hochelaga Inn was originally built for John McIntyre and his wife, Harriet McIntyre, in 1879. John was Kingston’s very first mayor and a prominent attorney.

After John McIntyre died, the home was bought by the Hochelaga Foundation, who converted it into a boarding house for their traveling employees. The home was then sold in 1933 and converted into apartments, but soon fell into disrepair.

In 1985, the home was bought and repaired as historically accurate as possible and turned into the hotel we know today. Since then, many different people have taken their turn owning the hotel, but the woman in black remains a constant, roaming the halls of what she considers her forever home.

Many guests have reported seeing this woman, typically sitting in a chair by the front window. Sometimes, they report feeling her dress as she rushes past them, or they even see her standing over their bed as they awake.

Harriet McIntyre is said to be the woman in black, not ready to leave her home and her land. Other guests have witnessed the spirit of a blonde-haired boy sneaking around the hotel, but sightings of him are not as common.

More often, guests only complain of problems with their TV sets or items moving around their rooms. Either way, booking a room here comes with a glimpse into the past, whether it’s just the decor you see or something a little spookier.

All the rooms are historically designed and have their own unique theme. Every surface is beautifully decorated with Victorian furnishings with optimal relaxation and comfort in mind. The Hochelaga Inn offers daily breakfast, and queen rooms start at $382 a night.

4. Prince George Hotel, Kingston

Prince George Hotel Kingston
200 Ontario St, Kingston, ON K7L 2Y9, Canada

The Prince George Hotel began its long life in 1809 and today is a well-known downtown Kingston historical landmark. Becoming an icon in Kingston’s Market Square, the hotel was originally built as a residence for Lawrence Herchmer.

Soon, the residence grew outward, engulfing several commercial buildings around it, combining them to make one large building in 1892. Since then, it’s housed a multitude of businesses including saloons, warehouses, shops, and now apartments.

But before the hotel turned commercial, the Herchmer family contributed one last legacy to this building’s notoriety.

In the 1800’s, Kingston was a navy town, with ships and sailors coming into harbor daily. Legend has it Lily Herchmer had fallen for a sailor despite her parents forbidding it. She’d hang a lantern in her window to signal to her lover that it was safe to come to her room.

One fateful night, she fell asleep and the lantern fell over, causing a fire to take her life. To this day, her ghost is said to haunt the hotel, but mainly room 304. And many walking passersby see an orange glow from the window or an apparition of a woman staring out to sea. Haunting Research organizations and TV show Ghost Hunters have visited the hotel, confirming the presence of at least one entity. The hotel’s ground floor is home to the Tir Nan Og Pub, where employees deal with more than just drunk clientele. They speak of items and doors moving and the malevolent spirits of what they say are two men.

The building no longer functions as a hotel. The Prince George Hotel is now condos and apartments. But those wanting to experience the normal and paranormal history can stop at the Tir Nan Og Pub, Monte’s Pub, and The Speckled Hen on the former hotel’s ground floor.

5. Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto

Fairmont Royal York - Toronto, Canada
Fairmont Royal York, 100 Front St W, Toronto | BOOK A ROOM

The Royal York Hotel was built on the site of a previous hotel dating back to 1843. The Royal York was built in its place and opened in 1929 with 28 floors, making it the tallest building in the entire British Empire.

The hotel was so grand it was considered a city within a city and since its opening, it has hosted royalty, celebrities, heads of state, and foreign dignitaries. They even proclaim to have hosted 40 million guests, some of which have never left.

Related: The Most Haunted Hotels in Canada

One of the hauntings is a location – the Crystal Ballroom. The ballroom has been closed for years, but it seems a group of spectral party-goers never got that notice. Guests who stay directly under the ballroom complain of loud music, talking, and footsteps overhead. Even the elevator makes frequent stops on the empty floor.

An unfortunate haunting is that of a previous employee who hanged himself in the 19th floor maintenance stairwell. Staff sometimes see his apparition and more often, hear screaming and footsteps in the stairwell. Cameras are watched but no visible person is seen.

Guests also hear the sound of children laughing and playing in the halls but open their doors to find the halls empty. And the most frequently sighted ghost is the grey-haired old man on the 8th floor. He wears a maroon jacket and roams the halls at night. Some staff refuse to serve that floor after sundown.

This glamorous hotel offers 1,343 rooms, two restaurants, a tea room, two bars, an indoor pool, sauna, and a gym. Room reservations start at $419 per night. They also offer historical tours that touch on their haunted past.

6. Walper Hotel, Kitchener

Walper Hotel Kitchener
Walper Hotel, 20 Queen St S, Kitchener, ON N2G 1V6, Canada | Book a Room

The Walper Hotel stands today as the region’s most historic hotel. Before the Walper stood at this site today, the land was home to other hotels and inns dating back to the 1820s. The prior building burned down in 1892, and the Walper was built in its place in 1893.

This land occupies the perfect spot to be the heart of Kitchener’s social and cultural scene, bringing in famous and renowned guests since its opening in the late 1800s to the present day.

Restored in 2016, the Walper has been designated by the Ontario Heritage Act for its historic and architectural value.

The fire that claimed the prior hotel is adding to the hotel’s intriguing presence. There are reports that hundreds of guests and employees lost their lives in the fire that day, but no confirmation exists.

In the current hotel, a maid has been said to have perished in a gas explosion, and guests are said to see her apparition wandering the halls and haunting one room in particular. Some guests see a figure matching the description of Abel Walper, the man who built the Walper as it stands today.

The ghost of Joseph Zuber, Sr. is also seen. He was the previous owner of the hotel, and he passed away after a prolonged illness kept him confined to a bed inside the hotel.

The Walper Hotel has no interest in claiming its potential haunted history. Management and employees take no part in discussing these claims. The only way to find out is to see for yourself.

Rooms at the hotel start at $209 a night. They pride themselves on the unique identity of each room, stating that no two rooms are the same, but all come equipped with coffee stations, tech-friendly comforts, heritage, and charm.

7. Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagara-on-the-lake
Prince of Wales Hotel, 6 Picton St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada | Book a Room

The site of the Prince of Wales Hotel dates back to 1864 and is a historical landmark in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The hotel changed its name a few times, from Long’s Hotel, the Arcade Hotel, the Niagara House, and finally, The Prince of Wales Hotel.

The hotel’s name isn’t the only thing that changes over time. So does the name of the ghost walking its halls.

One story is of the ghost of either Mary or Molly McGuire, who is said to haunt room 207. This area of the hotel used to be McGuire’s home before the hotel expanded, and legend has it she was accidentally killed by an American soldier, thinking she was the enemy during the War of 1812.

Guests report flickering lights, the shower turning on and off, and hearing voices and footsteps in room 207.

There are also whispers of another ghost in the hotel who took his own life in the carriage house that stood across the street from the hotel in 1895. Hugh Hutchison bought a shotgun from a local smith, saying it was for a cat in the barn, but he was later found in the stalls, dead.

Prince of Wales Hotel has 110 uniquely decorated rooms offering a large selection of rooms and suites to accommodate guests. Rooms start at $269 per night, each elegantly and luxuriously decorated with handpicked decor to suit the space. The hotel also has two dining areas, a tea room, a spa, and an indoor pool, and offers wine tastings.

8. Glenerin Inn, Mississauga

Glenerin Inn Mississisauga
Glenerin Inn, 1695 The Collegeway, Mississauga, ON L5L 3S7, Canada | Book a Stay

Glenerin Inn is an 85-acre estate built in 1927 as a summer home for the wealthy Watson family. The Inn is one of the few remaining mansions in the area, perhaps due to its ever-changing usage.

Soon after its completion, Mr. Watson passed away and was buried nearby. The Glenerin Estate became a school in 1940 for children displaced in WWII. After the war, the estate was purchased and used for an employee rehabilitation center, later becoming a synagogue. Today, it’s known as the Glenerin Inn.

Glenerin Inn has witnessed many heavy emotions throughout its history, from children seeking refuge to families finding peace and healing after trauma. This energy has left an opening for Mr. Watson to come and go from the home he had built for his family, forever hosting new guests in his extravagant residence.

Many guests witness a full-bodied apparition in the doorway, but more often than not, they see him tending to the fire in the great hall. A clairvoyant has visited the inn and confirmed the presence of a spirit, but book a stay and judge for yourself.

Glenerin Inn offers 30 unique guest rooms and suites, each boasting cozy and historic interiors. Guests can enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as a spa and the well-manicured gardens and grounds. Rooms start at $259 a night.

You’ve now reached the end of your journey through Ontario’s most haunted hotels. But don’t let that be the end of your paranormal adventure. Click to return to your favorite haunted hotel below, and book your haunted getaway now!

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