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“I'm baffled by all the good reviews...” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Pimblett's Downtown Toronto B&B

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Pimblett's Downtown Toronto B&B
2.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   242 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2G2, Canada (Downtown Toronto)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #30 of 122 Toronto B&B and Inns
Baltimore, MD
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“I'm baffled by all the good reviews...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2007

I'll start with the good things:
-The place is 'charmingly' decorated, which will appeal to people into quirky, shabby chic kind of interiors.
-The hosts were friendly and accommodating.
-The price was a steal.

The bad things:
-The 'charming' decorations were a bit much for my taste; every spare inch of the place was filled with a $2 thrift store painting or an ugly piece of china.
-The food was greasy. The eggs were watery, the bacon looked like a slab of fat, the pancakes tasted mysteriously the same as the sausage, the jelly and butter stayed out on the table 24 hours a day, and (this is not a joke) the host served the same pieces of toast for three days in a row. If it didn't get eaten, he'd just leave it in a Pyrex dish until it all disappeared.
-The place was filthy. The host set the tables at night so that they'd be ready for the morning, leaving plates outside on the patio where insects and pigeons could have their way with them. The silverware was spotty, my juice glass had dried food on it, the entire place was covered in an inch of dust, and I swear I witnessed the host place his gigantic key ring on a breakfast plate, then pick the keys up 10 minutes later, leaving the filthy dish for the next unsuspecting guest. There was a huge basket of soaps in the hallway, a nice gesture, except for the fact that they were all obviously old soaps from Holiday Inns, wrapped in yellowing, soiled packaging. The sheets were old and stained, and the blankets were musty and shabby.
-Pimblett's is ironically adding more rooms so it can pile guests in while ignoring the older parts of the building that are in disrepair. Our bed sagged in the front, the door wouldn't stay shut unless locked, the sink wobbled, and there were at least 5 loose tiles in the bathroom that no one had bothered to glue back in.
-Worst of all, this was my honeymoon, and it was the HARDEST bed I have ever had to sleep in. My wife and I woke up each morning with neck/backaches.

In other words, you get what you pay for.

  • Liked — The price.
  • Disliked — The lack of cleanliness.
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
preston, lancs
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2007

Don't stay here if you want a sterile motel environment. Despite arriving very late at night and with no prior warning that this would be the case we were made very welcome. Breakfasts were well above average. Room was comfortable if somewhat small and cluttered but very clean . Albert is such an interesting and charming host who originates not a million miles from us. Location is ideal for discovering Toronto if you don't mind a little walking. The local restaurant/bar, House on Parliament, is a must for those who appreciate a vibrant, reasonably priced hostelry.

  • Liked — hospitality of Albert
  • Disliked — small bedroom
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2007

While looking for a place to spend our anniversary, my boyfriend and I were trying to find a B&B within our own city, and we very luckily happened upon Pimblett's. Everything, from the decorations to the breakfast to Alfred Pimblett himself, was above and beyond our expectations. Firstly the price was very reasonable, especially considering it included food, cable, and the room had a private bathroom. The room itself was beautiful, comfortable and very charming. The breakfast the next morning was delicious and served in a lovely sunroom where we had our own table and were offered pretty much anything we desired. The hosts do a wonderful job of acting kindly and interested towards all their guests, but also knowing when to give guests privacy. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience and we barely wanted to leave - we're planning on returning next year!

Our only complaint was that the bed was not great - it was quite noisy and not extremely comfortable - but it wasn't uncomfortable, so don't let that scare you away from this gem!

  • Liked — The decor & the food
  • Disliked — The squeaky bed
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
71 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
191 helpful votes 191 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2007

OK, don't go if you like standard square rooms with those identikit could-be-anywhere pictures on the walls. This is not a place for those who like minimalist decor or large spaces. It is also not a place for those who are allergic to dogs, or who want decaff-sugar-free-skinny-withouteverything-breakfasts. If in doubt, check out the website first, it'll give you a good guide as to whether you'll cope.

Now onto the good stuff.

Convenient location, walkable to all attractions. Local shops for the things you forgot to take with you. Some nice restaurants close by. Felt perfectly safe at night, didn't see anything dodgy going on. A few shady looking characters at intervals, but that's par for the course in any city, I would think. I wouldn't have walked through the small park nearby at night, but there again, I wouldn't walk through my local park at home at night, alone.

Standard looking house from the outside, nicely kept.

Unique decor inside - lots and lots of tat, bric-a-brac, kitsch/jumble sale objects, and a few really nice antique pieces. Unusual, interesting, and slightly mad, a bit like Geoffrey himself.

Rooms are not huge, but reasonably sized. Bathrooms good, Everything clean. (Unless you really want to stand on a pile of books and wipe your fingers across a picture rail, in which case I would suspect there might be a few flecks of dust, just like in your own home.....)

Comfortable beds, plenty of hot water for showers/baths. Quiet at night.

Very large dog, a bit off-putting if you're not keen, but it was extremely well-behaved and kept out of the way mostly.

Geoffrey lovely, helpful, friendly, and a fab cook. Breakfasts HUGE and extremely well made. Lots of home made jams, sauces, cakes etc, crockery like I haven't seen since my great-gran died, all very comforting, like going back to your childhood.

We loved it, much more interesting than staying in a hotel box, and the price and the location were spot on.

  • Liked — Quirky and unique
  • Disliked — Slightly complicated to pay deposit from the UK, but OK in the end
  • Tips/Secrets — Go on a diet before you eat breakfast there!
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2006

I saw the reviews on TripAdvisor only after I had booked a week’s stay at Pimblett’s. Given one or two of the reviews, I didn’t know whether I was going to regret my choice.

I had looked at three or four guest houses in Toronto and finally chose Pimblett’s because of all the guest houses charging around $85 a room, only Pimblett’s had rooms with a bath as opposed to only a shower and all had private facilities: no sharing.

Being British, I wasn’t attracted by the Royal Family aspect of the rooms or the British breakfast (in Canada) and expected the owner to be the common or garden nutcase or eccentric which are two a penny in Britain and perfectly normal.

The house is crammed with junk or antiques: take your pick. I’m sure that much of it is dusty as the cleaning would have to be non-stop to get on top of the dust. My room was all that I wanted: comfortable and clean. However, being surrounded by kitsch I did once or twice wish for an modern, square soulless box.

The area is about 10 minutes walk from the centre of town: you don’t need to take a taxi, metro or bus unless you can’t walk. There are a number of small supermarkets, cafes and restaurants within a few minutes walk so that all your practical needs are taken care of on the doorstep.

I didn’t find the area scary at all: I walked everywhere for eight days and walked home each night late and not only did I not have any trouble but usually I didn’t see anyone at all. This is the most scary thing for Europeans: the complete absence of people on the streets. Yes, occasionally I came across the homeless, drunk or mentally ill, but the largest number I saw was not locally but in the heart of downtown Toronto at 9am in the morning. That’s how it’s done in North America.

During my stay, a guest’s BMW was broken into overnight but all the other cars parked there weren’t. This can happen anywhere, even in a controlled car park. Geoffrey was on hand with the necessary telephone numbers and things were sorted out quickly and smoothly. Isn’t that why we take out insurance?

The breakfast was huge, too much really if you can’t control what you eat and too much rich food to eat eight days on the trot. I would only have a Pimblett-type breakfast as a very special treat at home.

Geoffrey and the staff were there when you wanted them to be and met every request for assistance and advice.

The guests were a mixture of Canadians, Europeans and Americans and when everyone came down to breakfast at the same time, it was a tight squeeze and I had to remember not to hit my head against the Victorian lights in the kitchen, but it did make for good conversation.

But, as I’ve said, there are times when you want to stay in a modern, impersonal box right on top of the centre of town. Pimblett’s isn’t this.

I’d have no qualms about going back.

  • Liked — Met all my requirements for a place to stay
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — None
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2006

what a truly unique place !

Mr. Pimblett was so pleasant that before we even entered our room (which was delightful) we knew we were going to love it.

If you want to enjoy Toronto's historic Cabbagetown while staying in an absolutely stunning Victorian then we recommend Pimbletts !

the Carter-MacLean's

  • Liked — the ambiance
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2006

Sorry that the staff seemed to be inconvenienced by our humble
presence. While there is interesting brick a brack brought back
by the owner from Iran, I don`t know why one would
stay at Pimblett`s. We won`t any more.

Perhaps the service is hot and cold. Last fall was one
period when suddenly this little B and B received
many compliments. But there are long periods
in between, when there are none. Very odd...

Sorry, I don`t see anything special
about the breakfast, rooms or service.
The location is not the best. There are more
pleasant areas near downtown Toronto.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pimblett's Downtown Toronto B&B

Address: 242 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2G2, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Toronto > Downtown Toronto
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 122 B&Bs / Inns in Toronto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Pimblett's Downtown Toronto B&B 2*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An Englishman's home where guest are welcome. Affordable downtown Toronto location. Parking available, fully cooked breakfast. Queen rooms, king beds, one room with a jacuzzi. Close to shops, restaurants, bars and all Toronto Downtown sites. Special tourist accommodation and business guests welcome. Wireless internet and internet desk provided. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pimblett`s Downtown Toronto Hotel Toronto
Pimblett`s Downtown Toronto Bed And Breakfast

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