Going through Hotwire to pick something that fits the price for flights to Canada -- and if the price isn't right, it should drop significantly if you move outside the downtown core, but be prepared to commute in via the bus or skytrain (www.translink.ca).

I've found that you can get cheap hotels that are in the area but not 'conference hotels' at hotels.com and you can specify distance from Canal St. where the most of the stuff is taking places. Be careful reading the terms and conditions though -- some give full refunds if you cancel, some do not.