Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYX) is the formal name, though Toronto Pearson is the more widely used name. Pearson is a former Canadian Prime Minister who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1957.4
Toronto Pearson International Airport is located at 6301 Silver Dart Drive in Mississauga, a suburb that’s actually about 25 miles (or 40 kilometers) from downtown Toronto. It takes between 30 and 40 minutes to drive to the center.
Phone Number: +1 416-247-7678
Flight Tracker: https://www.torontopearson.com/en/arrivals
Know Before You Go
Toronto Pearson has two terminals that are connected by a 24-hour light rail. It once had three, but the third—which was actually Terminal 2—was demolished during renovations in 2007 and never replaced. Terminal 1 (the largest in Canada floor space) is where you’ll find check-in booths for Emirates, Air Canada, and all other Star Alliance airlines. Terminal 3, on the other hand, is used by all SkyTeam (Delta) and OneWorld (American and British Airways) member airlines that fly into YYZ.
There are 106 gates split almost equally between the two terminals, which altogether service about 50 passenger airlines.5 Traveling between terminals is painless with the inter-terminal Link Train departing every five minutes and the world’s fastest-moving walkway, dubbed the ThyssenKrupp Express, in Terminal 1. The terminals are housed in separate buildings and are each shaped like a crescent (where the bulk of the amenities are) with wings (where the gates are). Each has its own parking lot and can facilitate both arrivals and departures.
Toronto Pearson offers NEXUS and Global Entry kiosks for expedited arrival and departure, but security lines are known to be slow. Arrive for your international flight extra early to be safe and keep in mind that non-Americans traveling to the States will need to clear customs before boarding their flights.
Those who wish to leave their vehicles at the Toronto Pearson International Airport have a few options. There are three on-site lots that offer both short-term and long-term parking, covered and uncovered. Express (available in Terminal 1 only) is most convenient for short-term stays up ($4 CAD for 20 minutes), but increases to $50 for the entire day. The Daily option (available in both terminals) only goes up to $33 for the entire day and also offers weekly rates at $185. The Value garage and adjacent lot is cheapest and suited for longer stays. Inside, it’s $28 for the day or $135 for the week.
For off-site parking, you might consider Park & Fly, which allows you to park your vehicle yourself and pay at the pay station, then ride a free shuttle to the airport for less than $20 per day.
From downtown Toronto, take the Ontario 401 Express to ON-409 West, which ends at the airport. From the U.S. border or Niagara Falls, take Queen Elizabeth Way, which turns into ON-407 East (a toll road), then ON-403 East.
Public Transportation and Taxis
The Union Pearson Express (or the UP Express) is an airport rail link that departs from both Union Station and Toronto Pearson International Airport every 15 minutes. The journey takes just 25 minutes and costs $12.35 CAD for a one-way ticket or $24.70 for a round trip (much more expensive than the train that runs between Vancouver International and downtown Vancouver, which takes the same time but costs around $9 one way).
Alternatively, there are four buses that transport passengers from the terminal to downtown and the suburbs. They are the TTC bus, which connects to the subway system; GO Transit, which offers routes to the suburbs; Miway, which runs only locally throughout Mississauga; and Brampton Transit, which serves the city of Brampton. Consult the Toronto Pearson International Airport website for timetables.
You can find taxi lines outside either terminal. Expect to pay about $50 or $60 for a ride into Toronto, which can take up to 40 minutes or more during rush hour.
Where to Eat and Drink
YYZ has about plenty of places to stop off for a beverage or a bite to eat, ranging from quick coffee shops and familiar fast-food chains to world-class cuisine served to your table. The best-quality fare can be found at the sophisticated and innovative Bar 120, “a modernist’s take on the physics and beauty of food” located near Gate D20 in Terminal 1; Boccone Trattoria by Massimo Capra, where the famed cookbook author serves up his classic and rustic Italian dishes near Gate D41 in Terminal 1; Asian with a French twist at LEE Kitchen by Susur Lee, located near gates E73 and F73 in Terminal 1; or Wahlburgers, gourmet burgers by the famous Wahlberg brothers, located near Gate E67 in Terminal 1.
Where to Shop
Toronto Pearson is home to a slew of high-end fashion brands such as Chanel,, Gucci, Michael Kors, Mont Blanc and Ferragamo. There’s also an outpost of cult-classic skincare brand La Mer, near Gate B41 in Terminal 3.
How to Spend Your Layover
Those who have some time to kill at YYZ could treat themselves to a service at the spa or get their nails done at the salon. The Be Relax Spa located near Gates B27, B5, and C36 in Terminal 3 offers massages, facials, mani-pedis, and waxing services. It’s open from noon until 9 p.m. daily. Wellbeing Spa, alternatively, is located near Gate A10 in Terminal 3 and it offers all the above plus showers from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Terminal 1 is home to 10 Minute Manicure, which, as its name suggests, offers nail painting and treatments for people on the go. It also offers teeth whitening, hair care services, and more, near Gates D37 and F57. Pearson Goodlife Fitness is Toronto Pearson’s very own gym. Located at Level 1 Arrivals in Terminal 1, the center offers day passes for $25 (the non-member price), which gets you access to a weight room, circuit training room, and more than 10,000 square feet of exercise equipment.
Or, if you’d rather, you can take a guided tour of the airport and see what goes on behind the scenes. There’s plenty of artwork—including paintings, sculptures (like the ones by Kazuo Nakamura near Gate F84 in Terminal 1 or the three-piece Skin of Light display on the Departures Level of Terminal 3), and the Three Inukshuks outside—to see. If you have time to leave the airport, consider taking the UP Express Train from Pearson Airport to Union Station, where you can access the Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus and ride around Toronto.
The Sheraton Gateway, YYZ’s on-site hotel, is perfect for a quick nap but will cost you hundreds for a stay, whether for just several hours or overnight. For that price, you also get access to the hotel’s 24-hour pool and gym.
Toronto Pearson has multiple Plaza Premium Lounges. All can be paid for at the door or accessed by a lounge membership and most offer showers.
There’s also Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge with locations in Domestic, International, and Transborder Departures in Terminal 1. These have showers, workstations, snacks, and television and can be accessed by purchasing a day pass (only if you’re an Air Canada ticket holder). In Terminal 3, there’s Air France’s KLM Lounge near Gate 33 and the American Airlines Admirals Club near the duty-free stores.
Wi-Fi and Charging Stations
Toronto Pearson offers free Wi-Fi courtesy of American Express. Additionally, outlets for charging mobile devices can be found at all the gates.
You’ll find cozy, padded chairs to laze in at the CIBC Welcome Centre and Lounge 15—formerly known as Lounge Q—both in Terminal 1.
Toronto Pearson has a few art installations before security and even more in the terminals.
Passengers may store luggage at any location in either terminal (there are four) for $6 to $12.50, depending on the size and duration of storage.