With 35.6 million passengers flying through in 2022, Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is the busiest airport in Canada.
It’s the country’s main gateway in the east, connected to more than 160 destinations by close to 50 airlines.
Location and Transportation
Toronto Pearson International Airport is located at 6301 Silver Dart Drive in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, near the western city limits of Toronto. Mississauga and Toronto form part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
The Union Pearson Express (UP Express) rail line is quickest way to travel between the airport and Downtown Toronto, taking only 25 minutes. Trains leave every 15 minutes on both weekdays and weekends during service hours, and the price for a one-way trip starts at $12.35 (CAD).
Local, provincial, and private shuttle buses likewise service the airport extensively, with most departing from the ground level of Terminal 1.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the city’s public transport system, offering 24/7 airport bus services from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. It operates the following routes:
- 900 Airport Express runs frequently between the airport and Kipling Station, where the subway can connect you downtown and the rest of Toronto.
- 52 Lawrence West connects to Lawrence and Lawrence West subway stations.
- 952 Lawrence West Express is a peak-hour service that runs a similar route to bus 52, but with fewer stops.
- 300A Bloor-Danforth is an overnight service that runs in place of the Line 2 Bloor-Danforth Subway Line and extends to the airport.
- 352 Lawrence West is an overnight service that runs in the place of bus 52 Lawrence West with a similar routing.
- 332 Eglinton West is an overnight service that runs across Eglinton Avenue until its intersection with Yonge Street.
While the TTC does not offer rail services from the airport, the bus services above are part of one systemwide fare, meaning you won’t need to pay an extra or special fare. Plus, you can connect to the subway, streetcars, or other buses within Toronto for free.
Aside from the TTC, the following companies operate bus routes to and from the airport:
- GO Transit operates regional bus service across the Greater Toronto Area. There are direct bus connections to Hamilton, Richmond Hill, and North York from the airport with rail and bus connections that go as far as Niagara Falls.
- MiWay runs local buses from Terminal 1 to the City of Mississauga, a part of the GTA.
- Brampton Transit runs local buses from Terminal 1 to the City of Brampton, a part of the GTA.
- Megabus operates direct services to Belleville, Kingston, Nappanee, Port Hope, and Trenton in Ontario with connections going as far as Ottawa and Montreal.
Taxis and limos, on the other hand, operate at a fixed rate depending on zone and distance. You can hire them at doors C and D in Terminal 1, and doors D, E, and F in Terminal 3.
Rideshare apps Uber and Lyft are allowed at Toronto Pearson to both pick up and drop off passengers. However, note that the airport charges rideshares a $3.15 (CAD) fee, which is included with the fare.
As for car rentals, the following companies can be found on-site at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3:
Many off-site car rental companies also operate within the vicinity, including:
Lastly, the complimentary Terminal Link train is operated 24/7 between Viscount Station, Terminal 1, and Terminal 3. It also provides direct access to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel and ALT Hotel.
Toronto Pearson has two separate terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, which are connected landside by the Terminal Link train. Terminal 2 was demolished in 2007, and the area has since been used to expand Terminal 1.
International, domestic, and transborder (US) flights are handled at both terminals.
Set on four floors, Terminal 1 is the largest in Canada and amongst the biggest into the world in terms of floor space.
The ground level is designated for all ground transportation, such as public buses and rideshares.
Level 1 handles arrivals and baggage claim. After exiting the baggage claim area, you can find a 7-Eleven, a Starbucks, a Tim Hortons, a CIBC Banking Centre, and kiosks selling SIM cards on this level.
Level 2 handles departures. We’ll go into detail on departure concourses below, but landside, this level is a mezzanine with a Subway restaurant.
Level 3 handles check-in. As the main tenant of Terminal 1, Air Canada occupies exclusive check-in rows depending on your destination and class of travel. Other airlines, including Star Alliance carriers, share the remaining rows on the left side the terminal.
Terminal 1 has three departure concourses, D, E, and F, with gates numbered according to the corresponding concourse.
As a general rule, concourses and gates are designated as follows:
- D concourse/D gates: domestic flights
- E concourse/E gates: international flights
- F concourse/F gates: transborder flights
The D and E concourses are connected airside, while the F concourse, being a US pre-clearance area, is not.
Unlike Terminal 1, Terminal 3 is set on three floors only.
Level 1 handles arrivals. Upon arriving, you can find a Tim Hortons, a Subway, a Smoke’s Poutinerie, and kiosks selling SIM cards on this level.
Level 2 handles check-in and departures. At the check-in area, you can find the terminal’s main tenant, WestJet, as well as other Canadian carriers, occupying the central check-in area.
International carriers share check-in counters on the left side, while US transborder carriers, American Airlines and Delta, occupy the right side.
Level 3 is a an airside mezzanine where passengers arrive or connect for their succeeding flights.
Terminal 3 has four departure concourses, A, B, and C, as well as the Infield Concourse (IFC) used on an ad hoc basis. Like Terminal 1, gates are numbered according to the corresponding concourse.
As a general rule, concourses and gates are designated as follows:
- A concourse/A gates: transborder flights
- B concourse/B gates: international/domestic flights
- C concourse/C gates: international/domestic flights
Note that the B and C concourses are connected airside, and gates within them may be used interchangeably for international and domestic flights. The A concourse, meanwhile, is a US pre-clearance area and is therefore separated airside from the other two.
Airlines and Destinations
Toronto Pearson hosts almost 50 airlines that fly passengers to more than 160 destinations around the world.
At Terminal 1, you’ll find Air Canada with its Star Alliance partners, as well as its non-alliance partners Air North, Canadian North, and Emirates. Lynx Air, a relatively new Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier, also operates out of Terminal 1.
At Terminal 3, you’ll find WestJet, its close partner Delta, and its ultra-low-cost subsidiary Swoop. All other Canadian and international airlines, including those belonging to Oneworld and SkyTeam, also fly out of this terminal.
The following airlines operate in and out of Toronto Pearson:
- Air Canada
- Air India
- Avianca Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- EVA Air
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
- TAP Air Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
- United Airlines
- Air France
- China Eastern
- Korean Air
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Royal Jordanian
- Aer Lingus
- Air North
- Air Transat
- Azores Airlines
- Biman Bangladesh Airlines
- Canada Jetlines
- Canadian North
- Caribbean Airlines
- China Southern
- El Al Israel
- Flair Airlines
- Hainan Airlines
- Lynx Air
- OWG (Off We Go)
- Pakistan International Airlines
- Philippine Airlines
- Sunwing Airlines
Currently, there are 14 lounges that are operational at Toronto Pearson. Some are accessible for a fee or with a membership, while others are reserved for those with a premium cabin ticket and/or elite status.
Air Canada Lounges (Terminal 1)
There are three Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges, one Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Express, one Air Canada Café, and one Air Canada Signature Suite in the airline’s hub at Terminal 1.
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto (Domestic) is located near gate D53. It’s open 5:00am–12am daily.
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto (Transborder) is located on Level 4 near the F gates. It’s open 4:15am–8:30pm daily.
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto (International) is located at Level 3 near the E gates. It’s open 5:30am–10:45pm on Mondays, 5:45am–10:45pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 5:15am–10:45pm on Wednesdays, and 5:30am–10:45pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Express is a smaller transborder lounge located near gates F84–F99, which are used by commuter planes. It’s open 5am–8:30pm daily.
The Air Canada Café, which offers bar service and grab-and-go snacks and drinks, is located at the domestic departures area near gate D20. It’s open 5am–9:30pm daily.
Lastly, the exclusive Air Canada Signature Suite is located at international departures near gate E77. Note that only those flying on higher-fare Air Canada business class flights (fare classes J, C, D, Z, and P) are allowed access into this lounge.
If you’ve booked through Aeroplan, you must’ve booked a Business Class (Flexible) or a First Class (Flexible) fare to gain access.
Plaza Premium Lounges (Terminals 1 & 3)
As the airport’s main lounge provider, Plaza Premium operates six lounges at Toronto Pearson — one each per concourse at both terminals.
The Plaza Premium Lounge (Terminal 1 Domestic) is located just past the security screening area. It’s open 5:30am–8:30pm daily.
The Plaza Premium Lounge (Terminal 1 US Transborder) is located near gates F53 and F55. It’s open 5:30am–9pm daily.
The Plaza Premium Lounge (Terminal 1 International) is located one floor up from the departures concourse, with an elevator that can be used near gate E77. It’s open 5:30am–10pm daily.
The Plaza Premium Lounge (Terminal 3 Domestic) is located between gates B22 and B24. It’s open 5:30am–10:30pm daily.
The Plaza Premium Lounge (Terminal 3 US Transborder) is located one floor up from the departures concourse, with an elevator that can be used near the duty free shops. It’s open 5:30am–7pm daily.
The Plaza Premium Landmark Lounge (Terminal 3 International), is located one floor up from the departures concourse, with an elevator that can be used near gate C32. It’s open 5:30am–10:30pm daily.
You may access the lounges above with the American Express Platinum Card, as well as eligible credit cards through their program partner DragonPass. These lounges, as well as their shower facilities, may also be booked for a fee.
The Air France/KLM Lounge (Terminal 3) is located one floor up from the international departures area, with an elevator that can be used near gate C32. It’s open 9am–10:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, as well as 9am–6:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
The lounge admits not only their own premium cabin guests, but also those from their SkyTeam partners. It likewise accepts Priority Pass and DragonPass cardholders.
The American Airlines Admirals Club (Terminal 3) is located one floor up from the transborder departures area, with an elevator that can be used near the duty free shops.
Aside from those flying on a premium cabin with American Airlines, the lounge is reserved only for those with elite status, an Admiral Club membership, and selected credit cards.
If you’re flying in a premium cabin, hold elite airline status, and/or certain credit cards, the airline will typically offer you the following priority services:
- Priority check-in counters
- Priority security clearance
- Priority boarding
- Priority baggage handling
- Lounge access
With Toronto Pearson being one of its bases, Air Canada takes good care of its premium cabin passengers and elite members. Aside from the several lounges listed above, priority passengers gain access to an exclusive check-in area.
But aside from airline-provided benefits, there are also a slew of other priority services at Toronto Pearson available to passengers regardless of airline and class of travel.
First, if you hold an upper-tier American Express card, you and your party stand to benefit from the Priority Security Lane eGates available at all concourses of both terminals. This is especially useful when you’re flying in economy, as you get to access the expedited security line as if you were flying a premium cabin.
To receive unique QR codes for you and your party, simply log into the special Toronto Pearson landing page on the American Express website.
The following credit cards are eligible for priority security lane access at Toronto Pearson:
100,000 MR points
Up to 125,000 Aeroplan points
120,000 Aeroplan points
90,000 MR points
2,400 Air Miles
Another one is YYZ Express. In collaboration with CLEAR, this service allows you to schedule a timeframe for security screening, so you’re in the front of the line by the time you arrive.
In Toronto, you can use Express for domestic and international departures from Terminal 1 or Terminal 3. In neither Terminal is Express available for US-bound flights.
A summary of the locations and hours of operation is as follows:
B & C Gates
B & C Gates
If you’re entering the US through the airport’s pre-clearance facility, you may also take advantage of Mobile Passport Control, which allows you to complete your entry declarations in advance and access an express line.
Its Canadian counterpart, meanwhile, is Advance CBSA Declaration, which expedites your entry into Canada by allowing you to complete your declarations ahead and also allowing you to access an express queue.
These are especially useful for those who are not enrolled with trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS and Global Entry, which, by the way, are also usable at Toronto Pearson.
Lastly, if you want an end-to-end VIP experience, you could book ALLWAYS Meet & Greet Service by the Plaza Premium Group. For a fee, their airport concierge can pick you up from your car, check you and your bags in, escort you through expedited departure formalities, and bring you to the lounge and your gate.
There are two hotels on-site with easy access to Toronto Pearson. The Sheraton Gateway Hotel connects to Terminal 3, while ALT Hotel, located at Viscount Station, is connected to the two terminals with the complimentary Terminal Link train.
Moreover, the following hotels offer shuttle services to Toronto Pearson:
- Best Western Toronto Airport West
- Best Western Plus Travel Hotel Toronto Airport
- Best Western Premier Toronto Airport Hotel
- Comfort Inn Airport West
- Courtyard Marriott – Toronto Airport
- Crowne Plaza – Toronto Airport
- Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport & Conference Centre
- DoubleTree by Hilton Toronto Airport West
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Toronto Airport
- Fairfield Inn and Suites Toronto Airport
- Four Points and Element Toronto Airport
- Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport East
- Four Points by Sheraton- Toronto Mississauga
- Hampton Inn and Suites – Toronto Airport
- Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport
- Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West Mississauga
- Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel and Suites
- Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East
- Holiday Inn & Suites Mississauga West – Meadowvale
- Holiday Inn Express and Suites Toronto Airport West
- Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport
- Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton Toronto Airport Corporate Centre
- Hotel Carlingview Toronto Airport
- NU Hotel Toronto
- Pearson Hotel and Conference Centre Toronto Airport
- Quality Inn and Suites Toronto West
- Quality Inn Toronto Airport
- Radisson Suite Hotel – Toronto Airport
- Residence Inn By Marriott Mississauga – Airport Corporate Centre West
- Residence Inn By Marriott – Toronto Airport
- Sandman Signature Toronto Airport Hotel
- Sandman Signature Mississauga Hotel
- Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre
- Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Pearson International Airport
- The Westin Toronto Airport
- Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel
First and foremost, if you’re arriving from outside Canada, as a general rule, you must satisfy Canada’s entry requirements, especially when it comes to travel documentation like visas and electronic travel authorizations (eTAs).
Even if you’re only connecting between international flights (e.g., Amsterdam–Toronto–Cancun), you must still present your travel documents to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Then, if you’re connecting to the United States, you must also undergo pre-clearance, which allows you to clear US customs and immigration at Toronto Pearson.
Since Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 aren’t connected airside, any connections or transfers between the two will require you to claim your bags and transfer them landside to the next terminal yourself.
But if you’re connecting between international flights in the same terminal on the same day, your bags are likely checked through to your onward destination.
You’d only need to pick your bags up if you’re connecting from an international flight to a domestic flight. Yet even then, this rule has some exceptions, as illustrated by the poster below.
To be sure, you should ask the airline’s ground staff at your departure point or upon arrival. You can also check out Air Canada’s airport guide for Toronto Pearson.
If you’re departing on or connecting to a flight to the United States, you must clear US customs and immigration at Toronto Pearson’s pre-clearance facility. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents process passengers at both terminals from 4:30am to 8:30pm daily.
To expedite your journey through US pre-clearance, you may use NEXUS, Global Entry, or Mobile Passport Control.