Toronto International Airport (YYZ) is Canada’s biggest and busiest airport, with 3 sprawling terminals, serving most foreign and domestic airlines.
This is a 3-guide to the Toronto Airport. On this page, PAGE 1, I’ll give you an overview of the airport. On PAGE 2, I’ll suggest the best ways to get there. And on PAGE 3, I’ll tell you why it’s also called Toronto Pearson International Airport.(Who was Pearson?)
Above: computer terminals where you can print out your boarding pass.
If you’re like me, you don’t like huge airports. They’re confusing and you have to walk a long way to get to your gate. Although the size of Toronto International Airport can be overwhelming at first, it’s generally not as crowded and hectic as many of the world’s other major airports. Passengers and aircraft are spread out over 2 terminals (called T1 and T3). These terminals are fairly close to one another and are linked by the free and space-age “Link Train” which only takes a few minutes to whisk passengers from one terminal to another.
That said, keep in mind that this is still a large airport and budget your time accordingly. For international flights, it’s recommended that you arrive 2 hours before your flight. For flights within Canada, be there 90 minutes before your flight. I tend to go even earlier sometimes and check in before the crowds arrive so I don’t have to line up. Then I go for a leisurely supper at a restaurant inside the airport. (More on those services below.)
Some facts and figures about YYZ
It’s one of the Top 30 most active airports in the world.
Seventy-five airlines use it to fly to roughly 180 cities.
More than 30 million passengers travel through it every year.
Services at Toronto International Airport
Restaurants and shops:
Many popular Canadian chains have outlets at the airport. You’ll find restaurants, coffee shops, bars and shops at both terminals 1 and 3, but Terminal 3 is slightly better in my opinion. For one thing, there’s a Swiss Chalet there which provides table service. (For non-Canadians, Swiss Chalet is an affordable family restaurant specializing in chicken and ribs; a basic chicken dinner will cost you less than $15 per person.) When I’m flying overseas on a night flight, I like to come here early and have a relaxing dinner before my flight.
In addition to the duty-free shops, you’ll find places to buy Canadian souvenirs like Inuit art, plus book and magazine stores, and shops selling last-minute travel needs.
Travelex at Terminal 3.
Terminal 3 has a Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Even if you’re not staying there, you can pop into their restaurant or bar if you have a long layover… just another option.
Spa and salon:
Inside the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at Terminal 3.
Terminal 3 has a parking garage attached to it. There’s also parking at the Viscount Station, a little further out. It’s cheaper and you can take the free “Link Train” to both terminals.
Neither terminal has lockers, but The Travel Store in both terminals offers luggage storage.
Both terminals have prayer rooms and even regularly scheduled religious services. Check the website for current times. http://www.gtaa.com
Toronto International Airport is in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, 27 km (17 mi) northwest of downtown Toronto.
For more information:
PAGE 2 - How to get to the airport (you have lots of options!).
PAGE 3 - Who was Pearson? History of the Toronto Pearson International Airport.