Welcome to Toronto!  Most visitors to the city arrive at Pearson Airport and need to get downtown.  Downtown is where you'll find most of the hotels recommended in Toronto: Where to Stay.

See Toronto: Arriving & Departing for airport information and other ways of arriving in the city.

Getting Downtown from Toronto Pearson International Airport

This section describes the most common ways of getting downtown:

  • Airport Taxi & Minivans
  • Airport Limo
  • Pacific Western Airport Express bus (until October 31, 2014)
  • Toronto Transit Commission (public transit)
  • Union Pearson Express (beginning spring/summer 2015)
  • Rental Car

All services to downtown are available from both airport terminals (T1 and T3), and all fares are current as of November 2012.  Allow extra time if you'll be travelling during the heaviest traffic, weekdays 6-9 am and 4-7 pm. During snowfalls, allow at least an extra hour, especially during rush hours.

If you're not heading downtown, see the "Getting Elsewhere" section at the bottom of this article.

Airport Taxi & Minivans

Time 30 to 60 minutes
Cost  $55 + tip 
Web Site www.torontopearson.com - Taxi Limo

Follow signs to the taxi queue (ignore any drivers who may approach you inside the terminal); it's typically a very short wait.  Credit cards are generally accepted, debit cards less so, but always best to check with the driver in advance.  Typically, you tip the driver 10-20%, usually 15%.

Although the wait in the taxi queue is typically very brief, you can also pre-arrange taxi services in advance by calling one of the taxi companies serving the airport.  They will pick you up at the pre-arranged section Area B for Terminal 1 & Gate 29 for Terminal 3 of the airport, and of course you can also arrange a trip back to the airport with the same company.

Otherwise, you can get back to the airport by simply hailing a regular city taxi -- the metered fare from downtown will normally run $50-$70 plus tip, although you can also ask for a flat rate. The taxi meter operates on both time and distance so if there is heavy traffic, the flat rate will be probably be a better deal.

Too many people or too much luggage for an airport limo or taxi?  Many airport limo companies also have minivans (advance reservations recommended).   

Example of Airport Taxi Companies Authorized by the GTAA : YYZ LimoAirline LimousineAeroport Taxi, Airflight Services, Aerotime Airport Limo TaxiLimo Airport TorontoAirfleet LimousinePearson Airport LimousineBuffalo Airport LimoHamilton Airport LimousineAirport Limo TaxiToronto Pearson Limo , Beck LimoToronto Airport Taxi

 

Airport Limo

Time 30 to 60 minutes
Cost  $60 + tip 
Web Site www.torontopearson.com - Taxi Limo

From the airport, advance reservations are not required; just follow the signs to the limo queue, where it's typically a very short wait.   Ignore any drivers who may approach you inside the terminal.  Debit cards are not accepted, and if paying by credit card, check with the driver in advance.  Typically, you tip the driver 10-20%, usually 15%.

You can also pre-arrange an airport limo in either direction by calling one of the limo companies serving the airport. Typically they will provide a discounted flat rate cheaper then the Airport Authorities, after you call their office they will pick you up at the pre-arranged section of the airport.

Example of Airport Limousine Companies authorized by the GTAA: (Aeroport TaxiAirflight Services, Airport TaxiAerotime Airport Limo TaxiToronto Car ServiceAirport limo,  Pearson Airport LimousineYYZ LimoToronto Pearson Limo , Beck LimoToronto Airport Taxi) 

Other Transportation Services: 

Pacific Western Airport Express bus (until October 31, 2014)

Time 45 to 90 minutes 
Cost 

One way fare: $26.95 per adult
Round Trip Fare: $39.95 per adult
(5% off if booked online, discounts for 2 or more people booked together)

Web Site  www.torontoairportexpress.com

This coach service provides direct transportation to a number of downtown Toronto hotels (no downtown hotels offer free shuttle service.)  Buses run every 30 minutes, every day of the year.  This service will cease operations on October 31, 2014.

The Airport Express bus serves the following stops; listed in brackets are nearby destinations, no more than a five-minute walk:

1. Westin Harbour Castle (nearby: taxis, Toronto Island ferries)

2. 123 Front Street West, i.e. the Citibank building on Front just west of York(nearby: taxis, Union Station [VIA Rail, GO Transit, TTC], Fairmont Royal York, Air Canada Centre, Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, The Strathcona Hotel)

3. Intercontinental Toronto Centre (nearby: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Ritz Carlton Hotel)

4. Hyatt Regency Toronto (nearby: Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Hotel Le Germain, SoHo Metropolitan, Global Village Backpackers, Canadiana Backpackers)

5. Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel (nearby: Hilton Hotel)

6. Bond Place Hotel (nearby: Pantages Suites Hotel and Spa, Grand Hotel, Econo Lodge Inn & Suites)

7. Eaton Chelsea

8. Toronto Coach Terminal[Greyhound, Coach Canada]

9. 89 Chestnut St. (nearby: Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Downtown Hotel)

For stops further down the list, keep in mind that you'll spend an extra 15-45 minutes dropping off or picking up other passengers.  If you're going to a hotel not listed above and don't mind a longer walk, feel free to ask in the Toronto Forum about the closest stop.  Note that the Airport Express bus doesn't serve the Yorkville area.

Although the Airport Express bus offers discounts for multiple passengers travelling together, for more than two adults it is not cheapear than a taxi from/to the airport.


Toronto Transit Commission (public transit)

Time 60 to 90 minutes
Cost  $3.00 per adult
Web Site  www.ttc.ca

There isn't direct subway or train service to/from the airport, but regular, wheelchair-accessible city buses connect the airport with the subway system.  The Toronto transit system is safe and provides frequent service 365 days a year from around 5:30 am (8:30 am on Sundays) to 1 am.  Overnight, the airport is served by less-frequent night buses.

It's the cheapest way to get downtown, making it very popular with locals and airport workers.  However, there are no luggage racks on subways or buses except the 192 Airport Rocket bus itself, and drivers won't help with bags, so the TTC is not an ideal choice if you've got lots of baggage.

192 Airport Rocket

This is the fastest TTC route if you're heading downtown, since it runs express from the airport to Kipling subway station.  It serves the airport every 8-15 minutes and normally has luggage racks.

1. You can catch the 192 Airport Rocket bus on the lowest level of either terminal (column R4 in terminal 1, columns C8-C12 in terminal 3).

2. At Kipling subway station (the last stop on the bus), transfer to the eastbound Bloor/Danforth subway line.  Kipling has elevators and escalators.  As Kipling is the end of the line, downtown trains leave from either side of the platform.

3. For most downtown hotels, transfer to a southbound subway train at either St. George or Yonge station.  Elevators and escalators are available at both stations.

4. Make sure you find out the closest stop to your hotel in advance.  Note that not all subway stations have elevators or escalators, so you might have to climb a flight or two of stairs.

58 Malton

This is a local bus which crosses the northwest part of the city to connect to the subway at Lawrence West station.  If you're going downtown, it's about 20 minutes slower than the 192 Airport Rocket, but it could be a good choice for other parts of town.

1. You can catch the 58A or 58D Malton bus on the lowest level of either terminal (column R4 in terminal 1, columns C8-C12 in terminal 3).  Make sure to get an eastbound bus ("to Lawrence West" on the destination sign, or ask the driver) -- while route 58A turns around at the airport, route 58D continues further west!

2. At Lawrence West station, transfer to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Southbound trains leave from the platform on your right as you descend to the platform level.  An elevator will be added at Lawrence West station in 2014.

To return the airport, you can take routes 58A, 58C, or 58D.  (If in doubt, just ask the driver.)

Night Buses (300A Bloor Danforth and 307 Eglinton West)

Between about 1 am and 5:30 am (8:30 am on Sundays), the TTC operates a more limited set of bus routes.  The 300A travels from the airport across Bloor St West and Danforth Avenue while the 307 takes Eglinton Avenue West.  With either route, you might transfer at Yonge Street to the 320 Yonge night bus to get downtown.

Night buses only run every 20-30 minutes, so follow the links above to get current schedules from the TTC.

General Notes

If you have exact change in Canadian currency, you can pay on the bus.  You can buy TTC tokens (as of January 1, 2013, $2.65 each, when you buy 3 or more) or day passes ($10.75; for 1 person Mon-Fri, or a whole family on weekends & holidays) from some Currency Exchange booths inside either airport terminal. Inside terminal 1, near the TTC stop at column "R", you'll find two red machines that vend single fare tickets by coin or credit card (Visa, MC, or AmEx).

When you board the bus, ask the driver for a "transfer." This paper slip allows you to change between routes at street level or enter the subway without having to pay again, provided you're making a continuous one-way trip. As it is free, it's a good idea to always get one.

See the TripAdvisor article Toronto: Public Transportation for more information about the TTC.  The TTC web site has more information about TTC airport services, and Google Maps can be used to plan transit trips in Toronto.


Union Pearson Express (beginning spring/summer 2015)

Currently under construction, the Union Pearson Express will connect the SkyWalk adjacent to Union Station in downtown Toronto with the LINK station attached to the airport's Terminal 1, with additional stops at Bloor and Weston GO station.  It will be possible to get from the PATH in downtown Toronto to your flight without ever going outside.

Prices, schedules, and an exact launch date have not yet been announced.  The Union Pearson Express web site should have more details as the launch date approaches.


Rental Car

Time 45 to 75 minutes (pickup + travel) 
Cost  Varies 
Web Site  Toronto Pearson - Car Rentals 

Car rental desks are located on the first floor of the terminal parking garages.  See Toronto: Taxis & Rental Cars for more advice.  In addition to rental fees, expect to pay $20-$40/night for parking at downtown hotels.

Beware that signage out of the airport, to various parts of the city including downtown, can be woefully inadequate for visitors. The signs unhelpfully show highway numbers and directions, rather than destination names. To get downtown, look for and take Highway 427 South, then take the Gardiner Expressway East. You will see the downtown highrises as you travel east on "The Gardiner".

To travel to the North or East of the city, take Highway 401 East. This major thoroughfare gets very busy during rush hours.


Getting Elsewhere from Pearson Airport

If your destination isn't downtown, you may find you need to rent a car just to get around the city.  However, you do have a few transit options depending on where you're going:

Northern Toronto area

GO Transit has an hourly express bus to the Yorkdale and York Mills subway stations, via Highway 401.  These buses stop at Terminal 1 only.  The GO Transit fare of $5.00 (pay the driver) does not include a transfer to TTC subways or buses, but if your destination is in the northern part of Toronto, this route may be faster than the options above. Be sure to get the York Mills bus, as the bus in the reverse direction ("Brampton") also uses the same bus stop.

Richmond Hill

GO Transit also runs an express bus every hour to Richmond Hill Centre (adult fare: $5.65). GO buses stop at Terminal 1 only. Those arriving from Terminal 3 can use the LINK train to T1.

Mississauga

Mi-Way route 7 connects the airport to Square One mall and the Mississauga City Centre.

Greater Toronto Area 

You can still grab a taxi or limo from the queues in the airport.  For rates, see the tariff cards on the GTAA taxis and limousines page.

(note that the "out of town" rate lists have two pages, with closer destinations on the second page)

Niagara Region

Niagara Falls is a 130 km (80 mi) drive from the airport.   Niagara Air Bus and 5-0 Transportation   provide shuttle bus service from the airport, or you can rent a car (some rental companies will let you drop the car off in downtown Toronto upon your return to the city).

From downtown, you have several other travel options -- see the article Niagara Falls -- A Side Trip from Toronto.

Other Ontario destinations

See the airport's out-of-town van services list, (There aren't shared-ride van services for destinations within Toronto itself.)