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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.
This section describes the most common ways of getting downtown:
All services to downtown are available from both airport terminals (T1 and T3), and all fares are current as of June 2015. Except for UP Express, 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.
|Time||30 to 60 minutes|
|Cost||$55 + tip|
|Web Site||www.torontopearson.com - Taxi Limo|
Follow signs to the taxi queue where licensed drivers will pick you up (ignore any drivers who may approach you inside the terminal, some poachers have taken to wearing limo drivers' uniforms to fool passengers); 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 : Airlift taxi, Airlink Limousine, Toronto Airport Limousine, YYZ Limo, Airline Limousine, Aeroport Taxi, Airflight Services, Aerotime Airport Limo Taxi, Airport Taxi Pearson, Limo Airport Toronto, Airfleet Limousine, Pearson Airport Limousine, Toronto Pearson Airport Limo, Buffalo Airport Limo, Hamilton Airport Limousine, Airport Limo Taxi, Toronto Pearson Limo , Beck Limo, Toronto Airport Taxi Toronto Airport Limousine, Toronto Exclusive Limousine Services Unitedlimo Castle Black Limo Airport Limo in Toronto
|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 as Pre Arranged service: ( Airlift limo, Aeroport Taxi, Airflight Services, Airlink Limousine, Airport Taxi, Aerotime Airport Limo Taxi, Toronto Car Service, Airport limo, Pearson Airport Limousine, YYZ Limo, Toronto Pearson Limo , Beck Limo, Toronto Airport Taxi) Toronto Airport Taxi Rates. Unitedlimo castle black limo
|Time||25 minutes, Pearson T1 to Union Station|
|Cost||$12.00 one way per adult (see below)|
The Union Pearson Express (new as of June 2015) connects Union Station in downtown Toronto with Pearson International Airport in 25 minutes, with trains running every 15 minutes from 5:30 am to 1 am. Trains have ample luggage space, free WiFi, and power ports at every seat.
Getting to the train:
Paying for the train:
The full fare structure and more details can be found on the Union Pearson Express web site.
|Time||60 to 90 minutes|
|Cost||$3.00 per adult|
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.
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.
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.
This is a local bus which crosses the northwest part of the city to connect to the subway at Lawrence West and Lawrence stations. 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 52A or 52D 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 52A turns around at the airport, route 52D 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. The same buses also serve the Lawrence Station further east.
To return the airport, you can take routes 52A, 52C, or 52D. (If in doubt, just ask the driver.)
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.
If you have exact change in Canadian currency, you can pay on the bus. You can buy TTC tokens (as of January 1, 2015, $2.80 each, when you buy 3 or more) or day passes ($11.50; 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.
|Time||45 to 75 minutes (pickup + travel)|
|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.
This service ceased operations on October 31, 2014.
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:
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.
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.
Mi-Way route 7 connects the airport to Square One mall and the Mississauga City Centre.
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 Falls is a 130 km (80 mi) drive from the airport. Niagara Air Bus, Toronto Airport Shuttle, Niagara Airport Limo and Airlink Limo 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.
See the airport's out-of-town van services list, (There aren't shared-ride van services for destinations within Toronto itself.)