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How to get to and from Toronto Pearson airportI spend a lot of time north of the border because that’s where my wife (@NatalieDiScala) is from. Over the years, I’ve learned that getting to and from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is usually a pain because traffic in Toronto is insane. I think it’s worse than L.A.’s, which is saying something! Just a couple years ago, travelers really only had two options to get out of the airport: a taxi or an airport limo. However, now when you land at Toronto Pearson, there are a few different options to choose from. I’ll break them down for you:

1. Airport limousines/taxis
I always thought an airport limousine would cost more money than a taxi because the cars are nicer and the word “limo” sets a certain expectation…but that’s not the case. I took a taxi the other day from Toronto Pearson to Mississauga because the line was shorter and the fare ended up being $78 CAD compared to $58 CAD for a limo. I asked a local why and they said it’s because the limos use a flat rate to each zone while a taxi uses the meter. I learned my lesson: to not take a taxi anymore.

2. Uber
When I went back to the airport a few days later, my uberX driver informed me that uberX and uberXL can now pick up at Toronto Pearson. So I took an uberX the following day when I returned and guess what? It was just $40 CAD and I didn’t have to explain to the driver where to go. To get an Uber from Toronto Pearson, just follow the instructions on the app. If you’re flying from Terminal 3, go out door D and cross the street until you get to the far island and hang out by Zone 3.

When I requested the Uber, the app told me the car was six minutes away but in typical Uber fashion, the arrival time kept fluctuating. My driver was either clueless about pickup or the airport has them driving all over the place because at one point, the app indicated that my driver was right next to me and one minute away then a second later, it said he was seven minutes away. It took about 10 minutes for him to arrive, and he picked me up in the second lane not the third like he was supposed to. So keep your eyes peeled. (I tried uberX again the other day and had no problems, and my wait was the original quoted time.)

Good to know: 10 Uber Tips That Will Totally Improve Your Next Experience

3. Union Pearson Express
If you’re heading to downtown Toronto from the airport, the best option is to take the Union Pearson Express. It goes to and from Union Station to Toronto Pearson Airport every 15 minutes during peak times and takes just 25 minutes. Plus, you won’t get stuck in Toronto’s increasingly nasty traffic. It costs $12.35 CAD. Here’s more including information on where to buy tickets.

Tip: The best way to get directly to downtown Toronto is actually to fly Porter Airlines to the city’s island airport (YTZ). But the problem with that is that only a small number of destinations are served by YTZ and travelers will be on a small plane, which I know many don’t like.

 

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8 Comments On "How to Get to and From Toronto Pearson Airport"
  1. Jerry Mandel|

    Toronto Why did you omit public transport?

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      I spaced on it but will add it on Friday

  2. Anonymous|

    Thank you for this timely tip-we are heading to Toronto next month from LAX for the first time via Air Canada. Taking Porter for the first time to Boston from Toronto.

  3. Karyn Moore|

    Not only does the Union Pearson Express get you downtown in no time, but it arrives at Union Station where you can connect to the GO Train (www.gotransit.com) for inexpensive commuter trains to many outlying ‘burbs such as Oshawa, Stouffeville, Oakville and even Niagara Falls.

  4. Daniel Kraft|

    Whenever we fly to Toronto to visit friends, we use an option which you didn’t mention.
    This is the “public transportation” option which existed before the Express Train which costs ~$12 CAD.
    Directly outside the arrivals terminals, you can pick up the #192 bus (called the Rocket) which goes non-stop to the Kipling Station of the Toronto subway. The buses accommodate luggage very easily and the cost is only about $3-4 CAD and even less for seniors. The buses run every 15 minutes and take less than 15 minutes to get to the subway station. That far out of the city, there is usually very little traffic.
    Then you switch to the #2 subway which brings you into Toronto. The advantage also is that you can get off wherever you want in Toronto rather than having to go all the way down to Union Station.
    The whole process takes less than an hour. Yes, it has a lot more stops, but if you are going anywhere north of the downtown area, it actually saves time (and money!)
    Google Maps presents this option in complete detail. It’s worth looking at!

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      Thanks! We will make this Friday’s reader travel tip!

  5. Bob Glaze|

    So much easier to just fly Porter to Toronto’s Billy Bishop Toronto Downtown Airport. They offer service from a number of US locations like Chicago, NY, Washington DC and Boston and the planes might be small, but the service is excellent. It is so easy to now take the moving sidewalk from the island to the city. On the way back their lounge area is like a private airline club. It is so easy to do it this way you are planning on being downtown!!

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      Agreed that’s why I made it one of my points.

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