We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Two airports in Toronto

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
Level Contributor
11,533 posts
161 reviews
Save Topic
Two airports in Toronto

Hi

When I've looked at booking flights into Toronto, I've checked "all airports" but really have no idea what or where the city airport is as I've only seen posters mention the interntational terminal.

Any reason for that please?

Thanks

Sault Ste. Marie...
Level Contributor
575 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Two airports in Toronto

Pearson (YYZ) is the main/international airport, and is located northwest of the city. Billy Bishop (YTZ) is a small/regional airport located on an island downtown. If you are coming to Toronto by jet, you will be at Pearson.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
Level Contributor
4,212 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Two airports in Toronto

...and further to that, you would only end up at YTZ if you are booked on a Porter Airlines flight (ie coming from outside of Canada to Toronto via Newark, Chicago, Boston, etc) or perhaps on one of certain Air Canada flights from Montreal.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
Level Contributor
11,533 posts
161 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Two airports in Toronto

OK

thanks for that... that explains it.

I was thinking that Westjet (which is a cheaper arm of Air Canada isn't it?) may fly to another airport much like some of the cheaper airlines do elsewhere around the world.

Sault Ste. Marie...
Level Contributor
575 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Two airports in Toronto

West Jet is seperate from Air Canada, and flies into Pearson. They also fly into Hamilton, which is close to Toronto. It is occasionally less expensive, but you should compare all fares carefully. Where are you coming from?

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Two airports in Toronto

Westjet and Air Canada largely compete head-to-head and try to match each others' prices. Canada doesn't really have any low cost carriers.

Hamilton Airport is the closest thing to a cheaper secondary airport, but it's pain to get to. Back when Flyglobespan was using it, they ran their own shuttle buses; those are long gone now.

Ontario
Level Contributor
999 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Two airports in Toronto

All international flights (other than to/from the USA which is considered trans-border) would land at Pearson (YYZ) The island airport has Porter Airlines which serves several airports in Canada and the Northeastern US but they don't code share with any other airlines to it would be a separate ticket purchase or Air Canada service from Montreal.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
13,856 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Two airports in Toronto

Hi DougoOz,

Good to see ya… ~~ waves ~~

Welcome to the TORONTO TRAVEL FORUM

Good info from my colleagues… let me add some more…

Time to pull up a copy of GOOGLE MAPS… and get familiar with the lay-of-the-land.

Toronto is Canada’s biggest city… and the sprawl surrounds it … wraps itself around the western side of Lake Ontario… known as the “Golden Horseshoe” it spans from the Niagara Region to east of Toronto to aprox Oshawa.

Over 8 Million people live in the Golden Horseshoe… aprox 62% of Ontario’s population (Ontario pop = 13 Million) and about 23% of the entire population of the country as a whole (Canada pop = 34.5 Million)

The area is served primarily by 3 airports… one HUGE International one… Toronto International = Pearson… and 2 smaller more regional airports… Toronto Island Airport = Billy Bishop Field, and Hamilton = John C Munro

And a 4th popular option (albeit a lot farther away) is Buffalo NY… Transportation Options between Toronto and Buffalo are excellent (aprox 2-1/2 Hours by Expressway – Airport Shuttle - Rental Cars – Train – or Bus). With the high pricing of airfares in Canada, and the low pricing in the USA (they have total Airline Deregulation and we don’t… along with the strength of the Canadian Dollar) Buffalo is a popular alternative for many travelling on a Budget (of course there is the inconvenience of the Border Crossing… and the extra commute).

Toronto’s main airport is Pearson (Toronto International)… and it is out in the burbs in Mississauga aprox 25 Kms from Downtown Toronto.

Transportation options between Pearson and Downtown are excellent with lots of choices (price points)… For more info on that... see the TOP QUESTIONS ABOUT TORONTO (Box to the right of this screen)

BUT with Toronto having the heaviest Traffic in both the USA & Canada combined… one does have to some extent “plan” trips to and from the Airport (especially if travelling during Rush Hours… 6 AM to 10 AM and 3 PM to 7 PM… or on a Holiday)

The big advantage to Pearson is that as Canada’s largest airport… they do tend to not only have the most carriers but also the most convenient flights…

Wikipedia – Toronto Pearson International Airport = …wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Pearson_Internat…

Toronto Pearson International Airport = http://www.torontopearson.com/

As someone mentioned earlier… Canada has Pre-Clearance Customs Agreement with the USA… when flying onto the USA from a Canadian Airport… one will normally pre-clear US Customs here on Canadian soil… so that the flight will land in the USA essentially as a Domestic Flight. In most cities this means that less time is needed for the Traveller to collect their luggage and be on their way.

On the Canadian side of things though it does mean that Travellers going to the USA are required to allow EXTRA TIME for Check In – Bag Drop – Security Processing – and US Customs. As a general rule of thumb thru Pearson that is 3 HOURS PRIOR to the flight’s departure (all other flights going out of Pearson International or Domestic and the allowance is 2 Hours). For more info… Travellers are encouraged to check with their Airline carrier.

Complaints about Pearson usually revolve around its size… how busy it is… and the horrible commute for many to and from Downtown Toronto. ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME !!

--- --- ---

Both of the smaller Airports… Toronto Island and Hamilton… offer more specialized services…

Hamilton Airport is aprox 83 Kms from Downtown Toronto. This Airport is a favourite of WestJet and some Charter companies (mostly seasonal flights to the Caribbean). WestJet does operate out of Pearson as well (WestJet along with Air Canada… are our only 2 National Airlines… and as noted by someone else, pricing is competitive / similar for the two)

Complaints about Hamilton revolve around the lack of good transportation options between it and Downtown Toronto.

Toronto Island Airport (Billy Bishop Field) is the home-base of Porter Airlines which operates STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) flights to several Ontario & Quebec Cities as well as a few spots in the USA (New York / Newark NJBoston – Chicago). Air Canada also has some STOL Flights that use the Toronto Island Airport… providing commuter service back and forth to Montreal (Canada’s 2nd largest city).

Porter Airlines is a feisty little upstart by Canadian Standards… and popular with Business folks because they can easily get to and from the Island Airport from their Downtown Offices… Billy Bishop Field being literally under 10 Minutes from Downtown on an island in Lake Ontario in the shadow of the CN Tower !!

Transportation to and from the Island Airport and Downtown is excellent… and lol, kind of interesting… including probably the world’s shortest ferry ride.

Complaints about Toronto Island Airport usually involve the weather… being an island it does get bogged down with fog from time to time (or wind issues)… so with Porter being a smaller airline they can have problems with handling delays and reroutes.

So as you can see… Which airport one uses to get to and from Toronto… depends a lot on where they are coming from or going to.

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Edited: 01 September 2011, 00:16
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
Level Contributor
11,533 posts
161 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Two airports in Toronto

Wow what excellent info all 'round !!

Saultites - we're coming from Vancouver and probably won't land until about 8.30pm - I'm guessing that at the moment based on flight schedules I've seen and what fits in with our plans, even tho' I haven't booked the flight as yet.

mattInTO - I recall reading about Westjet when we were on a flight from Santiago, Chile to Montevideo via a Pluma flight and their in-flight magazine said something about Westjet and Air Canada ... I was thinking now some months after that flight that they were like Qantas' Jetstar or Singapore Airlines Tiger Air. Thanks for clarifying.

Wine-4-2 - right back at ya ~~ I'm so impressed you wrote all that off the top of your head - lol, Thanks so much for all that info ... it's great as usual ~~

I'll definitely make sure I get to Pearson - the last thing I need is a long ride into town which would get me there who knows when? If that was the case - and my only option, I think I would go for a later flight and land at 6AM and hit the ground running ... or may be with a thud ... lol

Finally, in your collective opinions - am I better off booking a flight now for May 2012 or waiting for a month or so? I haven't seen much movement in them so far ...

Edited: 01 September 2011, 00:43
9. Re: Two airports in Toronto

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 01 September 2011, 03:42
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Two airports in Toronto

Wine, either WestJet has a funny way of treating their "favourite" or your impressions are out of date. Hamilton was once WestJet's golden horseshoe hub, but they pulled out the majority of their flights and have been steadily building their Toronto presence. They now serve 36 year-round and 11 seasonal destinations from Toronto, compared to one and eight from Hamilton.

Doug, unless red-eyes work a lot better for you than they do for me, I'd avoid the overnight flight. Remember there's a 3-hour time difference, so landing at 6 am in Toronto is 3 am in Vancouver time. Landing at 8:30 pm is just about perfect, and at that hour traffic is not a factor and you can get downtown in a cab in 30 minutes or in the Airport Express bus in about 45.

As for fares, there are occasional seat seals advertised on the airlines' web sites. It's too soon for seat sales for May, though there is no guarantee they'll be much better than current prices by the time they come along