Toronto Layover Guide (YYZ)

Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is the main international airport serving Toronto, its metropolitan area, and its surrounding region known as the Golden Horseshoe. The airport is situated in the city of Mississauga and it is located 22.5 km (14 mi) from downtown Toronto. The airport has had international flights since it opened officially in 1958 under government control. Toronto has become a cosmopolitan city known for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, commerce, music, motion picture and television production, numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities.

Can you leave Toronto Airport (YYZ) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible to leave Toronto Pearson International Airport during a layover. You would need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) depending on your nationality to pass through immigration and customs control. (more info).

What are you looking for in YYZ? Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Organized Tours

Toronto: Niagara Falls Classic Full-Day Tour by Bus

Enjoy spectacular views of Niagara Falls made up of the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls & Bridal Veil Falls on a lovely cruise which includes living commentary from a professional guide. Get to shop for souvenirs at the Table Rock Complex. Spend time at the observation deck of the mighty Whirlpool and Rapid while enjoying free time at Niagara-on-the-Lake. You get to even visit a local winery and enjoy a complimentary wine tasting. » book this tour

Toronto: 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

Hop on and off open-top double decker buses at 20 stops to see the city sights including Yonge-Dundas Square, Bata Shoe Museum, Gardiner Museum, Scotiabank Theatre, CN Tower North, CN Tower South, Ripley’s Aquarium, Hockey Hall of Fame, Sony Centre, St. Lawrence Market and Distillery District. Enjoy this ticket that lasts for 48-hours and take in Toronto’s city sights at your own pace. Gain insights from a live guide or choose to enjoy multilingual audio commentary. » book this tour

Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum is a must-see. It is Canada’s largest museum of world cultures and natural history. You can explore the museum with the aid of bilingual multimedia kiosks. These include the Tomb of General Zu Dashou, a Ming Dynasty tomb and the Barosaurus, which is the largest mounted dinosaur in Canada. Discover an exceptional array of themed galleries throughout the Museum, learning how the earth and its cultures have evolved, and how the changes faced today will shape the world of tomorrow. » book this tour

Things to do / Sightseeing

CN TOWER

Toronto’s most iconic landmark has to be the 1,815-foot CN Tower. It is not only not the tallest building in Toronto, but it is also the tallest free-standing building on the continent. It was built in 1976 and serves the purpose of having a 335-foot antenna used to broadcast television, radio, and cell signals. The CN Tower boasts the highest glass floor paneled elevator in the world, which lifts passengers up to its magnificent glass-floored viewing deck. If you are afraid of heights you may not want to look down at the city from 342 meters above. The megastructure is home to a number of observation decks, a restaurant with the highest wine cellar in the world, and the EdgeWalk.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 20 minutes to get here by taxi or 30 minutes by public transport.

Art Gallery of Ontario

The Art Gallery of Ontario was established in 1900 and has more than 90,000 items in its encyclopedic collection, spanning 20 centuries. There are collections of Canadian and Indigenous art as well as notable works by European masters like Rembrandt, Auguste Rodin, and Pablo Picasso.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 20 minutes to get here by taxi or 50 minutes by public transport.

High Park

High Park is Toronto’s largest public park and has 400 acres that range from manicured lawns to themed gardens to untouched nature. There are also a number of interactive activities, including a zoo, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, ice skating rinks or frozen ponds in winter, educational facilities, playgrounds, and gardens. It features several points of interest, including Colborne Lodge, Grenadier Pond and the High Park Zoo.

Time required: 3 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 20 minutes to get here by taxi or 50 minutes by public transport.

Casa Loma

Tourists would be interested to find a castle in Canada. Casa Loma is a 98-room château built by Canadian businessman Sir Henry Mill Pellatt in 1914 but has now become a beloved attraction in Toronto due most to its architecture. Casa Loma now serves as a museum and a popular filming location most notably in the X-Men movies. You can do the self-guided tour with audio in eight different languages. Must-sees in the casa include secret passageways, decorated suites, towers, gardens, and an underground pool.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 30 minutes to get here by taxi or about an hour by public transport.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada

The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada, is now in a heritage-listed former factory building in Junction Triangle, an up-and-coming neighborhood. The museum has many visitors seeking it out in its gritty and industrial setting. This museum is worth the visit whether you are an art expert or simply curious about the contemporary art scene in Toronto.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 30 minutes to get here by taxi or by public transport.

The Bata Shoe Museum

The Bata Shoe Museum has the world’s largest and most unique collection of footwear found here from around the world including over 13,000 items. They span every culture and continent. The museum is a great place to go for any shoe lover or anyone curious. There are even more famous shoes worn by Queen Victoria, Elton John and Elvis Presley, to name a few. The museum has Sonja Bata’s collection of shoes made when she traveled the world with her husband in the 1940s.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 30 minutes to get here by taxi or 50 minutes by public transport.

St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market is most likely the most famous market in Toronto. The locals regularly shop in the market for stalls for produce, meats, cheeses, and more. You can browse through dozens of food stalls, while taking an interest in the architecture of the St. Lawrence Market, too. The main building was erected in 1902 while other parts date back to 1845. Make sure to also check the Market Kitchen, a cooking school and event space where you can take culinary classes.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 30 minutes to get here by taxi or 50 minutes by public transport.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Canadians are known for hockey and it is no surprise that the sport is the most popular in the country. In Toronto, there is the Hockey Hall of Fame that was established in 1943. The non-profit organization has been inducting legendary players and other hockey professionals to its ranks every year since 1945. The Hall of Fame functions as a museum and also houses the Stanley Cup. The museum is a must-visit for all hockey lovers.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 25 minutes to get here by taxi or about 30 minutes by public transport.

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are several lounges in each terminal. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are many options for hotels close to the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There is the CIBC Welcome Centre in Terminal 1 on the Arrivals Level as well as Lounge 15 located in Terminal 1 on the Departures Level with a play area for children.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Connect to the “Toronto Pearson Wi-Fi” network for free wifi.

SIM Card: There are several shops within the airport that sell SIM cards.

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Licensed taxis can be found at Terminal 1 by Doors C & D, at Terminal 3 by the Domestic Arrivals and International Arrivals.

Train: The Union Pearson Express is an express train that runs between the airport and downtown in just 25 minutes. (more info).

Bus: There are buses that go to downtown Toronto and the suburbs.(more info).

Shuttle: There are hotel shuttle services at the airport.

Car rentals: There are car rental options that can be booked online with given rates and availability. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: A safe and secure parking facility is available. You can book your parking slot online.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

Luggage can be stored at Samsonite shops found in the check-in area of Terminal 1, and at the Arrivals in Terminal 3.

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Toronto Airport (YYZ) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks
- Order your foreign currency ONLINE and PICK IT UP at the airport!