Getting to your hotel from Toronto Pearson Airport
We know arriving in a new airport can be a bit stressful, so we want to help you navigate Toronto’s Pearson International and easily get to your hotel or AirBNB!
Pearson has two active terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 (don’t bother trying to find a Terminal 2—it doesn’t exist!). Both Terminals 1 and 3 have international flights, so you could arrive in either one.
Going through customs is generally quick and easy: You’ll need to use an electronic kiosk to fill out a declaration of any goods you’re bringing into the country. The kiosk will print out a document for you to show to the Canada Border Services Agency agent.
Note: You will likely need to show this printed document twice, once before you get your luggage and once as you are leaving the secure area of the airport, so after you’ve shown it to the first agent, do not discard it—the second agent will collect it from you.
Once you’ve grabbed your bags and are through customs, it’s time to get to your hotel or AirBNB. The three common options are public transportation, taxis, or Uber and Lyft. As with many North American airports, there is signage directing you to the pickup location for each of these options, so look up for the signs like this to know where you need to go.
We’ll give you information on all three options, but we encourage you to consider taking transit. Like many North American cities, Toronto sometimes gets quite congested, especially around the airport, meaning taxis or Uber/Lyft rides can be both expensive and/or take longer than jumping on the train. As we’ll explain below, the train is quite convenient to get you right downtown. Even if that’s not your final destination, given Toronto’s airport traffic it often takes less time to take the UP Express train from Pearson to the main station right downtown, then take a taxi the rest of the way to your destination, if you don’t want to stay on transit.
Uber and Lyft
Both Uber and Lyft operate in Toronto, so if you are familiar with these applications you can use them here! Pearson has designated pickup locations for Uber and Lyft drivers, so follow the signage that says ‘Ride App Pickup’ (as seen in the image above). There are designated areas in both Terminals 1 and 3, so you’ll be able to specify your location in the app (Int’l T1 Arrivals or Int’l T3 Arrivals) when ordering a ride.
Toronto has mandated fares from the airport based on distance, so you can check how much a taxi will be using their fare calculator here. Prices are in Canadian dollars and include all taxes, so no cab or limo driver should be charging you more. Cabs are regulated in Toronto so you can be guaranteed to pay the fare listed in the calculator, but feel free to confirm the fare with the driver before getting into the cab.
Toronto has a great public transit option for those looking to get downtown or elsewhere in the city: The Union-Pearson (UP) Express. Within about twenty minutes, this train takes you from Pearson to the downtown’s major transportation hub, Union Station.
In Terminal 1, follow the ‘Train to City’ signs (as seen in the image above) to the second level. On the second level, you’ll go over the roadway using these moving sidewalks:
Then look left to see and follow this sign:
Then head up the escalator.
There are two train platforms, so do not get on the trains nearest to the escalators as this train is only for travel to Terminal 3 and the airport hotels. Instead, keep walking to the sign marking the UP Express platform.
From Terminal 3, follow these signs for Terminal 1 and ‘Trains’:
Pearson has a free train shuttle service that connects Terminals 3 and 1, so take the train one stop to Terminal 1 as shown on this train map:
Then follow the signs to the UP Express (you will not need to go down the escalator – go the other way).
The UP Express could not be easier to use: it arrives every fifteen minutes throughout the day and you don’t need to buy a ticket in advance—or even when you arrive! Like the rest of the Toronto transit system, you can tap your credit card on the pay station that will look similar to this:
Fares are $12.35 per adult and $6.20 per senior (65+), which is much less than you’ll pay for a taxi or Uber/Lyft ride.
The UP Express offers complimentary WIFI, so you can use the time on the train to plan your next move if you like! Union Station is the last of three stops once you’ve left the airport, and just be sure to tap your credit card on the pay station at Union Station to ensure you’re charged the correct fare.
From Union Station, you can walk to many downtown hotels, or take the subway or a streetcar to your final destination. While on the UP Express, you can use their WIFI to download the Toronto Google map, so you can navigate on transit even without data.
If you aren’t going downtown, you can take transit to any destination in Toronto, Mississauga (the city beside Toronto), and many other communities in the Greater Toronto Area. Google Maps has all the different transit lines connected, so just enter your destination into Google Maps, and it’ll tell you how to get there.
We hope you have a safe flight, and can’t wait to welcome you to our great city!