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Toronto Layover

| January 11, 2015

Stuck on a Toronto layover at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ)? As Canada’s largest and busiest airport, you’ll find plenty to do on your layover wait. The airport is also located 17 miles from downtown Toronto, which makes the city accessible for those on a long layover. If you’re trying to figure out if you can leave the airport during your Toronto layover, click here for useful tips.

Toronto Canada layover stopoverIf you’re stuck inside the airport, you can find a lot of shops and services to keep you entertained. There’s shopping (duty free and regular) in both terminals and you can find duty free shopping specials here. For restaurants & bars, listed by terminal click here.

In addition, there’s also many services including 10 Minute Manicure, Interfaith chapel, pay phones, currency exchange, nursing station, shoe shine, listed by location here. Wireless Internet is available throughout the airport. You can use your credit card or an account with their many roaming partners. For more information or help in connecting, click here.

If you’re tired and looking to unwind, the airport also has a spa – the Vaccaro Spa & Salon – where you can get hair and nail treatments as well as massages and facials. It is located in Terminal 3 on the main floor and you can drop in for an appointment or call (416) 834-6853. For a listing of their services and pricing, click here.

The airport also offers five Plaza Premium Lounges located in both terminals. The lounges are equipped with flat screen TVs, Internet access, coffee, hot food entrees and alcoholic beverages. Rates apply to a 3-hour period and are $30 for adults before 11AM, $35 for adults after 11AM, $25 for children ages 4-11 and children under three are free. For a map of lounge location, click here.

If you’re looking for a hotel room during your layover, in addition to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel located in Terminal 3, their are many local hotels nearby. In addition, hotel courtesy boards – listings of selected hotels with direct reservation telephone access – are located on the Arrivals Level of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.

If you’re looking to explore, and want to store your luggage, the Travel Store can store your bags and coats for short terms. For more information, contact the Travel Store at one of the following locations: Terminal 1, Level 3: (416) 776-1313, Terminal 1, Level 3: (416) 776-2247, Terminal 3, Departures Level: (905) 612-6677

If you’re leaving the airport on your layover, taxis are available at the Arrivals Level of each terminal. Taxi rates are pre-determined based on the distance and time to your destination. For more info on rates, click here. The LINK train provides free transportation between Terminal 1, Terminal 3, the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, the Reduced Rate Parking Lot at Viscount Station, and the employee parking lot. The following public transportation options are also available to locations in the area including Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), GO Transit, Mississauga Transit, Brampton Transit, and the Pacific Western Airport Express.

Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A Toronto Layover:

Toronto Tour
If you have a limited amount of time during your layover and want to see a number of sights, a tour of Toronto might be your best bet. There are many to choose from including day tours to Niagara Falls, segway tours, bus and bike tours, night cruises, dinner theater, outdoor activities, and much more!

CN Tower
Located on Front Street in Toronto, the CN Tower is the main point of interest in the Toronto skyline and is the world’s tallest building. Check out the observation deck (it’s great around sunset) and the Restaurant 360. For tips and admission offers, click here.

Steam Whistle Brewery
Opened in March 2000, Steam Whistle Brewery is one of Toronto’s top tourist attractions. To check out the tours that the brewery offers, click here.

St. Lawrence Market
With over 120 merchants, the St. Lawrence Market is located in the heart of Old Town Toronto at Front and Jarvis Streets. The market is open from 8AM to 6PM on Tues – Thurs, 8AM to 7PM on Fri and 5AM to 5PM on Sat. For a list of merchants by location, click here.

Kensington Market
Located west of downtown Toronto, by Spadina Avenue, Dundas Street, Bathurst Street and College Street, the Kensington Market has lots to do. There’s lots of great vintage shops, independent designers, furniture and other retail, as well as plenty of restaurant options.

If none of these sounds interesting, try Harbourfront Centre, Second City comedy club, or Casa Loma.

Have a suggestion or advice for Toronto layovers? Leave a comment below!

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Category: Canada, layover, North America, things to do

Comments (11)

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  1. cindy says:

    Thank you for this blog post… I know that I will be spending a much happier 8 hour layover with my family!

    • aneonoelle says:

      I second the above as I I originally planned to spend 3 hours at YYZ and thanks to United Airlines, I will now be spending 10 hours at YYZ.

  2. Maria says:

    Just to add to this article now there is an Union Express Train which takes you from the airport to downtown Toronto in 25 minutes! Enjoy!

    • Bob says:

      Just to Ad that the Union Express is veryyy Expensive. Almost 30 dollars for a 30 minutes trip. Compare with 8 dollars in Los Angeles ,8 dollars in Moscow and 15 dollars in Tokyo.

      Canada sound like a expensive place to visit.

      • Peter says:

        The U-P express fare has since been reduced to $12 since so few were willing to pay the exorbitant rate.

      • Darren Ross says:

        its an open ended ticket, good for 7 hours. no cost if you return withing that time. Seniors are half price and kids are free. Best way to get downtown period.

  3. M. Abuhaija says:


    I am Jordanian and traveling to Sao Paulo from Dubai and I have transit at Toronto airport for 8 hrs, can I leave the airport and go to the city?? and where do you advice to go??

  4. RR says:

    Is a 5hr layover in YYZ long enough to go downtown using the UnionExpress Train, explore and get back in time for my international connection?

    And is there luggage storage service to leave our bags at the airport?

    • SP says:

      Did you end up heading downtown in your 5 hours? We have a 5 hour layover next month and would love to see if you did it with ease!

      • MK says:


        Looking to book a flight via Toronto and considering choosing one with a long layover (10 hrs) to see the city – arriving at 10am. I would appreciate tips or ideas for things to see/do, including the transportation to/from the airport.

        Thank you!