Toronto has two airports, Pearson International Airport, which most of you are likely flying into, and the smaller Billy Bishop Airport, with direct flights from Chicago, New York and other commuter hubs.
If you’re flying into Pearson International…
You’ll land approximately 30km from the city centre where University of Toronto is located. There are a number of transit options to get downtown.
The most convenient is the Union Pearson Express, which will get you from Pearson to Union Station in approximately 25 minutes Tickets on the UP Express are $24.70 return (or $12.35 one way) and can be purchased in advance on their website. After arriving in Union Station you can take the subway north to campus or your hotel. If you’re at the Chelsea Hotel it’s just 10 minutes on Line 1 north to College Station, and then a few minutes walk south to the corner of Gerrard and Yonge.
Public transit is the most affordable, but not the most convenient. You can take the 192 Airport Rocket to Kipling Station, the westernmost point of Line 2 of our subway system. To get to the Chelsea, take Line 2 East to Yonge Station, and switch to Line 1 South to College, then walk south to Gerrard. This can be done on a single fare ($3.25), but it’ll cost you in time (around 45 minutes).
You may also choose to take an airport taxi or limousine. Following ground transport out of the terminal will lead you to the taxi stand, which is located just along the sidewalk from the limousine stand. A taxi/limo from the airport to downtown will cost you approximately $60 exclusive of tip and additional passenger fees; just make sure you confirm the fare first.
Uber is also now offering rides to and from Pearson at considerably cheaper rates, and Lyft has recently arrived here as well. Please read their instructions on where to wait for an Uber or Lyft from the airport.
If you’re flying into Billy Bishop….
Your transport into the city will be considerably cheaper. Cabs are easily accessible from the airport’s front doors, and a lift from Billy Bishop to the Chelsea for example, will cost you only around $14.00.
You can easily take transit from here too. Our streetcars now have payment options on board, allowing you to buy a single ticket via credit card as you ride (note that a single ticket in Toronto gets you a single transit fare with transfers on the same route, in the same direction).
Consider the time of day …
Toronto has two pretty difficult “rush hour” windows, and has recently been identified as having the worst rush hour commutes in North America. If possible, you should avoid having to travel during these windows as they will greatly extend the travel time you’ll need to allocate to ensure that you have enough time to make your flight. In the morning, this time period is between 7:00 and 10:00am and in the evening, from 3:30 to 6:00pm. If your flight does leave during these windows, especially if you are flying out of Porter, we’d recommend that you add time to your travel. Of course, we don’t need to just guess – Google Maps will help you allocate time appropriately.
Getting around while you’re here
If you’re staying at the Chelsea Hotel you’ll have about a 15-minute walk in the morning to get to the venue, and from the InterContinental it’s just about a 10-minute walk to the venue. Cabs and Uber/Lyft are also an option for getting to the venue. If you’d like to take public transit, the best route would be a walk to College St, and then a ride west on the 506 Streetcar (currently running as buses due toe construction along the route), though it still involves some walking. Public transit options is a good option for getting around the city, and more information on costs and maps can be found here: http://www.ttc.ca/Fares_and_passes/Prices/Prices.jsp.