While it's not the centre of the Universe, Toronto is at the centre of a lot of things. It is Canada's economic hub and a world-class metropolis, consistently ranked among the world's most livable cities. As the home of the Hockey Hall of Fame, it is a major draw for hockey fans from far and wide. The Canadian Opera Company and National Ballet of Canada, not to mention its many museums and galleries, make it a major cultural centre. Why not board a cheap flight direct to Toronto and see for yourself?
What distinguishes Toronto's skyline from Vancouver, Calgary, or London is the CN Tower, which held the record for the world's tallest free-standing structure for over 30 years. The city's wealth of attractions include: St. Lawrence Market, considered to be one of the world's best food markets and is the hub of the city's historic Old Town; Toronto's waterfront, one of North America's largest recreational waterfronts; Harbourfront Centre; Ontario Place; Historic Fort York; the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada's Wonderland, Toronto Zoo, Ontario Science Centre, Bata Shoe Museum, The Design Exchange, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto's annual festivals include the Toronto Street Festival, Pride Week, and Luminato. And don't forget to snag tickets for the renowned Toronto International Film Festival, the Canadian National Exhibition, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is Canada's largest and busiest airport. It is a major hub for both Air Canada and WestJet flights, and all major North American, European, South American, and Asian airlines — approximately 65 in total — also serve Pearson. Anywhere you want to fly, you can get there through Toronto.
There are plenty of flights at Pearson every day, year-round, so you can usually find a cheap fare whenever you want to visit Toronto, and it has the most direct flights of any airport in Canada. Of course you'll need to book Toronto flights early for the typical holiday periods like Easter and Christmas, and for summer (July and August), because, as with most Canadian cities, summer is the major tourist season when flights to Toronto are in higher demand.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport (YTZ) has also become a popular option among travellers due to its convenient location just minutes away from Bay St. and the downtown core. It is served by Air Canada and Porter and is used for regional flights to places such as Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, as well as some US destinations such as New York, Chicago, and Boston.
Another option for budget-conscious travellers is Hamilton International Airport (YHM), which is 80km west of Toronto. The primary carrier offering flights to Hamilton is WestJet and they offer direct flights between Hamilton and Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, and Winnipeg. Hola Sun uses this airport and offers flights between Hamilton and sunny destinations in places like Cuba, Florida, and Mexico at certain times of year.
Toronto has the typical four Canadian seasons — winter, spring, summer, and fall — but winter tends to be milder than in most of the country's other large cities, with only a little snow, and temperatures generally a little below freezing. January is the coldest month, but temperatures seldom drop below —10°C.Flight delays are more common in the winter months as planes must be de-iced prior to takeoff. July and August are the hottest months, with temperatures often in the comfortable mid-20s, although heatwaves that shoot the temperature above 30°C are not uncommon.
Summer in Toronto is divine, and this is definitely the peak tourist season, but late spring and early fall are also delightful times for your Toronto flights. Besides fewer crowds and cheaper hotel rates, there is excellent weather to be found as well. Toronto’s vibrancy, however, extends year-round. With an abundance of both indoor and outdoor attractions and activities, any season is a good time to take a flight to Toronto.
Arriving at Lester B. Pearson International Airport
Hotel Shuttle: If you are staying at an airport hotel it may provide a complimentary shuttle pick-up from the airport when your flight arrives (as well as drop-off when you leave). For getting to downtown Toronto, or to one of the downtown hotels, see the City Shuttle option below.
Taxi: Taxis are easy to find at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), and will take you anywhere you need to go. The average fare from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to downtown Toronto – a distance of about 40 kilometres – is approximately $40-$50 CAD, and takes 30 to 40 minutes.
Car Rental: Rental companies – Avis, Budget, Dollar/Thrifty, Enterprise, Hertz, and National – operate out of the Level 1 parking garages at each of the airport's three terminals.
City Shuttle: For getting to downtown Toronto, or to one of the downtown hotels, you can use the convenient Airport Express shuttle service, which costs approximately $20 CAD one-way, or $30 CAD round-trip, with a 10% discount if you pre-purchase your tickets online.
Public Transportation: The 192 Airport Rocket is a bus operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), and which travels from Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 of Pearson airport to the Kipling subway station. The trip takes about 30 minutes, and costs the same as the regular TTC fare. Obtain a transfer when you pay your fare, and when you arrive at Kipling station you can take the subway all the way into the heart of downtown at no extra charge.
Arriving at Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport
The airport is on an island in Toronto's harbour, so your first step after disembarking from flights at this airport is to follow the signs in the terminal to the ferry. When the ferry reaches the mainland, you can take a taxi from the ferry slip, or board one of the free shuttle buses that will take you to Union Station. At Union Station you can rent a car, but the cheaper and more convenient option is to connect with public transit such as the TTC subway, GO Transit trains and buses, or VIA Rail.
Arriving at Hamilton Airport
From the Hamilton airport, you could rent a car from Avis, Hertz, or National, or use the cheaper option of GO Transit's buses and trains to get into Toronto. It is 80km from downtown Toronto, which makes it less convenient and ground transportation potentially more costly, but with cheap airfares and less congestion at the airport, it can be worth considering depending on your itinerary.