Toronto Pearson International Airport is the busiest airport in Canada, and its terminals are massive (particularly Terminal 1). Almost all flights into Toronto arrive here. Expect a long walk to the Immigration and Customs area, which you will have to clear in Toronto, even if you’re flying on to another Canadian destination. (Maps of both terminals can be found online. Both terminals have tourism information booths.
Canada’s only national airline, Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262), operates direct flights to Toronto from most major American cities and many smaller ones. It also flies from major cities around the world and operates connecting flights from other U.S. cities. It is based in Pearson’s Terminal 1. WestJet (tel. 888/937-8538), based in Calgary, has become an increasingly popular choice for anyone coming to Toronto from the United States, as well as some locations in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Upstart Porter Airlines (tel. 416/619-8622) has gained a great reputation for service and flies to Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport from seven U.S. locations, including New York, Chicago, Boston, and Myrtle Beach, as well as a rapidly increasing number of Canadian cities. Porter, along with a handful of commuter flight services, is the only airline that flies to the Toronto City Centre Airport, which is located on the western side of the Toronto Islands.
Getting into Town from the Airport—To get from the airport to downtown, take Hwy. 427 south to the Gardiner Expressway East. A taxi costs about $60 if you’re going downtown (it’s higher if you’re heading to north or east Toronto).
In operation since 2015, the UP Express airport rail link makes getting downtown a snap. Trains leave from Pearson's Terminal 1, with two stops en route to Union Station. The $13.25 price tag is worth every penny: You’ll be downtown in 25 minutes, and you won’t be wasting away in highway traffic.
The cheapest way to get into town is by bus and subway, which takes about an hour. During the day, take the 192 “Airport Rocket” bus to Kipling station. In the middle of the night, you can take the no. 300A bus to Yonge and Bloor streets. The fare of $3.25 includes free transfer to the subway (which is available until 1:30am).
Crossing the border between Canada and the U.S. by car gives you a lot of options. If you’re driving from Michigan, you’ll enter at Detroit-Windsor (I-75 and the Ambassador Bridge) or Port Huron–Sarnia (I-94 and the Bluewater Bridge). If you’re coming from New York, you have more options. On I-190, you can enter at Buffalo–Fort Erie; Niagara Falls, New York–Niagara Falls, Ontario; or Niagara Falls, New York–Lewiston. On I-81, you’ll cross the Canadian border at Hill Island; on Rte. 37, you’ll enter at either Ogdensburg-Johnstown or Rooseveltown-Cornwall.
From the United States, you are most likely to enter Toronto from the west on Hwy. 401 or Hwy. 2 and the Queen Elizabeth Way. If you come from the east, via Montreal, you’ll also use hwys. 401 and 2.
Be sure you have your driver’s license and car registration if you plan to drive your own vehicle into Canada. It isn’t a bad idea to carry proof of automobile liability insurance, too.
I don't recommend driving in Toronto, but if you're planning to make side trips outside of the city, you may wish to rent a car in Toronto or at Pearson International Airport. If you pay with a credit card, you might get automatic coverage (check with your credit card issuer before you go). Be sure to read the fine print of the rental agreement—some companies add conditions that will boost your bill if you don't fulfill certain obligations, such as filling the gas tank before returning the car.
Amtrak's Maple Leaf” service links New York City and Toronto via Niagara Falls, Syracuse, and Albany (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [800/872-7245]). It departs daily from New York's Penn Station. The journey takes 12.5 hours. Note that the lengthy schedule allows for extended stops at Customs and Immigration checkpoints at the border.
VIA Rail Canada (tel. 888/VIA-RAIL [888/842-7245]) is the nation’s top rail line and offers many routes and generally pleasant service. Trains arrive in Toronto at Union Station. The station has direct access to the subway.
Greyhound (tel. 877/463-6446) is the best-known bus company that crosses the U.S. border. You can travel from almost anywhere in the United States and Canada. You’ll arrive at the Toronto Coach Terminal downtown at 610 Bay St., near the corner of Dundas Street. Other options include Coach Canada, which travels from many places in the United States, as well as from Quebec, to Ontario, and Megabus.
The bus may be faster and cheaper than the train, and its routes may be more flexible if you want to stop along the way. Bear in mind that it’s more cramped, toilet facilities are meager, and meals are taken at fast-food rest stops.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.