Pearson International Airport (YYZ) 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. (There are maps of both terminals online at www.gtaa.com.) There are tourism information booths at both terminals.
Canada's only national airline, Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262; www.aircanada.ca), 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; www.westjet.com), 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. 888/619-8622 or 416/619-8622; www.flyporter.com) has gained a great reputation for service and flies to Toronto City Centre Airport from four U.S. locations -- Newark, Chicago, Boston, and Myrtle Beach -- as well as a rapidly increasing number of Canadian cities, including Halifax, Montréal, Québec City, St. John's, and Ottawa. 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 C$50 if you're going downtown (it's higher if you're heading to north or east Toronto).
The convenient Airport Express bus (tel. 905/564-6333; www.torontoairportexpress.com) travels between the airport, the bus terminal, and major downtown hotels -- the Westin Harbour Castle, Fairmont Royal York, Sheraton Centre Toronto, and the Chelsea Hotel -- every 20 to 30 minutes, from 4:55am to 12:55am. The fare is C$20 one-way, C$33 round-trip.
The cheapest way to go is by bus and subway, which takes about an hour. During the day, you have three options: the no. 192 "Airport Rocket" bus to Kipling station, the no. 58A bus to Lawrence West station, or the no. 307 bus to Eglinton West station. In the middle of the night, you can take the no. 300A bus to Yonge and Bloor streets. The fare of C$2.75 includes free transfer to the subway (which is available till 1:30am). All buses make stops at both airport terminals 1 and 3. It doesn't matter which bus you use; they all take roughly the same amount of time. (The Airport Rocket reaches the subway fastest, but the subway ride to downtown is twice as long as from the other stations.) For more information, call the Toronto Transit Commission, or TTC (tel. 416/393-4636; www3.ttc.ca).
Crossing the border between Canada and the U.S. by car gives you a lot of options -- the U.S. highway system leads directly into Canada at 13 points. 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 Montréal, you'll also use hwys. 401 and 2.
Here are approximate driving distances to Toronto: from Boston, 911km (566 miles); Buffalo, 155km (96 miles); Chicago, 859km (534 miles); Cincinnati, 806km (501 miles); Detroit, 379km (235 miles); Minneapolis, 1,564km (972 miles); Montréal, 545km (339 miles); New York, 797km (495 miles); Ottawa, 453km (281 miles); and Québec City, 790km (491 miles).
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.
If you are a member of the American Automobile Association (AAA), the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), Central Ontario Branch, in Toronto (tel. 416/221-4300; www.caa.ca), provides emergency road service.
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 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 (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [800/872-7245]; www.amtrak.com) "Maple Leaf" service links New York City and Toronto via Albany, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls. It departs daily from Penn Station. The journey takes 12 1/2 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]; www.viarail.ca) is the nation's top rail line and offers many routes and generally pleasant service. Trains arrive in Toronto at Union Station on Front Street, 1 block west of Yonge Street, opposite the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The station has direct access to the subway.
Greyhound (tel. 800/231-2222; www.greyhound.com) 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 Metro Coach Terminal downtown at 610 Bay St., near the corner of Dundas Street. Another option is Coach Canada (www.coachcanada.com), which travels from many places in the United States, as well as from Québec, to Ontario.
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.
Depending on where you are coming from, check into Greyhound's special unlimited-travel passes and discount fares. It's hard to provide sample fares because bus companies, like airlines, are adopting yield-management strategies, causing prices to change from day to day.