Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is the largest city in Canada. A cosmopolitan conglomeration of cultures, you can walk—and eat—your way around the world. The Irish, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, Portuguese and Polish communities (to name just a few of the 100 or so groups who call Toronto home) have brought their traditions, food, languages and music with them, making the city a delight for all the senses.
For travelers arriving on flights to Toronto, there are many things to do! Toronto is thriving. For example, The Distillery District is a commercial and residential neighborhood that has been revitalized; the old red-brick buildings and warehouses are now galleries, artist studios, boutiques, cafes and brasseries. Near Chinatown, the Art Gallery of Ontario has been transformed by Frank Gehry. In Yorkeville, the Royal Ontario Museum has been spruced up with a new wing by Daniel Libeskind. The Gardiner Museum stands across from the museum; it’s Canada’s only ceramics museum.
When the city gets too busy, Dundas Square or the Beaches offer a respite. A ten-minute ferry journey from Harbourfront Centre will deliver you to the Toronto Islands.
Toronto hugs the shore of Lake Ontario, providing a scenic backdrop to the modern downtown area. The soaring CN Tower is an eye-catching landmark and you’ll surely want to take the glass elevator to the top of this 1,640-foot tall wonder for a spectacular view of the city and lake. The most populous city of Canada has a bold mix of culture, architectural diversity and nightlife. It hums with the excitement of a modern cosmopolitan center, yet its history dates to the late 1700s. Head downtown to explore the financial district’s modern architecture. While there, do not miss the PATH, a unique underground shopping area consisting of more than 1,200 businesses.
From sporting events to world-class theater to diverse cuisine, Toronto offers it all. You could spend days visiting the city’s museums (the Art Gallery of Ontario houses a magnificent collection of art, while the Royal Ontario Museum exhibits cultural and natural history from around the globe). Toronto even has its own castle, Casa Loma, and quaint Victorian neighborhoods that invite you to stroll their quiet streets, while the many parks provide relaxation after a busy day.
Toronto has a moderate climate as one of the southernmost cities in Canada with the warmest springs and summers in the nation (60 to 78 degrees). The winter months (December to February) are chilly with temperatures from 19 to 44 degrees.
Flights to Toronto are best organized from June to October. Cheap flights to Toronto might be hard to come by as during this time there are lots of events and festivals taking place. In late July or early August there is the Caribana. It’s North America’s largest Caribbean festival with over a million tourists turning up to witness and join in the fun. Book your flight to Toronto well in advance if you want to visit then. The weather is rather muggy and humid during these months too so prepare for huge crowds and sticky weather. If you can get cheap flights to Toronto in the autumn time, so between September and November, you’ll get to enjoy the sun but with more reasonable temperatures. The Toronto International Film Festival takes place in September, which is the most successful public film festival in the entire world, so if you’re a film fan book your flights to Toronto in advance and make a saving on your flight tickets.
February to May and September to mid-November are good times to visit. The summer crowds have thinned and the weather is still good. This is when the Toronto International Film Festival takes place and when leaf peepers arrive for the glorious fall foliage. The start of February is when the WinterCity Festival takes place. Three festivals in one, WinterCity consists of the WOW! Series at Nathan Phillips Square, the Warm Up Series at Toronto’s cultural/tourist attractions, and the restaurant promotion, Winterlicious.
The winter time is cold, but cheap flights to Toronto are easier to come by. The city still hosts several holiday festivities and the winter weather from November to January can be more enjoyable than the muggy weather of the summer. Book your flight tickets early on to ensure you save money on your flights to Toronto.
You’ll find the cheapest flights to Toronto in May and June, with the price of your flight tickets gradually increasing as the year progresses. Due to the large amount of festivals and events that take place between June and October, make sure to book your flights as early as possible to save some money on your tickets. If you can, try to sit on the right hand side of the plane, weather permitting, this will offer you the best views as you approach Toronto.
Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada, also referred to as Toronto Pearson International Airport, serves multiple airlines and flights from around the world, with specific flight times depending on your starting destination. If you’re traveling from southwest states in the U.S. such as California or Nevada, expect a five hour journey. Flights from the Midwest states such as Minnesota and Wisconsin are generally just under two hours, while flights from Houston are approximately three hours. If you’re heading to Toronto from the U.K., flights usually last approximately eight hours. Keep in mind that flight times can vary due to certain weather conditions, so it’s always a good rule of thumb to check your flight status online or by calling the airline to make sure your flight is on schedule.
Toronto Pearson International Airport is the second largest airport in all of Canada, and services multiple airlines from around the globe, including major U.S. carriers and several international carriers outside of the U.S., so you should have no problem booking your flight. U.S. airlines that fly to Toronto Pearson include American Airlines, Delta, United and Miami Air International, and international airlines outside of the U.S. served by the airport include British Airways, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, Air Mexico and Air China. If you’re flying within Canada or outside of Canada, domestic airlines served include Air Canada and Air Canada Rogue.
Toronto, Canada is similar to the Midwest when it comes to weather, as both areas experience the four seasons. If you’re planning a spring or summer trip to Toronto, temperatures usually range between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during this time, so you’ll want to pack light, breathable clothing that’s suitable for warm weather. Since temperatures can cool down at night, pack a few light sweaters or a light jacket to layer on when the temps drop.
During the fall months, temperatures start to cool down, but you still may experience some warm days, so it’s best to pack for both warm and slightly cooler weather. Packing items for easy layering such as T-shirts and cardigan sweaters, along with a medium weight jacket and gloves should ensure you’re comfortable during your trip.
If you’re planning a winter holiday or business trip to Toronto, make sure to pack warm clothing, including snow boots and a winter jacket, especially if you plan on skiing or visiting any outdoor attractions. While the overall vibe in Toronto is “laid back,” it’s also important to pack clothing to suit your plans. If fine dining or a visit to the Opera House are on your agenda, call the establishments ahead of time to find out specific dress codes, then pack accordingly. If you hope to get some camping or fishing in during your stay, make sure to include a rain parka, hiking boots, and clothing that can take a little extra wear and tear.
When packing your carry-on bag, you’ll want to include any essential items you may need in-flight and in the event of a flight delay. Useful items include travel-sized lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, and any other beauty or hygiene products you may need. It’s also a good idea to pack a small travel-sized first aid kit with bandages, aspirin and antibiotic ointment.
There are a few options for getting from the airport to downtown Toronto. Option one is a ride-hailing service. You can meet drivers at the airport at either Terminal 1, Door A, or Terminal 3, Door B. You can also request a coach service (approximately $26 one way), which seems pricey, but it’s a much better alternative than a taxi. Depending on traffic you’ll probably find the journey from the airport to the center of Toronto to take about 30 minutes to an hour. If you’re really on a budget, or just want to experience some true local transport, you can take the Toronto Rocket, a passenger train used on the Toronto Subway system. Ride the Toronto Rocket to the Kipling Subway Station and then take the subway all around the city.
Toronto’s public transport consists of a connected network of subways, buses and streetcars that offer safe, efficient and reliable transport. With all of those options, you can get anywhere in the city. The subway has four lines, and buses and streetcars can be boarded at every major subway stop. After 1:30am the Blue Night Network services the main streets and the Request Stop Program allows people to get off the bus anywhere between stops. Cabs are easy to find and you can take ferries to the Toronto Islands. While renting a car is an option, keep in mind that there is a lot of traffic and parking is expensive.
From fine dining and sightseeing to live music shows and riding some seriously intense roller coasters, Toronto has something for everyone. For live entertainment and a mini history lesson, take in a show at Toronto’s Opera House, a popular historic venue that first opened its doors in 1909. The newly-remodeled building still maintains some of its earliest architecture, and offers a variety of shows ranging from rock concerts to cabaret acts.
If you’re looking for a little adventure, visit Canada’s Wonderland, a well-known amusement park that houses the Leviathan, a massive roller coaster with an 80-foot drop. The park also features 68 additional rides, a 20-acre waterpark, and an interactive “Dinosaur Park” with 40 life-sized dinosaurs. For beautiful outdoor views in a truly unique location, head over to Harbourfront Centre and visit the Toronto Music Garden. This delightful landscape was designed to resemble the notes in Bach’s Suite no 1 in G Major, with each walking path reflecting a portion of the note.
For some local fare and gorgeous views of the city, Toronto offers several restaurants ranging from upscale dining to casual burgers and fries. Sample some of the most decadent desserts in town at Luma, a casual cafe that overlooks Toronto’s bustling entertainment district. Dinner options include staples such as seafood and ravioli, while desserts such as the Luma chocolate bar and steamed banana pudding are sure to have you asking for seconds.
For an up close and personal view of Toronto from an astounding height, visit the 360 Restaurant in the CN Tower. One of Toronto’s most well-known landmarks, the CN Tower is 1500 feet high with observation decks at various levels. The restaurant also rotates as you dine to offer an amazing panoramic experience.
If you require transportation to Toronto Pearson International Airport from your hotel or lodging accommodations, options include taxis and ride-sharing services such as Lyft or Uber and shuttle vans that drive back and forth from the airport. The UP Express Bus offers rides to the airport and services Union Station in downtown Toronto. When booking a taxi or ride-sharing service, it’s a good idea to schedule your ride at least 24 hours in advance so you’re not rushing through ticket lines and security checkpoints. Shuttle van services such as Super Shuttle and Aeroport Taxi take reservations in advance as well, and schedule your pick-up times based on your flight time.
For more information on navigating the Toronto Pearson International Airport, check out our detailed online airport guide: