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Americas > Canada > Toronto > Useful Info
Updated on Apr 19, 2018 Useful Info

How to get from Pearson International Airport to the city

There are 5 general options to get from Pearson International Airport to downtown Toronto. I prefer to take Uber (option 5), but it's definitely not the cheapest. UP Express (option 1) is probably the best in terms of convenience and cost. If you really want to cheap it out, take the bus/subway combination, you can get downtown for $3.


1. UP Express (light rail)

  • Light rail train
  • Runs every 10 minutes
  • $9 one-way ticket price
  • Drops off at Union Station in downtown Toronto
  • From Union Station, you can take subway to your destination, or walk. Subway is an additional $3 per ride
  • You can buy ticket with major credit card or cash at terminal 1 and 3 arrival areas (inside the terminal)

2. TTC (public transit)

  • Operated by the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), which is the public transit operator that runs the subways (subway is generally not called metro in Toronto), buses and streetcars in Toronto
  • Take the route 192 bus at the arrival pick-up areas (outside of the building) of terminal 1 and 3; the stop sign is clearly labeled with a post.
  • The 192 bus will drop you off at the Kipling subway station. Once there, you are in the subway network, then take the eastbound train to St. George station, then connect to southbound train to Union Station.
  • The price is $3 for the entire one-way trip downtown. Once you paid on the bus, you don’t need to pay again at the subway station when you transfer
  • Accepted payment forms are cash, TTC tokens, or Presto card (a green re-chargeable NFC card for pretty much all transit systems in the Greater Toronto Area)

3. Taxi

  • There are taxi line ups outside of arrival terminal buildings. Just follow the sign
  • Taxis are not metered, but rather based on a fixed rate to different parts of Toronto
  • Fixed price of taxi to downtown Toronto is $60, plus tips. In Canada tips is generally 15% of the tax-included base price. 10% if the service is subpar, and 20% if the service is excellent
  • Payment is either cash or credit card (Visa and MasterCard is preferred, but most will also accept American Express)

4. Limo

  • These are black cars. They are basically the same as taxi, but have slightly better service
  • Fare works the same way as taxis - fixed rate to different areas of Toronto
  • Fixed price of taxi to downtown Toronto is $60, plus tips
  • Payment is either cash or credit card (Visa and MasterCard is preferred, but most will also accept American Express)
  • Drivers will typically help you with your luggage, and open the door for you
  • Line up areas is just next to the taxi line up areas outside of the arrival building. Follow sign

5. Uber

  • There are 2 legal Uber options at Pearson
  1. Select: these are premium cars that are more expensive than Uber X, but cheaper than Uber Black. They are typically black in color
  2. Black: more expensive than Select, but I believe are operated by actual limo companies rather than individuals
  • Price of Select is comparable to Airport Limo ($60 to get downtown), but you do not need to tip, so it comes out to be cheaper than airport Limo
  • Price of Black is more expensive. Comes out to $100 to get downtown.
  • The pickup area is at the “pre-arranged limo” pickup area. Gate A in terminal 1, and gate B in terminal 3. You can follow sign or ask an airport employee
  • Pearson has free wifi, so you can use the airport wifi to call for a car
  • Drivers expect you to call a car AFTER you have picked up your luggage and have come outside of the secure area
  • You may notice that after you call a car, the driver doesn’t move on the map. If this is the case, just text the driver “I’ve picked up my luggage and already outside” to the driver. Many drivers may call you as well