Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s biggest and busiest airport, brings in thousands of travellers from around the world – many of whom are just stopping over on their way to Asia and Europe. If you get stuck here on a layover or pre-flight stay and are not sure how to kill the time, we have you covered. Here are ten fun things to see and do during your brief stay at Pearson.
Ways to Kill Time at Toronto Pearson International Airport
1. Enjoy Good Food & Drink
Pearson has a range of cafes, restaurants and bars where you can enjoy good food and drink. Start your layover with a light snack or indulge in local Toronto cuisine at a full-service restaurant. Visit Caplansky’s Deli, the city’s most renowned Jewish deli (located in Terminal 3), for a classic Toronto sammie; enjoy a few glasses of wine at Vinifera; or head to LEE Kitchen (Terminal 1) to check out what famous chef Susur Lee has on offer. You will also find well-known chains like Starbucks, Subway and Tim Hortons, and kiosks slinging coffee, smoothies, fresh juices, hamburgers and baked items. There are 24-hour eateries in both terminals, both before and after passing security.
Don’t forget to visit the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory if you are a chocolate lover. Located in Terminal 1, this Colorado-based sweet shop has a variety of handmade chocolates, marbled fudge and house-made candies. The shop is famous for its softball-sized caramel apples with a variety of toppings, including chopped pecans and graham crackers. The maple fudge, made with real Canadian syrup and Rocky Pop (fresh popcorn with caramel and nuts), is a must-try.
Have fun shopping and hopping through Pearson’s duty-free retail shops. For those with an eye for designer products, Terminal 1 has many branded boutiques like Gucci, Burberry, Coach, Ferragamo, Bulgari, Jo Malone and Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada’s oldest department store chain. From bookstores and convenience stores to newsstands and duty-free stores, Pearson is home to several shopping centres worth of stores.
3. Pamper Yourself
Nothing beats the stress of a long flight like a good spa treatment. Head to the 10-Minute Manicure (Terminal 1) for massages and teeth whitening, or visit the Be Relax spa (Terminal 3) for chair or table massage, waxing, facials, nail services, and other beauty treatments, all without any pre-booking. You can also explore the Plaza Premium Lounge (Terminal 3) for comfortable sofa chairs and loungers, televisions, private dining areas, showers with towels, beverages and free Wi-Fi.
4. Hit the Gym
If you are a fitness freak, you will want to make the most of your layover by hitting the gym. Goodlife Fitness (Terminal 1) offers a huge workout facility that includes cardio and strength training equipment, free weights and stretching areas. Don’t have workout clothes? No worries. Gym clothes and shoes are available to rent. Luggage storage is free of charge. The Sheraton Gateway Hotel (close to Terminal 3) sells $25-day workout passes that include a gym, pool, whirlpool and sauna.
5. Visit a Nearby Mall
If you have a few hours and don’t mind leaving the airport, head to Square One, one of Canada’s largest shopping malls. You can either book an airport limo for quick transportation or take the public transit (bus) that leaves right from Terminal 1. Don’t miss Playdium – a 40,000 sq. ft. indoor complex with over 200 high-tech attractions, rides and simulators – situated next to the mall.
6. Go Sightseeing
Pearson is approximately 27 kms away from Toronto city centre, a busy and buzzing neighbourhood that includes the Hockey Hall of Fame and Royal Ontario Museum. Around 30 kilometres northwest of the city centre is Canada’s Wonderland, a massive theme park that operates from May to October. So, if you have more than four hours of spare time before your next flight, consider checking it out.
Getting downtown is easy with the new Union Pearson (UP) Express. The train departs every 15 minutes and takes you to Union Station in just 25 minutes. However, services are not available between 1 am and 5:30 am. You may also hire airport taxis or other private transport services, but these will cost you more. While downtown you can get to the top of the CN Tower for spectacular views of Lake Ontario, explore the Hockey Hall of Fame, walk around Ripley’s Aquarium, or head over to St. Lawrence Market for a food tour.
Travelling is fun, but being stranded at the airport for a long time can be stressful. Unavoidable circumstances, like adverse weather conditions, air traffic congestion and technical issues, can have you stuck in the terminal for a long time. Consider trying out some of the above-mentioned tips to make the most of your spare time at Pearson.