Wherever you may be coming from, getting to and from Toronto is easy.
If you are travelling by air, Toronto is served by two airports.
Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is less than 30km from downtown Toronto. Pearson Airport is the largest airport in Canada and has a number of direct flights from international hubs across the world, in addition to flights within Canada. The airport has two terminals; Terminal One primarily services Air Canada and Star Alliance flights, while Terminal Three services other carriers.
Pearson Airport offers car rentals, transportation services (taxi, limo and car sharing services), as well as direct connections to downtown Toronto through the UP Express rail line to Union Station.
Toronto is also serviced by Billy Bishop Airport. A regional airport located in Toronto’s downtown core, Billy Bishop Airport primarily services flights from Ontario, Eastern Canada and the Northeastern and Central United States. Cabs and public transit are available from this airport, as well as a free shuttle service to transport passengers between Billy Bishop Airport and Union Station.
Both VIA Rail (Canada’s national rail carrier) and AMTRAK service downtown Toronto via Union Station. The train station is located centrally downtown (within walking distance to the Colloquium venue) and is also connected to the subway by underground tunnel.
For delegates travelling within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, GO Transit provides rail commuter trains and buses on a daily basis with a central hub in downtown Toronto at Union Station.
Several highways, including Highways 2, 401, 407 and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) link surrounding cities to Toronto. The closest Canada-US border crossings are at Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Windsor.
Local Transportation Services
The Union-Pearson (UP) Express is a rail line that connects Pearson Airport with Union Station, one of the major transportation hubs located in downtown Toronto. A full trip takes just 25-minutes, and trains run approximately every 15 minutes in peak periods.
UP Express Stations are located in Terminal 1 of Pearson Airport next to the Terminal Link Train (map) and can be found by following the “Train to City” or “UP Express” signs. From Terminal 3, passengers can take the free Terminal Link Train to Terminal 1 and follow the “Train to City” or “UP Express signs.”
From Union Station, passengers can follow the “UP Express” signs to the departing platform.
The first departure from Union Station is at 4:55am and from Pearson Airport at 5:27am. Adult one-way fares are $12.35. Children under 12 years of age ride free. Individual tickets can be purchased in advance from the UP Express website or from the free mobile app. Tickets can also be purchased onsite at Ticket vending machines at any UP Express station, or UP Express Customer Service Counters at Pearson Airport. Those wishing to do additional travel by public transit in Toronto may consider purchasing a PRESTO card and adding fare to their account, as PRESTO is utilized across all of Toronto’s public transportation systems.
Toronto has an extensive public transportation network which extends throughout the entire city and into the suburbs. The system consists of buses, streetcars and a subway system, all of which are operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
Toronto’s subway system is made up of colour-coded subway lines, which connect the city centre to the various neighbourhoods of Toronto. All subway services generally operate between 6am and 1:30am every day, except Sunday when operating hours are from 8am to 1:30am. Trains usually run only a few minutes apart.
Streetcar and bus routes run along city arteries. When paying for a fare, always pick up a transfer (unless using a PRESTO Card) to avoid paying again if transferring to another mode of transportation.
The TTC has an integrated fare system which covers all modes of transport. Passengers can purchase smart, pre-paid fare PRESTO cards from Pearson Airport or at most subway systems from fare vending machines. Operators on buses and streetcars do not sell fares or carry change. A cash fare is $3.25 per ride; PRESTO card fares are $3.00 per ride.
Taxis and Ride-Sharing
Rates for taxis start at $3.25 and increase by $0.25 for each additional 0.14km. Taxis are frequently lined up at hotels, sport and convention centres and major transit hubs (such as Union Station). Cabs do not need to be called in advance; rather, they can be hailed on a street. Common cab companies in Toronto include Beck, Diamond and Co-op cabs. Both Lyft and Uber are legal and operating in Toronto.
Toronto offers a bike sharing program, BikeShare Toronto. There are more than 3,000 bikes in the network across almost 300 stations. Rates start at $7/day, with the first 30 minutes of every ride included. Bike lanes can be found on a number of major streets, with a network of mixed-use bike paths throughout the city. As in many major cities, tension frequently exists between cyclists and cars and anyone exploring the city by bike is encouraged to wear safety gear (helmet) and be aware of surrounding traffic.
Downtown Toronto is laid out as a grid-system; however, streets are named rather than numbered. The city’s downtown core is relatively condensed and walking between locations downtown is often a preferred mode of transportation. Hotels are usually able to provide free guides and maps of the downtown core, but people on the street are also usually very willing to help strangers, so don’t be afraid to ask for directions if needed.