Pearson Airport to Downtown Toronto


person doing a chin lift with back to camera

Photo Credit: Edgar Chaparro

oxygen and fire

by Oxygen and Fire

Travelling to and from the airport isn't always straightfoward when driving and needing to do it yourself.

Parking at the airport is expensive.

Family and/or friends can also not be available.

So, let's explore the best ways to get downtown Toronto from the airport and its airports: Pearson and Billy Bishop.

Toronto has two airports: Pearson (out on the West end bordering with Mississauga) and Billy Bishop (the Toronto Island airport)

Toronto Pearson airport departures

Photo Credit @dmig.carraca

Pearson Airport

Looking in one of the Union Pearson epxress train entrance doors from Union station in Toronto

Photo Credit @digitalunknown

Union Pearson Express Train

One of the most comfortable ways to get downtown from Toronto Pearson airport is through the Union Pearson express train (a.k.a. the UP).

Many call it the 'Airport Express Toronto' since it's the fastest way from Pearson to downtown Toronto in terms of public transport.

There's no direct shuttle from Pearson to Union station.

Several factors make the UP a comfortable and relaxing commute:

- The suspension as well as infrequent stops allow for an easy going ride

- The motors are muffled and don't make a lot of noise, too.

- The seats are comfortable and spacious.

- Wifi and charging stations are available on the train.

- There is plenty of space for bags, strollers, etc.

- The gap between the platform and the train is level making the train accessible

- The UP is the fastest way to get from Pearson to downtown Toronto and vice versa

The only 'downside' (depending on your point of reference) is the price.

Taking the UP is pricier than other public transport availability but fares are also available by distance, which could help curb the cost.

Tip for Airport Employees:

There's an UP discount available for airport employees.

You'll need to have a RAIC card and register at the UP counter located at arrivals in T1.

Once you receive the welcome email, instead of creating an account, click on 'forgot password', so you don't have to start the process all over again.

Be warned: if you need to change emails, the process starts all over from the beginning.

Getting to the UP at Terminal 1 (T1)

Follow the “Train to City” signs.

Getting to the UP at Terminal 3 (T3)

Take the free Terminal Link Train (the blue train) to Terminal 1.

FYI: The Terminal Link Train connects both terminals to parking, as well.

Terminal 2 hasn't existed at Pearson since 2007 when Terminal 1 was expanded and pretty much took over.

Purchasing Your UP Express Ticket

There are several ways you can purchase your UP ticket


You can purchase your ticket online directly from the UP website

At All UP Express Stations

You can purchase your 'Pearson Express Ticket' (as we've heard it being called) at ticket vending machines at Pearson, Weston, Bloor, or Union.

Definitely don't miss out on the Museum of Contemporary Art at the UP Express Bloor stop.

Looking for more date ideas?

Look no further - we got you!

Not following the conventional way of touring the city, feel free to check out a list of our articles to see what may peak your interest.

At Customer Service Counters

You can purchase your ticket at a customer service counter at the International Arrivals Level in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.

With Your PRESTO Card

If you already have a PRESTO card, you can add money to it and pay as you go on the UP Express, the TTC, as well as other methods of transport such as the GO trains and buses.

*Remember to tap on / off to avoid paying the maximum daily fare.

With Your Visa Card

Terms and conditions apply (such as a service fee).

Read terms and conditions on the UP Express and Presto websites.

TTC Sign

Photo Credit: Zain Ahmed

Toronto Transit Commission

or a.k.a. the TTC

Taking the TTC is friendlier on the budget.

Although less comfortable of a commute, for a fraction of the price of the UP ticket, one can access all of Toronto directly from Pearson airport while using the TTC.

There are three buses one can take from Toronto Pearson airport to downtown.

All three routes take longer than the UP to get downtown or other parts of Toronto.

Depending on where you want to get in Toronto, you may choose one over the other.

Still, it's always good to know that there's an alternative route in case there's a problem with one of the subway lines, construction, or what have you.

*For up to date travel times, it's best to double check Google directions and the TTC app, and social media outlets for any service disruptions.*

For friendlier budget travel and things to do in the city, check out our Free* Things to Do in Toronto This Week article.

We also list Free* Things to Do in Toronto for a Limited Time and Ongoing Free* Things to do in Toronto you won't want to miss out on!

900 N Airport Express TTC Bus to and from Toronto Pearson Airport

Photo Credit @BetterThenBlog

900 N Airport Express

Generally has frequent service of about 10 minute intervals if there are no delays due to service disruptions.

There is some dedicated space for luggage storage on the bus.

A fun thing to know is that the bus goes on the highway for part of the trip.

Get off at Kipling station and continue with the subway train to your destination in Toronto.

Or if you're traveling in the winter and want to go skiing / snowboarding, you could Hop on the Bus to Blue Mountain, here.

For other seasonal outdoor recreation experiences, check out our Hiking and Biking page.

300A Bloor - Danforth

The subway train in Toronto stops service over night and is replaced by the 300A Bloor - Danforth service.

Instead of getting off at Kipling and switching to another form of transit, you can stay on the bus from Toronto Pearson to downtown or until your next connection / destination.

52 Lawrence West

Although this route doesn't go downtown, it is good to know that it is an all-day alternative available in case of service disruptions.

Depending on where you'd like to go, there are many options along the way to connect to other buses or subway lines.

TTC sign where to get TTC buses at T1 and T2 at Toronto Pearson Airport

Photo Credit @BetterThenBlog

Getting to TTC Buses at T1 and T2

Go to the ground floor and follow the signs to the TTC bus stops which are usually located on the island between the two roads.

Purchasing Your TTC Fare

There are several ways you can purchase your TTC fare

Using Cash

Make sure you have exact change.

The bus driver does not carry change and cannot make change for you.

You can make change in the terminal after purchasing something with cash.

Make sure to ask for the right coin combination needed for the bus.

Fares increase annually, so it is best to consult the TTC website for the precise fare

At All Presto Vending Machines

All Presto vending machines sell tickets.


Purchase and load your Presto card for easy travel around Toronto.

With Your Visa Card

Terms and conditions apply (such as a service fee).

Read terms and conditions on the TTC and Presto website.

You Don't Need to Tap Off

When exiting buses and subway trains on the TTC, you do not need to tap off.

Only tap on and off on the UP Express and GO buses and trains to avoid incuring higher charges than necessary.

Looking out the window at the airport - wing of airplane visible - someone sitting on chairs waiting with their back to the camera

Photo Credit @heysuganth

Billy Bishop Airport

Complimetary shuttle bus next to the Fairmount Hotel compliments of Air Canada and Porter

Photo Credit @digitalunknown

Complimentary Shuttle

Air Canada and Porter supply passengers with a complimentary shuttle bus going between Billy Bishop and Union station.

From Union station, you can take the TTC anywhere in Toronto or take GO transit to neighbouring cities.

In case you have a connection to make at Pearson, the fastest way to get there with public transport is using the UP.

That being said, there is no shuttle from Pearson to Union station that is direct.

Having a direct shuttle bus from Pearson to Union station would be a great idea, though!

Happy Safe Travels Everyone

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