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During summer 2015 my wife and I took our first big trip since our honeymoon. It was a complete surprise for her, and we visited Niagara Falls before traipsing all over the Maritime Provinces, finishing the trip in Toronto for a few days on our 3-week adventure in Canada. We used a mix of Southwest and United miles to get us to and from the Toronto/Niagara area, but I had to figure out how to get us to/from the Maritimes. Enter Porter Airlines and Billy Bishop (YTZ) airport Toronto.
I was immediately intrigued after pulling up YTZ airport Toronto on Google Maps. I had never heard of it, but I knew we were in for a cool experience. We weren’t disappointed. Here are the 4 reasons Toronto’s small city airport is one of my favorites that I have visited:
- It is on a small island. As a geography geek, this was the first draw for me. The airport is on one end of the largest of the Toronto Islands. The rest of the islands are home to the Toronto Island Park and a few tiny neighborhoods and other uses.
- You land literally a few hundred yards from downtown Toronto. The airport is not just on an island, it’s on an island with a backdrop of skyscrapers! Whether taking off or landing at YTZ airport Toronto, you’re in for some great cityscape views. Plus, you can be in downtown Toronto a mere 15 minutes after stepping off your plane.
- Getting there requires the world’s shortest ferry ride. Ok…it might not actually be the world’s shortest, but it is pretty darn short. The length of the ferry itself has to be at least 1/4 of the entire journey. The total distance measures about 375 feet. Foot traffic on the ferry is free, but there is a charge for vehicles. Not long after my wife and I passed through YTZ, the pedestrian tunnel underneath Lake Ontario between downtown Toronto and YTZ was completed and opened for use. I’m unsure if the ferry is still taking passenger traffic…it would be sad if it closed.
- Porter. Porter Airlines is classy. I loved the small, regional airline based out of YTZ airport Toronto. The in-flight drinks are served in actual glassware, which amazed me, and they are all free. All Porter passengers are also welcome to enjoy a selection of snacks and drinks at their lounge at YTZ as well. Porter Airlines also has the coolest mascot: the classy, animated raccoon Mr. Porter (watch this Porter ad). The branding is highly memorable, which is phenomenal for an airline that has only been around since 2006. Porter’s main hub? Yup, YTZ.
I should mention that I did primarily pick the airport and airline for the price of airfare rather than these other factors. But I am now very glad that it was the cheapest.
Next time you’re planning a visit to Toronto, consider flying into YTZ rather than Pearson!
Featured image courtesy of Jason Paris under CC 2.0 license.