Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Over the course of my life, I’ve visited Toronto a few times, though many of the times have been just at or near the airport. But on my most recent trip, I stayed downtown. On my way back to the airport, I explored a few different ways to get from Downtown Toronto to YYZ Airport, and I thought that I would share some of what I’ve found out. There are a few different ways you can try, but I think I’ve found the best way to get from Downtown Toronto to Toronto Pearson airport, and I thought I would display the different options so that you can make the right decision for your particular situation. I also have a guide on the cheapest and best way from Toronto Airport (YYZ) to Downtown Toronto, if you’re looking to make this into a roundtrip.

a city skyline with a tall tower and a body of water

How to get from Downtown Toronto to Toronto Airport – car, taxi or Uber

If you are going from Downtown Toronto to the Toronto airport, you’ll need to realize that there are actually TWO airports in Toronto. Toronto Billy Bishop airport (YTZ) is much closer to Downtown Toronto, and if you’re already staying in Downtown Toronto, you can likely get there without my help. This guide on the cheapest and best way to get form Downtown Toronto to Toronto Airport is talking about Lester B. Pearson Airport (YYZ). You can get to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) by car, taxi or Uber of course, but depending on traffic, you’re going to be either paying an arm and a leg… or TWO arms and TWO legs :-).  How far is it from Downtown Toronto to YYZ Airport?  It’s around 15 to 20 miles, depending on where exactly you’re going, but it can take quite some time if there’s traffic.

It will take you about 25-30 minutes if there’s no traffic, and can be as much as 40 to 60 minutes if traffic is bad.  How much will it cost to get to YYZ from Downtown Toronto with Uber? In the times I’ve checked, it’s been anywhere from CAD$30 to $60 (that’s about USD$22 to $45)

a screenshot of a car rental service

If you do want to take a taxi, you can generally get better rates if you book it through a service like Carmel Limo — plus you can save $4 off using this link.Invalid request error occurred.

There are a variety of airport shuttles as well which will cost about the same amount to get to Pearson International Airport.  You can check out GO Airport ShuttleInvalid request error occurred., and use coupon code GOWEB to save $5 off your ride anywhere between YYZ and points downtown.

The best way to get from Toronto to Toronto YYZ airport

My preferred way to get from Downtown Toronto to YYZ and what I think is the best way to get to the Toronto Pearson airport from downtown is taking public transport, specifically the Union-Pearson (UP) Express.

a map with a blue line

The UP Express has a station right in Terminal 1 of YYZ and has a direct route from Toronto’s Union Station.

Step-by-Step Guide To Using The UP Express to get from Downtown Toronto to YYZ

The UP Express runs every 15 minutes from Union Station, which is quite convenient from just about anywhere in Downtown Toronto. I was staying at the Hyatt Regency Toronto, and I walked south towards the lake towards the Rogers Centre, Convention Centre and CN Tower. From there, you can take the PATH, which is a skywalk that connects that area with Union Station.

a sign with a sign on it

From there, follow the signs for Union Station and the UP Express

a sign with text on it

Once you get to Union Station, I appreciated that they had a signboard letting you know when the next trains were. That lets you know if you need to hustle / run or if you have plenty of time until the next train.

a screen with a black and white sign

The ride from Toronto Union Station to Pearson Airport takes about 25 minutes. Once you get to YYZ, you can either cross the platform to take the airport train to Terminal 3, or continue on foot to Terminal 1.

a man standing on an escalator in a building

It is around a 5 to 10 minute walk through the terminal from the train station for the Union-Pearson express train to YYZ Terminal 1.

How To Pay For The UP Express From Toronto Union Station To YYZ

Once you’ve reached Union train station, you’ll need to pay for your UP Express ticket to go Downtown Toronto to YYZ. Toronto’s public transit system uses the Presto card, but if you are a visitor like I am, the good news is that you don’t need to get an actual physical Presto card. Instead, you can either use Google Pay or Apple Pay or even a contactless credit card. I used my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (read review) – you just tap it on one of these machines that are located right outside the train platform.

a man standing next to a machine

You will want to both tap on and tap off when using your Apple Pay, Google Pay or contactless credit card.

How much does it cost to ride the UP Express from YYZ To Downtown Toronto?

The normal ticket price to ride the Union-Pearson Express from Toronto Union Station to Pearson Airport is CAD$12.35.  But if you use Apple Pay, Google Pay or a contactless credit card to ride the UP Express from YYZ to Downtown Toronto, you’re given the same discount that users of a Presto card have. That makes the one-way fair $9.25. But remember that is $9.25 Canadian – at the time of this writing, that was about USD$6.50.

Riding The UP Express From Downtown Toronto to YYZ

The UP Express runs every 15 minutes in between Downtown Toronto and Pearson Airport. There are 2 stops in between Union Station and Pearson, and depending on where you are staying in Toronto, it might make sense to catch the UP Express from Bloor or Weston Station. The UP Express has a slightly lower cost if you get on at one of those stations.

a sign on a wall

Onboard, the UP Express does have a few areas to store luggage near each entrance.

luggage on a shelf in a room

There are also a few overhead bins that can accommodate smaller pieces of luggage. Both times I rode the UP Express it was in the afternoon and there was plenty of room to just put your luggage on the seat next to you.

a white cabinet on a train

The seats are in a 2-2 configuration and fairly comfortable.

a seats on a train

There is free wifi on the UP Express which was plenty fast for light browsing.

The cheapest way to get from Toronto to Toronto YYZ airport

When I wrote my guide for the journey the other way – The cheapest and best way from Toronto Airport (YYZ) to Downtown Toronto, one of the commenters mentioned that there is another option that might be the cheapest way from Toronto to YYZ (and vice versa). The 900 express bus goes between Pearson Airport and the Kipling Station. You can take the 2 line on the subway to Kipling station and then transfer to the Union-Pearson express. The best part about this is that your ticket will be just CAD$3.30 if you use a Presto card or contactless credit card, and you get unlimited transfers included in your ticket. This seems like definitely the cheapest way to get from Toronto to YYZ airport, though I still think in most cases the UP Express will be better.

The Bottom Line

The total trip from Downtown Toronto to YYZ on the UP Express should take you about 25 minutes, and the best part about your trip is that you won’t have to deal with traffic. I would say that it is definitely significantly cheaper to take the train to get from Downtown Toronto to YYZ then it would be to take a taxi, Uber or car, and it’s likely faster in most cases as well.

Readers – any other tips on how to get from Toronto Pearson airport to Downtown Toronto? 


This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as thepointsguy.com. This may impact how and where links appear on this site. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers and that compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners and I do not include all card companies, or all available card offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers and other offers and benefits listed on this page. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them

User Generated Content Disclosure: Points With a Crew encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.

BoardingArea