Toronto’s Pearson International is Canada’s largest airport. From east and west it acts as a major Canadian hub for international arrivals and departures. Find yourself with longer than a tight connection and you’ll be looking for something to do during your layover at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

See The City

Toronto Skyline and CN Tower

Making a run for the city is risky.

Pearson is 31 km and can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour each way. Beginning in mid 2015, the Union/Pearson Express will be a reliable option to get into the heart of the city and perhaps spend a few hours checking out the Hockey Hall of Fame, the St Lawrence Market, or the CN Tower.

That said, even a trip into town might not be worth it. “It’s not a good-looking city. It’s not a good-looking town. You’ve got all the worst architectural fads of the 20th century,” as Anthony Bourdain noted during his Layover episode in Toronto.

So unless you have half a day to kill, you’re probably going to stay at the airport. First, find out where your connecting flight will be departing from; there are three terminals in Pearson.

Once you have your bearings, you can kick up and relax.

Relax in an Airport Lounge

There are numerous Airline Lounges to spend your layover at Toronto Pearson International and while some are reserved for prestigious members of the airlines, you can pay a fee to access others. Lounge Buddy is a great app to find the locations of a lounge that fits your flying needs.

The Plaza Premium Lounges are in Terminals 1 and 3, and offer a buffet of snack items and complimentary beverages. For our morning stay before connecting to Bermuda, we enjoyed a coffee, some fruit salad, toast, yogurt, and scrambled eggs. There are is also a shower room available in the lounge.

Plaza Premium Lounge in Pearson's Terminal 3

The Plaza Premium Lounge charges $40 for 2 hours, $50 for 3 hours, and $70 for 6 hours and offers a 20% discount if you’re flying with Westjet.

Day Rate At An Airport Hotel

The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is accessible from inside Terminal 3 and offers 9a-5p day rates should you need a bed to wipe out the red eye. The Starwood property also has easy access from Terminal 1. You can check in for your flight and print your boarding pass from the hotel’s lobby. January 2015 day rate: $129

Wander the Airport Terminal

If you’d rather keep your pennies in your pocket, you could choose to just walk to your gate, and wait. As you walk through the terminal, you’ll notice many tables splayed with dozens of iPads.

iPads in Toronto Airport

Feel free to use them, charge your devices, and wait for your flight. The iPad tables are located near restaurants and bars, but are free to use by all travellers.

Have any other questions about flying with a layover at Toronto Pearson International? Fire a note to the airport’s official Twitter account, @TorontoPearson, they’re great at timely answers.

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