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Travel

Getting From the Airport

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Toronto: Getting Downtown from Pearson Airport

Welcome to Toronto!  Most visitors to the city arrive at Pearson Airport and need to get downtown.

Getting Downtown from Toronto Pearson International Airport

This section describes the five most common ways of getting downtown:

Airport Taxi & Minivans
Airport Limo
Rental Car
Toronto Transit Commission (public transit)

(You can check out further information here)

All services to downtown are available from both airport terminals (T1 and T3), and all fares are current as of January 2010.  Allow a little extra time if you'll be travelling during the heaviest traffic, weekdays 6-9 am and 4-7 pm. During snowfalls, allow at least an extra hour, especially during rush hours.

Airport Taxi & Minivans
Time     30 to 60 minutes
Cost      $47 to $56 + tip
Web Site     www.torontopearson.com - Taxi Limo

Follow signs to the taxi queue (ignore any drivers who may approach you inside the terminal); it's typically a very short wait.  Debit and Credit Cards are generally accepted but check with the driver in advance.  Typically, you tip the driver 10-20%, usually 15%. Some companies will allow you avoid the line by calling their offices. These are Pre Arranged Limousine & Taxi services, after you call their office they will pick you up at the pre-arranged section Area B for Terminal 1 & Gate 29 for Terminal 3 of the airport. These companies can you provide you with a flat rate fare to Downtown or other desinations are a wide variety of companies one can choose from that range in price.

To get back to the airport, you can simply hail a regular city taxi on the street -- the metered fare from downtown will normally run $50-$70 plus tip. Or you can Call an Airport Taxi or Limousine Company to provide you with a flat rate to Pearson. Which is sometimes a better option since the taxi meter operates on both time and distance so if there is traffic the meter will be much more expensive.

Too many people or too much luggage for an airport limo or taxi?  Many airport limo companies also have minivans (advance reservations recommended).

Example of Airport Taxi Companies Authorized by the GTAA:

(Aeroport Taxi, Airflight Services, Airport Taxi)


Airport Limo
Time     30 to 60 minutes
Cost      $58 to $62 + tip
Web Site     www.torontopearson.com - Taxi Limo

From the airport, advance reservations are not required; just follow the signs to the limo queue, where it's typically a very short wait.   Ignore any drivers who may approach you inside the terminal.  Debit cards are not accepted, and if paying by credit card, check with the driver in advance.  Typically, you tip the driver 10-20%, usually 15%. Some companies will allow you avoid the line  by calling thier offices. Typically they will provide a discounted flat rate cheaper then the Airport Authorities, after you call their office they will pick you up at the pre-arranged section of the airport.

You can also pre-arrange an airport limo in either direction.

Example of Airport Limousine Companies authorized by the GTAA:

(Aeroport Taxi, Airflight Services, Airport Taxi)

Toronto Transit Commission (public transit)
Time     60 to 90 minutes
Cost      $3.00 per adult
Web Site      www.ttc.ca

There isn't direct subway or train service to/from the airport, but regular city buses connect the airport with the subway system. The buses run every 10-15 minutes, 365 days a year, from around 5:30 am to 1 am. The TTC offers all night bus service from Toronto Pearson as well.

1. At either airport terminal's TTC bus stop, catch the 192 Airport Rocket express bus to Kipling subway station. Ask the driver for a "transfer." This paper slip allows you to change between routes at street level or enter the subway without having to pay again, provided you're making a continuous one-way trip. As it is free, it's a good idea to always get one.

a)     At Kipling subway station, transfer to the eastbound Bloor/Danforth subway line. As Kipling as a terminus station, downtown trains leave from either platform.  The first train from Kipling is at 05:41 Monday-Friday, 05:48 Saturdays and Holidays, and 08:48 on Sundays. The last train departs at 01:31 daily.
b)     For most downtown hotels, transfer to a southbound subway train at either St. George or Yonge station. Get off at the stop nearest your destination (google this ahead of time so you know your stop). Toronto is a safe city - don't worry about that.


2. At the Terminal 1 TTC bus stop, catch the 58A or 58D Malton bus to Lawrence West subway station. Again, ask the driver for a "transfer."

a)     At Lawrence West station, transfer to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Downtown trains leave from the platform on your right as you descend to the platom level. The first train southbound from Lawrence West is at 05:56 Monday-Friday, 06:02 Saturdays and Holidays, and 09:01 on Sundays. The last train departs at 01:24 daily. Adjust times approximately 30 minutes for the northbound service.
b)     Once again, for most downtown hotels, get off at the stop nearest your destination (google this ahead of time so you know your stop).

3. Overnight, the 300 Bloor Danforth and 307 Eglinton West service the Terminal 1 bus stop. The 300 travels across Bloor St West and Danforth Avenue while the 307 takes Eglinton Avenue West. The service is offered every half hour at :23 and :53 past for the 300 and at the top and bottom of the hour for the 307. The regular TTC fare applies. Again, don't forget your "transfer." Check the TTC website for more information on the overnight bus network,

You can buy TTC tokens ($2.60 each, when you buy 3 or more) or day passes ($10.50; for 1 person Mon-Fri, or a whole family on weekends & holidays) from some Currency Exchange booths inside either airport terminal.  Inside Terminal 1, near the TTC stop at column "R", you'll find two red machines that vend single fare tickets by coin or credit card (Visa, MC, AmEx are listed).  Otherwise, you'll have to pay cash when you board (and drivers don't make change!).

All TTC buses are accessible with the majority being low floor as well. Kipling station and numerous other subway stations have elevators. The TTC is currently installing one at Lawrence West. That being said, many downtown subway exits still involve stair. Taking the TTC to get downtown works best if you're not loaded down with heavy bags as the bus driver won't help with luggage nor do TTC buses have luggage racks. It is, by far, the best value-for-money in terms of getting downtown - or anywhere - in Toronto, which is why you'll see so many locals on the route. Google Transit now includes TTC. Complete information about the TTC service to Toronto Pearson can be found here.

See Toronto: Public Transportation for more information about the TTC.

Rental Car
Time     45 to 75 minutes (pickup + travel)
Cost      Varies
Web Site      Toronto Pearson - Car Rentals

Car rental desks are located on the first floor of the terminal parking garages.  See Toronto: Taxis & Rental Cars for more advice.  In addition to rental fees, expect to pay $20-$30/night for parking at downtown hotels.

Beware that signage out of the airport, to various parts of the city including downtown, can be woefully inadequate for visitors. The signs unhelpfully show highway numbers and directions, rather than destination names. To get downtown, look for and take Highway 427 South, then take the Gardiner Expressway East. You will see the downtown highrises as you travel east on the "Gardiner".

To travel to the North or East of the city, take Highway 401 East. This major thoroughfare gets very busy during rush hours.

 

Visa Requirements

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Following is some information and useful links for Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

Participants will need a valid passport or an appropriate travel document to enter Canada.

 

Citizens of the United States

Exhibitors

Although they do not need a passport nor visa, they should carry evidence of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, a citizenship certificate, a naturalization certificate or a state birth certificate. If these documents do not contain their photograph, they will be asked for a driver’s licence or other identification. US citizens should visit the Department of Homeland Security website for a list of acceptable documents to re-enter the US.

Booth personnel, display stand personnel, and booth owners may enter Canada as business visitors to display or demonstrate goods at an event without work permits.

Note: People providing “hands on” services at these events must have a work permit. For example: audiovisual services, show decorating, exhibit building, installing and dismantling.

Public speakers

Guest speakers, commercial speakers or seminar leaders can speak or deliver training in Canada without a work permit as long as the event is no longer than five days.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

Information on visiting Canada:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp

Do you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to visit Canada (see for list of countries):
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp

Visiting Canada - Important information for visa exempt travellers (including US Citizens):
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visa-exempt.asp

Where to send your application for a (TRV):
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/apply-where.asp

Visa Offices outside of Canada:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/missions.asp

Visa application processing times:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/index.asp

Customs & Taxes

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Canada has one of the most advanced customs organizations in the world, and our borders and the processes we have in place to manage them are absolutely critical to our ability to provide Canadians and visitors to Canada with the security and peace of mind they expect.

Visitors entering Canada must clear Canada Customs border security upon entry. For visitors traveling by road, Toronto’s nearest Canada-U.S. border crossings are at Niagara Falls, Fort Erie-Buffalo and Windsor-Detroit.

Canada Border Services Agency: Anything to Declare?

Returning to the United States

Every 30 days, returning U.S. citizens are allowed to bring back $400 (retail value) in merchandise duty-free, provided they have been out of the U.S. for 48 hours. This amount can include:

  • one carton of cigarettes
  • 100 cigars (not Cuban)
  • two kilograms of smoking tobacco
  • one litre of liquor, provided the buyer is 21 years of age

If the length of the stay is less than 48 hours, $200 in merchandise may be taken back to the U.S. duty-free (including up to five ounces of alcohol and 50 cigarettes). The following items are not permitted into the U.S.:

  • Cuban or Iranian products
  • fruits and vegetables
  • uncooked grains

Goods bought in Canada but manufactured in the U.S. are duty-free and not included in the basic exemption. Original handmade crafts and works of art are also exempt; however, a receipt of purchase may be required.

For further information on U.S. customs regulations, please call (905) 676-2606 or visit www.cbp.gov.

Bringing children into Canada

Children 15 years of age and under are now required to show proof of citizenship (a certified copy of their birth certificate is acceptable). They are not required to show photo ID. If you are travelling with children, you should carry identification for each child. Divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should travel in the same vehicle as the children when arriving at the border. Customs officers are looking for missing children and may ask questions about the children who are travelling with you.

Returning to other countries

Before leaving home, visitors from other countries should check the customs regulations of their country by contacting the appropriate government department.

Taxes

The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a 13% tax that is applied on most purchases of taxable supplies of goods and services in Ontario.

Tax Rebates for Foreign-Based Convention Organizers

If the attendance at your convention is at least 75% non-Canadian, you may be able to claim a rebate for 100% of the HST paid on convention facilities and related convention supplies including convention materials, business equipment rental, audiovisual equipment and 50% if the HST tax paid on food & beverage and catering. Contact Tourism Toronto and Canada Customs & Revenue Agency well in advance to determine whether you qualify and what steps you’ll need to take.

For more details and forms, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website. (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/gst-tps/rbts/vstrs/frgncnvntn/menu-eng.html)

Meeting and Convention Attendees

When you enter Canada, a CBSA officer may ask to see your passport (and a valid visa, if one is necessary). If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter Canada. However, you should carry proof of your citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, as well as photo identification. If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the U.S, you should bring your Permanent Resident Card with you.

You may be asked for proof that you are attending a meeting or convention and may be useful to have a copy of the meeting agenda and/or registration on hand. This may also be useful when returning to the US should a similar question be asked.

There is no requirement within the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or Regulations making it mandatory for persons seeking entry for work or business purposes to provide a letter on company letterhead stating the purpose for their visit, duration of stay and a Canadian contact name, address, and phone number. This can certainly facilitate the process, as this includes a lot of the information that a Border Services Officer would need to make an appropriate assessment on the application for work in Canada as to whether or not all requirements are met for entry, including whether or not a work permit is required.

 

Canada Border Services Agency Link

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/services/ie-ei/cmt-cre-eng.html

Travel Document Requirements for Entry into Canada

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Canada has one of the most advanced customs processes in the world to provide visitors with security and ease of travel. Visitors must have valid travel documents to enter Canada to provide proof of their citizenship. Document requirements vary depending on from which country you are travelling.

U.S. Residents

American visitors travelling by air require a valid passport to re-enter the United States.

Exception: U.S. citizens entering Canada by car or rail who plan to return to the U.S. prior to June 1, 2009 do not need to show a passport, but a government-issued ID with photo, such as a driver’s license, and proof of citizenship is required. As of June 1 2009, all individuals will be required to hold a valid passport to enter/re-enter the United States.

For more information on travel security and border procedures, visit the U.S. Department of State.( http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_2223.html)

International Visitors

For specific information on travel document required to visit Canada from countries other than the U.S., please refer to www.cbsa.gc.ca. and www.cic.gc.ca.

UPDATE: As of July 13, 2009 the Canadian government requires visitors from Mexico to have a visa to travel to Canada. Visa information and application forms in Spanish can be found at: www.canada.org.mx or by calling toll free to 01-800-CANADA-0 (01-800-226-2320).

 

 

 

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