Toronto Airport Car Rental

Airport Basics.....

Toronto Pearson International Airport is the busiest airport in all of Canada. With a record use of 31 million passengers in 2010 it is located in the east end of the city of Mississauga which is part of the Greater Toronto Area. Only a 30 minute drive will get you right to the heart of downtown Toronto through highway 401 located right next to the airport.


Ford Fairlane: Hwy 400 & 401

Toronto Airport Car Rental.....

Car Rental companies available at the airport include Avis, Budget, DollarThifty, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz and National.  Each of these companies is competent and should provide you a good car rental experience.  Many folks have complained that recently (Summer of 2011), car rental prices have increased dramatically.  Whether it's any more true for the Toronto Airport or not is anybody's guess.  My experience is that prices go up.  And that's true for everything.

There are also companies that are "off airport".  Included in this list are Advantage, Discount and Ace, Roadstar, and Zoom, to name a few.  Folks may find better deals on car rental companies away from the airport facility.  However, it is my experience that whether on the airport premises or away from the airport premises, prices are generally fairly consistent.  When the airport offers shuttle services to these "off-premises" locations, the airport premium built into the cost is generally not excused.

Airport Amenities.....

It contains three terminals for domestic, international and freight flights, all connected through a modern looking upper level LINK train that is visible from all over the airport. There are a wide range of hotels located almost 10 minutes away from the airport and many rental car companies to choose from as well offering rates much cheaper than the inner city. If you can afford a car, it is probably the best and most comfortable option. However, it is fully possible to take either the TTC (pic below) offering to take you to downtown Toronto by taking you to the subway or the GO Bus system offering to take you to the surrounding areas of the Greater Toronto Area such as Ajax, Pickering and Richmond Hill.


Buses at Kipling Subway Station

In the airport you’ll find a wide range of retail outlets and duty free shops. You’ll also find currency exchange and banking facilities along with cafes, restaurants and bars. They are all very great facilities and you’ll find some really good prices at the duty free shops as you would expect. If you have certain religious needs though, you can easily ask the information desk to direct you towards the chapel for your prayers needs.

Now for the food.  Let's talk about the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  Fudge made by hand, right in front of your eyes (and nose) is something you won't find at every airport.  Caramel apples and little chocolate treats can be a valuable commodity when laying over at the airport.  That's in T1. 


Chocolate Mixer

Or how about the Fionn MacCool's in T3?  There you will find Guinness Steak and a pretty sound prime rib burger.  Breakfast is served there until 10:30, every morning (just like McDonalds!)

Pearson offers free WiFi services to all travelers which you can enjoy with a cup of Tim Horton's coffee which is the most famous coffee in all of Canada. There are a few lounges located in the airport available only to Skyteam, Start Alliance and Oneworld. However, there are a few other pay-in lounges available to all passengers regardless of their class.

Terminal 3 is known for its faster and smoother security checks than Terminal 2. You will find though that Terminal 3 is a lot larger and you will be walking a long time to find your gate sometimes. If you find it too long of a walk for you though, you can always take any of the available flat escalators or even ask security to call in a cart for you. Overall Pearson has exceptional facilities and is a very comfortable airport for you to have either a connecting flight in or even just to land into to get into the city. You’ll find 'Torontonians' very friendly and willing to help you find your way around the city.

Car Rental Driving Distances.....

For your benefit, we have compiled some driving distances to some local attractions within the Toronto area and some nearby towns that may be of interest.  Remember, these are only estimates, and reserving a GPS when renting your vehicle may be your best bet.

Airport to Steam Whistle Brewery, 30 km.
Airport to Toronto Island Park, 33 km.
Airport to Hockey Hall of Fame, 31 km.
Airport to CN Tower, 30 km.
Airport to Royal Ontario Museum, 33 km.
Airport to Toronto Beach, 20 km.
Airport to Kensington Market, 31 km.
Airport to Brampton, 18 km.
Airport to Vaughan, 33 km.
Airport to Markham, 52 km.
Airport to Oshawa, 76 km.
Airport to Mississauga, 25 km.
Airport to Hamilton, 65 km.
Airport to Kitchener, 83 km.

Car Types Available to Rent.....

Economy cars (Hyundai for example), Compacts (Toyota Yaris), SUV's, Minivans (generally 7 passenger), and Luxury cars will all be available to rent at the Toronto Airport.  However, it is always recommended to book your rental early, just in case they run out.

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