By Jane McLean
Toronto airports offer several options. The city has one major international airport, but several other airports in the area may also be convenient for your visit.
The Toronto Pearson International Airport (commonly known as the Toronto Airport, code YYZ) is the major airport serving the Toronto area and the busiest airport in Canada. Located in Mississauga, part of the Greater Toronto Area, the airport is actually about 25 minutes from downtown Toronto with no traffic. In a stunning show of being behind the times, the Toronto airport has no light rail or subway to downtown Toronto, so getting to and from the Toronto Airport is by taxi, limo or shuttle.
The Billy Bishop Airport (commonly known as the Toronto Island Airport, code YTZ) is conveniently located just offshore downtown Toronto, near Union Station and many major hotels and attractions. The only airline that serves the Toronto City Centre is Porter Airlines, a short-haul airline with destinations in northeast Canada and the U.S. Porter has a refreshing, civilized approach to air travel and customer service - complimentary cappuccino in the airport lounge anyone?
Leaving Toronto, but in the immediate area, the Hamilton International Airport (code YHM) offers advantages in the way of competitively priced flights, a convenient location for exploring the Niagara Wine Region and more affordable accommodation. Hamilton is about an hour south of Toronto.
Farther south of Toronto are two other options. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport (code BUF) is about 2 hours away from Toronto, but if flying in from another U.S. destination, may be considerably cheaper than flying into Toronto. In addition, the Buffalo Airport is smaller and easier to get in and out of and you will not have face customs at the airport but at the US/Canada border. Buffalo's location will also allow you to drive through the Niagara region, giving you the opportunity to stop along the way in Niagara Falls or do wine tasting in the Niagara Wine Region.
Flying into Niagara Falls International Airport is another alternative to bigger, more congested international airports, like Toronto. The Niagara Falls airport is close to the U.S./Canada border and boasts a $31.5 million passenger terminal, new as of 2009. The airport has become hot especially for ultra-low fares offered by Spirit and Vision airlines on flights between Florida, NYC and Niagara Falls.