Lester B. Pearson International Airport

Lester B. Pearson International Airport, or YYZ (commonly known as Toronto Pearson International Airport), is an international airport in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It is the main hub for Air Canada, the largest and busiest airport in Canada (and the second-busiest international air passenger gateway in the Americas). It is also a hub for WestJet and FedEx Express while serving as a base of operations for Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines. YYZ is operated by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), and there are two terminals, with 58 gates in Terminal 1 and 46 gates in Terminal 3. In 2021, there were 174,588 aircraft operations. The airport covers 4,613 acres, and there are five runways: 05/23, which is 11,120 by 200 feet (asphalt); 06L/24R, which is 9,697 by 200 feet (asphalt); 06R/24L, which is 9,000 by 200 feet (asphalt); 15L/33R, which is 11,050 by 200 feet (asphalt); and 15R/33L, which is 9,088 by 200 (asphalt).

Airport history

YYZ originated in 1937 when the City of Toronto supported building two airports. One of the airports was to be on the Toronto Islands (the present-day Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport), with the other northwest of Toronto in what was then the Toronto Township (later named Mississauga to avoid confusion between the city and the township) near the town of Malton. Originally the airport on Toronto Islands was to be the main airport, but their roles were switched over time. The first scheduled passenger flight from what was then Malton Airport landed on August 29th, 1939, a Trans-Canada Airlines DC-3. During WWII, the Royal Canadian Air Force established a base as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan known as RCAF Station Malton. Several training schools operated from the station between the years 1940 and 1946. In 1958, the Malton Airport was sold by the city to the government of Canada, and the name was then changed to Toronto International Airport, to be managed by Transport Canada. In 1984, the airport was renamed the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in honor of the 14th prime minister of Canada and the recipient of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize. In 1996, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority took over the airport's management, operation, and control, and the name Toronto Pearson International Airport has been used ever since.

Airport location

The airport is located 14 miles northwest of Downtown Toronto, with the majority of the airport in Mississauga and a small portion of the airfield, along Silver Dart Drive north of Renforth Drive, extending into Toronto's western district of Etobicoke.

Airport facts

  • At over 3,724,000 square feet, Terminal 1 is the largest airport terminal in Canada and the 12th-largest airport terminal in the world. There used to be three terminals, but Terminal 2 was closed and demolished in 2007, replaced by the expanded Terminal 1 (Terminal 3 kept its number to avoid confusion).  
  • There is an 8,611 square-foot VIP terminal operated by the FBO Skyservice, catering to private aircraft and a 24/7 concierge, private customs and immigration facilities, personalized catering, showers, and more. 
  • In July of 2022, YYZ was ranked the worst airport in the world for delays.  
  • YYZ is the largest airport in the world with facilities for U.S. border preclearance.

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