Toronto is open for business! As domestic travel picks up and fully vaccinated U.S. and international visitors are allowed to visit Canada again, meetings, conferences, and everything in between are back in full swing.

Travelling can feel daunting right now, especially if you’re in Toronto for business, but we’ve got just what you need to make your trip a stress-free experience.

Know Before You Go

Before you book your flight, find out if you’re allowed to visit Canada. International travellers must upload their vaccine documentation, contact details and other information to the ArriveCAN app and must show proof of a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test. 

While Canada no longer requires most fully-vaccinated visitors to quarantine upon arrival, you must still prepare a quarantine plan just in case a border official asks for it. You should also know that you may be randomly selected to undergo a COVID-19 arrival test.

Plexiglass barriers installed at Toronto Pearson Airport
80 plexiglass barriers are installed throughout Toronto Pearson at check-in counters, screening locations, retail stores and food and beverage locations | Photo credit: Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA)

At the Airport

Getting Here

Over the past several months, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport have implemented strict health and safety procedures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the focus is to make travel safer for everyone, the reality is that travellers can expect to spend a bit more time coming and going through airports. 

International visitors can expect to spend at least three hours going through customs, answering questions and collecting their luggage, says Robin Smith, senior advisor for communications and stakeholder relations for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).

To minimize and optimize the time you spend at the airport, make sure you have all the proper documentation on-hand and ready to present, tag luggage to make it easy to find, and keep your chargers in your carry-on luggage for easy access in case you need to charge your cellphone or laptop. Lastly, arrange transportation to and from the airport, the hotel, and your meeting ahead of time.

A staff member at Toronto Pearson disinfects baggage carts with a disinfecting fogging machine
GTAA has partnered with BlueDot to monitor and manage risk from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases | Photo credit: Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA)

Returning Home

When it’s time to return home, departing travellers should arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Save time by checking in early from your phone and by using the airport’s touchless self-serve kiosks to print your luggage tags. 

If you still find yourself in work mode, take advantage of airport lounges. These lounges provide outlets, comfortable seating, and a quiet space to concentrate.

International travellers can take their departure COVID-19 tests right at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The UP Express train at Toronto Pearson station and passengers walking
The UP Express station at Pearson Airport: Enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols are in effect for all UP Express stations and trains

Getting Around

You made it! With plenty of transportation options, from public transit to Bike Share programs, getting around Toronto is simple.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is situated on Toronto Island and while you can always take the underwater pedestrian tunnel, the 90-second airport ferry offers breathtaking views of the Toronto skyline.

If you’re heading downtown, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is close enough that you can take a shuttle bus, taxi, public transit, a Bike Share rented bicycle or even walk to your final destination. For visitors coming from Toronto Pearson International Airport, the UP Express train is a quick and convenient option for travellers.

A masked passenger at the shuttle entrance to Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto
Face coverings are required throughout Billy Bishop Airport and aboard flights | Photo credit: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Make the Most of Your Trip

Business trips are often quick and travellers may find themselves busy and feeling overwhelmed. Being prepared and having flexibility are key to a successful trip.

A person using the hand sanitizer station at Billy Bishop Airport
Hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout Billy Bishop Airport for passenger safety and convenience | Photo credit: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

The Basics

Keep a designated set of toiletries for business travel. Getting to your hotel and finding out you forgot your toothbrush can be stressful. Create a separate set of toiletries just for travel which includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. After every trip, replace anything that runs out. Don’t have your own kit yet? Toronto has plenty of shops that will have all the essentials! 

Bring a change of clothing in your carry-on bag. Accidents happen. Certain clothes aren’t the most comfortable. Or a change of plans may occur. Whatever the situation, pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in case of emergencies. Forgot your change of clothes? Our shopping guides got you covered!

Invest in sleep essentials. Whether you’re in town for one meeting or a week-long conference, good sleep is important. When packing consider including a pillow, a travel blanket, an eye mask, and noise-cancelling headphones. These items can help you sleep while in transit or once you’re in your hotel room

Drink plenty of water.  Cabin pressure and dry air on planes and busy schedules can lead to dehydration on your business trip. Be sure to drink plenty of water or electrolyte-infused drinks and avoid caffeinated when possible. And when the work day is over, indulge in a refreshing cold drink or two.

Make Time for Play 

Explore. Between conference centre floors and your hotel room, you might forget Toronto is a lively city with plenty to do! Canada’s largest city and most-visited destination is home to can’t-miss events, global attractions, cultural hubs, and sports—including the country’s only NBA and MLB teams.

Savour the City. With fantastic bars, lounges and clubs Toronto boasts a vibrant nightlife. Its buzzing cafés and world-renowned eateries are perfect for business lunches or post-event dinners.