Toronto Pearson International Airport: Terminal 1 Vs Terminal 3

Whether you’re a frequent or first-time traveler through Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), navigating this massive airport can be daunting. With multiple terminals, it’s understandable to be confused about the difference between Terminals 1 and 3 and wonder which one you should head to.

If you’re short on time, here’s the key info: Terminal 1 is exclusively for domestic flights while Terminal 3 handles all US and international flights from Pearson Airport. Terminal 3 is more recently renovated and has more dining and shopping options.

Background on Toronto Pearson Terminals

Toronto Pearson International Airport, located in Mississauga, Ontario, is the largest and busiest airport in Canada. With over 50 million passengers annually, it serves as a major hub for both domestic and international flights.

The airport has two main terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, which provide a wide range of services and amenities to travelers.

When Terminals 1 and 3 opened

Terminal 1, also known as the Pearson Terminal Building, was opened in 2004 to replace the outdated Terminal 2. It was designed to handle the growing number of passengers and provide a more modern and efficient travel experience.

Terminal 3, on the other hand, was opened in 1991 and underwent significant expansions and renovations over the years to accommodate the increasing demand.

Both terminals have undergone numerous upgrades and renovations to keep up with the evolving needs of travelers and airlines. These improvements have helped enhance the overall passenger experience and maintain Toronto Pearson’s reputation as a world-class airport.

Airlines in each terminal

Terminal 1 serves as the primary hub for Air Canada, Canada’s largest airline, as well as its Star Alliance partners. It also houses several other major international airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa, and Emirates.

Terminal 1 offers a wide range of services, including numerous dining options, duty-free shopping, and comfortable lounges for passengers.

Terminal 3, on the other hand, is home to several international airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and WestJet. It also serves as a hub for regional and low-cost carriers such as Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines.

Terminal 3 features a variety of amenities, including restaurants, shops, and lounges, ensuring a pleasant experience for travelers.

Terminal capacity and traffic

Terminal 1 is the larger of the two terminals, with a total floor area of approximately 510,000 square meters. It has the capacity to handle around 20 million passengers annually. Terminal 3, although slightly smaller, still boasts a significant capacity and can accommodate around 9 million passengers each year.

Both terminals have seen a steady increase in passenger traffic over the years. In 2019, Terminal 1 handled over 31 million passengers, while Terminal 3 served around 14 million passengers. These numbers highlight the importance of Toronto Pearson International Airport as a key transportation hub in North America.

For more information about Toronto Pearson International Airport and its terminals, you can visit their official website Here, you can find detailed information about flights, services, and amenities available at each terminal.

Comparing Terminal Layouts

When it comes to navigating through an airport, the layout of the terminal can make a big difference in the overall experience. Toronto Pearson International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, has two main terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.

Let’s take a closer look at how these terminals compare in terms of square footage, gates, restaurants and retail options, and lounges.

Square footage

Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport is the larger of the two terminals, boasting a massive square footage of X square feet. This spacious terminal provides ample room for passengers to move around comfortably, even during peak travel times.

On the other hand, Terminal 3 is slightly smaller, with a square footage of Y square feet. While still spacious, it may feel slightly more crowded during busy periods.


Terminal 1 is home to a large number of gates, with a total of Z gates available for departing and arriving flights. This means that passengers have plenty of options when it comes to boarding and disembarking their flights.

Terminal 3, while not as large, still offers a considerable number of gates, with W gates available for passenger use. Both terminals have efficient gate systems in place to ensure smooth and timely departures and arrivals.

Restaurants and retail

When it comes to dining and shopping options, both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 at Toronto Pearson International Airport have a wide range of choices to suit every taste and preference. Terminal 1 houses a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering everything from quick grab-and-go options to sit-down meals.

The terminal also boasts a diverse selection of retail shops, where passengers can indulge in some last-minute shopping before their flights. Terminal 3 also offers a great selection of eateries and retail outlets, ensuring that passengers have plenty of options to satisfy their cravings and pick up any necessary items.


For those looking for a more exclusive and comfortable airport experience, both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 offer lounges where passengers can relax, work, and enjoy premium amenities. Terminal 1 is home to several lounges, including the X Lounge and the Y Lounge, which provide a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal.

Likewise, Terminal 3 houses the Z Lounge and the W Lounge, offering passengers a peaceful retreat before their flights. These lounges typically offer complimentary food and beverages, Wi-Fi access, and comfortable seating options.

Passenger Amenities

When it comes to passenger amenities, both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 at Toronto Pearson International Airport offer a range of services and facilities to enhance the travel experience. From WiFi and charging stations to art installations and green spaces, passengers are well taken care of during their time at the airport.

WiFi and charging stations

Staying connected is essential for modern travelers, and both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 have recognized this need. Passengers can enjoy complimentary WiFi throughout both terminals, allowing them to stay connected with loved ones or catch up on work emails.

Additionally, charging stations are conveniently located throughout the terminals, ensuring that passengers can keep their electronic devices powered up while waiting for their flights.

Art installations and green spaces

Walking through the terminals at Toronto Pearson International Airport is not just a mundane experience. Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 showcase stunning art installations that add a touch of creativity and beauty to the environment.

Passengers can admire these artworks as they make their way through the airport, providing a pleasant and visually stimulating experience.

Furthermore, both terminals boast green spaces that offer a breath of fresh air amidst the hustle and bustle of travel. These outdoor areas provide passengers with a tranquil space to relax, unwind, and enjoy a moment of serenity before or after their flights.


Toronto Pearson International Airport is committed to providing a seamless travel experience for all passengers, regardless of their accessibility needs. Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 are equipped with a range of accessibility features, including accessible washrooms, elevators, ramps, and designated parking spaces.

The airport also offers assistance services for passengers with disabilities, ensuring that their journey through the airport is comfortable and stress-free.

For more information on the accessibility services available at Toronto Pearson International Airport, visit their official website here.

Transportation to the Airport

Public transit – UP Express and TTC

Traveling to Toronto Pearson International Airport has never been easier with the availability of public transit options. The UP Express is a dedicated train service that connects downtown Toronto to Terminal 1 at the airport.

With frequent departures, passengers can conveniently reach the airport in just 25 minutes. The TTC, Toronto’s public transit system, also provides several bus routes that connect to the airport, serving both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.

These affordable options are ideal for budget-conscious travelers or those who prefer a more environmentally-friendly mode of transportation.

Shuttles and limos

If you’re looking for a more luxurious and personalized transportation experience, shuttles and limos are available for hire to and from Toronto Pearson International Airport. These services offer convenience and comfort, allowing you to relax and enjoy a stress-free journey to your destination.

Whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, shuttle services can accommodate your needs. Limousines, on the other hand, provide a stylish and elegant option for those seeking a touch of sophistication.

Many reputable companies offer reliable and punctual services, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable ride.


If you prefer to drive to the airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport offers several parking options to suit your needs. Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 both have convenient on-site parking facilities, with a variety of parking options available such as short-term, long-term, and economy parking.

These parking lots are well-maintained, secure, and offer reasonable rates. Passengers can also take advantage of services like valet parking and electric vehicle charging stations. It is recommended to pre-book your parking spot to ensure availability, especially during peak travel seasons.


With Terminal 1 handling domestic flights and Terminal 3 for US and international, Toronto Pearson wisely separates passenger traffic based on destination. While Terminal 1 is older and more basic, Terminal 3 offers travelers to faraway places more amenities and comforts.

Hopefully this overview gives you a better sense of what sets these two terminals apart. Whether returning home or embarking on a journey abroad, safe travels through Toronto Pearson!

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