General Travel Tips

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General Travel Tips

When should I travel?

When should I arrive in Toronto?

Where should I arrive in Toronto?

How should I travel?

What should I pack in my luggage?

When should I travel?

Start your travels early in the day. Regardless of how you plan to travel — by plane, train, or automobile — leave early. This is especially true for flights: choosing the first flights of the day will often help to avoid the delays and cancellations that tend to happen later in the day. Additionally, if your early-morning flight is cancelled, you’ll have more options to rebook a different flight.

When should I arrive in Toronto?

Plan to arrive in Toronto a day early. Depending on when you intend to start your Festival experience, it is best to arrive in Toronto at least one day before to avoid missing screenings, meetings, or other events due to travel delays or cancellations. Arriving a day early will also help you acclimate to the time zone, give you a chance to explore parts of the city, or have a leisurely meal or two before diving into the Festival.

Where should I arrive in Toronto?

No matter where your mode of transportation delivers you in Toronto, you’ll want to be prepared for longer wait times at customs and baggage carousels.

  • Airports: If you’re flying into Toronto, you’ll most likely end up at the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). It’s Canada’s largest airport, so expect delays in disembarking, going through customs, and/or picking up your luggage. If you plan to travel to Pearson, you can use their Peak Travel Times dashboard to find information on the busiest times at the airport. Toronto’s regional airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), is located downtown on the Toronto Islands and ideal for those travelling from central to eastern cities in Canada and the US. Due to its size and passenger volume, Billy Bishop tends to be more efficient to get through versus its larger counterparts. Another option is the Hamilton International Airport (YHM), which offers a shuttle service to Toronto’s Union Station.
  • Train: For those travelling by train within Canada and from the US, you will arrive at Union Station in the heart of downtown Toronto, right across from the Fairmont Royal York Hotel and about a 10-minute walk to TIFF Bell Lightbox. Union Station is an exchange hub for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the Union Pearson (UP) Express, GO Transit, and VIA Rail Canada.

How should I travel?

Regardless of how you choose to travel to Toronto, we strongly suggest choosing direct travel options with the fewest connections possible. That way, if you are delayed, you don’t have to worry about missing your next connection. Additionally, many travel experts suggest planning for a three-hour layover for connecting flights, or two hours at a minimum. Avoid booking the shortest layover, as this may cause you to miss your connecting flight.

If you have the means, consider private plane charter options. Travel alone or coordinate with a group. Not only could it save travel time, but it could also make your in-airport arrivals and customs experience quicker and easier.

What should I pack in my luggage?

Keep your essentials with you. Even if you plan to check your luggage, ensure your carry-on has all the essentials you need, plus a change of clothes, in the event your checked luggage is delayed in getting to you. Make sure your carry-on luggage meets the size and weight requirements of the airline with which you’re flying, as having it checked may cause delays. Consider using an AirTag or another tracking device to assist in keeping tabs on your luggage. An alternative to travelling with your bags is to ship them ahead of time to where you’ll be staying. For more information, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has provided a number of Travel Tips.