General Travel Tips

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General Travel Tips

When should I travel?

When should I arrive in Toronto?

How do I get to Toronto, and where should I go?

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.

How do I get to Toronto, and where should I go?

There are a variety of options to get to Toronto. Please note, for international and domestic travellers arriving by air, you’ll want to be prepared for longer wait times at customs and baggage carousels. If you’re taking ground transportation from the United States, you may experience longer lines at US–Canadian border crossings.


Airports:

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ): If you’re flying into Toronto, you’ll most likely end up at Pearson. It’s Canada’s largest airport, so expect delays in disembarking, going through customs and 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.
  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ): Billy Bishop is Toronto’s regional airport that is located downtown on the Toronto Islands and is 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 than its larger counterparts.
  • Hamilton International Airport (YHM): The Hamilton Airport offers a shuttle service to Toronto’s Union Station. Driving to the TIFF Bell Lightbox can take approximately one to two hours depending on traffic and time of day.
  • The Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF): There are a number of ground transportation options to Toronto. Driving to the TIFF Bell Lightbox can take approximately one to two hours depending on traffic and time of day.
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF): You can take one of a few ground transportation options to Toronto that enter Canada via the Peace Bridge Port of Entry border crossing. Driving to the TIFF Bell Lightbox can take approximately two to three hours depending on border crossing lineups, traffic, and time of day.


Train:


OTHER TRAVEL TIPS TO CONSIDER

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. In addition to Toronto Pearson International Airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Hamilton International Airport, and the Region of Waterloo International Airport are great options.

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.