know before you go: Toronto (YYZ)

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Toronto Pearson International (YYZ) is the main airport for the largest city in Canada, Toronto.  Spacious, clean lines, easy to navigate, it gives a great first impression when you’re landing here for the first time, especially because there’s a prominent Tim Hortons on the arrivals level!

There are two terminals, 1 and 3.  Terminal 1 has 58 gates in a whopping 6 million square feet space.  That’s right, 6 million.  Great white north indeed.  This is one of the biggest buildings in the world and also nbd, but Moshe Safdie’s architecture firm had a hand in designing it.  Air Canada (hub), Emirates, and Star Alliance (including United, which was me) operate out of this terminal.

Terminal 3 operates Skyteam and Oneworld alliance flights along with Etihad and WestJet out of 48 gates.

When you’re traveling to the US, there’s separate gates/customs screening which makes the process very streamlined.  Although, I couldn’t get like three kiosks to work before finding one that functioned correctly.

Remember: ✈️ = started from the bottom ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = and now we’re here

Convenience to the city: ✈️✈️ (22.5 km from downtown Toronto –traffic can be a bear; there’s also train from the airport to Union Station downtown $CAD12)

Rental Car area: ✈️✈️ (conveniently located in the parking structure across from the terminals, however when returning the car, it’s hard to tell which terminal your airline is located in because there are no signs. I fortunately guessed Terminal 1 correctly.  Moral of the story, check ahead of time to determine from which terminal you’re flying)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️ (there’s a super fast people mover in terminal 1, Link train connects the two terminals)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (not too crowded, flows easily)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (Good variety of chains, Tim Hortons, and local chefs backed eateries.  I spent my last few loonies at Hearth by Lynn Crawford, not sure $CAD20+ for a burger was that well spent but it was decent for a well-done burger)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️✈️✈️  (very clean and spacious)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️ (free wifi available)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️✈️  (Many lounges.  Nice selection of luxury purveyors: Bally, Burberry, Gucci, Mont Blanc, Ferragamo, Longchamp, Tumi. Hudson’s Bay department store, 7-elevens, nail salons, Sheraton Hotel connected to terminal 3)

3 days in Vancouver

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I’ve been fortunate to travel to Vancouver, BC multiples times in my life for work; it’s one of my favorite destinations because of it’s ease and modern sensibilities.  And the food!

Sitting on the water, it’s an ideal metropolis that offers everything you could want. Spending a few days here will give you a great sampling of all this city has to offer, and it’ll make you want to come back again and again.  And you totally should…

They’re not canuckin’ around here.

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3 days in Toronto feat. Niagara Falls

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As far as bucket lists go, Niagara Falls is typically a popular featured destination, for good reason.  I can’t believe I’d never been until now!  It’s one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, and it’s right in our own backyard.  *Whispers: the Canadian side is better. Sore-y, not sore-y.

Of all of the places I’ve been in our great neighbor to the north, Canada, I had never made it to the eastern side of the country.  But, with all of my immediate family out of the country for Thanksgiving, no time was better to seize the moment and head across the border to Toronto.  I traded turkey for Tim Hortons, and I regret nothing.

Oh Canada…

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