Toronto City Centre mainly serves recreational flights and flightschools. Recently, scheduled commercial flights were started. The airport also has a role in air traffic control during the Canadian International Air Show, which is held annually over Lake Ontario during Labour Day Weekend. The best spots to view the show are presented on the map as well. The short line closest to the shore is the low speed flightline, the longer one is the high speed flightline.
The airport was built in 1939 and features the typical Canadian triangle runways to deal with all kinds of weather conditions. All facilities are located to the north side of the runways.
The airport can only be reached by the world's shortest scheduled ferry service, which runs from Bathurst Street to the airport. There is no access to the airport from one of the Toronto Islands. Directions to the other vantage points are listed under their respective bullets.
Around the Airport
The airport has a dedicated scheduled ferry service, which operates from Bathurst Street. To reach Bathurst Street, take exit Jameson Ave when travelling eastbound on the Gardener Expressway, and exit Spadina Ave, when travelling westbound. Continue eastbound on Lakeshore Boulevard West and turn south towards the lake on Bathurst Street. In the morning photography is best for aircraft using runways 06, 08 and 15. In the late afternoon aircraft using runways 24 and 26 can be graphed from here as well.
From the shore, flying activities can be watched as well. From Lakeshore Boulevard West, turn south towards the lake on Stadium Street, which runs parallel to Bathurst Street. At the lakeshore, turn right towards the entrance of the marina, where a small square is located. From here, traffic using runway 08/26 can be photographed later during the day. Morning landings at runway 15 are good for photography as well.
Despite there is no access from the Toronto Islands to the airport, viewing from one of the islands is possible. To reach the islands, take exit York Street/Bay Street off the Gardener Expressway. The ferry to Centre Island, where the airport is situated, can be found at the foot of Bay Street at the Queens Quay dock. It runs every half hour in Summer, until and inclusive the Labour Day Weekend. As the islands are car-free, you will have to park your car one block north at Lakeshore Boulevard and Bay Street. The ferry has three destinations on the islands, so make sure you take the one to Hanlan's Point. Spot 3 can be found right off the ferry dock at Hanlan's Point in the park. It gives excellent opportunities for runways 24 and 26, photography is best in the afternoon.
For those visiting the Canadian International Air Show, we have included the best vantage points to view the show in this airfield guide. Unfortunately, both viewing spots are situated on the north shore and viewing the air show to the southwest you have to deal with some backlight. The best and nearest spot to the flightlines is Ontario Place, an amusement park just south of Remembrance Drive. For eastbound access, take exit Jameson Ave off the Gardener Expressway, for westbound access, take exit Spadina Ave. Continue on Lakeshore Boulevard west, which runs parallel to Remembrance Drive, where the entrance can be found. You will have to pay a Grounds Admission fee to enter the site when viewing the air show, which is just under $20. Once on the site, head south towards to beginning of the large pier.
Less suitable than spot 4, but also a good spot to watch the air show is anywhere from Aquatic Drive. It can be reached by taking the same exits as Ontario Palace and is situated west of Remembrance Drive. The show is usually held in the afternoon, but you will have to come early to find a spot to park you car.
Stefan Bratner took this photo of a Porter Airlines Dash 8 from spot 3, Hanlan's Point, which gives you Toronto's city centre as background.
|CIAS||Canadian International Air Show|
|Borden   subscribers only|
|Hamilton - John C. Munro   subscribers only|
|London Intl   subscribers only|
|North Bay - Jack Garland|
|Ottawa - Carp|
|Ottawa - MacDonald-Cartier Intl   subscribers only|
|Petawawa   subscribers only|
|Sault Ste. Marie   subscribers only|
|Thunder Bay   subscribers only|
|Toronto - City Centre|
|Toronto - Downsview   subscribers only|
|Toronto - Lester B. Pearson Intl   subscribers only|
|Trenton   subscribers only|