While Toronto Pearson International Airport remains the major air gateway to the city, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has steadily become a more desirable arrival point for travelers in and out of Canada’s largest metropolis. Variously known as the City Centre Airport, the Toronto Island Airport, and by its airport code YTZ, this smaller regional airport on the west edge of Toronto Harbour is largely the domain of Porter Airlines, which services flights to many nearby locations in Canada and the U.S. with its Bombardier turboprop fleet. Air Canada also operates out of the airport, offering several flights to and from Montreal.
Compact and convenient, the Billy Bishop Airport is located much nearer Toronto’s downtown core than Pearson. One of our experienced chauffeurs can customarily cover the distance from YTZ to the financial district in 5 to 10 minutes once they are clear of the airport itself.
Despite its close proximity and the relatively short time it takes passengers to clear through the airport upon arrival, the unique geography of the Island Airport poses certain challenges to be surmounted for chauffeurs in picking up our clients upon arrival. Until the underground pedestrian tunnel is completed linking the YTZ terminal on the edge of the Toronto Islands with the city side, the ferry boat remains the only method of crossing the narrow channel for both pedestrians and vehicles. After the ferry ride, the arriving passenger is faced with a tightly-controlled loading and dropping zone occupied by many limousines and a long taxi line.
Experience in dealing with arrivals at YTZ has led Global Alliance to formulate a procedure to minimize the confusion and discomfort that new arrivals to Billy Bishop Airport might understandably feel. Our chauffeur will cross on the ferry in the limousine, park it in the less hectic on-island lot, and greet passengers inside the island terminal. Chauffeurs will wait with a name sign outside of the baggage claim area at the base of the first escalator, lead their passenger back to the vehicle, and ride back over to the mainland on the ferry.
Although there is an extra charge involved in this process (covering the fee for the ferry and for parking), it has proven to be far more successful in establishing contact between passenger and chauffeur than negotiating the less predictable situation on the mainland. It also provides added privacy for our clients, who might well prefer the comfort and security of a warm sedan or SUV with tinted windows to the ferry deck, which is open to the elements and to the general travelling public. For drop offs at the airport, our chauffeurs can of course deposit their passenger either on the mainland or on the island, again with a ferry fee applying for the latter option. Please specify which option is preferred when reserving your drop off at Toronto Island Airport with one of our agents.
For larger groups, Global Alliance can arrange greeter/coordinator services at the Island Airport as well. The general procedures will be re-evaluated once the tunnel construction project nears completion, but for the moment, our so-called “island side” meeting procedure offers the best possible guarantee of a quick and stress-free rendezvous for arriving passengers.