Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport is usually referred to by the shorter name Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airport is located over 20 miles to the Northwest of the Toronto, Ontario city center. The airport is named for Lester Pearson who served as Prime Minister of Canada for many years.
With a passenger load in excess of 33 million people, Toronto Pearson is the busiest airport in the nation of Canada. The airport is also quite large in land size, and it is Canada's largest airport in area as well. This airport is the major hub of airport activity in Canada.
The airport's history dates back to 1937 when several tracts of land were purchased for the purpose of airport construction. The airport was officially opened in 1938 with an old farmhouse serving as the airport's first terminal building. At this time, the airport was known as Malton Airport.
Later in 1938, a second terminal was built, and two runways were constructed. The first passenger flights landed at the airport in the summer of 1938.
During the World War II period, the airport was used as a base for military pilot training. Pilots trained at this airport came from all across the nations of the British Commonwealth.
After the war, the airport continued to expand with the addition of another terminal facility. The runways were also expanded at this time.
In 1960, the name of the airport was changed to Toronto International Airport. The current Terminal 1 building was built in the 1960s, and Terminal 2 was built in 1972.
The 1980s and 90s brought more changes to the airport. In 1984, the airport took its current name. Terminal 3 was opened in 1991.
Currently, Toronto Pearson operates two functioning terminals designated Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. There are five operating runways. The longest runway is 11,120 feet in length while the shortest is 9,000 feet in length.
There is a lot to do at Toronto Pearson while waiting for a flight. Art is a major attraction at the airport. The airport conducted a major art competition in 2000 for works to put on permanent display. Eight works were eventually chosen, and travelers can see these works displayed in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
Throughout Terminal 1, passengers will find several exhibits detailing the art and history of Canada. These displays change throughout the year. Some past exhibits included Canadian sports and photography.
There is an interesting exhibit located in Terminal 3 called Toronto on Film. This exhibit tells the story of how the city of Toronto was featured in various movies.
Besides art, Terminal 1 has a dinosaur exhibit. The major attraction of this exhibit is a complete Allosaurus skeleton that is on display.
For travelers who want to stay connected to the Internet, Toronto Pearson has free Wi-Fi Internet access. This service is available in both terminals.
There are two interfaith chapels for prayer and reflection. There is a chapel in each terminal, and Catholic and Protestant services are held in each chapel each day of the week.
Passengers who need to travel between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 may use the LINK Train. These trains also connect passengers to the parking lots. Trains run so that passengers wait no longer than seven minutes for a train.
Valet parking is available curbside. Express Park is for parking under three hours. Daily Park and the Value Park Garage offer short and long-term parking.