pearson airport delays

Here's the easiest way to get through Toronto's Pearson Airport this long weekend

Between the chronic understaffing plaguing Canadian airports and the return of testing requirements for incoming travellers, Toronto Pearson International Airport has gained a reputation worldwide as an awful hellscape of long lines and delayed flights.

The Civic Holiday long weekend is approaching, and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) hopes to keep travellers ready with some tips on how not to be part of the problem of clogging up lines at airports like Pearson.

Public health restrictions

The most obvious thing to be aware of is the recent July 19 resumption of mandatory testing of visitors and returning travellers at major Canadian airports, including Pearson.


This is a pretty big one for anyone arriving at Pearson, as all travellers entering Canada are required to use the ArriveCAN app — regardless of vaccination status — to enter information up to 72 hours before entering the country.

Advance declaration

Arriving travellers can also streamline their visit or return home by using the ArriveCAN app or web version to fill out their customs and immigrations declaration in advance. Because who can ever find a pen when they hand you that little card on the plane?

Keep documents handy

Whether you're an arrival or departure at Pearson, you're going to want to keep your travel documents handy, including your ArriveCAN receipt, passport, and proof of vaccination.

Exemption limits will be enforced

Duty-free shops can be tempting, but there are limits in place on what you can bring in or out of the country. The CBSA has a duty and taxes estimator to calculate taxes on goods purchased in the United States, which is a good place to check if you expect to coast through security with gallons of liquor in tow.

Declare your items

Don't be that person trying to bring produce or raw meat across a border. Nobody wants a new invasive pest or a bird flu outbreak on top of the crap we've all dealt with already.


In case you've completely forgotten in the few years since legalization, most other countries aren't cool with weed. And the CBSA definitely isn't cool with you trying to bring it on international flights, so it would be wise to leave your chill medicine at home before trying to clear customs at Pearson.

Travelling with kids

A very preventable way to hold up a security line is to travel with a child without the proper consent letter from the parent/s or guardian/s. If you don't have such a letter, there will be (understandably) a whole lot of questions.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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