I'm Portuguese and am going to Lima on AIR Canada. On my way back home I have a layover of 11 hours in Toronto. Can I leave the airport to visit the city? What happens to my luggage? Do I have to pass through immigration?

  • 1
    Obviously to leave the airport you’ll need to go through immigration and customs. You will also need an eTA. Not sure if you would need one in transit anyway?
    – jcaron
    Dec 9, 2018 at 23:32
  • 3
    Portuguese can enter Canada without a visa. Dec 10, 2018 at 0:12

2 Answers 2


You will have to pass through customs and immigration. Your checked luggage should be checked through to Portugal. It appears you will have an eTA anyway, since you are transiting through Canada and not to the USA.

Assuming it's AC1947 arriving at 11:40am Toronto time, you can take the UP Express to connect to the subway system, and you should have a reasonable number of hours to poke around downtown.


You'll have to go through Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and security anyway, Canada has no real concept of international transfer. If it's all on Air Canada on a single ticket, your bags should be checked through. See https://www.torontopearson.com/Connecting.aspx# for details.

Since you need to go through immigration and security anyway, there is almost no time penalty in leaving the airport and 11 hours is plenty for a trip to town and back.

This assumes you are connecting at YYZ (Pearson airport) and not at YTZ (Billy Bishop airport). From YTZ, even an hour is enough to walk into town, have a beer (or two) and walk back to the airport :-)

  • I have a very similar situation. Can I return and enter the airport at any moment or will I only be allowed a certain number of hours before the flight?
    – nsn
    Jun 9, 2019 at 10:20
  • You can enter the public part of the airport anytime. You can pass through security and go to your gate if you have a valid boarding pass for the "same day".
    – Hilmar
    Jun 10, 2019 at 11:17
  • I will be arriving one day, around 4 PM and leaving the next, 6 AM. I would like to go to the city and then return to the airport, most likely, before midnight.
    – nsn
    Jun 11, 2019 at 7:40
  • Check the opening times of the airport, Some security check points do close over night, so you may not be able to get into the secure area before 4am or so.
    – Hilmar
    Jun 11, 2019 at 16:31

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