Is a specific type of bag needed (3-1-1?) to take liquids under 3 oz on a plane in YYZ or will putting all liquids in any sized plastic bag do?

5 Answers 5


Technically, yes, they want the baggie of freedom. They have a supply of them right before security, so you could transfer your liquids into one at the airport.

In practice, my liquids usually go through in a washing bag with one clear side that stays in my bag. This has never caused me any problems and I have not been asked to move my liquids into a baggie. (I don't count taking the bag out and looking at it, or putting my luggage through again without the washing bag, as problems. No one has ever rebuked me or confiscated anything.) When I am checking a bag, my carry-on may have hand lotion or hand sanitizer just randomly in a pocket and this also does not cause me trouble. However I am using the Nexus security line, and staff there may be less picky than in the general line.

  • @Kate Gregory Your baggie isn't a litre by chance? Or security really doesn't care about the size?
    – verve
    Mar 2, 2015 at 13:30
  • it's not a baggie, @verve, it's a thing with a zipper that is opaque on one side and clear on the other. It might be roughly a litre, but I don't think they care. Mar 2, 2015 at 20:08

They did not mention a specific named type, but they provided the exact sizes for the allowed 1-litre plastic bags along with the required features, from catsa.gc.ca (linked in the official Pearson website):

  • Containers of liquids, food and personal items in your carry-on must be 100 ml/100 grams (3.4 oz) or less. All containers must fit in one clear, resealable plastic bag no more than 1-litre in capacity. The bag must be transparent so screening officers can easily see the contents. - See more at: http://www.catsa.gc.ca/liquids-food-personal-items#sthash.fZwNbYKE.dpuf

  • Each passenger is allowed a single 1-litre bag containing liquids, food and personal items. The approximate dimensions of a 1-litre bag are 15.24 cm by 22.86 cm (6 in. by 9 in.) or 20 cm by 17.5 cm (8 in. by 7 in.).

So I guess you can not take any other size, because any other sizes other than the mentioned ones will not make a 1-litre bag. Although I think less that 1-Litre will be fine.

  • Are any of the Ziploc bags 1L from the grocery stores? Need a new one not sure where to buy in a rush.
    – verve
    Feb 26, 2015 at 6:24
  • @verve not sure about that.. Feb 26, 2015 at 6:47
  • @verve Yes, but they say "QUART" on them, because America. Feb 26, 2015 at 21:17
  • I have used a smaller bag, with just one item it it, without problems. It is when you put a lot in till near capacity that they might check the size of the bag.
    – Willeke
    Mar 31, 2016 at 15:39
  • @MichaelHampton A US quart is smaller than a litre, but an Imperial quart is bigger than one. Apr 1, 2018 at 21:09

I used the bag that came with various size containers from the dollar store (a whopping CAD $2 plus HST) and there was no problem. Quality of both the bag and containers seemed okay.


I've been through YYZ many times with zippered 3-1-1 bags. The first was repurposed packaging that originally contained pillowcases. That was replaced with a zippered cube produced by Tom Bihn. Both were made (mostly) of see-through plastic and were approximately 1 litre in volume. Both were satisfactory. In fact, both have been acceptable at airports in many countries. As a backup, I carry an empty ziplock bag just in case a screening agent takes issue with my zippered bag.


I have travelled domestically and internationally with a purchased clear tsa approved zipper bag and always, always cleared security until this morning in Pearson. I told him and asked why and when did this start - he said always. So I had to transfer all my stuff from my clear “approved” bag to their zip bag. A huge inconvenience.

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