There are things in life I don’t realize I want to do until I find out that it’s a thing people do.
When I heard that the GTAA offers tours of Toronto Pearson International Airport, I immediately went to their website to sign up for a tour even though I’ve never considered myself interested in airplanes, aircrew or airports. Now that I’ve taken the tour, I’m so glad that I did! Since other people love airplanes, taking the tour allowed me to spend two hours surrounded by enthusiasm and I managed to learn a planeload of fun facts about Pearson.
The Toronto Pearson Airside Tour starts at the GTAA Administrative Building, where everyone is greeted by friendly tour guides, boards a comfortable bus and dons a safety vest. I’m already a little impressed by this point of the tour.
Soon after we reach the airfield and visit one of the two Firehalls. Bring on the jaws of life and other giant rescue tools!
The rest of the tour is primarily bus-based. Among other things, we drive parallel to an Etihad flight during taxi and take off, see the deicing facility, take a look at the super clean hangar used by WestJet, watch planes being loaded and unloaded, and I get as close to a corporate jet as I’ll probably ever get.
The highlight of the tour is the two times we exit the bus to take a closer look at the planes. The first stop is to see a Sunwing Boeing 737-800. Normally, if I’m this close to the exterior of a plane, I’m in a line to board it and won’t think about inspecting the body of the plane. Now that I have the chance to take a closer look, I see that it’s rather magnificent. I also get to achieve my hitherto unknown goal of touching a plane engine! The second stop is to see a Lufthansa Boeing 747-700 but we can’t go right up to the plane.
By the end of the tour I begin to consider myself a fan of airports, or at least of Pearson. We get an Airport Trading Card for YYZ to take home and it goes nice with my mini, retro airport postcard, so maybe I’ve been a fan all along!
Check out the Toronto Pearson website to learn more about the Toronto Pearson Airport Airside Tour. I took the two hour tour (I joined the waitlist and received a spot the day before the event) but they are also offering abbreviated tours on August 29, 2015 during an event called Windows into Pearson.