It's the holiday season and that means not only cold weather and gifts but also, for many Canadians, travel. Whether you're journeying to spend time with family or just to escape the temperatures, if you're packing your bags to embark on a trip, take note. Friday, Dec. 20 will be the busiest travel day of the holidays for Toronto Pearson Airport.

So, if you plan on flying out that day or you have family coming to visit, prepare yourself.

The holidays are a hugely busy time of the year for both general and vacation travel. But, if you thought last year was busy, Pearson is expecting much more foot traffic in 2019.

With Christmas right around the corner and a pre-festivities weekend approaching, it makes sense that the Friday before the big occasion would be the busiest day of the holiday travel season.

And Greater Toronto Airports Authority spokesperson Tori Gass revealed to Narcity just how busy they're expecting YYZ to be this time around.

"On December 20, we’re expecting 138,000 passengers to pass through our doors," Gass told Narcity.

In a bid to deal with the massive numbers, Pearson will be staffed to full capacity on that day. So, hopefully, while things will certainly be hectic, they shouldn't be too chaotic.

If you typically arrive at the airport hours beforehand, you're on the right track. Gass recommends arriving particularly early on Friday to leave time to check-in and go through security screening.

If you need more of a reason to arrive early, travellers will be able to take advantage of deals and promotions in the airport's shops and restaurants on the day. But it will be busy, busy, busy, so be prepared.

Gass also recommends coming with your presents unwrapped to speed things up and avoid awkward situations.

"Save time at security by packing light and leaving holiday gifts unwrapped in carry-on luggage, as all packages will be subject to inspection at security checkpoints," she advised.

Just last holiday season, Gass shares that the airport saw approximately 127,000 passengers on the Friday before Christmas.

This year, it looks set to welcome at least 10,000 more than in 2018.

Although the holidays are super hectic, the busiest time is actually during the summer.

This year, the busiest day of the year was August 21, with over 170,000 passengers.

Friday won't be quite so bad, but it's still going to be absolutely packed. Be prepared!


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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