Arriving in Toronto and York University

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Welcome to York International!

York International has created the following guide to help international students and visiting scholars easily navigate the airport and find their way to York University. Please see below for instructions on how to prepare for your arrival in Canada, airport procedures, various transportation options, welcome services offered by York International and information on where our two campuses are located within the city of Toronto.


A.  Pre-Arrival


B. At the Airport

Canada Customs and Immigration

When you arrive in Canada at Toronto Pearson International Airport, you will present yourself to a Canadian immigration officer. Before you do, make sure you have the following documents ready:

  • Letter of Introduction from the Canadian Consulate or High Commission:  This is the letter you receive from the visa office if you applied, and have been approved, for a study permit. It is sometimes called the letter of introduction or introductory letter. Officially, it is called the Port of Entry (POE) Introduction Letter.
  • Valid passport, with Temporary Resident Visa  (TRV)/entry visa (if required).
  • Electronic Travel Authorization  (eTA) (if required)
  • Original or copy of your letter of acceptance from York University. Evidence of financial support.
  •  List of items that you are sending separately (if applicable). Have this list stamped by an Immigration Officer.
  • Letters of reference or other documents recommended by the Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission.
  • Record of Health Immunizations (if required)

Make sure you keep all these items, as well as cash, traveller’s cheques and other valuable documents with you. Do not put them in your checked baggage.

Respond to all questions the immigration officer asks you with clear, simple answers. Service is available in English and French. If you do not fully understand the questions, ask for an interpreter. They are available in many languages.

The Canadian Border Services Agency is responsible for customs. Detailed information about Canada Customs regulations is available from the Canadian embassy or high commission in your country. The Canadian government puts no restrictions on a reasonable amount of clothing, books or other items for your personal use. Limited quantities of alcohol and tobacco are permitted. You may bring all personal effects into Canada duty-free. We recommend you make a list of all the items you are bringing, including serial numbers of cameras, radios, computers, etc. and the approximate value of each.

Transportation Options

Public Transit

The transit operator within the city limits is called the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). You will be able to recognize TTC vehicles by their distinctive red and white colour.  Visit the TTC website to learn the current prices and routes. Be sure to have the exact fare before boarding the bus. Drivers are not able to provide change.

Taxi / Limousine

You can take a taxi directly from the airport to York University’s Keele or Glendon Campuses. While this option will cost much more than public transit, it is much quicker and more convenient if you are traveling with a large amount of luggage.

A taxi from the airport to Keele or Glendon will cost approximately $60 and take approximately 30 minutes (more information).


Uber and similar app-based transportation services are legal in Toronto, however, they are not officially recommended.

Union-Pearson Express (Downtown)

Toronto also offers a fare-based transportation service called the Union-Pearson Express  that provides transportation by a special train from Pearson Airport to Union Station downtown in less than 30 minutes.[/accordion][/accordions]

Airport Contacts

Click here to contact the various areas at the airport such as customer service, general airport inquiries, mobility assistance and much more.

C. Getting to York (Keele & Glendon)

Maps and directions


               Keele Campus


Emergency contacts
  • Go Safe: 416.736.5454
  • York Security (non-urgent): 416.650.8000
  • York Security (urgent): 416.736.5333
  • Lost and Found: 416.736.5534
  • Student housing services


D. Arriving at York

Below is a list of helpful services for when you arrive to York!

  1. International student welcome booths (Fall term only):
    • Run by a team of multilingual greeters who are from a variety of backgrounds representing our international student population.
    • Located at multiple locations around campus to assist new international students in navigating the large campus.
    • Provide international students with support for the unique needs that they have such as immigration and health insurance.
    • Direct international students to the various key resources offered by York International.
    • 2018 Welcome Booths are located at Vari Hall, William Small Centre, Bennett Centre and the Vanier College loop.  Visit our events calendar here for more details.
  2. Ask Me
  3. Housing Services contacts (Keele & Glendon): Housing on campus, Housing off campus and Temporary accommodation.
  4. Additional welcome support can be found at the  Red Zone!   Conveniently located at Vari Hall.                                                                                                                          


E. Orientation

York International Orientation

The new international student orientation sessions hosted by York International, help international students understand and adjust to living in Canada and address situations and questions uniquely common to this group.  Register here.

Campus Orientation

York University offers a wide variety of orientation programming for all new and incoming students.  International students are encouraged to also actively engage in campus wide orientation sessions.  This helps students get their bearings around campus and to learn various requirements and expectations of all students.

YU Start

YU START is a New Student Transition Program designed to support you as you make your way into and through your first year at York University. During this transitional program, you’ll enrol in courses, connect with fellow classmates, student leaders, faculty members and student services staff, and become more familiar with campus life, supports and resources available to you.