Arriving in Canada / Airport Welcome

 

York International has created the following guide to help international students and visiting scholars easily navigate the city and arrive at York University upon their arrival in Canada. Please see below for instructions on airport procedures, directions by public transit, directions by taxi and information on where our two campuses are located within the City of Toronto.

Airport Welcome

At the Airport

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.

Canadian Customs

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.

Campus Servus Meet & Greet and Pre-Booked Transportation

**NOTE: Campus Servus Meet & Greet & Pre-Booked Transportation services will no longer be offered in conjunction with York International after December 25, 2016**

Meet & Greet

York International has arranged for a private community service vendor called Campus Servus to coordinate “Meet & Greet” Staff who will be at the international arrivals area of Pearson Airport to welcome international students and visiting scholars and to assist with transportation and any travel-related questions.

“Meet & Greet” Staff will be wearing York International t-shirts and holding York International signs. Greeters will be present in Terminal 1 and 3 at Toronto Pearson Airport from August 26th until September 5th, from 8 am to 10 pm.

Note: these greeters are hired specifically to assist York University international students and are separate from the City of Toronto greeters.

The “Meet & Greet” Staff can help you with information and support related to:

  • Getting to your residence on York’s Campuses, or to another address in Toronto.
  • Public transportation options from Pearson Airport.
  • Where to find washroom facilities, currency exchange and food at the airport.
  • How to use the airport Wi-Fi.
  • Making a telephone call home, or sending a text or email.
  • Answering questions about where to get your student card, SIM card and on-campus services.
  • Answering many other York related questions.
  • Taking you over to the City of Toronto booth if you want to utilize the other resources that are offered.

Pre-Booked Transportation

Campus Servus also provides a special transportation service for York University students that will take you directly to your residence or accommodation in the GTA for a fee of $85.

If you would like to pre-book transportation with drivers who are familiar with the York University campuses and will be waiting for your flight to land, please click here.   Note that pre-booked transportation covers all costs (tips, taxes, GTAA livery fees).

Toronto's International Student Welcome Program

Please check back in Summer 2017 for information about the Toronto International Student Welcome Program.

Getting to York : Public Transportation

Toronto has a large and efficient system of public transit that can take you anywhere within the city via bus, streetcar or subway (metro/underground). 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’s site to learn the current prices.

There is a single price to ride the TTC to any destination within the city. While in most instances you will need to ask the driver for a slip of paper called a “transfer” to be able to switch to another different vehicle without paying the fare again, the TTC from the airport to York University does not require transfers. The trip to York University by public transit will take approximately 2 hours. Be sure to have the exact fare before boarding the bus, because drivers are not able to provide change.

Getting to Keele Campus

  • After you have passed through immigration and customs and have retrieved your baggage, exit the airport on the lowest level of either Terminal 1 or Terminal 3.
  • Catch the TTC bus 192 called the “Airport Rocket” at column R4 at Terminal 1, or columns C8-C12 in Terminal 3. Bus 192 departs the airport approximately every 10 minutes, and operates between 6am and 2am (an exact schedule can be found here). This bus will take you to Kipling Station, the westernmost station on the East-West Subway line, often called the “Bloor-Danforth” or the “Green” subway line. This portion of the trip will take approximately 20 minutes.
  • Once at Kipling Subway Station, enter the station and go down the stairs to the subway train boarding platform. Take the first available train (from this station, all trains travel towards the east). A map of Toronto’s subway system can be found here.
  • At St. George Station, depart the train and transfer to a Northbound Subway, often called the “Yonge-University-Spadina” or the “Yellow” subway line. Look for the signs saying “Northbound” or “Downsview”.
  • Take a Northbound train to the end of the line at Downsview Station.
  • Exit the train and go up the stairs to the bus boarding area. On your left, look for signs that say “196 York University Rocket”. Bus 196 will take you directly to York University.

Note: if you need assistance during your trip, it is ok to ask a TTC employee for help.

Getting to Glendon Campus

  • After you have passed through immigration and customs and have retrieved your baggage, exit the airport on the lowest level of either Terminal 1 or Terminal 3.
  • Catch the TTC bus 192 called the “Airport Rocket” at column R4 at Terminal 1, or columns C8-C12 in Terminal 3. Bus 192 departs the airport approximately every 10 minutes, and operates between 6am and 2am (an exact schedule can be found here). This bus will take you to Kipling Station, the westernmost station on the East-West Subway line, often called the “Bloor-Danforth” or the “Green” subway line. This portion of the trip will take approximately 20 minutes. A map of Toronto’s subway system can be found here.
  • Once at Kipling Subway Station, enter the station and go down the stairs to the subway train boarding platform. Take the first available train (from this station, all trains travel towards the east). (25minutes, 12 stops)
  • At Bloor Station, you will exit the train and transfer onto the Northbound (Yellow) subway line. (11 minutes, 6 stops)
  • Exit the train at Lawrence Station and transfer to a bus
  • Get on TTC Bus 124, going East towards Sunnybrook Hospital (8 minutes, 9 stops)
  • Walk to 2275 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON (3 minutes)

Note: if you need assistance during your trip, it is ok to ask a TTC employee for help

Getting to York : Taxi

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.

If you are offered a Taxi or Limo service in the airport, on your arrival, most likely those operators are illegal and should be avoided.  Ask for a Limo License, normally each driver has to have a “Livery” License.

While taxis in Canada are safe and the drivers are trustworthy, before departing, it is a good idea to ask your driver how much the trip will cost.

Information about licensed taxis from the airport can be found here. It is customary in Canada to include a tip of 10%-15% of the total bill (before taxes) to service workers, including taxi drivers. When exiting Pearson Airport at either Terminal 1 or Terminal 3, there will be many taxis waiting. Ask to be driven to your destination, either at York’s Keele or Glendon Campus.

Getting to Union Station (downtown Toronto)

Toronto also offers a transportation service called the Union-Pearson Express  that provides transportation by train from Pearson Airport to Union Station in less than 30 minutes.

Where is York University

York's Keele Campus is located at 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3
York's Glendon Campus is located 2275 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3M6

Getting into residence/ your first night on the Keele Campus

If you have chosen to live on-campus, you can pick-up the key to your room at the front desk of your residence complex. During the period surrounding the start of each term, there will be an attendant on duty until 10pm, 7 days of the week.

If you will be arriving from the airport later than 10pm, you can reserve a night’s accommodation at the on-campus Schulich Executive Learning Centre (ELC) Hotel by calling (416) 650-8300 or emailing reservations@schulich.yorku.ca (do not book online). Tell them that you are a "York International Student", and you will pay a discounted rate of $75/night plus taxes (2016-17 rates). When making your reservation, if a "Rate Code" is requested, please use  YRK INTL STU.

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