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Spotting in Toronto Pearson?

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  • Spotting in Toronto Pearson?

    Hey guys,

    I will be headed to Toronto this summer and was really wondering what are the best places to do plane spotting there?

    I searched up some photos of YYZ on and it looks like RWY 23 is a very busy runway for landings, as well RWY 33L. I haven't found much info about the 24's or 33R.

    I think that spotting the 23 arrivals is fine by the Petro-Canada or the Wendys that is nearby that. I hope that that spot is fine for 05 departures too.

    What about runway 33L? South of that runway is Courtneypark Dr East, but I don't know if we can stop on that road?

    Spotterswiki hasn't been too helpful on this airport.

    Last question: does YYZ ever use 33L and 23 simultaneously?



    Oh and if you have any websites that can help, please share them, I haven't come across any useful ones yet
    Remember on your hardest days, that the airplanes always take off against the wind... afterwards, the skies are all yours.

  • #2
    Generally the most popular spot is Wendy's/Petro Canada for Runway 23 Arrivals over Airport Road. You can also see 23 departures through the fence. Runway 23 is used pretty frequently and it is a favourite spot for spotters because it is busy and because the landings are very low over the road. You can also get multiple angles when shooting landings.

    33's are rarely used unless the wind is very strong or blowing north. Runway 33L/R is mostly used in the Winter although it may be used for some landings and takeoffs (for example Cathay Pacific and even some Air Canada T7s often take off on 33R even if it isn't active, I think it's the longest runway at YYZ). On Friday there were landings on 05 (opposite end of 23) and takeoffs on 06L (opposite 24R) and an Air Canada 777 took off on 33R. The viewing for Runway 33L landings is fantastic because it is clear and unobstructed and the aircraft landing are right in front of you. 33R takeoffs and landings have a spot through the fence of the infield terminal as well. The spot for 33L is on a hill which you can access by taking a dirt driveway off of Courtneypark, which takes you up the hill so you can see all of Runway 33L above the fence. You can also walk up to the fence to get shots, but it's better to park on the hill instead of on the road and just move around on foot. But unfortunately 33s are rarely used.

    Like I said above, 33R departures will sometimes occur if another runway is in use. For example if 23 is being used for a mix of arrivals and departures, a flight such as a Cathay Pacific or Air Canada 777 may takeoff on 33R if there is no traffic on 23. But generally, they are not both used at the same time because they intersect.

    Hope that helps a bit!

    Here are a couples sites with additional info.



    • #3
      Thanks for those links Westjet. The map on the first link gives a location for 24R and 24L at a parking lot off of Silver Dart Drive. Could be a nice alternative to Wendy's at 23. I just hope that the parking lot is open to the public.

      I wasn't able to locate the hill on Google Maps, but I guess I doubt I will spot at 33 anyways.

      Thanks for the info!

      Remember on your hardest days, that the airplanes always take off against the wind... afterwards, the skies are all yours.