Toronto Pearson: From farmer’s field to economic engine, Canada’s busiest airport

In 2019, Pearson was named North America’s most internationally connected airport, with 163 routes and over 50 million passengers annually. This is a far cry from where Canada’s busiest airport began.

From a rural farmer’s field in 1937, Toronto Pearson has soared to the heart of Ontario’s economy and Canada’s story on the global stage. Pearson airport plays host to 300 companies that employ over 50,000 workers. Combined with secondary and tertiary job creation, Toronto Pearson is directly responsible for over 300,000 jobs and 6% of Ontario’s GDP.

“If you agree that an organization is part of a community ecosystem, you know it doesn’t exist on its own,” said Hillary Marshall, Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Communications, GTAA. “You can’t look past your impact on your community or what opportunities you have to make your community more vital, to give people access to more prosperity.”

 Next Stop: Toronto Pearson—transit infrastructure for all

In 2018, average commuting time in the Greater Toronto Area was rated as the world’s sixth worst. Drivers spend hours in traffic and road congestion keeps valuable cargo from Pearson’s runways stuck on the highway. Research by the GTAA has shown that in just a few decades, road congestion in and around Toronto could get 20-30% worse. The GTAA has a sustainable alternative.

There’s no other location in the West GTA that offers the same potential to connect the broader region and have the greatest impact on reducing road congestion. That’s why the GTAA is leading the charge for improved multimodal transit in the region, anchored by a new major transit hub on airport grounds.

“Toronto Pearson is the second largest employment zone in Canada,” explained Robyn Connelly, Director of Community Relations, GTAA. “But when you look at the neighorhoods around us, they’re so underserved that they face some of the biggest barriers to employment and opportunity in the country.”

While ensuring reduced road congestion and increased climate action, this innovative new infrastructure is also a promise of upward income mobility and access to new jobs and services, helping the entire community to take flight.