Home > Contemplations > Toronto’s Cell Phone Lot

Toronto’s Cell Phone Lot

Cell Phone (Parking) Lot Sign at Toronto's Pearson Airport (YYZ)

I just came from picking up my friends at Toronto’s main airport, Pearson International (YYZ). Like most airports these days Pearson has a “Cell Phone Lot” where people can wait for their friends & family without sitting on the side of the highway.

The one thing that puzzles me to this day about the way it is set up is in order to get to the Cell Phone Lot from the 401 West (the most direct route from Toronto) is to go through Terminal 1’s Arrival area. I’ve always wondered, doesn’t this just cause a bunch of unnecessary traffic in the Arrivals area? Shouldn’t they route traffic around the area?

The route I am obligated to take from the 401 to the 409 through Pearson International to the Cell Phone Lot due to lack of signs.

Maybe they do have a way to get to it but if they do I don’t know it and they certainly don’t have any signs like the one in the top picture on the highway to indicate the route to the lot. If there is a way there wouldn’t it be sensible to put up signs to that effect? I would think a fair number of people coming to the airport via the 401 to the 409 are going to pick up friends and family. I often see lineups of cars parked along the 409 waiting for a call from friends and families because many people are clearly unaware that the Cell Phone Lot exists. Maybe the GTAA (Greater Toronto Airports Authority) or the City of Mississsauga and Regional Muncipality of Peel (where the airport is located) should go to where these lineups of cars ALWAYS are and put up signs directing them to the Lot.

This is something to be looked into in my opinion. What do you think?

  1. Jesser
    August 31, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Was just searching for “how to get to toronto airport cell phone parking” because their website offers no insight on how to get to it. I see it on a map, but it doesn’t show me HOW to get to it. And I stumbled upon your post.
    I AGREE.
    Do I go where it says “parking”? Do I bypass it in hopes of finding it elsewhere? Do I still go where the signs say “Terminal 1” if that’s where I need to be, or do I go past all 3 terminals?
    It’s VERY frustrating and confusing.
    I’m leaving this morning, if I somehow figure it out, I’ll repost and let you know. I didn’t even KNOW that there was such a thing at this airport, I’ve been several times in the last few months and haven’t noticed any signs for it.
    I’m nervous that I’ll take the signs for “parking” and will have to actually go through the pay lot in case I can’t find the cell lot.

    • September 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      Usually most parking lots which charge you as you leave have a rule that if you leave within a certain amount of time they do not charge you…this is called the “grace period.”
      I just now called the phone number listed for the Value Park Lot on Pearson’s website at http://www.torontopearson.com/en/Value_Park_Lot/ and spoke to a lady named Manjit (sp?). She told me that the grace period is 10 minutes at the Value park Lot and the same goes for all other lots at Pearson.
      Also, on the new Pearson website (it was relaunched earlier this year) they now have the option for directions to the Cell Phone Parking Lot at http://www.torontopearson.com/en/toandfrom/directions/. I ran the search from Yorkdale Mall in Toronto and here is the directions it gave me via the 401W:

      • Take the ramp onto ON-401 W
      • Continue onto ON-409 W
      • Take the ON-427/Regional Road 7/Viscount Road/Airport Road exit
      • Keep left at the fork, follow signs for ON-427 S/ON-401 W
      • Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Viscount Road
      • Turn left onto Viscount Rd
      • Continue onto Campus Rd
      • Turn left onto Elmbank Rd
      • Take the 1st left onto Network Rd

      Assuming these directions are accurate and work I do not know why there is not a big sign where the exit from the 409 to 427/Regional Road 7/Viscount Road/Airport Road is to indicate you should follow that route to the airport parking lot.

  2. Clide Rockwell
    December 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    You’re right, the cell phone lot is impossible to find, I found it by accident.

    If you’re coming from the 409, you can avoid driving through the terminal by exiting at Viscount, turn left and cross the 409, take the first left at the lights onto Elmbank, and then left onto Network Road to cross back over the 409 and into the cell phone lot. You will miss Network Road as its hidden, especially in the dark. Just make a U-turn at the bus yard.

    I wish they would sign it properly, it seems like an underutilized service.

  3. pandith
    September 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Cell Phone Parking is available at all big city airports around the world. That’s the ONLY reason why Pearson has Cell Phone Parking. But they don’t want to make it easy for you to find and use. They can’t make money by sending you off to a free, convenient parking facility, can they? So, the obligatory signs are posted for you to find only AFTER you have made your way to the “Arrivals”. By then it’s too late to go looking for the Cell phone lot and you hang around and wait to get kicked out by the attendants or you PAY AND PARK!!!

    • September 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      @pandith: Interesting theory. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    July 18, 2014 at 7:46 am

    My cell phone is with Solo Mobile and it works great everywhere . Way up north snowmobiling even where cell service is weak. The phone would not work in the cell lot ( figures after all I am in a cell phone parking lot) it worked perfect as soon as we left the lot.Very upset relatives waiting at the airport.

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