Buying a SIM Card at Toronto Airport (Pearson) 2024: Travelers Guide

If you are planning a trip to Toronto, Canada and wondering where to buy a SIM card at Toronto airport for tourists, this guide is exactly for you. Here, you learn which SIM card to get, up-to-date price and whether you should buy it at the airport or city center or anywhere else. Also, you can find our recommendation on the best plans to buy for a rewarding trip in Canada.

sim card at Toronto Airport

I. Why buy a SIM Card in Toronto?

Good to know: Though Canada is a developed country, buying a SIM card in Canada is rather awful.

There are many options for keeping connected in Toronto, Canada such as free Wifi, pocket Wifi, international roaming, prepaid local SIM card, etc.

Of all these ways, a local SIM card may be the most convenient and budget-friendly option. With just a few dollars for multiple GB valid used in many days, you can access mobile data and call/text plans at any time, anywhere even in outlying areas. Besides, you do not need to search for free Wifi or worry about pocket Wifi rental or high charges of international roaming.

► Our recommendation:
You will appreciate the flexibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness a Toronto SIM card offers over other costly options.

A prepaid tourist SIM card helps you stay connected when visiting Toronto
A Toronto SIM card helps you stay connected when visiting this stunning city

Which type of SIM card to buy for Toronto?

If you want to access the Internet for map navigation, transport, and information search while also keeping in touch with family and friends via chat apps, get a traditional SIM card in Canada with data.

However, if your phone is supported with eSIM feature, consider using eSIM because it is the simplest way to have data on your phone during your trip in Toronto, Canada. You order it online, receive a QR code and instructions via email and you are ready to go.

Pro Tip: Many tourists traveling to Toronto, Canada use VPN services for personal data protection.

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card for Toronto?

Below are 03 ways to get a local SIM card in Toronto.

1. Online before departure Toronto SIM & eSIM

You can buy a physical SIM card or an eSIM online and have it delivered to your house before departure
Buy a physical IM card or an eSIM online before departure

Toronto SIM cards can be ordered online and delivered to your address before the trip. This way, you will get the Internet right when you reach Toronto. eSIM is even more time-saving as you can buy and activate it online within just several minutes.

Where to buy: websites of reliable third-party SIM providers 

What to prepare: email, payment method (cash/ card), delivery address, eSIM-compatible device (if you buy eSIM)

Price: affordable, varies by carrier and plan

► Check if your phone is supported with eSIM technology by vising our eSIM compatible device list.

2. At Toronto Airport – Pearson International Airport – YYZ

It is convenient to get a tourist SIM card at Toronto Airport
Map of Toronto Airport

Getting a SIM card at Toronto airport – Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is a convenient way for tourists who want immediate Internet upon arrival. However, you will have fewer plan options and have to pay more than buying in phone stores in Toronto City. 

Navigating Toronto Airport is easy because it is rather small. There is only one exit into the arrival hall.

After customs in the international arrival areas, you will see booths and kiosks selling SIM cards for tourists (Chatr booth, Currency Exchange booth, etc). See in-depth details in the next part. 

Where to buy: booths selling Canada SIM cards at the International Arrival area.

What to prepare: passport for ID proof, cash/ credit card

3. In Toronto center

It is advisable to get a Canadian tourist SIM card in the city of Toronto
Getting a SIM card in Toronto city center is a great option

Getting a Canada SIM card in Toronto center always offers better deals compared to buying at Pearson International Airport. There are a variety of plans with the best prices offered. 

Where to buy: official stores of main operators (Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility, Telus Mobility, etc.), convenience stores (7-Eleven, Walmart), gas stations (Petro-Canada)

What to prepare: passport, hotel address

III. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Toronto Airport?

Good to know: Toronto airport is pretty chaotic and not modern at all.

There are 02 places selling tourist SIM card for travelers to Canada.

As soon as you walk out of the arrival areas, you will see the Currency Exchange booth which sells prepaid SIM cards with 4G connections from Telus Mobility (one of the four major carriers in Canada) on your left-hand side. 

  • Location: Level 1 International Arrivals, Terminal 1
  • Opening hours: Everyday, 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Tourists can buy tourist SIM cards for Toronto at the Currency Exchange kiosk
You can buy a Canadian tourist SIM card at the Currency Exchange kiosk

You also find Chart’s booth right in this area. However, Chart only offers 3G connection speeds.

  • Location: Level 1 International Arrivals, Terminal 1
  • Opening hours: Everyday, 6:00 am – 11:00 pm
Kiosk selling SIM cards at Toronto Airport
Kiosk selling SIM cards at Toronto Airport

Advice: The plan options sold at this airport are limited and the prices are much higher than in city stores or through online orders. Therefore, you had better consider carefully before deciding to buy an eSIM card at Toronto airport.

IV. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Toronto Airport – Registration Process

It is time to explore the steps to get a SIM card at Toronto Airport as a tourist.

  • After getting through customs and immigration, look for the Currency Exchange kiosk or the Chatr booth.
  • Examine the available SIM card plans, each with a different data allowance and validity time. 
  • Choose the option that best meets your needs. Payment is accepted in cash or via credit card.
  • Show your passport to verify your identity and address. English-speaking personnel will collect contact information.
  • The SIM card will be activated immediately once payment is confirmed. It is pre-installed in the package.
  • Insert your unlocked phone’s SIM card and wait for it to register with the network (1-2 minutes).
  • You may then begin utilizing the cellular data, calls, and texts that are included in your plan.
  • Wifi is available at the airport so you can use it before the SIM is enabled.  
  • Customer support numbers are included if you want assistance while using a SIM card.

► Our recommendation:

If you want immediate Internet upon arrival or have limited time, you can get a Canada SIM card at Toronto Airport. However, you may have to deal with limited choices, old technology, extremely high prices, and inconvenient activation.

It is worth considering cheaper and better options by purchasing eSIM online or buying in the city center for a range of plans and better deals.

V. How much does a Canada SIM card Cost at Toronto airport?

The price of a Canada SIM card at Toronto airport is generally more expensive than the similar sold in the city center. Depending the network carrier, the plan, SIM cards’ price can vary. It cost from $25 CAD to $5- CAD for 1GB to 8GB of data plus with call and text in Canada.

Note: The price is updated at the time of writing this guide. For the most updated information, contact the provider.

Below we will introduce details on Canada SIM card plans you can find at Toronto Airport.

VI. Best Tourist Toronto Airport SIM Card Options + Price

Rogers, Bell, Telus, and Freedom are the four major mobile carriers in Canada
Four main mobile network operators in Canada

Good to know: $1 CAD = $0.73 USD, $1 USD = $1.37 CAD (as of November 2023)

There are some SIM Card options for tourists at Toronto Airport:

1. Canada SIM card in Chatr booth at Toronto Airport

Chatr operates on the Roger Canada network.

Some plans sold at Chatr Toronto Airport are:

  • $35 CAD: 1 GB data (3G speed) + unlimited call & text in Canada for 30 days
  • $40 CAD: 4 GB data (3G speed) + unlimited call & text in Canada for 30 days.
  • $50 CAD: 8 GB data (3G speed) + unlimited call & text in Canada and US for 30 days.

2. Canada SIM card at Currency Exchange

This kiosk sells 4 different Canada prepaid SIM cards for tourists and all of them are from Telus Mobility Canada:

  • $45 CAD: 1 GB data (valid for 3 days) – unlimited call + local/ international SMS 
  • $67 CAD: 3 GB data (valid for 5 days) – unlimited call + local/ international SMS
  • $84 CAD: 4 GB data (valid for 7 days) – unlimited call + local/ international SMS
  • $96 CAD: 5 GB data (valid for 14 days) – unlimited call + local/ international SMS

► Our recommendation: The options available at Toronto Airport seem to be limited and the prices are very expensive. You had better consider buying SIM cards in the city center, getting an eSIM online, or buying a SIM card online before departure.

You can see the table below that list down plans of the four major operators in Canada. The plans here are rather different in compared with the ones sold at Toronto airport.

OperatorData/ ValidityPrice (CAD/USD)
Rogers Wireless4.5GB/ 30 days(Unlimited local calls + local/ international SMS)$45/$33.38
Rogers Wireless8GB/ 30 days(Unlimited local calls + local/ international SMS)$55/$40.85
Telus Mobility5GB/ 30 days(unlimited local calls + local/ international SMS)$45/$33.38
Telus Mobility10GB/ 30 days(unlimited local calls + local/ international SMS)$55/$40.85
Bell Mobility4.5GB/ 30 days(unlimited local calls + local/ international SMS)$45/$33.38
Bell Mobility8GB/ 30 days(unlimited local calls + local/ international SMS)$55/$40.85
Freedom Mobile20GB/ 30 days(unlimited talk & text in Canada)$34/ $24.82
Freedom Mobile30GB/ 30 days(unlimited talk & text in Canada)$40/$29.20

Note: Plan prices and details are subject to change.

VII. Best Mobile Network in Toronto – Coverage & Speed

Canada has 04 major mobile network carriers:

  • Bell Mobility
  • Rogers Wireless
  • Telus Mobility
  • Freedom Mobile

Let’s have a look at the coverage and speed of the four major network providers in Toronto, Canada to see which one is the best.

1. Coverage in Toronto

The four major network carriers in Canada have extensive coverage in Toronto
Coverage maps of four main carriers in Toronto, Canada (source: nperf)

Rogers, Bell, and Telus have extensive coverage across Toronto City and its surrounding suburbs with strong 4G/ 5G networks.

Freedom has less coverage compared to the big three.

Overall, tourists to Toronto will achieve reliable coverage with Rogers, Bell, or Telus while Freedom remains a budget option but with more limited performance. 

 2. Data speed Toronto

The main network carriers in Toronto Canada have fast download and upload speeds
Data speed of major carriers in Toronto Canada

We can see that Bell has the fastest download speed and Telus has the 2nd fastest download speed, 75.2Mbps and 73.9Mbps respectively. Rogers has an upload speed of 11.6 Mbps – 0.9-1.2 Mbps faster than Telus and Bell.

Our recommendation:

  • If you prioritize coverage across Toronto and rapid data speeds, you may choose Rogers.
  • Bell and Telus are also excellent options as they offer many attractive SIM card options with affordable plans.
  • Remember to choose the SIM card plan that best fits your priorities and needs.  

VIII. Canada eSIM for Toronto – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card Toronto

Getting an eSIM instead of a prepaid physical SIM card when visiting Toronto may be an excellent choice. This is why:

  • No need to find physical stores. You can buy it and activate it online from your phone.
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Flexible packages that work seamlessly across main networks in Toronto, Canada like Rogers, Bell, Telus, and Freedom
  • Easily switch or add data plans without having to swap SIM cards
  • Support for 4G and 5G everywhere

Canada eSIM from Gigago offers tourists a wide selection of both data-only plans and data + voice plans, 24/7 support, and diverse packages with large data allowances so they can travel and access the Internet hassle-free.

Gigago offers multiple data plan options for Canada, starting from a 5-day plan with 1GB per day for $14 with $14.00 . They also have 7-day, 15-day, and 30-day plans ranging from 1GB to 20GB of total data, or 1GB to 2GB per day, with prices from $14 up to $141.50.

► See more details about Gigago eSIM plans for Canada.

IX. FAQs

Is Wifi available at the Toronto Pearson International Airport?

Definitely! Free Wifi is accessible throughout the entire airport terminals – both pre-security and post-security areas at Toronto Pearson International Airport. This includes gates, shops, restaurants, and common areas.

Do I need ID to buy a prepaid SIM card at Toronto Airport?

Identification is needed when purchasing a Canadian SIM card at Toronto Airport. As a tourist, you need a passport for ID proof.

Should I get a SIM card at the Toronto airport or in the Toronto center?

We recommend getting a SIM card at Toronto airport if you have a tight schedule on arrival. Otherwise, buy a SIM card in the city center for various options and better prices.

X. Conclusion

To sum up, buying a Canadian SIM card at Toronto airport is a convenient way for you to stay connected soon after reaching Toronto. It is advisable to get a SIM card for Toronto from the official stores of big network providers in the city for the best deals. We recommend purchasing SIM cards from Telus, Bell, or Rogers. Their extensive coverage will ensure you stay online wherever you go in Canada. An eSIM is also an excellent choice if you prioritize flexibility and value.

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