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Of the six Plaza Premium Lounges at Pearson Airport, this is probably the most difficult to locate.
If your Air Canada journey begins in Toronto at Terminal 1, the lounge is immediately accessible on your right after passing through security. I’m weighing my words: it’s IMMEDIATELY after you pass security, on your right.
Do not proceed to the escalator straight ahead, which leads down to the departure floor. Stay on the same floor as security and turn right – it’s literally next to security.
If, like me, you travel with Air Canada and transfer at Pearson airport (Terminal 1) to get to the U.S., you’ll have access to the Plaza Premium Lounge in the domestic zone (before passing through customs) and also to a second Plaza Premium Lounge in the cross-border zone (after clearing customs). Be aware that the Plaza Premium lounge in the cross-border area is tiny and looks like a gas station snack bar, in my opinion.
So, time permitting, the trick is to stop off at this Plaza Premium Lounge in the domestic area, as it’s much larger and more welcoming. But leave yourself enough time to clear customs afterwards. As the photo shows, first locate the area with the large flower petal-shaped screens displaying the departures, climb the adjacent staircase and turn immediately to your left.
The red arrows point the way to the lounge entrance.
The lounge is open daily from 5:30 am to 10 pm. It’s located in the heart of Terminal 1’s domestic D-gate area, so it’s easily accessible (once you know where to find it!) no matter which gate you’re departing from.
A lounge accessible through credit cards
When I arrived at around 8 a.m., there was no waiting and I quickly realized that everything had been renovated recently (in 2022); everything still looks new. Entering the lounge, the size of the space is impressive for a Plaza Premium lounge.
It occupies 4,900 square feet of floor space on a single level, and has a seating capacity of 120. It doesn’t feel cramped at all, with large windows giving a great view of the domestic departures level below.
My lounge experience
Having left Ottawa on an early-morning flight, when the Aspire lounge wasn’t yet open, my goal was to have breakfast during my stopover in Toronto, before continuing on to Las Vegas.
The large bay window provides a view of both the tarmac and the departure hall below.
The Plaza Premium Lounge met my needs just as I had anticipated. It’s true that a breakfast is just a breakfast, and it’s hard not to find something you like about it. I can’t comment on the food offered at lunch or dinner, but to start the day, the food on offer was excellent and varied.
For an additional fee of $22, you can use a shower. I did not visit the shower room during my visit. But if the cleanliness of the bathroom is anything to go by, I probably wouldn’t mind using the shower room.
For an additional $20, you can access a small VIP area, away from the rest of the lounge. It apparently serves food (à la carte) and drinks not available in the regular lounge section. No one was occupying the VIP area when I visited.
My visit to this Plaza Premium Lounge was exactly what I had anticipated.
The food was more than adequate to replace a restaurant meal and satisfy my appetite on my flight to Las Vegas.
No soft drinks were available in cans or bottles, but it would have been possible to take a piece of fruit or a yoghurt with me when I left the lounge.
Definitely a great “plan B” if the Maple Leaf Lounge gets too busy.
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