- Introduction: A Whirlwind Aeroplan Adventure
- How To Redeem Aeroplan Points Like A Pro
- Review: SAS Lounge Chicago Airport (ORD)
- Review: Austrian Business Class 777 (ORD-VIE)
- Review: Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere
- Review: SKY Lounge Vienna Airport (VIE)
- Review: Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna Airport (VIE)
- Review: Austrian Business Class A320 (VIE-FCO)
- Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Rome Airport (FCO)
- Review: Gulf Air Business Class A321LR (FCO-BAH)
- Review: Gulf Air Lounge Bahrain Airport (BAH)
- Review: Bahrain Airport Hotel (Priority Pass)
- New Bahrain Airport Terminal: What A Nifty Hub!
- Review: Gulf Air Business Class 787-9 (BAH-SIN)
- Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Lounge T3 (SIN)
- Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class 787 (SIN-SGN)
- Review: Le Saigonnais Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh City Airport (SGN)
- Review: Bamboo Airways Business Class A321neo (SGN-HAN)
- Review: VATC Sleep Pods Hanoi Airport (HAN)
- Review: Song Hong Business Lounge Hanoi Airport (HAN)
- Review: Bamboo Airways Business Class 787 (HAN-FRA)
- Review: Sheraton Frankfurt Airport
- Review: Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt (FRA)
- Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt (FRA)
- Review: Air Canada Business Class 777 (FRA-YYZ)
- Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Transborder (YYZ)
- Review: Air Canada Business Class 787 (YYZ-MIA)
For the last lounge visit during my whirlwind Aeroplan adventure, I visited the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in the transborder area of Toronto Airport Terminal 1. I had just arrived from Frankfurt in Air Canada’s Boeing 777 business class, and after a six hour layover was connecting to Miami in Air Canada’s Boeing 787 business class.
I found the Maple Leaf Lounge to have a great selection of food and drinks and lots of natural light, though the lounge is also in need of a renovation.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto location
Toronto Airport has a US Pre-Clearance facility, meaning that you clear immigration prior to boarding your US-bound flight. Fortunately the whole transit process was quite easy. Upon getting off my flight from Frankfurt, I followed the signage toward US departures. I then had to go through security and immigration (I could use Global Entry), and then I found myself in the transborder section of Terminal 1. I was in the transborder portion of the terminal within 20 minutes of arriving from Frankfurt.
Once in the terminal, I found it easy to find the Maple Leaf Lounge, as the signage was clear. The lounge is located on level three (above the main concourse level), and you can access those elevators from two different levels, depending on where you’re coming from.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto hours
The hours for the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto vary depending on flight schedules. You can expect that the lounge will be open prior to any US-bound Air Canada departure, from morning to night.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto entry requirements
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges are pretty typical Star Alliances lounges when it comes to access requirements:
- Star Alliance Gold members flying same day on a Star Alliance airline have access to the Maple Leaf Lounge, and can bring one guest
- Air Canada business class passengers flying same day have access to the Maple Leaf Lounge, and can’t bring any guests
- Those with an Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership, as well as United Club members, have access to the Maple Leaf Lounge
There are some other niche ways to get into Maple Leaf Lounges, so you can find Air Canada’s full lounge access page here.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto seating & layout
The Maple Leaf Lounge in the transborder terminal is quite large, though also feels decidedly past its prime. When you enter the lounge, you can either turn left or right, and both sides are roughly the same size.
When you enter and walk to the left, you’ll find rows of seats facing one another.
At the far end of the left side of the lounge is the business center, with a bunch of cubicles and a printer.
There’s also a TV room on this side, with high-top seating and some reclining seats.
There’s also a limited amount of seating along the walls in this section.
When you enter the lounge and turn right, you’ll find seating that’s very similar to what’s available on the other side.
Deep into this part of the lounge there’s an area that’s much narrower, which has some more seats. This place generally seems to stay mostly quiet, as many people don’t venture this deep into the lounge. That’s where I ended up sitting.
I appreciate that there are huge windows throughout the lounge, which let in lots of natural light. In January that’s not necessarily all that inspiring, but I’m sure the weather is much cheerier in summer. The lounge also has views of the apron, though they’re a bit obstructed by the roof.
The lounge could definitely use a refresh, and it’s my understanding that this should be happening in the not too distant future. Not only was the decor a bit drab, but the lounge also lacks outlets, as most seats don’t have any.
It’s interesting to me that the lounge stayed roughly equally full throughout my stay. Usually airlines have banked departures and you’ll find that lounge crowding varies over several hours. However, the Maple Leaf Lounge stayed consistently busy. It wasn’t uncomfortably crowded, but it was also far from empty.
When I didn’t want anything else to eat or drink, I eventually ventured into the terminal and sat there. After all, there was a lot more personal space in some of the gate areas compared to the lounge.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto food & drinks
Compared to what you’ll otherwise find at most lounges in North America, the Maple Leaf Lounge had an impressive selection of food and drinks. Of course this pales in comparison to what’s available in the Air Canada Signature Suite, though that’s in the non-transborder international terminal.
The food selection included finger sandwiches, several types of salads, veggies, dips, soup, sliders, rice, and two main hot dishes (chilli chicken and Thai curry pasta).
Then there were cookies, brownies, and apples for dessert.
There were also two separate drink stations, with self serve beer, wine, liquor, soft drinks water, coffee, and tea.
Much like with the food, I thought the drink selection was pretty good, better than you’d find at most lounges in the United States.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto bathrooms
The Maple Leaf Lounge has one area with bathrooms. This area felt oddly updated compared to the rest of the lounge, and had Molton Brown amenities.
Unfortunately the transborder lounge doesn’t have any shower suites.
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in the transborder area of Toronto Airport has lots of natural light, and a large selection of food and drinks. However, the decor and lack of readily available outlets leaves a bit to be desired. Hopefully this lounge eventually gets a refresh. In the meantime, it’s a perfectly pleasant place to kill some time before a US-bound flight, especially if you’re hungry and/or thirsty.
What’s your take on the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto?
Clearly you did not visit this lounge during a busy time. The elevators get so backed up that they have to open the fire exit stairs so that passengers can walk down rather than miss their flights.
The shower suites are under renovation and will be open very shortly.
The food options seem better than back when I was frequently flying AC to go to the states 5-10 years ago.
Do they still only allow alcohol during certain hours? I always found that bizarre.
But at the end of the day, if you have to go to the smaller US cities that international airlines don't go, Air Canada seems to have found their niche of being at least one step above their US competitors. Not my favourite way to cross an ocean, but there are worse options...
Having been in this lounge many times, I don't actually feel that it is outdated. Other than the outlets, what makes you feel that way?
"Thai curry pasta"? There's no such thing as Thai pasta. Besides, you can hardly call that a hot "dish". Just a cheap filler
I guess the AC lounge made it into a thing by pouring and mixing Thai Curry with pasta.
4 stars is too generous. Sure the food and drinks are decent compared to other NA lounges but it’s a zoo most times and like you said, needs a refresh.
An apple is NOT a dessert!
Ben is right though if you think of apples as nature’s candy, the healthy snack choice compared to chocolates, chips, and cookies.
Interesting- you arrived from Frankfurt, do you have to go through Canadian immigration before going through US immigration, or do you go directly to US? I’d definitely consider a Toronto connection if the latter…
You can go directly from international to US immigration, i.e. bypassing Canadian immigration, at least in terminal 1 (star alliance)
As a United Club member and Star Alliance Gold who's flying YYZ - ORD on Tuesday, this article is pertinent to my interests and well-timed. Thank you, Ben, for your efforts. The lounge doesn't look too bad either.
Have you ever thought about moving out of Chicago? I grew up there and thought it was a decent city, then I became an adult and studied and worked in places like NYC and SF and realized that Chicago is really a poseur of a city full of underachievers.
Only an underachiever would say that.
Well that wasn't called for. Don't sound like you graduated puberty
Born, bred, grew up, graduated from The University of Chicago (home of 80 Nobel winners), lived elsewhere, came back, resident in the suburbs, and will die here. Greatest city on Earth, poseur boy.
Never spent much time in Chicago until three years ago when two of my kids started at UChicago. Now I visit 3-4 times a year. It’s a fantastic place. Heading there in early March again.
The irony of someone who spends most of his waking life commenting on every post here calling others underachievers is not lost on us.