MIAMI – Today in aviation, Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) opened its first modern terminal, Aeroquay 1, in 1964.
Originally named Malton Airport, YYZ took nearly 20 years to build a modest terminal building to house what was then the most up-to-date aviation technology operated by the Toronto Harbor Commission.
The first landing was on August 29, 1938, at Malton Airport by an American Airways DC-3 arriving from Buffalo.
New terminals and runways were rapidly added as the demand for air travel increased. Aeroquay 1’s unique circular shape could handle up to 3.5 million passengers. Until closing in 2004, it served nearly 9 million passengers a year.
Terminals 2 and 3 were installed in 1972 and 1993, respectively, to meet the rising demand. In 2004, construction on a new Terminal 1 began. Pearson currently runs two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, both of which are built on a linear layout. Terminal 2 was demolished in 2008.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), a non-profit corporation, was chosen by Transport Canada in 1996 to operate Pearson under a 60-year contract. The GTAA is in charge of improving aviation infrastructure, safety, passenger knowledge, and economic growth.
GTAA reported that it oversees almost every aspect of what happens on the 19 square kilometers that make up our airfield and terminals.
History of Toronto Pearson International Airport
In 1937, the Canadian government decided to finance the building of Toronto’s two airports. One location was chosen for the Toronto Islands, which is the new Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ).
The other location chosen was northeast of Toronto, near Malton, which was meant to be a replacement for the downtown airport but ended up being its replacement.
The Toronto municipal government sold Malton Airport to the government of Canada in 1958, under Transport Canada management, and it was later renamed Toronto International Airport.
In 1984, the airport was again renamed Lester B. Pearson International Airport in honor of Canada’s 14th Prime Minister, a Toronto native who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.
Featured image: A view of Toronto International Airport in April 1973, showing the original Terminal 1 or Aeroquay One (now demolished).Photo: By Ted Grant – This image is available from Library and Archives Canada under the reproduction reference number e004665939 and under the MIKAN ID number 3614856. Images from Library and Archives Canada., Copyrighted free use, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3557016. Article sources: torontopearson.com, blogto.com, mississauga.com.