Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Toronto Domestic, Canada


The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Domestic represents Air Canada’s top flagship domestic business lounge. The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Domestic is a reasonably new lounge offering that offers a spacious, but occasionally busy lounge area frequented by Canada’s most hard core business travellers. How does Canada’s flagship domestic lounge compare to most international competitors?

This post is one chapter on our trip to the Republic of Tanzania and the Islands of the Seychelles. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and enhanced through World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Toronto Domestic, Toronto Pearson International, Terminal One, Canada

Thanks to the Africa to North America jet lag, I was up at about 4 AM as a result of our return from Africa on our Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Toronto flight. Being unable to sleep at the Sheraton Gateway in Toronto Airport hotel, we ended up waking up and leaving the hotel for Toronto Pearson International Airport at about 5:30 AM.

Checking into Air Canada Business Class:

We took the airport train back one stop to the Toronto International Airport Terminal 1. We made our way over to the Air Canada Business Class departure area to check into Air Canada Signature Business Class Toronto – Vancouver. The Air Canada Business Class departure area is on the far right of the departures hall in Aisle 1.

The area has been dressed up recently to appear a little more exclusive. This includes a host at the entrance ensuring that you are allowed in the confines of the business class / signature class check in area.

The Air Canada Signature Business Class Check In Area
A Privacy Wall Screens Travellers from the Regular Airport
The Air Canada Business Class Check In – A List of Privileged Customers
Behind the Curtain: An Empty and Peaceful Check In Area
A Quiet Check In Zone

Our Air Canada Signature Check In was processed promptly and our bags were tagged to Vancouver. We wandered over to the security screening check point, which is immediately behind the business class check in area. I asked the somewhat unhelpful Canadian Air Security Transport Agent whether the business class or the Nexus line was shorter and she just waved her hand over saying “they’re both busy”. It’s a blind turn so it’s probably important to get the information before you commit to a line in the event of over zealous line police.

We committed ourselves to the Nexus line, but then after several turns in the maze, learned that the business class line was almost non existent. We ended up cutting the line (unchecked!) to the business line and were through to the secure side within minutes.

Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Domestic:

After security, we cut left and took the elevator up one floor to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Terminal 1 Domestic. It is located immediately after security in Terminal One and is accessed by elevators on the left.

Accessing the Maple Leaf Lounge by Elevators after Security
The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Domestic
Map Courtesy of Toronto Pearson Airport Authority

Accessing the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was accessed today courtesy of a business class ticket for our Air Canada Signature Business Class Toronto – Vancouver flight.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Reception at Toronto Domestic

You could also get access into the lounge through a business class ticket on Air Canada under the Star Alliance Lounge policy, by purchasing an annual lounge membership, or through select Canadian based credit card memberships affiliated with American Express.

Access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is also permitted for Star Alliance Gold Customers travelling in any class of travel. Access is permitted for a Star Alliance member airline operated flight which departs at the same day as the visit or latest by 05:00 AM the next morning. If your boarding pass does not carry the Star Alliance Gold indicator, you will need to also show your valid Star Alliance Gold card. Under these circumstances, one guest is permitted.

On today’s visit, there was a small line to get in, thanks to only one lounge attendant working the front desk at about 5:45 AM. Access was provided thanks to class of service from the ticket. It was refreshing to have lounge access when flying domestically, unlike the United States where you often have to have a lounge membership, a credit card, or a connecting international flight.


Inside the Air Canada Toronto Domestic Lounge:

The lounge is regularly refreshed with newer furniture, likely thanks to the heavy traffic volumes through this particular location. During this visit, lounge featured some well worn dark leather loungers. The lounge is a much nicer and larger space than the Plaza Premium Priority Pass Lounge that is also available in the Toronto Pearson Terminal 1 Domestic.

Elevated Lounge Seating

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge occupies a great space on top of the Pearson Airport, featuring lots of natural light and reasonable views that are somewhat obstructed by the contour of the airport roof line.

Plenty of Daylight Windows for Weather Watching on Days when the Snow Flies

There are lots of lounge chairs available for seating. As a result of our morning visit, the lounge was a lot more empty than it usually is. On my regular travels through this space, it’s often difficult to find a pair of seats.

Lounge Seating is a Combination of Loungers and Occassional Chairs
The Back Hallways Lead to Shower Suites
The Quietest Rear Corners
Morning Light in Toronto

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge occupies the whole top floor of this particular space. There was also a quieter side on the opposite side of reception that seems to get less use. There are office workstations over in this area as well.

The Quieter Side of the Lounge

Food and Beverage:

A Full Buffet Lounge Breakfast

At the time of our visit, breakfast was being served. There was an ample supply of scrambled eggs with green onions, potato pancakes, yoghurts and sausages. This was complimented by a cappuccino. It was most certainly enough for a light breakfast replacement.

Plenty of Yoghurt
Along with the Hot Stuff: Scrambled Eggs and Triangle Hashbrowns
The Most Sausage Links I’ve seen in one place in a while

The dining area also featured table and chairs seating for those looking for a table to sit at.

Table and Chairs Seating

Overall, the lounge is a solid place; assuming you can find a lounge seat. I have often found this location to be particularly crowded during the peak weekday afternoon connection hours when it is often full to capacity.

We would end up continuing onto Air Canada Signature Business Class Toronto – Vancouver, leaving in slightly better shape than when we arrived.


The Bottom Line: The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto International

Overall, the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Domestic is a solid flagship lounge for its domestic operations. The lounge is large, has lots of places to sit and you can usually find somewhere to sit. The food offerings are substantial and aside from the sometimes grumpy staff, the lounge is a comfortable place to spend some time. It’s definitely nicer than the Plaza Premium Priority Pass lounge that is also in the Toronto Pearson Terminal 1 domestic terminal.

If you visited the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Domestic, what were your impressions ?

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