Review: Plaza Premium Concept Pop Up Lounge – Toronto, Canada
Plaza Premium Lounge has a strong footprint across Canada. When their main lounge at Toronto Pearson International Airport Domestic Terminal One would close for a much needed renovation at the start of the pandemic, Plaza Premium set up this Concept Pop Up Lounge in Terminal One Toronto Pearson so that travellers departing this terminal would still have access to a lounge. I would get the opportunity to test out it’s features on a recent trip departing Toronto Pearson International Airport.
This post is one chapter on our trip during the pandemic to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Buy a Car. This trip was enhanced through Air Canada Aeroplan Elite Status 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.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Travelling 4,300km to Buy a Car
- Air Canada Signature Business Class Pandemic Edition: Vancouver – Toronto
- Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- The Process of Buying an Audi on the Internet, Ontario, Canada
- Plaza Premium Toronto Concept Pop Up Lounge – Terminal 1, Toronto, Canada
- Air Canada Signature Business Class Pandemic Edition: Toronto – Vancouver
- My Experience Shipping a Car Across Canada
Review: Plaza Premium Concept Pop Up Lounge – Toronto Pearson Terminal One, Ontario, Canada
Plaza Premium operates many lounges across Canada. Their lounge at Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal One – Domestic has been under renovation since March 2020, since well before the pandemic. On my last visit through the terminal, the lounge was still closed for renovation.
In order to continue services, Plaza Premium had installed a pop up lounge outside of security on the public side of Terminal One Toronto Pearson International Airport while their renovations were continuing. When I stopped by in February and more recently in June 2022, it didn’t look like much was happening at their old original space so hopefully they haven’t given up on the project. The lounge renovation was expected to be completed by May 2022, so it appears quite behind schedule.
It’s also worth mentioning that the other Plaza Premium Lounges at Toronto Pearson airport do not appear to be impacted by the Terminal One – Domestic closure. These locations appear to be running normally.
Locating the Plaza Premium Concept Lounge:
After checking into Air Canada Signature Business Class Toronto – Vancouver, I wandered over to the Plaza Premium Concept Pop Up Lounge.
The only space that they could get was some outside of security “public” space located in a closed food court that likely closed as result of the pandemic.
I crossed the security zone area, and wandered over to the lounge. I passed by the abandoned Starbucks, which had been shuttered since travellers only were permitted inside the airport itself.
I eventually continued on past the doomed retail outlets towards the space used for the Plaza Premium Concept Lounge. The way was well marked by temporary pop up banners.
It’s especially worth noting that this lounge is on the public side of the airport. Given that Toronto Pearson International Airport has been known to have substantial security lines at time, it’s a wise idea to keep your eyes on the security line length, prior to committing to any length of time at the concept pop up lounge.
While attending the lounge reportedly offers a complimentary fast track card, I didn’t receive one perhaps because I was already travelling in Air Canada Signature Business Class Toronto – Vancouver, and would have been entitled to priority screening anyway.
Accessing the Plaza Premium Lounge:
The Plaza Premium Lounge at Toronto Pearson Terminal One is accessed through a variety of methods:
The Lounge offers pay entries at the front reception, subject to space availability. Prices listed on the door started at $50 CAD, which is similar to the advance on line rate.
The Lounge offers visits booked through their website, in advance. These visits are tiered based on the amount of time that you stay. Rates during our visit were between $50.87 CAD ($40 USD) for a two hour visit, to $60.81 CAD ($50 USD) for a three hour stay.
For members holding the American Express Platinum Cards, access is also granted through the American Express Membership Lounge Program. Access can be granted by presenting an American Express Platinum Card at the front counter. Plaza Premium Lounges used to be part of Priority Pass until their unceremonious divorce during the pandemic.
Access to the lounge was granted through the American Express Platinum Card on a complimentary basis. The manager reception swiped my American Express Platinum Card and allowed me in.
Inside the Plaza Premium Lounge:
The Plaza Premium Concept Pop Up Lounge has plunked itself down in an otherwise seating area of the food fair concourse. In a sense, this was a great use of otherwise unused space.
There were impressive secure side views of the walkway amid natural day light spaces. The high ceilings of the public departures hall also gave the area a lot of natural light. This was probably the most redeeming feature of the lounge. It was a marked and noted upgrade from their old Plaza Premium space, which was quite compact and cosy.
The Plaza Premium Concept Pop Up Lounge space has been occupied by the usual colourful Plaza Premium chairs that are typically found in its lounges around the world. The lounge was almost completely deserted during my visit here, and there was no challenges locating a place to sit.
In addition to the usual Plaza Premium Loungers, there were also a combination of tables and chairs available for seating.
Food and Beverage:
There were some food items available for consumption. I never usually find Plaza Premium Lounge Food to be all that appealing, although I do commend them for usually offering more food at regular times throughout the day compared to the legacy airline lounges that typically only offer meal type food and meal times.
The food and beverage set up at the Plaza Premium Concept Lounge is a combination of pre-served and made to order food. Most of the food and beverage service is oriented around the bar, which is covered in service offerings.
There were also stand alone tables that were offering some small salty snacks. Like many Plaza Premium Lounges and Asian restaurants, there were models of the available food items.
Never one to pass up a food source, I tried some pasta which came as mushroom Alfredo over Spaghetti. While the presentation didn’t look all to appealing, it was actually much tastier than it looked.
In terms of beverages, the lounge offered a pop up full service bar service. In a trend that I’ve noticed in other Plaza Premium Lounges, alcohol was mostly for purchase and not available on a complimentary basis. As a result, I stuck with water and orange juice.
After a short stay, I headed off to my Air Canada Signature Business Class Toronto – Vancouver flight.
The Bottom Line: The Plaza Premium Concept Pop Up Lounge Toronto
The Plaza Premium Concept Pop Up Lounge was designed to be an interim lounge space renovations were completed on their primary lounge space within the secure side of Terminal One at Toronto Pearson International Airport. In this temporary space, the lounge offers a much more spacious version than the old Plaza Premium Lounge. The main disadvantage is that this lounge is located on the wrong side of security, which greatly impair it’s usage and relaxation features when long security lines are becoming ever more present at Toronto Pearson International Airport.