This winter, the abnormally wintry weather has caused several hundred delays and cancellations at Pearson Airport. And since March just rolled in as a lamb, chances are we’re not out of the snowy woods yet. But fear not, there’s more than enough to keep even the most curmudgeonly traveller occupied (in Terminal 1, anyway—if you’re stuck in T3 you’re pretty much limited to the Boutique iStore and a Freshii).
1. Katharina Grosse’s “Untitled, 2003”
This Berlin-based artist’s (and Art in America cover subject) bold splash of colour is fit for long contemplation once you’ve grown weary of memorizing the CP24 news cycle.
2. Children’s play area
It’s no Chuck E. Cheese ballroom, but the slides and toys are distracting enough to curb any chants of “are we there yet” before the trip begins.
3. Avro Arrows in the Malton Airport Gallery
The small gallery space is currently playing host to five miniature replicas of Canada’s most infamous contribution to the space race, on loan from the Canadian Air and Space Museum.
4. The Aviation Wall
This collection of memorabilia pays tribute to the achievements in air travel. Ahh, remember the good ol’ days of in-flight smoking? (Not really.)
5. Plaza Premium Lounge
Spending $30 for two hours of comfy chairs, non-harsh lighting, and respite from most of your fellow passengers is actually a pretty good deal if your 45-minute delay turns into an entire afternoon.
6. True Burger
Toronto’s burger boom has indeed extended to Pearson, even if we’re still waiting for a Burger’s Priest or Holy Chuck to set up shop.
7. Virgin Relay
Remember when Toronto was going to get a Virgin Megastore? Well, the closest we ever got were these shops at Pearson. Go back in time and browse the CD(!) section.
8. Walter’s Shoeshine
Seriously, when was the last time you had a proper shoeshine? And at $8 ($9 for boots), it’s a pretty useful way to pass some time.
9. Robert Charles Coyle
Look up at the 19 paper planes. They were created by Da Vinci enthusiast and artist Robert Charles Coyle.
10. Boccone Trattoria
If anyone were to elevate Pearson’s food scene, it’s Restaurant Makeover host Massimo Capra, whose casual Italian joint opened in late December.
Yes, you could always load up on caffeine at one of those coffee chains, or maybe try soothing your nerves with one of the trendy teamaker’s mellower blends, like “mellowberry magic” or “jessie’s tea.”
12. Boutique iStore
Nothing against Best Buy’s vending machines, but there’s just something inherently alluring about spending any amount of time in the vicinity of Apple products that you’re never going to buy.
13. Moving walkways
You don’t get many opportunities to act out the dance routine from Feist’s “My Moon, My Man” video, so throw on the iPod and strut your stuff on these moving dancefloors.
14. Mill St. Brewery
Almost as unreachable by TTC as the Distillery District location, the revered brewpub’s satellite location is a fine place to imbibe the eponymous pints and chow down on stout-braised steak sandwiches.