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Graduate Studies

Getting to – and around – Hamilton

Welcome to the heart of Ontario and the economic engine of Canada – Hamilton and south central Ontario.

Hamilton is the ninth largest city in Canada, fourth largest in Ontario, and ranked as one of the top 10 places to do business in Canada. Situated on the Niagara escarpment, Hamilton is only 45 minutes southwest of Toronto and northwest of the U.S. border.

McMaster is nestled in the west end of Hamilton in a residential area called Westdale Village. Bordered by Cootes Paradise, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the shores of Lake Ontario, the campus is connected to kilometres of nature trails, biking paths, and Hamilton’s burgeoning waterfront.

Those in search of a more urban experience are never too far from amenities in downtown Hamilton – restaurants, concert theatres, hockey games, art galleries, street festivals and more.

Hamilton is also conveniently situated on major rail, air, water and road transportation networks to other large North American centres, including Toronto, New York, Chicago and Montreal.

Map of Hamilton

Expandable List

From the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)*

McMaster University’s main campus is a 40-minute drive from Toronto’s airport.

You can travel from Toronto to Hamilton via

From the Pearson Airport Terminal to Hamilton Go Centre, located in downtown Hamilton, you can use this fare calculator to determine the cost of a one-way trip.

From the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM)*

McMaster’s main campus is a 17-minute drive from Hamilton’s airport.

You can travel from Hamilton’s airport via

*The School of Graduate Studies is not responsible for making travel arrangements or covering any associated costs for students entering McMaster University.

Hamilton Street Railway – better known as the HSR – is Hamilton’s city-wide public bus transportation. You will need to pay HSR bus fare out-of-pocket until you pick up your HSR student bus pass at McMaster University.

Visit the Graduate Students Association site for more information about your U-Pass/Presto Card.

For more about using your Presto Card, watch this video.

Hamilton Cab services

Travel Options from Pearson Airport:

GO Transit

GO Bus and GO Train service to Downtown Hamilton. Please note that GO Bus service is the only available bus directly from the terminals.

You can find this at:

  • Terminal 1, Ground Level, second curb, Column Q2-Q4.

To get to Hamilton, take the 40 Hamilton (Richmond Hill Pearson Express) bus route.

Taxi and Limousine Pick-Up Locations

Terminal 1, Arrivals Level ?

  • Taxis: Door D
  • Limousines: Door C

Terminal 3, Arrivals Level 

  • Taxis: Doors D, E & F
  • Limousines: Door F

Remember, your safety matters. Ensure you take a licensed Toronto Pearson taxi or limo.

Airport licensed taxis and limos offer fair, flat rates to your destination and meet specific safety requirements.

These are the only vehicles authorized to pick up fares from Toronto Pearson.

A licensed taxi or limo:

  • will pick up from the designated pick up area on the terminal curbs, arrivals level
  • will have a GTA number plate on the bumper and decal on the window
  • will have flat rate fare information in the vehicle
  • will not pick up in the terminal or parking garages

Considering Pre-Arranged Services?

Within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), flat rates for travel from the airport are determined based on the time and distance to your destination.

Fares for taxis to destinations outside of the GTA (including Hamilton) are listed on the Out-of-Town Tariff map.

Any area that is not listed on this tariff map will be $1.55/km for taxis, or $1.65/km for limousines.

Select one of the maps below for taxi fare information. Always confirm the fare with the driver before leaving the terminal.

Ride sharing services

Uber and Lyft

To request a pick up:

  • Download the Uber or Lyft app to your smartphone
  • Ensure your location services are enable
  • Enter your destination
  • Select the level of ride sharing service you prefer for your trip
  • Proceed to Ground Level (Door Q or P) in Terminal 1 or Arrivals Level (Door D, then proceed to outside curb) in Terminal 3 and follow the signs for “Ride App Pickup” to wait for your ride

Local Toronto Transit:

Union Pearson Express is a dedicated air-rail link that speeds travelers from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Union Station in the heart of downtown Toronto.

The UP Express station is located in Terminal 1 next to the Terminal Link Train.

From Terminal 1: Follow the “Train to City” signs.

From Terminal 3: Take the free Terminal Link Train to Terminal 1 and follow the “Train to City” signs.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Express bus and subway service to downtown Toronto. This is located in:

  • Terminal 1, Ground Level, second curb, Column R4.
  • Terminal 3, Arrivals Level, third curb, Column C12.

Here are the TTC routes available:

  • 52 Lawrence West
  • 192 Airport Rocket
  • 300 Bloor Danforth (overnight)
  • 307 Eglinton West (overnight)