How To: VFR Transit Through Toronto (YYZ) Airspace (Update 2024)

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in August 2023. A lot has changed with Toronto’s airspace since then and this post has been updated accordingly with those changes and corrections to errors.

A fellow aviator was asking me how to transit through Toronto (YYZ) airspace so that they could visit Buttonville (CYKZ) airport before it closes. Flying in and around Toronto for the past twenty years, I figured this would be a good time to put together a little how to for everyone else.

System Capacity

During busy times. There may not be enough controllers to allow VFR flights into the Class C airspace in and around Toronto. This usually happens during the weekends in the summer months. Be sure to check the NOTAMs for CYTZ and CZYZ during your flight planning and a hour before your flight departure as sometimes these pop-up last minute.

If you see the following NOTAM being active during your flight. You will have to stay below the class C shelfs around YYZ.

New For Summer 2024: City tours in the YTZ control zone are now prior permission required (PPR). Please double check the CYTZ NOTAM for details on how to obtain permission. For more information see this post.


There are two main corridors to travel VFR east/west through the downtown core. And one corridor to travel north/south through the downtown core. All three are explained below.

North Route (Travelling East/West)

The North Route has three east/west routes you can use:

  1. Erin West (Entry: Lake Wilcox (VCWLZ). Exit: Erin (VCERN))
  2. Aurora East (Entry: Alton (VCALT). Exit: Aurora (VCAUR))
  3. Orangeville East (Entry: Newmarket (VCNMT). Exit Orangeville (VCORG))

If you have to remain clear of class C airspace, fly at or below the following altitudes:

  1. Erin West: 2500′
  2. Aurora East: 2500′
  3. Orangeville West: 3500′

South Route (Travelling East/West)

The south route has one route in each east/west direction, usually flown at 2000′:

  1. Oshawa (Eastbound) (South of the shoreline)
  2. St. Catharines (Westbound) (North of the shoreline)

Note: New for Summer 2024: NavCanada is requesting pilots plan to fly above the YTZ Control Zone (above 2500′). This means that you will need to talk to Toronto Terminal on 133.4 (west of the control zone) or 119.3 (east of the control zone). You may or may not be able to climb this high due to system capacity issues (See VFR Flight following below). If this is the case, your only alternative would be to fly south around their control zone at 2000′ or below.

Lake Simcoe Route (Travelling North/South)

The Lake Simcoe route allows you to travel north/south on the eastern edge of YYZ’s airspace. It essentially follows highway 404 and the Don Valley Parkway to/from Lake Simcoe and YTZ’s control zone.

Passing by Preston Lake (VCPRT) and starting or stopping at Highway 401/404 (VC404).

Unless cleared into YYZ’s class C airspace, it’s recommended that you use this route at 2000′ or below.

New For Summer 2024: Plan to then fly eastbound when approaching the 401/404 to avoid YTZ’s control zone. Unless you have prior permission to enter for a city tour or otherwise. Double check the NOTAMs for YTZ.

Additionally, the Buttonville (YKZ) mandatory frequency is no longer in effect as of May 16th. So no need to call up on 124.8 anymore when flying over the closed airport.

VFR Flight Following

If there is no NOTAM that restricts you from entering Class C Airspace. Feel free to call up Toronto Terminal on:

West of YYZ: 119.3
East of YYZ: 133.4

And request Flight Following or entry into the Class C airspace. You will be given a squawk code and traffic services.

If VFR flight following is not available. Then you must use the CFA frequencies to broadcast your position reports, while remaining clear of the class C airspace:

  • Northwest of YYZ on 123.025
  • Northeast of YYZ on 122.9
  • Southwest of YYZ on 122.925

Let ATC Know

When you file your flight plan. Be sure to enter which route you will be taking in the flight plan notes section. “North route Aurora West” or “South route Oshawa east” for example.

Things Are Changing

NavCanada is constantly reviewing the airspace in and around Toronto. The latest update is available in AIC 4/24. I recommend that you subscribe to their Aeronautical & Services Updates email mailing list to stay informed.

For More Information

Be sure to check out the VTPC in the CFS for CYTZ and CNC3 (In ForeFlight tap on “Procedure” then “Visual” for the respective airports). Additionally you can reach out to me on Twitter or send me an email.

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