While I was tempted to spend my entire layover in the Air Canada Café nearby, I spent an hour in the domestic Maple Leaf Lounge in Toronto (YYZ).
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto (Domestic) Review
If you’re looking for a heartier warm meal or alcohol, this is a better lounge than the Air Canada Café.
Hours + Location + Access Requirements
This lounge is currently open daily from 5:00AM to 12:00AM. It is located in Terminal 1 (domestic terminal) on Level 4. If you are entering via the security security checkpoint, the elevators are immediately on your left.
Access is reserved for Star Alliance business or first class passengers as well as Star Alliance Gold status holders traveling on a Star Alliance flight. United Club and Maple Leaf Lounge members also have accesss, as do Aeroplan 35K members (which are Star Silver, not Star Gold).
Upon entering and scanning your credentials, you can proceed left or right where there is seating (the area to the right, however, was closed during my visit). This lounge reminds me of the transborder lounge with a mix of tables and chairs overlooking a rooftop outside. Like other lounges, most seats do not have power ports, which is annoying if you want to charge your devices.
I made the mistake of leaving my iPhone charging cable at home, which is pretty deadly for a 24-hour trip that involved a lot of photos. Thankfully, I did not even have to buy a new cord because most Maple Leaf lounges have a charging station in which you can charge your mobile phone. These seem almost like quaint relics of the past in 2022, but really saved he day for me.
Food + Drink
Beverages in this lounge are self-serve, with beer, wine, spirit, soft drinks, juice, tea, and coffee available. The alcohol was locked until 11:00am, which was about the time I departed the lounge.
The food menu includes a buffet with pre-packaged items like salads and sandwiches as well as chips and cookies.
An a la carte menu with a limited selection of hot items was also available. Every table in the lounge has a sticker with an individual QR code to designate your table number. The hot @ la table food is brought directly to your table.
The menu section included tacos, meatballs, pasta, and pizza.
I tried both the pizza and buffalo chicken taco. Neither were tasty, with the chipotle mayonnaise overwhelming the small amount of chicken in the taco and the pizza quite soggy and greasy.
Air Canada has a lot of potential for this @ la table menu concept, but I found the quality of the food quite lacking.
Restrooms + Showers
Restrooms and showers are available. Shower stalls were locked and I did not see any attendants, so ask at the front desk if you wish to take a shower.
The days of large magazine and newspaper racks in airport lounges are drawing to a close. As much as I love a printed newspaper, Air Canada offers over 7,000 magazines and newspapers with PressReader, which you can easily access over the lounge’s wi-fi network.
I did not interact with the lounge staff except to scan my boarding pass to get in. The agents were gabbing with one another and did not bother to greet me, but were pleasant enough.
While I greatly prefer the nearby Air Canada Café, this is a large lounge that includes plenty of space to spread out as well as hot food and alcohol options.
The really important question: Are Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars still there? They were hiding in plain sight, in a chest freezer in the middle of the lounge.
If they were there, I totally missed them! (also in Montreal and Vancouver)
I was in the Domestic. Maple Leaf lounge over family day weekend ….
Horrible experience…..furniture needs updating,
Food served in cardboard boxes and no flavour, 1 channel available on all tv….CBC….how dreadful
Bathrooms needed a good clean….
Next time avoid completely!
Nothing worse than seeing their 24/7 government propaganda channel.
Better than Fox News in all US airline lounges?
That plaza premium lounge usually puts out a really nice curry, and has bar service. It’s an above average contract lounge.
While you had a somewhat empty experience the lounge is really overpacked most times. And shows its age. I really don’t go out of my way to go there. The Plaza lounge is much better. Even spending time at the AC Cafe is better!
Funny story, had the opportunity to visit both US trans-border and Domestic lounges for the “same” flight a few years ago.
Moving forwards, back again years later and while quite the same, I seem to recall the disappearance of a soft-serve ice cream machine.
The “right side” is the less populated area, hopefully it will reopen soon.
Saddened to hear about the demise of the printed matter. I would always grab extra for the flight or resort reading.
Also hopeful that Covid-friendly food will soon be gone.
At least if my next visit is not up to snuff, I have a backstop of Diners Club access to an alternate lounge.
The Vancouver Transborder Maple Leaf Lounge is not worth the price of admission or joining. The food options at 7AM are stale grocery store carrot muffins and cardboard cookies. There is coffee and soft drinks but really not much else. The furniture is worn, there are very few outlets to charge your phone, and there is not a staff member around that knows anything. They advertise table service but it is not available for three more hours. I am leaving and going to Tim Hortons.
Good to see the AC and CBC haters out in force.
Toronto domestic is pretty good but food is just horrible. If you are going to spend money to buy ingredients for the meals you might as well replace the cook (no way on earth it is a chef). The broccoli soup was so disgusting I had to pitch it right away. I stick with the cookie and a latte which I honestly enjoy. Montreal domestic was very crammed, food is better than TO but still needs improvement. I was able to eat the smoke meat sandwich which was decent. Kid enjoyed pasta with tomato sauce but said it was literally cold. Non-alcoholic drink options are very limited and had no cookies. Best AC lounge I experienced was in Calgary domestic.
Love AC but have misgivings with the Maple Leaf lounge. Do Canadians have to accept mediocre?? Now, today, I found they discontinued potato chips and bottled water. My spouse says the community water cooler smells like chlorinated city water. Is it too much to ask for a water filter to be installed if you are going to delete the bottled water sku? The food is always institutional but at least there is free booze (for now). Please shape up, Air Canada lounge managers…..we don’t want to start calling you Via Rail.