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
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.