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Public Opinion Survey Reveals Majority of Torontonians Agree Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an Important Asset to the City


Toronto (February 15, 2023) – According to a survey released by PortsToronto, 85 per cent of Toronto residents “agree” that “Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a valuable asset for the entire city”. The majority of Toronto residents agree that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a good use of land, and that the airport plays a central role in business/the economy, health care, and job creation for the city.

The public opinion survey, conducted via telephone interview by Environics Research, polled a representative, randomly-selected sample of 1,225 adults living in Toronto. Environics specifically oversampled residents who live along the Waterfront region (336 of 1,225 surveyed) due to its proximity to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Key Findings:

  • 87% believe it makes sense for the City to have an airport right downtown;
  • 86% believe Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important gateway for the city that supports business and tourism;
  • 85% consider Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a valuable asset for the entire City;
  • 82% believe it is a good use of land;
  • 70% of Torontonians express favourable opinions of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport;
  • Of those who have previously flown from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, an overwhelming majority (97%) say they had a positive experience. Note: 39% of survey sample had flown through Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in the past.
  • Users of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport primarily report flying for leisure, rather than for business (68% vs. 32%).

Of the small proportion of those with a negative view of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (8% of respondents), one-quarter (27%) say it is due to never using the airport before or not being familiar with the airport. This is followed by dissatisfaction with airplane noise (20%). The inability to access certain destinations is the top reason Toronto residents have cited for not used the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, with one in three specifying this (32%).

For full results of the Environics survey click here.


“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an asset to the City of Toronto and region and plays a vital role in the lives of residents by providing connectivity, facilitating tourism and trade, supporting healthcare through its medevac operations, offering jobs and generating economic impact,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO of PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “The purpose of this survey was to gage and confirm how residents felt about the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and what we found was overwhelming support for its operations and the benefits it brings to the city.”


This 15-minute telephone survey was conducted from May 5 to June 8, 2022, among a random and representative sample of N=1,225 residents aged 18 years and older – including an oversample of N=336 residents living along the Waterfront region. The Waterfront region is defined as the body of water-facing regions in the city spanning from Etobicoke to Scarborough. The margin of error for this survey is ± 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. This survey is conducted every two years and has been conducted in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2022. No survey was conducted in 2020 due to the pandemic.

About Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 80 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important international gateway and a key driver to Toronto’s economy, generating more than $2.1 billion in total economic output and supporting 4,740 jobs, including 2,080 directly associated with the airport operations and facilitating healthcare for Ontarians by providing a base for medevac services connected to local hospitals.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency and customer service and has won a series of passenger-driven awards. With a focus on cleaner, greener and quieter operations, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has made significant upgrades in recent years to achieve its sustainability goals, which are reported on an annual basis. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto.

About PortsToronto

For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and the marine Port of Toronto that includes businesses in a variety of sectors including marine shipping, cargo services, media production and passenger cruises. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $16 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a board with representation from all three levels of government.

About Environics Research

Environics Research, established in 1970, is one of Canada’s leading consultancies, offering data-based advice in support of clients’ strategic, communications, policy, reputational and issues management challenges. Ours is a full-service research firm, offering clients a broad array of research, consulting and communications services, from traditional public opinion polling and market research, to advanced studies of human values and social change.


Media Contact:

Jessica Pellerin
Manager of Communications and Media Relations