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Press Release

April 26, 2023 
TORONTO - Toronto Pearson International Airport has partnered with WestJet and the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides (LFCDG) to use the airport as a training facility for new guide and assistance dogs in honour of International Guide Dog Day. 

Guide and assistance dogs and their handlers were at Terminal 3 today, April 26,  providing familiarization training for the dogs on all aspects of the airport experience, including security screening and boarding an aircraft in a busy atmosphere.

“We are continuously working to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities, and we continue to engage with our community to bring further improvements and innovations to Pearson,” said Kurush Minocher, Director, Passenger Experience and Development, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “Partnerships like these allow us to foster a positive experience for all passengers at the airport.”

"From check-in to security screening to boarding an aircraft, Dog Guides in seven different programs are able to train to continue to focus on their job while being in these busy environments," explains Gina Lijoi, Director of Programs and Client Services at LFCDG. "We’re grateful to Toronto Pearson and West Jet, for joining forces with LFCDG to improve independent travel and customer service for travelers traveling with Dog Guides."

The training showcased how dog guides can assist individuals with independent travel. This partnership with WestJet and the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides started more than two years ago, with trainings taking place monthly. It is part of Toronto Pearson's ongoing commitment to create a more inclusive experience for all passengers. 

In 2022, Toronto Pearson became the first airport in North America and second in the world to receive the Airports Council International (ACI) accreditation under the Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation (AEA) program, a first-of-its-kind program dedicated to airport accessibility. The program is designed to help airports measure, evaluate, and improve their accessibility management and culture. It is the only international assessment or accreditation program dedicated to airports’ accessibility to passengers with disabilities.

To learn more about accessibility at Toronto Pearson, visit: torontopearson.com/accessibility.  

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

 The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is the operator of Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport and a vital connector of people, businesses and goods. Toronto Pearson has been named “Best Large Airport in North America serving more than 40 million passengers” for five years in a row by Airports Council International (ACI), the global trade representative of the world’s airports. In recognition of its Healthy Airport program, ACI has also awarded Toronto Pearson the “Best hygiene measures in North America” award for three years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.   

For our corporate twitter channel, please visit @PearsonComms. For operational updates and passenger information, please visit @TorontoPearson/@AeroportPearson on Twitter. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram. 


GTAA Media Office | media.relations@gtaa.com | (416) 776-3709