Tourists can easily stay connected in Canada by purchasing a SIM card at major airports like Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, or Montreal. These international hubs have displays from carriers like Rogers, Bell, and Telus before customs where visitors can buy a local SIM card at Canada airports. This provides data and calls for exploring Canada upon arrival.


1. Which Airport in Canada offers SIM Card for tourists

Canada has more than 500 airports. Canada’s network of airports facilitates domestic and international mobility quite effectively given the scale of the country:

canada airport map
Canada’s Airports map

Many airports in Canada offer SIM cards for tourists, making it convenient to stay connected during your visit. Here are a few of the major airports with options for purchasing a tourist SIM card at Canada airports:

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ): Canada’s busiest airport, it has a lot of shops and kiosks where you can buy a Canada SIM card at the airport. Some of the best-known providers are Rogers, Fido, Bell, and Telus.
Toronto Pearson International Airport
Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR): Another major airport with a good selection of SIM card providers. You can also find shops from Rogers, Fido, Bell, and Telus here.
Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver International Airport
  • Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL): SIM cards from Bell, Rogers, and Telus airports in Canada are available at several locations throughout the airport. These include convenience stores and newsstands.
Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
  • Calgary International Airport (YYC): Calgary International Airport has a smaller selection of SIM card providers than Toronto or Vancouver, but you should still be able to find what you need from Rogers, Fido, or Bell.
Calgary International Airport
Calgary International Airport
  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG): SIM cards are available at kiosks and convenience stores all over the airport from Bell, Rogers and Telus.
Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
Edmonton International Airport (YEG)

2. Where to buy Canada SIM Cards at airports

Getting a SIM card at major airports in Canada is usually quite convenient, with many options available. Here’s a general guide to help you navigate:

  • Carrier Kiosks: Major Canadian carriers like Rogers, Fido, Bell, and Telus often have dedicated kiosks within the airport terminals. Look for their branding alongside other travel service booths.
Fido kiosk Toronto Airport
Fido kiosk at Toronto Airport
  • Convenience Stores: Stores like Hudson’s Bay Company, 7-Eleven or Relay often stock prepaid SIM card Canada airports from various providers.
7-Eleven at Toronto Airport
7-Eleven at Toronto Airport
  • Newsstands/Gift Shops: These may have a limited selection but can be a good last-minute option.
  • Currency Exchange Bureaus: Some currency exchange bureaus, especially those catering to travelers, also offer Canada SIM card airports.

For more details on where to buy a SIM card at Canada Airports, see our post on SIM options at:

3. What to prepare to buy a SIM Card at Canada airports

Below are some things to prepare when buying a SIM card at Canada airports:

  • Passport – Most airport SIM providers require a valid government-issued photo ID like a passport to purchase and activate a SIM card.
  • Credit/debit card – You’ll need a credit or debit card to pay for the SIM card and plans. Many providers will allow you to pre-pay for data, calling, and text packages.
  • Unlocked device – Your phone or other devices need to be unlocked so it can accept a local Canadian SIM card. Check with your carrier that your device is unlocked and the guide Use Your Own Phone in Canada to make the most of your device on your travel.
  • Research carriers – Decide which Canadian carrier you want like Telus, Rogers, Bell, etc. Check their website for available plans and rates. SIMs are widely available from these major carriers.
  • Get a short-term plan – Most SIM card Canada airports are prepaid with 1-day to 30-day validity periods. Get the duration that matches your stay.
  • Wifi calling – Consider if your device supports wifi calling, allowing calls/texts over wifi without a SIM card. This can be useful if using data.
  • Know device type – Let the provider know if you need a micro, nano, or regular SIM card for your slot.
  • Activation help – Be ready to install and activate the SIM yourself or ask the staff at the kiosk/shop for assistance if needed.

Having the right documents and being prepared will help you purchase and activate a SIM card at Canada airport seamlessly at the airport.

4. Canada eSIM – an Alternative to Airport SIM Card

Canada eSIM plans

eSIM activation is available at most large airports. Some carriers like Rogers, Bell, and Telus operate stores/kiosks. However, you may need to provide ID and have your passport scanned to set up an account. The eSIM downloads instantly on compatible devices via the carrier kiosk/store.

Obtaining an eSIM is very convenient for arriving foreigners as no waiting or shipping is required – just activate the service at the airport right away on your device.

International travelers use to buy flexible plans for data on a prepaid basis, without long-term contracts required. eSIM in doesn’t require any personal identification or passport, unlike traditional SIM cards or eSIM at the airports. Visitors can easily go online and buy a plan, receive the activation information by email, and be connected immediately upon arrival.

Leave your physical SIM behind
Travel light with a digital SIM from!

5. FAQs about buying a SIM card at Canada airport

What documents do I need to buy a SIM card in a Canadian airport?

You’ll need a valid passport or travel visa to show airport retailers when purchasing your SIM card to confirm you do not reside in Canada. Some stores may also request a local Canadian address such as a hotel.

Can I use eSIM instead of a physical SIM card?

Many modern phones have eSIM capability allowing you to digitally download plans instead of using a plastic SIM card. eSIMs are available at most major Canadian airports making them a convenient option.

How can I pay for my Canadian SIM card at the airport?

You can pay with any major credit card or debit card at most SIM card retailers in Canadian airports. Some may accept cash as well. There will often be an activation fee on top of the plan cost.

Do I need to unlock my phone to use a Canadian SIM?

Yes, your phone will need to be unlocked by your home carrier before traveling in order to accept a foreign SIM card. Contact your provider in advance to arrange an unlock.

How long does a Canadian airport SIM card take to activate?

Activation typically takes under 30 minutes if you arrive with all necessary documentation. Follow the provider’s instructions which may include calling a number or registering online to complete activation before use.

7. Conclusion

Buying a prepaid SIM at Canadian airports like Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal makes for a smooth arrival. Major carriers have stores in arrival halls, letting you get connected quickly with nationwide talk, text and data. Compare plans, bring ID and address – then activate onsite to explore Canada mobile-ready. Enjoy your travels!