Dysart branch of the Haliburton County Public Library. /File photo

Porter Airlines will fly into Muskoka offering new commute option to city

By Darren Lum

Toronto-based airline Porter Airlines will be offering flights this summer between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Muskoka Airport.

The approximately 30-minute flight will bring passengers from downtown Toronto to Muskoka starting for close to $200 depending on the grade of seat chosen. Prices fluctuate. Four flights a week two departing Toronto on Thursday afternoon and two departing Muskoka on Monday mornings will begin June 27 and end Sept. 3.

Kim McBrien Evans of indigodragonfly studio a Haliburton County-based hand-dyed yarn and fabric retailer said the service could be useful.

“We (and many) residents can’t use the service as we are working here in Haliburton. Even expanding to shoulder seasons means we can more easily get away as needed instead of having to essentially plan two day trips just to get somewhere by plane” she wrote in an email to the paper.

She said it could also be an option for her students who participate in her summer workshop offerings and future events at the indigodragonfly studio which is located close to West Guilford.

Pasi Posti of Positive Media a marketing media production company said he would also use the airline for business and for personal reasons.

“I’d fly it for both to be honest. Anything to help avoid the 400 series traffic that simply sucks the life out of you. For pleasure it’s always a negative having to face the drive to the GTA and for business it makes for a much more arduous travel day. There really isn’t a traffic free time in Toronto anymore and anything that can help alleviate a hurried trip to the airport would not only leave you in a better state mentally [but also] get you to your gate on time … I could see it as an experience as well where I could make a weekend of it downtown Toronto without the need for a vehicle [so] why not?” he wrote in a message.

Although the cost for even a basic seat can be expensive Posti said it was worth it.

“It all comes down to calculating costs travel time and quality of life. There’s much more that can cost you driving than by grabbing a flight. Travel is travel and whatever means can get you there quicker so that you can have more time to work or play is sound logic in my books” he wrote.

Although the drive to the Muskoka Airport for Posti is close to 50 minutes he calculated flying could save close to five hours minus flight time.

Posti said the distance between downtown Toronto and Haliburton is nothing to underestimate.

“Let’s face it with added traffic (time fuel wear and tear) Haliburton is NOT close to Toronto. Tell someone in Toronto that the drive isn’t ‘that bad’ and they look at you like you’re silly. We are actually pretty far away from Toronto. Many other cities in the U.S for example have airports dotting the map it’s just that here we are super trained to just ‘do the drive’ however that’s not always the best action” he wrote. “Last note and it’s an important one I find that I leave an hour or in some cases two hours earlier to the city just in case it’s unusually bad with traffic and road conditions. That’s the added time waste.”