Why do Canadian airport codes start with the letter “Y”?
The U.S. National Weather Service initially established airport codes. Canada was allotted a “Y” for all airports associated with a weather office. Codes like YVR for Vancouver and YWG for Winnipeg make sense, but Canada’s busiest airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, inherited the intriguing YYZ. Some travel companies use the non-standard YTO to identify Toronto, but it’s actually a city code that encompasses not only YYZ but also YKZ (Buttonville Municipal Airport) and YTZ (Toronto City Centre Airport). You may also see the odd “Z,” such as in ZBF for Bathurst, New Brunswick.