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Author Topic: Possible Trip to Canada  (Read 15139 times)

AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2016, 12:20:58 PM »

^ Really?  I just went to the US for 12 days, and I think in that time I used only $60 in cash, with the rest of my expenditures on credit card.  Aside from headaches at the gas pump itself, you should have no need for any cash money in Canada if you plan on using a credit card.

In my experience, US travel is more accommodating to Canadian issued cards than the other way around. MasterCard, which is very common here is difficult to find places away from southern Ontario or border towns. Discover and AmeEx are basically impossible. At least that's been my experience. I hear MasterCard is getting better, but Visa is most common I found (MasterCard was near non-existent in the Maritimes when I was there).

I carry cash for that reason. Also, as America is slow to switch to the chip-based cards, it's even harder in places to use the old magnetic strip cards with a signature.

One thing to be sure, is to check with each credit card how they handle international transactions. Some might convert the currency, but might charge you a fee. Sometimes once-per-statement and sometimes once-per-transaction. Some also have really crappy conversion rates. Banks do give you the best rates (i.e., cash transactions at a bank near the border), but some credit cards give you different rates than those same banks who issued the cards will give on a cash transaction in one of their lobbies. Check before you head out.

Also, if you know where you're going to be, there's a lot of online travel sites that can book your rooms in advance. Otel.com was a great site for a deal in the Toronto area for me. More than half-off their own website price. Also let me charge Discover which wouldn't be accepted at the hotel in person.


My primary credit card is a MasterCard.  I've never found a location in anywhere in Canada that didn't accept MasterCard but did accept a VISA.

That's good advise about Discover Card.  Discover doesn't really exist in Canada, so most retailers probably won't be able to accept it.  Amex is pretty well accepted up here.  Not so much for small purchases such as fast food or coffee shops, but certainly many of the more conventional retailers accept it.

That is certainly good to know about the gas, I was planning on filling up in Michigan before crossing over for sure. As for my card, it is a Visa card issued by my bank with no chip in it. So other than paying for the hotels I don't see me using it a lot. As for the cash, the only thing I do see is that I'll be crossing over likely on a Saturday or Sunday morning so I'm not sure about banks given I'm thinking they will not be open at the time (maybe for Saturday.) So I hope there are places I can go to convert the money.

Couple of other things on my mind. Oscar mentioned earlier on about mentioning stuff that you are bringing with you, is this the same as declaring. Will they specifically ask about all items you are bringing or stuff more like firearms, food, gifts that are "items to declare." I'm more than happy to answer it truthfully, I just didn't know if they were the same thing.

Finally, in Toronto I'd like to drive along the Gardiner and Don Valley expressways, probably during the middle of the day. Would Canada Day be a better day for that due to it being a holiday or would it really not matter. I'm fine if there's some traffic, I drove on the 91 freeway in California last year on a Saturday morning and experienced heavy traffic so I'm prepared for the unexpected. And yes I know of some construction on the Gardiner and parts of the 401 (which I should be traversing over a weekend.)

If you're on the Gardiner/DVP on the middle day of the long weekend traffic will probably be manageable.  I'm not saying their definitely won't be congestion, but that's typically a time when the city is quieter.  Like any major city, the best daylight times to drive around are on a sunday morning before the city has awoken.

Construction on the Gardiner has an eastbound lane shut down.  All three westbound lanes are sill open though, so it might be better to the loop heading south and westbound compared to eastbound.  The sklyine views are probably slightly better while traveling eastbound, but the westbound view is pretty awesome as well.
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empirestate

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2016, 01:15:02 PM »

Couple of other things on my mind. Oscar mentioned earlier on about mentioning stuff that you are bringing with you, is this the same as declaring. Will they specifically ask about all items you are bringing or stuff more like firearms, food, gifts that are "items to declare." I'm more than happy to answer it truthfully, I just didn't know if they were the same thing.

When asked if I have anything to declare, I have always answered "nothing" (truthfully, as far as I'm aware). Things you'd need to declare would be anything that requires a duty paid on it: liquor and tobacco above a certain amount, merchandise (beyond basic items like souvenirs or that bottle of Yoohoo you got from the 7-11), and so on.

"Things you're bringing with you" is slightly different, but related. That's when you'd mention your firearms (so that they can turn you around), heroin, illegal vegetables, that sort of thing. I've never found it necessary to itemize all the mundane items I had with me; saying something like "personal effects" or "clothing and toiletries" has always sufficed.
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corco

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2016, 01:26:12 PM »

As with every other question - with the customs-related questions just answer the questions they ask. The burden isn't on you to volunteer information unless they ask you the question. I usually am asked if I have alcohol, tobacco, firearms, or more than $10,000 in cash. They'll ask you specific questions that can be answered yes/no, not "what do you have with you?"

Crossing the border really isn't that hard - just give them your passport, answer any questions they ask, and don't answer any questions they didn't ask. I think what I've learned that's helped me is that the border really does not give a shit about you personally or what you are doing, they just want to make sure that you aren't breaking any laws.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 01:29:08 PM by corco »
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vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2016, 05:09:42 PM »

^ Really?  I just went to the US for 12 days, and I think in that time I used only $60 in cash, with the rest of my expenditures on credit card.  Aside from headaches at the gas pump itself, you should have no need for any cash money in Canada if you plan on using a credit card.

In my experience, US travel is more accommodating to Canadian issued cards than the other way around. MasterCard, which is very common here is difficult to find places away from southern Ontario or border towns. Discover and AmeEx are basically impossible. At least that's been my experience. I hear MasterCard is getting better, but Visa is most common I found (MasterCard was near non-existent in the Maritimes when I was there).

I carry cash for that reason. Also, as America is slow to switch to the chip-based cards, it's even harder in places to use the old magnetic strip cards with a signature.

One thing to be sure, is to check with each credit card how they handle international transactions. Some might convert the currency, but might charge you a fee. Sometimes once-per-statement and sometimes once-per-transaction. Some also have really crappy conversion rates. Banks do give you the best rates (i.e., cash transactions at a bank near the border), but some credit cards give you different rates than those same banks who issued the cards will give on a cash transaction in one of their lobbies. Check before you head out.

Also, if you know where you're going to be, there's a lot of online travel sites that can book your rooms in advance. Otel.com was a great site for a deal in the Toronto area for me. More than half-off their own website price. Also let me charge Discover which wouldn't be accepted at the hotel in person.

And to think I thought MasterCard was pervasive in Canada.  Never had problems using it in eastern Ontario or Québec.  That is true about Discover though; never tried to use it in Canada and never seen a place that would accept it.  Even in the US, Discover isn't everywhere, though it's more common than it used to be.  Possibly true of AmEx; one time I was on an Honors trip to Ottawa and someone couldn't use the card he was given by one of the staff members to pay for admission to the Ottawa science museum; I think he ended up using his own card and getting reimbursed.  Certainly hope that isn't true about MasterCard - I don't have a Visa.

Never seen anywhere in Canada that wouldn't take a mag stripe card except gas pumps.  Shouldn't have any more difficulty than remembering to pay inside for gas or retailers figuring out how to print the receipt to sign.

As for cash, even with a bank, exchange rates are generally better enough with a credit card that the card is better even with a fee.  I remember that same Honors Ottawa trip - I had some leftover meal cash that was given to use (used my credit card for one meal), and I could tell from the credit card statement and Google (actually, the credit card had a BETTER than official exchange rate at the time!) that I got ripped off exchanging the money back at my bank.  If it had been cash that I had converted from USD to CAD and then back, I would have been PISSED.

One other thing: it's May 2016, so if your credit cards aren't all chip-based by now, it means your bank sucks.  They should have replaced your cards months ago (sometimes the do forget, though; recently had to replace my ATM card because they never sent me a new one after it expired months ago).
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 05:12:32 PM by vdeane »
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2016, 07:48:13 PM »

As with every other question - with the customs-related questions just answer the questions they ask. The burden isn't on you to volunteer information unless they ask you the question. I usually am asked if I have alcohol, tobacco, firearms, or more than $10,000 in cash. They'll ask you specific questions that can be answered yes/no, not "what do you have with you?"

Crossing the border really isn't that hard - just give them your passport, answer any questions they ask, and don't answer any questions they didn't ask. I think what I've learned that's helped me is that the border really does not give a shit about you personally or what you are doing, they just want to make sure that you aren't breaking any laws.

Thanks for that. The only reason I'm really curious about this sort of thing is because of that ill-fated attempt to enter Canada in 2011 when the person I was traveling with WAS grilled on everything they had and were doing, we were in customs for three hours while he had to answer just about everything. He raised red flags (being inadmissible in all that) and they went through the whole process, searching the vehicle and all our belongings and detaining us. I sat in the office and was never asked anything except for a few questions at the beginning while he went back and forth to the office trying to prove that he was not aware of the rule of him being not allowed in the country. He had visited Canada many times in the past (although not after 2001) and believes that his passport had alerted them of his past.

One other thing: it's May 2016, so if your credit cards aren't all chip-based by now, it means your bank sucks.  They should have replaced your cards months ago (sometimes the do forget, though; recently had to replace my ATM card because they never sent me a new one after it expired months ago).

Well it's a smaller bank, only based in Indiana and a few adjacent states so it may be that. Plus I've only seen chip-based cards being used this year and I've had my card since last year. It may just be bad timing that they'll get around to it in the future. For what it's worth I was reading that my driver's license (which expires in 2021) won't be good to use at the airport after 2020 due to some SecureID stuff or whatnot, meaning that if I desire to fly I would have to get a new license before the actual time I have to renew.
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Sykotyk

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2016, 10:10:13 PM »

That is certainly good to know about the gas, I was planning on filling up in Michigan before crossing over for sure. As for my card, it is a Visa card issued by my bank with no chip in it. So other than paying for the hotels I don't see me using it a lot. As for the cash, the only thing I do see is that I'll be crossing over likely on a Saturday or Sunday morning so I'm not sure about banks given I'm thinking they will not be open at the time (maybe for Saturday.) So I hope there are places I can go to convert the money.

If you can't get to a bank, one of the big casinos usually offers a very fair conversion rate since they're catering to the American customer coming over to gamble (at least before so many American cities or states have gambling as well, such as Detroit). But, the money change/quickloan type places are the worst conversion rates.

I remember some friends and I crossed over years ago on I-195 and were on the QEW somewhere. Got off at a McDonalds to find a payphone (before the days of cell phones), and since we hadn't changed cash at the casino yet (it was late evening) we asked if the restaurant took US currency. They did. I bought a drink with a $5 USD and got $6.00+ change CND. Thought that was weird. But, that was back when over 3CND = 2USD.
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thenetwork

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2016, 11:12:34 PM »

Well thanks again to everyone for the advise, I knew that I could depend on the good folks here on AARoads. I wasn't sure whether or not mentioning "sightseeing" was considered too vague that they would want more detail or not. I'm reminded of the quote from Ocean's 11, "Don't use seven words when four will do." This is my first time of doing a trip of this nature solo so I wanted to know. Two more things then if anyone could help, what can I expect on the American side coming back. I would think that returning from a vacation with a destination like Indiana wouldn't be too bad on the Port Huron side. And would $1,000 work for a six-day trip that goes as far as Ottawa if I go?
Considering that I-69 is an interstate that goes to your home in Indy, there should be no issue there. 

Southern Ontario crossings are/were pretty relaxed when it comes to where you are going via what crossing.  Pre-passport days, it wasn't usual to say you were taking the short cut to New York from Michigan or vise versa, or if you were from elsewhere in the states and was passing thru between NY and MI so you can say you went to Canada

Don't mention clinching 402.  Really, there won't be any reason to bring it up with Canadian customs.  When they ask where you're going, say Toronto.  IF they ask for more detail, you can mention the day trips to Niagara Falls and Ottawa.  You don't have to pre-register which crossing you'll leave through or anything.  When you return, if the fact that it's a different crossing raises eyebrows with US customs (not sure if they're even sharing that info yet or not), just say you felt like going a different way (but really, they're both major crossings, and both on you're way to/from there, it might not be an issue).  Don't give them more info than they need to answer the question; that's where problems start to arise.  They view it as suspicious when people give overly detailed answers.  Just clearly and concisely answer the questions (but not to the point of evasiveness).  The longer the trip and the more touristy the itinerary and the less likely you are to have problems.


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US 41

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2016, 09:35:57 AM »

If it makes you feel any better, I'm only 19 years old and Canadian / Mexican customs have no problem letting me drive into their countries.
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2016, 11:29:12 AM »

If it makes you feel any better, I'm only 19 years old and Canadian / Mexican customs have no problem letting me drive into their countries.

Do you get bugged about alcohol going into Canada? From 19-21, the US always assumed I was smuggling booze back into the US.

US 41

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2016, 11:54:12 AM »

If it makes you feel any better, I'm only 19 years old and Canadian / Mexican customs have no problem letting me drive into their countries.

Do you get bugged about alcohol going into Canada? From 19-21, the US always assumed I was smuggling booze back into the US.

Surprisingly no. They typically just ask me what I was I was doing in Canada (or Mexico) and how long I was there.
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2016, 01:41:32 PM »

If it makes you feel any better, I'm only 19 years old and Canadian / Mexican customs have no problem letting me drive into their countries.

That does make me feel better.

So right now I'm thinking of my full trip plan (one week) that includes Montreal, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and Toronto, leaving June 25 and coming back July 2. If I don't choose that week I'll pick another but keep the Saturday to Saturday format. My six-day plan is the same without the Montreal part and goes as far as Ottawa, arriving in Canada on Sunday and my four-day plan has me arriving on Tuesday with only Toronto and Niagara Falls.
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Sykotyk

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2016, 09:39:57 PM »

If it makes you feel any better, I'm only 19 years old and Canadian / Mexican customs have no problem letting me drive into their countries.

That does make me feel better.

So right now I'm thinking of my full trip plan (one week) that includes Montreal, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and Toronto, leaving June 25 and coming back July 2. If I don't choose that week I'll pick another but keep the Saturday to Saturday format. My six-day plan is the same without the Montreal part and goes as far as Ottawa, arriving in Canada on Sunday and my four-day plan has me arriving on Tuesday with only Toronto and Niagara Falls.

As someone who roadtrips frequently (and not just to clinch new roads but just to go explore), I recommend doing as much as you can when you can. So, if this trip is a 'big trip' to you, I'd make the most of it. Stretch it out Saturday to Sunday for 9 days, see as much as you can, and enjoy it.

You never know when you'll be back. And sometimes regretting not going the extra mile (literally) may be what you remember most than what you did see or experience. And don't worry about "Someday, when I have the time or the money I'll come back and really do this road trip right..." truth is, you won't ever redo this road trip. You'll want to explore new places.

I've been to Yellowstone, and it was awesome, but there's so much more out there that I want to see that Yellowstone is never high up on my list anymore. Even if it is 'better' than whatever else I'm seeing. I've seen Yellowstone, but I haven't seen Going to the Sun Rd in Glacier, or the Grand Canyon up close, or some of the other smaller parks and sites in southeast Utah or western Colorado.  Or Mt. St. Helen's, etc.

So, enjoy what you can when you can.
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2016, 09:58:03 PM »

That thinking is actually a big motivation for me to do the full 7-day part of the trip, I don't want to add any more days due to time I have available to take off from work and the 4th of July weekend afterwards (of which I'd like to be home to celebrate.)
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2016, 06:14:21 PM »

So I hope it's okay resurrecting this thread with another question or two in terms of this trip. Right now I am still planning on the seven day trip, leaving Saturday the 25th and coming home on Saturday the 2nd of July. The first overnight stop will be either Kingston or Brockville in Ontario, the second in Montreal, the third in Ottawa and the last four nights in Toronto. Right now I do have reservations made in Toronto at least and hope to begin making the other reservations as soon as this weekend. In Montreal and Toronto I plan on making use of pubic transportation as much as possible, maybe in Ottawa as well.

My question involves more of the roadgeeking stuff. In short, am I going to have a problem with taking pictures of road signs while driving? I know there's a handheld ban on cell phones and the like and I have no problem not using my phone at all, in fact I hate having to be on it at all while driving, but I do like taking pictures with my small digital camera. Will it be a problem for me if I do so (provided that driving conditions are safe.)
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vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2016, 06:56:41 PM »

It's technically illegal in Ontario (also New York) but I've never had problems.
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GaryV

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2016, 06:30:37 AM »

For the last few weeks there has been construction on the Ambassador Bridge, resulting in only one lane going into Canada.  Several times the morning traffic reports have said that there is a very long wait time because of this, with backups stretching to the middle of the bridge or even most of the length.  The problem is that cars and trucks usually are in separate lanes, so even if the truck lines at customs are long, cars can get through.  But if cars and trucks have to use the single lane, everything backs up when the truck line to customs backs up.
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2016, 08:43:38 AM »

My question involves more of the roadgeeking stuff. In short, am I going to have a problem with taking pictures of road signs while driving? I know there's a handheld ban on cell phones and the like and I have no problem not using my phone at all, in fact I hate having to be on it at all while driving, but I do like taking pictures with my small digital camera. Will it be a problem for me if I do so (provided that driving conditions are safe.)

I think Ontario's ban is phrased in terms of "handheld electronic devices", which would apply equally to cellphones and digital cameras. But not dash- or windshield-mounted video cameras.
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2016, 05:08:11 PM »

I had a Canadian girlfriend from let's say 2004-2007, since I can't remember dates.  She lived in St. Catherines, ON.  At the time, I lived in Central MA.  I'd drive to see her about once a month and she'd make the trip to me at the same frequency.  I can tell you which NY/Niagara Falls area crossings are better than others, but that won't help you.  I also had a Nexus pass, which I got when the relationship began getting serious, so I got to use the dedicated lanes at the border, ergo, I don't have as much experience as you think with standard border crossing lanes.  (I never renewed it because the relationship ended by the time it was renewal time.)

Canadian Customs is MUCH friendlier than US Customs.

The only time I had problems getting into/out of Canada with customs were:

1. The time I took said girlfriend along on my 2006 cross-country road trip.  She couldn't get as much time off work as I did, so she flew into Las Vegas, and we crossed the border at Sault Ste. Marie.  The customs agent seemed to be suspicious that there was a US Citizen AND a Canadian citizen in the same car, that we were headed to St. Catherine's, that we were on a cross-country road trip, and that we were staying the night at her roommate's parents' house in Elliot Lake.  This was the I-75 border crossing.  I didn't think the truth would cause crap, but it did.

2. The time I decided to fly to Buffalo instead of drive, having said girlfriend pick me up and drop me off at the airport.  Despite this being the airport physically closest to her apartment, the customs agents on both the US-->Canada and Canada-->US side gave us lots of crap.

3. The time my ex (different girlfriend) were supposed to do something outside, but it was raining, and we instead decided that morning to drive from Boston to Montréal and return the same day.  The fact that we were from Massachusetts and had no overnight lodging reservations in Montréal led to a full search of my car including drug-sniffing dogs at the I-89 border crossing in Vermont.  It ended with one of the customs agents performing the search translating my bumper stickers into French for the other customs agent who did not speak English.

4. Flying into Newfoundland with plans to stay in St. John's at the MUN dorms the first night (our flight got in at something like 12:30 am local time), taking the bus to Port-Aux-Basques the next day, staying at a friends' house there for several days, then back to an actual hotel in St. Johns.  That got me whisked aside for a full search of my luggage by Customs Canada.

Customs Canada seems to have issues with anything non-standard involving using their roads for road trips.  So if you can tell them the truth but not the WHOLE truth... road tripping becomes "tourism" or "sightseeing" -- that seems to be better.

I haven't crossed the border any time around Canada Day, so I can't speak to the lines at the border. 

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2016, 06:25:40 PM »

Well, telling them that I'm sightseeing won't be any problem, that is primarily what I will be doing anyway. I've never seen Ottawa or Montreal and my last time in Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ontario was in 1997. I have all my lodging accomodations made already, I just hope doing it by myself won't come up as a big problem.

Sort of back to the camera thing, I do try to keep my camera out of sight whenever there is a police car within eyesight on general principal. How often would I encounter police along the highways? I ask somewhat for that reason but so gauge what I should go on speed limit along the highways. I am typically careful on keeping my speed in places I'm not familiar with, but what would be considered okay along the 400-highways and other two-lane routes.
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vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2016, 06:44:05 PM »

Nobody goes 100 on 400 series routes.  Under 120 should be fine.
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2016, 10:06:22 PM »

I think the same principle that largely applies on US highways applies on the 400-series highways: There's always going to be someone who's eager to show off how his car is faster than yours. Let him. Unless your car is unusually flashy or you're driving like an idiot, you won't stand out if you're not the fastest car on the road.

I've never had any trouble up to about 130, and on 401 there's always so much traffic on the parts I've driven that I felt it's hard to go much faster than that without driving like an idiot. There were enough people trying to push 140+ (doing idiot things like tailgating or weaving in and out) that 130 didn't stand out. The only place in Canada where I ever recall hitting 140 was on the Cobequid Pass Toll Highway in 2008, and I probably could have hit 160 or more on there had I not figured it was a Very Bad Idea.
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2016, 07:51:53 PM »

I'm less than a week away from this trip and things are falling into place. I see the new 412 and parts of the 407 will be open by next Saturday when I pass by so I may journey onto those routes since there will be no tolls. I also saw that the Gardiner will apparently be done with its lane restrictions too so I may travel that way on Canada Day itself. I should be spending the 30th and 1st in Toronto proper itself taking the subway around the city and leaving my car at the hotel. I only have one question and this is mainly for those familiar with the city and mass transit (I rode the rocket back in 1997 so I am very vaguely familiar with it, I was also 9 at the time.) I am planning on seeing the fireworks downtown on the 1st on the Harbourfront. What will the subways be like that evening in terms of returning back if I park my car at Kipling (I'll be staying on the west side and I know parking is free that day.) I'm just curious of what riding the train will be like on that night. I remember being in Washington D.C. for the 4th of July in 2000 and waiting two hours to board the train at Metro Center station, so that's my reason for the concern. 
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MisterSG1

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2016, 08:03:45 PM »

Even after big events like Blue Jays games and concerts on the same night potentially throwing more than 70000 on the TTC, you usually won't have to wait to board a train. The only time I've ever heard of the subway being jammed with passengers due to an event outside of business hours was during Nuit Blanche where the subway was crowded like it as in Tokyo, where TTC employees had to try to squeeze people in to get the doors to close. The system generally looks much the same as it did in 1997 except for Museum station, and Osgoode/St Andrew stations which now have a "retro-modern" look. Considering that the busiest part of the Toronto subway is the Yonge line, the east side of the yellow line on the map, you should have no issues whatsoever.

Do not take the 509 Harbourfront Streetcar after the event as it could take a while to board that thing, just simply walk back to Union Station after....

An alternative option is to simply drive downtown using the Gardiner, get off at Jarvis, make a left on Jarvis, left on the Esplanade (first set of lights), and then turn left immediately onto Market St, there is a giant Green P parking lot that has thousands of spaces and they only charge $6 after 6pm no matter what day of the week it is, they don't overcharge due to holidays or special events.
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2016, 08:45:04 PM »

One other thing: it's May 2016, so if your credit cards aren't all chip-based by now, it means your bank sucks.  They should have replaced your cards months ago (sometimes the do forget, though; recently had to replace my ATM card because they never sent me a new one after it expired months ago).

I hate the chip cards. Not all of mine have been replaced yet, and I hope it stays that way as long as possible. At least a lot of the merchants where I use my credit cards and debit card haven't activated their chip readers yet, which makes me happy. I'd much rather swipe my card and stick it back in my billfold than leave it in the reader for a much slower transaction.
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empirestate

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2016, 12:18:19 AM »

I hate the chip cards. Not all of mine have been replaced yet, and I hope it stays that way as long as possible. At least a lot of the merchants where I use my credit cards and debit card haven't activated their chip readers yet, which makes me happy. I'd much rather swipe my card and stick it back in my billfold than leave it in the reader for a much slower transaction.

Then you'll like your chip card after all if you go to the UK. Since nobody there even knows how swiped cards work, those are what lead to the slower transaction.

As for Canada, the fact that transactions can be processed right in front of you at restaurants instead of the multi-step cashing out process we seem stuck with will also work in your favor.
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