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Author Topic: Montreal Border Crossing  (Read 95502 times)

vdeane

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #200 on: August 09, 2013, 09:37:01 PM »

I wonder what the opposite of this is: which country feels least like its own independent country, but instead an extension of a neighboring one.  offhand I would say Luxembourg, but I have barely been there (just once to clinch it, buy cheap gas, and return to Germany).  it felt like an extension of either Germany or Belgium.

Make Canada non-metric again and most of it is pretty close to just feeling like the USA


Except Quebec of course.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #201 on: August 09, 2013, 09:43:38 PM »

I wonder what the opposite of this is: which country feels least like its own independent country, but instead an extension of a neighboring one.  offhand I would say Luxembourg, but I have barely been there (just once to clinch it, buy cheap gas, and return to Germany).  it felt like an extension of either Germany or Belgium.

Make Canada non-metric again and most of it is pretty close to just feeling like the USA


Except Quebec of course.

Of course- hence "most of it"- though probably Newfoundland and maybe some of the Maritimes aren't either. Never been there. Alberta and BC (and I suspect SK and MB and most of ON) though? May as well be America.

Duke87

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #202 on: August 09, 2013, 09:58:24 PM »

Ontario is a lot like the US although it's different enough to feel just a little off. I describe it as an odd parallel universe America.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #203 on: August 10, 2013, 12:02:30 AM »

I wonder what the opposite of this is: which country feels least like its own independent country, but instead an extension of a neighboring one.  offhand I would say Luxembourg, but I have barely been there (just once to clinch it, buy cheap gas, and return to Germany).  it felt like an extension of either Germany or Belgium.

Make Canada non-metric again and most of it is pretty close to just feeling like the USA

Except Quebec of course.

Bienvenue en Louisiane, non?
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #204 on: August 10, 2013, 08:34:51 AM »

I crossed the border at the Peace Bridge yesterday.  There was a long lineup to get across, and some of the interviews in the line ahead of me were taking upwards of five minutes per car.  For me, he took my passport, asked me where I was going, "Cleveland and Cincinnati, to go and see baseball", how long I was going to stay "I'll be back on Sunday" and if I had anything to declare, firearms, food, anything like that, for which "I dont".  I was then told to have a nice day and sent on my way.
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mgk920

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #205 on: August 10, 2013, 04:55:35 PM »

I crossed the border at the Peace Bridge yesterday.  There was a long lineup to get across, and some of the interviews in the line ahead of me were taking upwards of five minutes per car.  For me, he took my passport, asked me where I was going, "Cleveland and Cincinnati, to go and see baseball", how long I was going to stay "I'll be back on Sunday" and if I had anything to declare, firearms, food, anything like that, for which "I dont".  I was then told to have a nice day and sent on my way.

I certainly hope that he also returned your passport to you when he was done with it!

 :-o

 :-P

OTOH, how will you be treated by the Canadian customs guys on your return???

 :hmmm:

Mike
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ghYHZ

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #206 on: August 11, 2013, 06:43:38 AM »

.........For me, he took my passport, asked me where I was going, "Cleveland and Cincinnati, to go and see baseball", how long I was going to stay "I'll be back on Sunday" and if I had anything to declare, firearms, food, anything like that, for which "I dont".  I was then told to have a nice day and sent on my way.

We usually go down to Boston for a ballgame at least once a year and come to think of it.........these encounters with CBP at Calais or Houlton are usually the friendliest. We just tell them we’re going to a game......there’s some smalltalk about the SOX....... then we’re on our way.

Perhaps if you’re an American......just tell CBSA you’re coming to Canada to see a Hockey game! :)
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Duke87

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #207 on: August 11, 2013, 12:06:19 PM »

Make Canada non-metric again and most of it is pretty close to just feeling like the USA
Except Quebec of course.
Bienvenue en Louisiane, non?

Louisiana's French heritage is mostly just for show at this point. Unlike in Quebec, they do not still speak the language, or have a significant part of the culture. Realistically it's another southern state more than anything else.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #208 on: August 12, 2013, 01:22:34 PM »

Nova Scotia bears more resemblance to Louisiana than Québec does. In Québec, French is actually the major language.
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rickmastfan67

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #209 on: August 14, 2013, 01:13:29 AM »

Perhaps if you’re an American......just tell CBSA you’re coming to Canada to see a Hockey game! :)

Used the "hockey card show" routine before.  Had no problems with that, especially when the big Toronto Expo Card Show is happening.

Heck, even used the "Going to McDonald's for Hockey Cards" back when they still had them.  No problems with that either.

Anthony_JK

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #210 on: August 14, 2013, 04:56:57 AM »

Make Canada non-metric again and most of it is pretty close to just feeling like the USA
Except Quebec of course.
Bienvenue en Louisiane, non?

Louisiana's French heritage is mostly just for show at this point. Unlike in Quebec, they do not still speak the language, or have a significant part of the culture. Realistically it's another southern state more than anything else.

Maybe for folk in North and Central Louisiana....but try telling that to a Cajun down here in Acadiana, and you'll barely escape with your head. There's still plenty of Cajun French to be found down here, though it is fading a bit due to demographics.
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leroys73

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #211 on: August 14, 2013, 07:48:03 AM »

Just got back from motorcycle trip. I crossed in ND on ND highway 28/Saskatchewan 8 between Sherwood, ND and Elmore, SK. No issues. Coming back to US by way of the International Peace Park I some how missed the entrance to the park. I told the U. S. Customs guy and he said to just turn around the customs building, go back to the park then cross after I finished the park. Which I did and entered the US after camping in the park. Good place to camp. No issues.

One thing the Canadian asked was if I had any weapons then mentioned guns or knives. I focused on the weapons and guns part with a reply of no as I did not have any guns. After riding off I recalled the conversation and the knives part. Yes I did have a couple of knives, multi tool, axe, and a hammer. I was camping. Weapons is sort of loose. What is the limit on knives? I wouldn't really call my knives weapons, just tools, but I have country roots and live in Texas. I guess a toothpick could be a called a weapon by a city guy. I'd hate to say no to knives then be searched and they see them. Could be a problem I don't want. 
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J N Winkler

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #212 on: August 14, 2013, 10:05:36 AM »

What is the limit on knives? I wouldn't really call my knives weapons, just tools, but I have country roots and live in Texas. I guess a toothpick could be a called a weapon by a city guy. I'd hate to say no to knives then be searched and they see them. Could be a problem I don't want.

I am a city slicker and was advised years ago when I was still living in Britain, by a friend who was then acting as a magistrate, that the Swiss army knife which I carried in my pocket all day could easily attract a six-month prison sentence.  Apparently the blade was just over the 3" limit at which an ordinary knife becomes considered an offensive weapon.

Per Wikipedia, it seems there is no blade length limit in Canada, the intent being to ban fighting knives such as switchblades, flick knives, and gravity knives:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knife_legislation#Canada
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agentsteel53

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #213 on: August 14, 2013, 10:13:52 AM »

I always declare my Leatherman tool, which has various poky and proddy appendages, including a blade about 2 1/2" long.

general reaction is indifference, with the occasional "take it out and leave it on the seat/give it to me for the duration of this interrogation".

coming back from Alaska into Canada, I had the following conversation.

"do you have any weapons?"
"I have a Leatherman tool, with a small knife on it."
"we mean weapons."

alas, no, no Gatling gun today.  perhaps next time.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #214 on: August 14, 2013, 11:09:23 AM »

I once declared my ski poles during a secondary before the US officer went to inspect my car, after he asked if I had any weapons or something that could hurt him. Indifference ensued.

I would declare any knives just to stay on the safe side.
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Brandon

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #215 on: August 14, 2013, 11:16:11 AM »

Funny.  I've never declared the Leatherman tool or the Swiss Army Knife I keep in the car.  Nor the tire iron for that matter (which, IMHO, is a far more dangerous weapon than any small knife).  They never ask about weapons, usually just firearms, tobacco, and alcohol.  That, and the harassment about driving from Illinois to Sarnia in a day and back by the bimbette at US customs.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #216 on: August 14, 2013, 11:18:19 AM »

after he asked if I had any weapons or something that could hurt him.

"gosh, a lot of things can hurt you, if you're insufficiently careful - or excessively adventurous.  try not to have the car roll over your foot, don't bash yourself in the head repeatedly with my camera, and please swallow less than five dollars in loose change."
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #217 on: August 14, 2013, 11:28:34 AM »

he asked if I had any weapons or something that could hurt him.
Yeah, I'm driving this thing called a car...
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #218 on: August 14, 2013, 12:35:04 PM »

Heck, my fingernails can be pretty damaging weapons, if I decided to use them as such.

 :spin:

Ditto my belt and socks/keys and coins.

 :-P

Mike
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #219 on: August 14, 2013, 09:53:33 PM »

I once declared a baseball bat entering Canada when asked if I had any weapons. The ensuing exchange was as follows:
"Hmm... yeah, that's kind of iffy. Do you play baseball?"
"Yes"
"Do you intend to use it in Canada?"
"No, I just keep it in my car"
"Okay"

Of course, I didn't quite tell the whole truth in this conversation. I do play softball (which is mostly the same as baseball), but the bat I had in my car was unrelated to that - indeed it was an old wooden tee ball bat, not useful to an adult for playing any sport. It was there specifically with the idea in mind that I might have it to use as an implement of self defense... and it did not occur to me until I got to the border that time that there might be any problem with that.

When I got home a few days later I promptly removed the bat from my car, lest it become an issue on future border crossings.
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Alps

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #220 on: August 14, 2013, 10:45:18 PM »

I just answer no to any of the standard "are you dangerous" questions. I've never been frisked to the point that they would find any small quasiweaponry on my person, and don't see that they ever would.

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #221 on: August 15, 2013, 11:56:08 PM »

What is the limit on knives? I wouldn't really call my knives weapons, just tools, but I have country roots and live in Texas. I guess a toothpick could be a called a weapon by a city guy. I'd hate to say no to knives then be searched and they see them. Could be a problem I don't want.

I am a city slicker and was advised years ago when I was still living in Britain, by a friend who was then acting as a magistrate, that the Swiss army knife which I carried in my pocket all day could easily attract a six-month prison sentence.  Apparently the blade was just over the 3" limit at which an ordinary knife becomes considered an offensive weapon.

Per Wikipedia, it seems there is no blade length limit in Canada, the intent being to ban fighting knives such as switchblades, flick knives, and gravity knives:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knife_legislation#Canada

Thanks. I would call the switchblades, flick knives, and such more like weapons. So I guess I was OK. It is too late now. As one of the members said a tire iron sure could hurt someone. The car can be nasty when misused.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #222 on: August 23, 2014, 09:55:15 PM »

This doesn't quite fit the topic, since my encounter with U.S. Customs was at a Canadian airport rather than a land border crossing, but let me unload here.

My experience with U.S. Customs earlier this week at the Toronto airport, where U.S.-bound passengers clear customs before boarding their flights, was really stressful even though I breezed through Customs once I was allowed to get in front of the agent.  The problem was that Customs was understaffed for the morning rush, so they were not letting people even leave the waiting area to see an agent until just before their flights were scheduled to depart.  Getting to the Toronto airport really early (after getting off my red-eye from Edmonton before 6am), about four hours before my connecting flight home, did me absolutely no good.  Then after getting in line for me and my carry-ons and checked bag to get past a U.S. Customs agent (nobody looked through the bags), I had to rush to get my checked bag to the bag drop to go onto my plane, get me and my carry-ons screened by Canada's equivalent to the TSA (no abnormal delays there), then run to my gate several minutes after my flight was scheduled to leave and the "last call" announcements for that flight were booming through the terminal.  The flight was held for me and a few other passengers also affected by U.S. customs delays, so neither I nor my checked bag missed the flight.  Still a lot of aggravation with my (later than) last-minute arrival at the gate, especially since when I fly (which isn't often) I normally get to my gate early and if possible grab a meal before boarding my flight. 

I don't know how common this is, but it sounds like this wasn't the first time, and that air carriers are unhappy with how U.S. Customs delays screw up their flight schedules out of Toronto. 

EDIT: One important exception I couldn't use -- Global Entry/NEXUS travelers were allowed to go to the head of the line, without waiting for their flight departure time to be called.  That was repeatedly announced in the waiting area where I was stuck.  I took that as rather heavy-handed pressure to pay money, etc. to get trusted traveler status for future trips (I rarely enter the U.S. by air, and don't do enough land crossings to justify the cost and hassle).

My entry into Canada, at the Montreal airport, was totally uneventful and stress-free.  My checked bag there went around the Customs Canada checkpoint directly to baggage claim in a post-Customs area, though I assume that Customs Canada did whatever checking it needed to do (apparently none other than X-ray and other non-intrusive screening) in my absence while I and my carry-ons were in a short line for a customs agent.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 09:52:57 AM by oscar »
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #223 on: September 04, 2014, 08:44:38 PM »

when I fly (which isn't often)

says the man who has clinched nearly every jurisdiction in North America that is not reachable by car ...
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #224 on: September 04, 2014, 09:36:10 PM »


Québec has a big hydroponic tomato industry.  During the winter, we now have tomatoes worth eating thanks to this.  Once, on an early summer day in Montréal, we stopped at a farmers' market and sampled perfect, full-ripe tomatoes as good as any you would grow yourself and pick here in August.  They were plentiful and cheap, too.  We agonized for a full twenty minutes, poring over regulations online before giving up and deciding to wait two more months to taste that again.  We'd been specifically asked about tomatoes in the past, and if you remember how the tomato blight swept through plant distribution channels three or so years ago, you get why.  Their disease transmitability puts them near the top of the agricultural no-no list, and we didn't want ourselves on any list at all.

I forgot about this thread, and wouldn't you know it, just after I posted this we went back to the same market in Montréal making sure to buy only approved, sealed, pasteurized products that could pose no threat at the border.  Which is why I was utterly dumbfounded when the agent made me get out of the car and walk the sealed package of the most incredible lamb sausage I ever had over to a trash can and discard it.  Apparently some lingering mad cow worries that ironically don't apply to beef (I smell a protectionist policy on behalf of the US lamb industry).

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