swiftski
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:19 am

Getting To Canada From BUF - Advice Needed

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:17 pm

Hi,

A more focussed topic, spin off from my earlier thread:
Cheapest Way To Canada (ex NYC/BOS/WAS) (by Swiftski Nov 25 2007 in Non Aviation)

My options are either to go to Toronto, for about £160, or to Buffalo, for £105, ex NYC.

If I go to Toronto, that is easy enough for me,however if I go to Buffalo:

-how easy is it to get over to Canada?
-what is border control like?
-is it best to stay the (one) night on the US or Canadian side?
-will I end up spending more than £50 (±$100US) on transport between the US and Canadian sides?
-recommendations to stay, hotel wise?

Any other tips/tricks greatly appreciated.

TIA
 
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yowza
Posts: 4275
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:01 am

RE: Getting To Canada From BUF - Advice Needed

Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:51 pm



Quoting Swiftski (Thread starter):
-how easy is it to get over to Canada?
-what is border control like?
-is it best to stay the (one) night on the US or Canadian side?
-will I end up spending more than £50 (±$100US) on transport between the US and Canadian sides?
-recommendations to stay, hotel wise?

-Leaving the US for Canada is generally pain free since we have no equivalent of the Gestap...I mean homeland security. Provided you have a visa or a passport that does not require you to have a visa to enter Canada you are fine there.

-Stay on the Canadian side. Buffalo is not a very exciting town at all and not much ever seems to go on there with the exception of certain sporting events. Toronto on the other hand has plenty to offer. That said shopping is generally cheaper on the US side...

-You might spend more than $100 for transport for return travel if you rent a car with insurance blah blah blah. If your are going to bus it you may be able to duck under this number but the buses are extremely uncomfortable and processing them at the border can be really bad since there are dedicated lines for them. If you arrive at the same time as say 3 other buses you are going to be waiting for a LONG time.

- When I got to BUF I usually stay somewhere in Cheektowaga. It used to be the Four Points Sheraton, not sure what it is now. I think it became a Holiday Inn. My best advice browse for hotel sales for the period and then check to see how far the places are from down town.

Cheers,
YOWza
 
DLPMMM
Posts: 2121
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: Getting To Canada From BUF - Advice Needed

Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:55 pm



Quoting Swiftski (Thread starter):
-how easy is it to get over to Canada?
-what is border control like?
-is it best to stay the (one) night on the US or Canadian side?
-will I end up spending more than £50 (±$100US) on transport between the US and Canadian sides?
-recommendations to stay, hotel wise?

1. Very easy. Rent a car and follow the signs to drive over the bridge.

2. Like a highway toll booth.

3. Depends on what level of hotel you would like to stay at. Buffalo is much larger than the nearby Canadian towns. I would again suggest an online booking engine for price and amenities comparison.

4. A rental car should not cost very much, certainly less than $100. Reserve one via Travelocity or similar web site.

Go see Niagra Falls.
 
cytz_pilot
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 3:34 pm

RE: Getting To Canada From BUF - Advice Needed

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:19 pm

Be aware that with the Canadian dollar higher than the US Dollar for the first time in 30 years (although it is sinking today) there are tons of cross-border shoppers and it has slowed down the bridge border crossings considerably. My wife and I flew into Buffalo instead of Toronto in September and there was a 1-3 hour wait for cars to cross any of the 3 bridges. I have heard some horror stories as well with people stuck 5-7 hours, if they have to line up to pay duty.

You will probably have troubles taking a rental car across the border. The bus isn't a good option with the excessive wait times. I crossed the border by train once on my way to New York, and it was great - it chugs right across the bridge, then a group of customs agents board and you're on your way in about an hour. And this a few days before 9/11 2002.

I lived 27 of my 30 years in Toronto and loved em all....YOU MUST GO THERE! Just stay on the train past the border for another 90 minutes.

[Edited 2007-11-27 13:22:11]
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Getting To Canada From BUF - Advice Needed

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:26 pm



Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 2):

Go see Niagra Falls.

Niagara Falls is beautiful, if kitschy. See it from the Canadian side, however, as it is much nicer.

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 2):


4. A rental car should not cost very much, certainly less than $100. Reserve one via Travelocity or similar web site.

There is an Enterprise down the street from the Buffalo airport that offers better rates than the on site rental companies, including the BUF Enterprise. You will, however, have to pay attention to their limited hours.

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 2):
Buffalo is much larger than the nearby Canadian towns.

Depends on what you define as nearby. Hamilton dwarfs Buffalo. Also, there are some really beautiful boutique hotels/B&Bs in Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is just over the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):

- When I got to BUF I usually stay somewhere in Cheektowaga.

That is right by the airport, so it is good for a cheap crash pad.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):

-Leaving the US for Canada is generally pain free since we have no equivalent of the Gestap...I mean homeland security. Provided you have a visa or a passport that does not require you to have a visa to enter Canada you are fine there.

Unless, of course, you are crossing between VT and PQ  Wink

Quoting YOWza (Reply 1):

-You might spend more than $100 for transport for return travel if you rent a car with insurance blah blah blah

If you have decent travel insurance, there is no reason to opt for the absolute rip off rental insurance.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
jamincan
Posts: 572
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Getting To Canada From BUF - Advice Needed

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:54 pm

I guess it depends what you want. If you're just hopping over to see Niagara Falls, take part in the tourist kitsch etc., by all means, fly into Buffalo. If you're heading to Toronto, I don't think the extra time and hassle of traveling to and from Buffalo is worth $100. Also keep in mind that the QEW is only 6 lanes through out its length and can get quite congested.

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