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Old 03-31-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,559,913 times
Reputation: 8908

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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc3565 View Post
Fort Erie route adds 500 Km vs going through Sault Ste Marie
I have gone both ways many many times and the southern route is just way better all around. I have also driven dozens of times from Toronto to Vancouver and back. That route just sucks unless you are a tourist and are taking it real easy, are in no hurry and want to stay and eat at fleabag motels.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 716,450 times
Reputation: 139
A lot of people cross the border with their dogs. As for being asked to show proof of the vaccinations, I guess it's at the discretion of the individual officer. I've also noticed some border crossings are more laid back than others. Crossing through Sarnia, ON into Port Huron, MI seems a lot friendlier and easy going than just down the road crossing from Windsor, ON into Detroit, MI. The border crossing at Fort Erie, ON into Buffalo, NY is kind of in between the two. The border crossing between Lacolle, QC and Champlain, NY is pretty good too (but crossing back into Canada they're a bit more strict).

AdventureGirl, thanks for the heads up on the low vacancy rates in Victoria. I didn't think they were that low, but good to know. I was also considering staying in hotel or motel and looking for a place once I get there. I'm a bit leery about choosing a place online and trusting that it will be as nice as it seems in the online classified ad. For one, I don't know if it's a legitimate landlord, and second, you can't get a feel for the neighborhood or a true sense of what the apartment is like (could be old and peeling paint, damp moldy smell, etc that would not show up in photos).

I "know" two people in Victoria. One is an old high school friend I caught up with on Facebook a few years ago, but he seems to have abandoned his facebook profile and I cannot track him down any other way. The other is a friend I met at summer French immersion program in Montreal about 10 years ago. I kept in touch with her when she lived in Ontario, and even when she moved to the Vancouver area. But when she had kids and moved to Victoria, we kind of lost touch. I found her blog online and emailed her but she has not responded (and it's been almost two months). I'm hoping to reconnect with one of these people and perhaps if I gave them some money as compensation, they could check out some places for me. I've got a friend in Kelowna who would be willing to help look for a place in Kelowna, but I've decided that's not where I want to be. And it's too far from Victoria to even go for a day trip to look at places.

Another more expensive option is to get a brand new house on a rent to own basis. There are some investors in the Victoria area that will buy a house you choose (within reason) and rent it to you for two or three years on a rent to own basis. Only thing is, I'm not sure I'll meet all of their qualifications, or have the minimum $10,000 deposit and the monthly rent will probably be between $1500 to $2000. For those prices, you can imagine it's not right in Victoria - about 45 to 60 minutes away from Victoria. If I really push myself, I could probably afford the monthly rent, but I was hoping to keep it under $1000 a month, maybe $1200. And I'd still be buying/renting a place sight unseen, though I think there are fewer potential surprises with a brand new house.

Of course, having an apartment or house lined up ahead of time would be helpful for proving to the border crossing that I'm really just passing through the US as a short cut to BC, and not planning on living in the US. And it would be nice to know I have a place to stay as soon as I get to Victoria.

Back to the original question of driving through the US instead of Canada, it looks like I could save about 8 hours of driving time by going through the US. That's at least one tank of gas, probably more. So at least a $100 fuel savings and probably $75 savings on not getting another night's stay at hotel, but more important, that's 8 hours less time in the van for my dog, who hates car rides. And the amenities through the US are much better than through Canada. Plus the roads are potentially better and I hear fewer and less steep mountain passes.

However, if I go through Canada, and am willing to go a bit out of the way, I've got a friend in Saskatoon. I could probably stay there for a day or two and relax, but I'd make up for it financially by paying for more gas due to the extra driving distance and more buying food at restaurants.

Wow, I'm really torn about which way to go now. And I'm going to look more in depth into the apartment or house rental situation in Victoria before I head out. It might be harder to find a place than I thought.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,559,913 times
Reputation: 8908
I have travelled back and forth, Can. USA hundreds of times with my two dogs. Never once was I asked for the dog's paperwork eveb though I always had it with me. However,a heads up for those who aare taking dogs into the USA. They almost always ask if you are bringing dog food into the USA. If you are and it's not made in the USA they confiscate it. I always bought dog food made in the USA and they checked it many times.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 716,450 times
Reputation: 139
Good point about the dog food. I was just wondering about that. If I end up going through the US with my dog, I'll either bring some canned US made dog food, or come with no food and just buy some once I'm in the US.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:36 PM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,156,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy73 View Post
Good point about the dog food. I was just wondering about that. If I end up going through the US with my dog, I'll either bring some canned US made dog food, or come with no food and just buy some once I'm in the US.
Looks like they have recently changed this law and now you can bring in pet food from Canada?

From here (about 2/3 of the way down the page): https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...r-personal-use

Food products from Canada, including pet food and fresh (frozen or chilled), cooked, canned or otherwise processed products containing beef, veal, bison, and cervid (e.g. deer, elk, moose, caribou etc.) are now permitted from Canada in passenger baggage. Products containing sheep, lamb, or goat will not be allowed entry.

The passenger must provide proof of the origin of beef, pork, poultry, cervid meat, and pet food in order to bring them into the United States. Examples of proof of origin include the grocery store receipt where the product was purchased or the label on the product indicating the province in which it was packaged.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 716,450 times
Reputation: 139
Thanks - good info to know. I was going to play it safe and come with no food - for myself or the dog - and just buy some in the US. But, knowing this about the allowances and exemptions is good.
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