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Old 03-31-2012, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 716,685 times
Reputation: 139

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I've found a bit of info using Google on moving across Canada by driving through the US, but not really much here on city-data forums. Thought I'd ask some of you fine folks here who are more in tuned with this than the general public might be. I hear the driving conditions are nicer, potentially shorter and maybe cheaper fuel. Also, there is supposed to be less mountainous regions to drive through if I go through the US.

What I will be taking with me
This August or September I am planning on moving from the Toronto area to Victoria BC (slight chance it will be the lower mainland but more than likely Vancouver Island). I will be driving my minivan (a 2005 Chevy Astro, fully paid for, in my name, no liens, no lease, etc), probably towing a trailer. Either a rented Uhaul enclosed cargo trailer or I will purchase an enclosed cargo trailer. Or, I might really pare down and travel light, only taking what will fit in my van. I also have a dog, and am currently debating on how to transport him - by plane, or with me in the van. So far, it's looking like he will come with me in the van. He's a 3 year old Boston Terrier/Boxer mix. I understand he will need proof of his shots being up to date.

I will NOT be transporting any alcohol, drugs, tobacco or firearms. I will have minmal cash on me, but will probably have proof of a few thousand dollars available in my bank account and available credit on my credit cards. I will be transporting clothes, a desktop computer and two laptop computers, possibly a computer desk (disassembled so it takes up less space) and if I end up towing an enclosed cargo trailer, then my bedroom furniture and kitchen table with chairs.

Other info I found on moving across Canada via the USA
From what I can tell on other forums (with most info being about 4 years old) is that if I have a very detailed list of everything, and there is nothing that appears new, with no alcohol, etc, I should be fine. Most of the things I have I bought used, but are good quality, and some still look fairly new. I have receipts for some items, but for most I do not). I guess the big thing is to provide proof that you are really moving to a place in Canada, and not trying to move into the US.

Proof of work for a Canadian company (job I am "taking" with me to BC)
I am in training for a job that lets me work from home anywhere in Canada (must be in Canada though, which is fine with me). It can be full time or part time and involves working as a customer service agent providing phone support, all home based. It's for a major Canadian company but it's subcontracted, and I will be a subcontractor. The pay is only so-so, but the good thing is that I won't have to scramble to find a job when I get to BC. Once I get my phone and internet set up, I'm ready to work. By the time I move, I will have worked for them for about 3 or 4 months, and take about one to two weeks off to move (will be OK if I "bank" some hours). Hopefully this will be good enough proof for the US border crossing. Technically, I suppose I could get away doing this in the US if I wanted to. All I'd need to do is get a Canadian phone number with a VOIP service, or even a landline with a long distance plan, forward it to a US number, and nobody would be the wiser that I am working in the US. But I do not plan on doing that - I was merely pointing out a flaw that a US border official may also consider.

Should living arrangements be set up ahead of time?
Even better would be if I had my living arrangements set up ahead of time. I am considering finding a place online, but only on a month to month basis, since I can't see it in person and want the option of being able to give one month's notice so I can leave. Eventually I want to get a house on a rent-to-own basis, which could theoretically be set up from Ontario. But I'd rather see the place in person before committing to it. In all likelihood, I was probably just going to arrive in BC, get a pet-friendly motel room for a few days or a week, and look for a place to rent (one that has immediate occupancy - by moving AFTER the university students have settled in, this should be easier).

The actual route - USA vs Canada
So.... I don't know if it's worth the potential hassles to drive through the US while moving across Canada. I've driven though many parts of the US, but never the northern US route going east to west. I have drive across Canada a few times, so I know what to expect. Driving through Ontario, especially the northern and western parts is long and somewhat mountainous. In August or September I (hopefully) won't have to deal with snow. And I recall driving through the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and BC is a bit of a challenge. It's a shorter distance but much steeper, and with nicer scenery than through Ontario. Driving a fully loaded van (and probably with a trailer) I was hoping to minimize mountain driving though. Any thoughts or personal experience on driving from Ontario to BC via the USA? Especially if you were moving? Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:21 PM
 
Location: CFL
903 posts, read 2,240,569 times
Reputation: 979
I wouldn't do this myself. I'd just stick within Canada. There are two routes across Northern Ontario. One right along the north share of lake superior is beautiful but a lot of mountains. There is another route further north that is straight and flat and boring.

The part about arrangements ahead of time. If you get to the US customs with all your stuff and can't be detailed in your answer of your exact destination they will get very suspicious that you might not really leave the US..
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,563,250 times
Reputation: 8908
You are correct about it being a much better drive across the USA. Not only is the interstate a million times better than the transCanada the amenities along the way are also a million times better. From Barrie you just drive to Ft Erie cross over get on the I90 and drive all the way to Seattle. It's a great route, much safer than the TransCanada. You can sleep in the rest areas overnight and they are just fantastic. Clean and very nice. If you were going to the island you could catch the ferry from Washington state to Victoria.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:32 PM
 
Location: CFL
903 posts, read 2,240,569 times
Reputation: 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucknow View Post
You are correct about it being a much better drive across the USA. Not only is the interstate a million times better than the transCanada the amenities along the way are also a million times better. From Barrie you just drive to Ft Erie cross over get on the I90 and drive all the way to Seattle. It's a great route, much safer than the TransCanada. You can sleep in the rest areas overnight and they are just fantastic. Clean and very nice. If you were going to the island you could catch the ferry from Washington state to Victoria.
Fort Erie route adds 500 Km vs going through Sault Ste Marie
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,563,250 times
Reputation: 8908
Ah sorry to tell ya but Ft. Erie is the most direct route. First of all the other routes don't take you to the I90 and if you are going through the USA you have to go south in any event to get around Lake Michigan.

To go through the Soo would be hundreds of miles out of the way.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:41 PM
 
Location: CFL
903 posts, read 2,240,569 times
Reputation: 979
Best check a map.. That's why the Soo is faster it goes north of lake michigan

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Ba...mra=ls&t=m&z=5
vs
http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Ba...mra=ls&t=m&z=5

Going the northern route to Soo also avoids any possible traffic in Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara and some of the big cites like Chicago
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 716,685 times
Reputation: 139
Thanks for all the great info! I guess if I want to play it safe, I can stick to the Canadian routes. I think over the 4 times (2 round trips) I've driven between Ontario and BC, I've taken both of the routes through Northern Ontario, two different routes through Saskatchewan (went to visit a friend in Saskatoon last time) as well as the two different routes in BC (I would not go the southern route through Fernie again). If I stay in Canada, the good part is that I won't have to worry about being hassled at the border crossing with all of my household items, and if the dog's paperwork and shots are in order the way the border patrol needs it to be.

But if I feel confident that the dog's paperwork is OK and that I can prove that I have a residence and job lined up and and waiting for me in BC, I might just take the US route. I've always wanted to try it. If I don't take it this time, I don't know when I'll have a chance to again. It would be a nice change of scenery, and I look forward to experiencing all of the amenities that available along the way. A shorter route would be better, and missing the traffic in Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara and Chicago would also be good. I've been stuck in traffic in all of those cites in the past. If I time it right, and go during the off-peak times it might be OK. Since I'll most likely have the dog with me, I'd like to make the trip as quickly as possible, so the shorter the route the better (shorter in terms of driving time, anyways). Thanks again!
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,058 posts, read 9,106,870 times
Reputation: 3429
Hey JSG,

I wanted to comment on a couple of things:

1. I've crossed the border many times with a dog and never once been asked to show any paperwork for my dog so I wouldn't worry too much about that. He was 80 lbs and took up the whole back seat so they definitely saw him there.

2. I moved to Victoria and figured I'd live in a hotel with my dog until I found a place and it took me a month (and $2,500) to find a place and that was only because I knew people and found a lead through them. The vacancy rates are VERY low so be prepared.

3. Lucknow used to be a trucker so I'd listen to his advice.

Good luck

AG
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,691 posts, read 6,534,040 times
Reputation: 8188
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
Hey JSG,

I wanted to comment on a couple of things:

1. I've crossed the border many times with a dog and never once been asked to show any paperwork for my dog so I wouldn't worry too much about that. He was 80 lbs and took up the whole back seat so they definitely saw him there.

2. I moved to Victoria and figured I'd live in a hotel with my dog until I found a place and it took me a month (and $2,500) to find a place and that was only because I knew people and found a lead through them. The vacancy rates are VERY low so be prepared.

3. Lucknow used to be a trucker so I'd listen to his advice.

Good luck

AG
We have crossed the border a lot with our dogs too and we've always been asked for the vaccination papers. I certainly wouldn't take the chance of not having them.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,058 posts, read 9,106,870 times
Reputation: 3429
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
We have crossed the border a lot with our dogs too and we've always been asked for the vaccination papers. I certainly wouldn't take the chance of not having them.
He said he has them so I meant just don't be concerned about it, it's no big deal.
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