Why to Not visit Canada

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by k1smm, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. k1smm

    k1smm New Member

    First off, let me say that I know by where I speak, as I have lived in Canada during the summers for many years and I unfortunately have to cross the border hundreds of time each year.

    My comments relate mainly to eastern Canada, but I suspect they apply universally. I am not out to badmouth the country, as I love it. There are, however, real drawbacks to planning a vacation here.

    First off, the wait times at the major ports going into Canada often approach four hours or more in the peak tourist seasons. This means sitting in traffic on narrow urban streets and having to move forward every two or three minutes. This is not fun in 90 plus temperatures, with the whole family (even running the generator and AC). You may expect the same mess on your return trip to enter the US.

    When you do get to Canada Customs, (Revenue Canada) you are putting yourself in a situation where your RV is subject to being thouroughly and totally searched, as a result of the DISCRETION of an officer, who may be a very young untrained part-time college student. Make sure you don't wear your NRA hat. If you have a radar detector, even if packed away, it can be confiscated and you may be fined. There are horror stories!

    Gasoline is extremely high. You think US prices are bad?

    Everything costs more here, even when accounting for a good exchange rate.

    There is a 15% sales tax on most items. You can get some of it back if you go through the red tape.

    End of rant - but believe me - See America first. Canada is beautiful, but so is Maine. There is nothing in Canada to justify the cost and effort.

    Good Travels
     
  2. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    Why to Not visit Canada

    quote:Originally posted by k1smm

    First off, let me say that I know by where I speak, as I have lived in Canada during the summers for many years and I unfortunately have to cross the border hundreds of time each year.

    My comments relate mainly to eastern Canada, but I suspect they apply universally. I am not out to badmouth the country, as I love it. There are, however, real drawbacks to planning a vacation here.

    First off, the wait times at the major ports going into Canada often approach four hours or more in the peak tourist seasons. This means sitting in traffic on narrow urban streets and having to move forward every two or three minutes. This is not fun in 90 plus temperatures, with the whole family (even running the generator and AC). You may expect the same mess on your return trip to enter the US.

    When you do get to Canada Customs, (Revenue Canada) you are putting yourself in a situation where your RV is subject to being thouroughly and totally searched, as a result of the DISCRETION of an officer, who may be a very young untrained part-time college student. Make sure you don't wear your NRA hat. If you have a radar detector, even if packed away, it can be confiscated and you may be fined. There are horror stories!

    Gasoline is extremely high. You think US prices are bad?

    Everything costs more here, even when accounting for a good exchange rate.

    There is a 15% sales tax on most items. You can get some of it back if you go through the red tape.

    End of rant - but believe me - See America first. Canada is beautiful, but so is Maine. There is nothing in Canada to justify the cost and effort.

    Good Travels


    Amen to ALL of that! We went in through International Falls in Minnesota and didn't have that long of a wait, but of course we went in June. We were in Ontario (Dryden) and found it way to expensive and the people were not very friendly. Although the woman who ran the PP there at Dryden was very nice. However, I agree with you 100% about the high prices and taxes. See America first!
     
  3. jameslove

    jameslove New Member

    Why to Not visit Canada

    quote:Originally posted by k1smm

    First off, let me say that I know by where I speak, as I have lived in Canada during the summers for many years and I unfortunately have to cross the border hundreds of time each year.

    My comments relate mainly to eastern Canada, but I suspect they apply universally. I am not out to badmouth the country, as I love it. There are, however, real drawbacks to planning a vacation here.

    First off, the wait times at the major ports going into Canada often approach four hours or more in the peak tourist seasons. This means sitting in traffic on narrow urban streets and having to move forward every two or three minutes. This is not fun in 90 plus temperatures, with the whole family (even running the generator and AC). You may expect the same mess on your return trip to enter the US.

    When you do get to Canada Customs, (Revenue Canada) you are putting yourself in a situation where your RV is subject to being thouroughly and totally searched, as a result of the DISCRETION of an officer, who may be a very young untrained part-time college student. Make sure you don't wear your NRA hat. If you have a radar detector, even if packed away, it can be confiscated and you may be fined. There are horror stories!

    Gasoline is extremely high. You think US prices are bad?

    Everything costs more here, even when accounting for a good exchange rate.

    There is a 15% sales tax on most items. You can get some of it back if you go through the red tape.

    End of rant - but believe me - See America first. Canada is beautiful, but so is Maine. There is nothing in Canada to justify the cost and effort.

    Good Travels
     
  4. jameslove

    jameslove New Member

    Why to Not visit Canada

    quote:There is nothing in Canada to justify the cost and effort.


    Yes, the sales taxes are higher, crossing the border can be a hassle if you don't time your crossing well (just like rush hour through cities), and yes there are lots of just as beautiful places in the US. But it's also a different country and lots of folks find that adventurous, even if it costs them more. There are also a lot less people about, and some find that a drawing card too.

    The main places that I would recommend for Americans to visit in Canada are British Columbia. There you will find Wells Gray Wilderness area north of Kamloops, Jasper National Park, the Okanogan Valley (for some fantastic wine tasting, lakes and fruit),
    and Banff National Park. In Washington, if you follow the State 97 north it continues into Canada. There is lots of camping at Osoyoos and Penticton, although it can be quite hot in the summer (high 90's), but the lakes are warmish. Head north through Kelowna and Vernon, then across to Kamloops, head up to Wells Grey and see some real wilderness country. Not very many Americans go there, but you'll see lots of europeans RVing there. After this, head up towards Valemount then across to Jasper. Once there head down to Banff on the gracier highway towards Lake Louise (visit one of the most beautiful lakes in the world there.) Check out Banff, then head south towards the US border.

    The other area to check out is the Canadian east coast. Most of the American east coast, right up to main, is quite developed. Once you get into Canada things get a lot more rural and scenic. Canadians generally are fairly aloof when you first meet them, although they tend to stop for folks in trouble, I suspect. East coast Canadians, especially Newfoundlanders are a whole different breed. There is much rugged and beautiful coastline to explore. My parents have been to most places in North America and consider the Canadian coast to be the most beautiful and the most folksy. The trip the Newfoundland can be expensive, but it is a step back in time into a different culture. Most Americans don't know that up until the 1950's Newfoundland was a separate country from Canada.

    As for the middle of Canada, unless fishing is your thing (its great), the bugs will eat you alive and Ontario is no great shakes. Quebec is really cool, although once out of Montreal, bring your french dictionary. Quebecers like American's more than Canadians, however strange that might sound! Make sure to order poutine!

    I've got loads of highway information on Canada with pictures at www.milebymile.com

    Yes, visiting the best of Canada is worth it.
     
  5. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Why to Not visit Canada

    James, I agree. Our trip through Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon on the way to Alaska last year was great. All the people in this area were very friendly and got a kick out of our southern drawl. We just laughed with them and joked that we had a little problem understanding them also. Was a little expensive but well worth it IMO. I find it very interesting to see other cultures and I am sure if the chips were down Canada would stand beside us if they agreed with what we were doing. thanks for the post with some great info
     
  6. Thumper

    Thumper New Member

    Why to Not visit Canada

    Try crossing at the Peace Bridge In Buffalo to Fort Erie Ontario most time ya just fly threw. Both ways. Except during peak rush hour on long weekends. Morning to mid day Is best.
     
  7. Al Wells

    Al Wells New Member

    Why to Not visit Canada

    Even though I am a Canadian, I cannot disagree with your thoughts on Ontario. I came from B.C., the Okanagan Valley (Kelowna, and wish I was still there! There are so many beautiful spots to visit in B.C.

    You will find that as Canadians we are conservative by nature, in most cases. I had my own culture shock coming to Ontario! I was used to friendly country folk and people who would take the shirt off their back for you. Here in the heart of Ontario, known as the GTA or Greater Toronto Area, money seems to be the only "raison d'etre". For many, they see Toronto as the center of the universe :)...well, at least for Canada...

    You will find that east coast folk are wonderful by nature! PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland (Pls. pronounce it "NEWfundland" not "New Found Land") have a laid-back, easy-going style of life and would do anything for you...as you may remember during the 9-11 crisis.
     

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