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Customs and Connecting at Toronto Pearson

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Hi, I'm hoping someone here will be able to assist me as I try and select NY-Montreal/QC-NY flights for my family (they're flying open jaw.) On the end of the trip, they'll be flying from Quebec City to NY via Toronto. My understanding is travelers to the US actually go through customs while technically still in Canada. Am I correct in thinking then that they'll be going through US Customs in Toronto, and not Quebec City? So I should choose flights that will leave them extra time for customs between arriving in Toronto and leaving for NY? The reason I ask is because one flight option leaves 1hr 35m between flight segments, while the other leaves 3hrs 5m.

Alternatively, there's also a flight going from QC to Chicago to NY. So in that case, I'm assuming they need to build in the extra customs time before their flight in Quebec City?

Sorry if I sound very clueless. I've traveled in the US and Europe, but not to Canada, and for some reason I'm finding myself very confused! :)

Thanks in advance for any help!

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