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Best Canadian/US Border Towns from the Midwest and on East.

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Feb 22nd, 2011, 01:08 PM
  #1
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Best Canadian/US Border Towns from the Midwest and on East.

I am looking to explore Canadian border towns and am very eager to find out which ones have the most positive impact on visitors. I am wanting to stay Michigan and on east for border towns. So Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. I have looked into Windsor Ontario but have been given the impression that if I am not into gambling, there is not much else for me to exprience there.
I am looking for a low crime place with a thriving economy that I would feel safe to travel to as an unaccompanied traveler.
Thanks for your help!
Nicky
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Feb 22nd, 2011, 04:26 PM
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I am from a suburb of Detroit and I do not know of anything else to do in Windsor besides eat and gamble. If you plan on going through Buffalo, NY on your tour, be sure to cross the border into Niagara Falls and just about 10 miles away is a small town called Niagara on the Lake. A beautiful little town surrounded by wineries and small shops.
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Feb 22nd, 2011, 06:22 PM
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Thank you. I have been to Niagra on the Lake back in the 80s a couple of times w/ my dad. I do remember how picturesque and quaint it was. I am glad to here it still has the same ambiance!
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Feb 22nd, 2011, 06:28 PM
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Sarnia, although it has a poor reputation has a very nice beach and Canatara Park which is a park at the beach is nice. It is a clean city with a lot of very nice, well kept homes and housing prices are below average so you can get a lot more for your money.

Niagara On the Lake is one of the prettiest towns. The customer service levels in the majority of business from hardware stores to restaurants to the library are extremely good. It is clean and has lots to do in close proximity.
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 07:28 AM
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Niagara Region has over 100 wineries, historical sites, fine dining, plus the Falls... NOTL is also home to the Shaw Festival with dozen or so plays running from April to October...
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 08:03 AM
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Ive been thinking about your question again and read your request. Is there a particular reason why you are thinking of a border town? How far from the border would you go?

To be honest, I think all Canadian border towns are safe for an unaccompanied traveller.
If you want lots to do and a geared for tourist place, the Niagara region is tops.
If you are willing to drive an hour or two from the border you could check out Toronto or Montreal.
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 10:06 AM
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At the eastend of Lake Ontario you can take the Ivy Lea bridge into Canada, and visit the town of Gananoque, just slightly west. Or travel a bit frther to the city of Kingston. It's a university town (plus some prisons) with a giant historical fort, and nice downtown parks, old buildings, etc.

You can get to Kingston from Cape Vincent NY by taking a ferry to Wolfe Island and another from Wolfe Island to the mainland (Kingston)

From Maine, you can get from Lubec to Campobello Island, and then take ferry boats to the New Brunswick mainland. Blacks Haarbour and St. andrews are beautiful little towns.
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 11:13 AM
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There are also the border towns along the St. Lawrence River, most of them very small although the scenery of the Thousand Islands is nice. You could check out Gananoque. Nearby Kingston, although not right "on" the border, is certainly a nice small city with a pleasant downtown and could serve as a base for exploring the Thousand Islands as well as some of the lakes, forests and provincial parks of the Canadian (Precambrian) Shiels just a little north.

Ottawa is about an hour from "a" border and bigger than Kingston, lots to do if you like museums, art galleries, cafes and shops. Vibrant and very tourist friendly.

Both cities would be safe for a lone traveller.

Magog, Quebec is maybe 1/2 an hour from the Vermont border and is a popular vacation town on a scenic lake, lots of shops, cafes and restaurants.

Near (though again not right "on") the New Brunswick border is St. Andrews which is small, charming and tourist-oriented.
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 11:17 AM
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BAK, I had opened this post, was interrupted, then came back and finished my reply without refreshing. Obviously we were thinking alike .
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Feb 24th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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Try ST Andrews NB Canada.A wonderful peaceful place.Paul
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Mar 6th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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I am eventually going to immigrate to Canada within the next 12 mos, that is why I want to stay near border towns as my adult children will remain in the US. I would like to stay w/in a days drive of Indiana. I am wanting to throughly explore the regional areas and eventually settle in a cultural area with a lot of things to do. I wil be bringing my 12 yo son with me. I am somewhat leary of going to a new country I have never been to before and setting off with just the two of us and do not want to wind up in any 'questionable' areas where safety is a concern. We are originally from suburban Philadelphia and when we moved to Indiana the lack of historical, cultural and recreational things to do was amazing! We have lived here for 19 years now and my next move I want to be proactive and visit the potential places and get a feel for the cultural and economic atmosphere.
Thanks all for your great suggestions, I will delve into some of the towns suggested.
Also, I have heard (from my naive American background) that Quebec can be xenophobic. Would you see a problem with us visiting there as tourists and maybe even settling there?
Thank you.
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Mar 6th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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Living in the Niagara Region gives you instant access to I-90 and the drive to Indiana is 6-8 hours... It also puts you near Buffalo Airport and within an hour of Toronto... plenty of world class culture and economy... good luck in your search...
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Mar 8th, 2011, 06:00 AM
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I'm a Toronto native, lived in the Philadelphia suburbs for several year, and now live about an hour outside of Toronto. If you want lots of activities and culture and are OK with the hustle and bustle of big cities, it would be worth your time to investigate Toronto. I know someone who moved to Toronto after several years in Indiana and has been ecstatic at the huge and varied amount of things to do. It is generally a very safe city, but if you spend a little time visiting, do a City tour, do some reading research and maybe talk to a few Real Estate agents about neighbourhoods, you will get a good feel for it. It is not inexpensive, however, to live there.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 05:20 AM
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Thanks Mat! Isn't Toronto kinda pricey? I also am thinking about visiting St. Catherines in the Niagra region, any ideas on what to see or do there??
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Mar 9th, 2011, 07:57 AM
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St Catherines is minutes from Niagara Falls and in the heart of the Wine region... lots to do there...
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Mar 11th, 2011, 12:28 PM
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To get some specific information on St. Catharines (note spelling), you might want to post a new topic specifically asking for this.

Toronto would probably be considered pricey, especially from a Real Estate perspective, relative to many parts of the U.S. A lot of people live in the outer suburbs and satellite towns which would still allow you to commute to Toronto for work or play but - in some, not all cases - may offer some more affordable real estate.

If you visit Canada to explore options you might want to spend some time in both St. Catharines and Toronto as they are only about 1 1/2 hours or less apart by car.
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Mar 12th, 2011, 07:14 PM
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I would personally not recommend St Catharines to live in. But cities and towns in the general vicinity are nice.

As I said earlier, safety is not a general concern you would need to have in most small Canadian cities.

As for Quebec being xenophobic, I think that is not a concern that you need to have. Canada has become very multicultural and in general, there is a very accepting attitude here.
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