Drive from Ottawa to Niagara Falls

Jun 20th, 2005, 04:03 PM
  #1  
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Drive from Ottawa to Niagara Falls

Should we go towards Toronto or throught the states? Looking for fastest way
taxnerdkk is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 04:56 PM
  #2  
 
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Distance is about the same (~555km through NY, and ~570 if you stay in ON). So, it's basically Toronto traffic vs border crossings delays. I guess that'd depend on what time of the day you're driving.

[I know you just want the fastest way, but there are tolls bridges and NY Thruway for the NY route, vs higher gas prices for the ON route.]
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Jun 21st, 2005, 03:52 AM
  #3  
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Thanks!

Will at that said, which one would you take?

We will leave at around 7 AM from Ottawa.

How much would the tolls be approx?

To go to the states, I would take the 401, then the 137 S, then I90, then I290??

What about going the Canada way, I would take the 401, then what?
taxnerdkk is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 04:55 AM
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I think I'll take a chance with Toronto traffic. It shouldn't be too bad as you're going through it in mid-day or early afternoon.

Both ways, you take 416 to 401.

For NY, you take 137 to cross the Thousand Island bridge, then I-81 to Syracuse, I-90 (NY Thruway) to Buffalo, then I-290 to I-190.

For Ontario, stay on 401 through Toronto, then 403 to QEW to Niagara Falls. [May take a short part on the 407 toll instead of part of 403/QEW.] They will bill you later on.

Toll for the NY route:

1000 Island - can't find info.
NY Thruway - $5.35
I-190 - $0.75 x 2 = $1.50
Niagara falls - $2.50
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 06:55 AM
  #5  
wow
 
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Highly recommend getting on the 407 asap. It takes you all the way to Burlington! Then QEW straight through to NF.(about an hour)
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Jun 21st, 2005, 09:08 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the recommandations.

At what point do I take the 407? Is the 407 in canada or in the states?

Do I switch from the 401 to the 407? Is this done before toronto? If so, how long before TO?
taxnerdkk is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 09:20 AM
  #7  
wow
 
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ETR 407( Express Toll Route...I think that's what it stands for or something like that...I will check)is Ontario's only toll highway. I think you can enter around Kingston. There's a web site that I will try to get for you so you can map it out.
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Jun 21st, 2005, 09:38 AM
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After passing center Toronto on 401, you then switch 403 towards the south. About 10 miles later, you can jump onto 407. 407 will end up on QEW towards Niagara Falls.

They take pictures of your license plate when you enter and exit the tollway, and they'll bill you later. No need to stop to get toll ticket or drop coins on 407.
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Jun 21st, 2005, 10:14 AM
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Contrary to what rkkwan has suggested, you should get on to 407 BEFORE you reach Toronto, and contrary to what wow wrote, 407 doesn't start anywhere near Kingston.

Heading east on 401 towards Toronto, take Brock ROAD (exit 399) Regional Rd 1 in Pickering. (Note that you will pass a Brock STREET at exit 410 beforehand). Head NORTH on Brock Road until you get to the interchange for 407. Then follow 407 all the way to the QEW in Burlington which will take you right to Niagara Falls. The toll will be $15.13 if you are travelling mid-week at non-peak times (10am to 3pm, or after 7 pm or all day on weekends and holidays.)

In my opinion, Hwy 407 is worth the cost of avoiding taking 401 through Toronto. You will find that traffic moves very well on it.

For more information, here's the website:

http://www.407etr.com/customerservice/custserv_maps.asp
laverendrye is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 08:56 AM
  #10  
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Ok 15,13 at non peak...however I will be there around 10h00 or 11h00 am....so what would be the cost? With this in mind...I should probably go throught the states?
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 09:04 AM
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Keep in mind, if you do the winery tours and buy more than 2 or 3 bottles, bringing two or three cases of wine through two border crossings could be a definite hassle. I drove it from Ottawa to Niagara Falls last September. The traffic through Toronto is a hassle; the next time I do it I will definitely try the 407.
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 09:58 AM
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As I mentioned, 10am to 3 pm are non-peak hours, so the cost would be $15.13. With 407 you will avoid the really heavy Toronto traffic.

With the hassle of two border crossings, NY Thruway tolls, and bridge tolls, I don't think that the U.S. route is worth the trouble, if your aim is simply to get to Niagara Falls.
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 05:42 PM
  #13  
wow
 
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Thanks for that info Laverendrye. So, 407 is Pickering to Burlington. Somebody told me that she went to visit her son who is @ Queens & that she "took the 407 almost all the way from Burlington". Guess I had better check my sources from now on!
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Jun 23rd, 2005, 03:27 PM
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On the way back to Ottawa, if I take the US route, will the six flags be on the way or will that be another detour?
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Jun 23rd, 2005, 06:54 PM
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There is an exit off the I-90 for Six Flags...it's only about six or seven miles from the exit. It's about a 30 minute drive from Niagara Falls.
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Jun 24th, 2005, 04:47 AM
  #16  
BAK
 
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416 south from Ottawa to 401, west to Don Valley Parkway in the middle of the day, south to Gardiner Expressway, west until Gardniner turns into Quewen Elizabeth Way and keep going to Niagara Falls.

If you leave Ottawa around 8 in the morning,you'll miss most Toronto traffic.

The drive from the Ivy Lea bridge to Syracuse is the most boring in the entire Unitd States of America, and the NY Thruway is nop more interesting, and a lot more expensive, than highway 401.

407 is a mixed bag -- I'm on 401 and 403 across the top of Toronto a lot, and traffic moves just fine outside of rush hours. 407, where we see it from our car, seems to move well too, but costs money.

Andhow serious are you about the fastest way? 15 minutes longer, and seeing the downtown of toronto, is a bonus, not a loss, unless you are in Toronto often anyway.

And the Thousand Islands Parkway might add ten minutes, but is a nice break.

And how interested are you in Niagara ont he lake and the Niagara PArkway, or are you just in a rush to get to the casino?

Lots of good options.

BAK
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Jun 24th, 2005, 05:04 AM
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BAK: There are many good options indeed, including those which you have suggested, but the OP was looking for the fastest way.
laverendrye is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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But it was also the OP who asked about toll rates and the Six Flags. Apparently, he/she's not just looking for the fastest way.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 07:58 AM
  #19  
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And does the poster want to go home again? And if so, which part of this drive is after dark...

Regardless, when you come to think of it, there sure are a lot of good ways, plus a few boring stretches.

Not a bad province to live in, or visit.

BAK
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Jun 24th, 2005, 08:37 AM
  #20  
 
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Hang on everybody!!!

The 407 is expensive with a rental car (I assume you are renting). You cannot pay 'manually', you pay only via a photo of your licence plate, which then goes to the vehicle owner (i.e. car rental agency). Check with your car rental agency to verify their handling charge for the 407. I don't know what it is, but I think it is expensive (like about $50).

BUT, the 407 only saves you from downtown Toronto, which is not usually too bad before 2:30 pm. Even if it looks bad and is clogged, it still moves pretty well.

Leave Ottawa as early as you can - you would like to be past Toronto and Burlington and Hamilton by 1500 (3 pm).

I'm a Canadian nationalist, so I recommend you stay within Canada, we'd like to host you.

From downtown Ottawa, take the 'Queensway' (417 West) to the 416 intersection (the next exit past Bayshore Drive). Read the signs carefully, I'm sure you exit on the left (I used to live in Ottawa, but left before the 416 was built). Take the 416 south until it ends at the 401. Take the 401 west until the 403, in Mississauga, just past the Toronto core. From this point, follow the signs to Hamilton or Burlington. The major cities are Burlington, Hamilton and St. Catherines, then Niagara Falls. Laverendrye is more expert on this part of the road than I am -- I just follow the signs.

DO NOT take the Don Valley Parkway to the Gardiner. My family in Toronto call it the 'Don Valley Parking Lot' because it is so slow. I have to take the Don Valley to visit my sister and I hate it. It is very congested and very slow. Stick to the 401, which is about 10 lanes wide (each way) through Toronto, counting the feeder lanes.

Finally, do not overlook Canadian B&Bs. They tend to be cheaper than hotels, but so much nicer. After all, why open a B&B if you do not like people? My wife and I stay at B&Bs whenever possible throughout all of Canada.
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