Driving from Buffalo to Toronto

Jan 10th, 2008, 02:01 PM
Original Poster
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Driving from Buffalo to Toronto

I'm heading back to Toronto in February. This time I'll be flying into Buffalo and driving across the border. I need some advice regarding the best route(s) and what to expect on my border crossings.

I'll be crossing the border into Canada on Friday around 1 p.m. and coming back across on Sunday around 4 p.m. On average how long of a wait can I expect? Is there only one place to cross the border in this area? If there are multiple, which one is quickest?

Thanks again.
Tri_Dude is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Here is a website on how to get from each bridge to the airport. Just reverse the directions.

They are all about the same distance.
Personally, I like to come back over the Peace Bridge.
I take 33 just a short distance to I 90 west, to I 190 to the Peace Bridge. The border crossing doesn't usually take that long.. maybe 10 minutes,, but you never know.
YOu can go up 290 to I 190 north, but I find you are in a bit more traffic that way.

If you cross at the Peace Bridge at Fort Erie, I find there isn't that much traffic on the QEW in this area.
kodi is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 04:48 PM
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Hi, Tri_Dude! I agree w/ kodi. I always use the Peace Bridge. Remember that Feb 18 is a holiday Monday in Ontario so if you are travelling the weekend b/f Feb 18 there may be more traffic than usual. Coming back on Sunday, if you have a flight to catch out of Buf that evening I wld allow extra time.
wow is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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I drive this route often and would change my advice a bit... Canada on friday at 1 in February will offer no delay on any of the three bridges so you can cross at the Lewiston Queenston bridge... Coming back take the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara and follow the I-190 south to 90 West... have fun!
garyt22 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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I always use the Queenston/Lewiston bridge. Never had any waits, not many trucks and I think it is shorter drive than Peace.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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I agree, both ways are ok... but just for the record, there is only 1 km difference in going the Peace Bridge vs Lewiston. And the stretch of QEW from Fort Erie to St.Catherines is much lighter than I 190 and I90., and a sraighter run.. no bridges and no tolls, and maybe even a higher speed limit ( but not sure on that one).

But Tri-dude, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.
kodi is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 08:21 PM
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Well thanks everyone for the information.

Okay, so since Monday the 18th is a holiday and that is the weekend I'll be in town, does that change anything? My flight leaves Sunday evening at 6 pm. I was planning on leavng Toronto at about 2-3 figuring 1 1/2 drive time. Is that cutting it too close?
Tri_Dude is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 09:51 PM
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Too close considering it is a Holiday weekend in Ontario. The border will be busy & traffic on the QEW b/t TO & BUF will be busy.

I think you shd be @ the BUF airport with rental car dropped off by 4:00PM for your 6:00PM flight. You will do Customs @ the border crossing so you do not have to do that @ the airport.
Allow 2.5 hours(normally 2 hours but add on 1/2 hour for extra traffic) from downtown TO to BUF airport( w/o border crossing time). Add on an hour for border crossing ( worst case scenario). That's 3.5 hours. So, if you leave downtown To @ 12:00 you shd be @ BUF the airport @ 3:30. Drop off your rental car, shuttle to airport ( if necessary...I don't know the procedure there as I never rented a car @ BUF airport but you need to allow some time to do the drop off thing). On my timetable, you will be @ the check-in counter @ 4:00PM for your 6:00PM flight. Relax , go & have a drink & reflect back upon the wonderful weekend you had in To!!
wow is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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I'm a fan of the Rainbow Bridge or Queenston Lewiston bridge if comiing from the airport. The peace bridge adds distance. Lately, the bridges (esp Queenston) have been very busy as lots of canadiens are spending their time and money in the US border towns where their dollar is very strong and there are lower taxes.

Be sure you have a passport or drivers license and original birth certificate. New rules take effect January 31, 2008 for identification.
Rachel is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Looks like other posters have given you great advice about which route to take, but I thought I'd just mention the drive is a very easy one. Mostly highway and Buffalo's airport is small so easy to get around.

I agree with wow, about leaving a bit earlier. You never know what oddity can strike (one screening machine down, a few screeners call in sick with the flu, etc.) that can back things up at the airport, or of course a longer than anticipated wait at the border.

If it was me (and I used to be a last minute traveller!), I'd prefer to be better off not living the stress and worrying, and just know I might have a bit of a wait at the airport (I bring a book, iPod, portable dvd player, notebook, whatever to entertain my small brain...LOL!).

klam_chowder is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 10:06 AM
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you could avoid all this and take Amtrak from Buffalo to Toronto.
jossin is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 05:14 PM
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Hi Tri_Dude,

There's a great website that provides approximate wait times for Canada/US border crossings (updated every 10 minutes).

Check out:

pjwcanada is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 07:06 PM
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Don't forget bad weather can play into your plans.
teacherCanada is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for the information about the website.
Tri_Dude is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 09:52 AM
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Don't forget your passport to get back into the States.
prinret is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Tri-Dude..is that the weekend of the 15th? If so, we are trying to organize a mini-GTG in Toronto (I'll be there the 15th-18th). You game?
Dukey is offline  

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