Studded Tires Forbidden?

Old Dec 9th, 2004, 02:40 AM
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Studded Tires Forbidden?

In planning for my upcoming trip to Toronto for the holidays, I read in the Fodor's guide that studded tires are "forbidden" in Ontario.

I just paid $60 to get mine put on for the winter here, and don't want to pay another $120 to have them taken off then put back on when I return.

Are they really that strict? Will they refuse my entrance into the country? Is there a fine? What's the deal with having studded tires on? I wouldn't dream of traveling without them in Northcentral PA and upstate NY like I do in the winter without them.

Do I need to cancel my trip to Toronto now? HELP!

Thanks....
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Old Dec 9th, 2004, 05:35 AM
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Studded tires have been illegal in Ontario for over 20 years, although there are still lobbies to allow them back, particularly for Northern Ontario.

The argument is that they destroy roads, and they certainly would be of no benefit in the Toronto area.

Maximum fine would be $1000. It would be pretty mean for any police officer/judge to levy a fine that high for a visitor/first offence. Since nobody in the populated parts of the province breaks the law, I have no feel for what normal penalties are.

Nobody at the border is going to care about your tires. It's only if you get stopped be a cop for other reasons or get involved in an accident.
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Old Dec 9th, 2004, 08:27 PM
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There is no snow in Toronto right now so winter tires are not necessary.
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Old Dec 10th, 2004, 04:53 AM
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Well, I called CAA to get the scoop on the tires and she called the police to find out how they would handle it. They said if any of them saw ANYONE driving with studded tires, they would stop them and fine them. Period.

It's not that I was worried about driving in Toronto and needing them; I need them to drive from Northcentral PA, upstate NY and into Canada. Down here, I DO need them in the winter. We do have snow.

Thanks for your replies.
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Old Dec 10th, 2004, 07:40 AM
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I think that the CAA warning is valid. You cannot depend upon a police officer using discretion to give you a warning as a visitor to Ontario. On the other hand, I'm not sure that the fine would be the maximum. It's a risk you'd have to take. So, with the exchange, you're to the good with any fine under C$150.
Certainly, in Toronto, there is no need for studded tires, and most times no need for snow tires.

Where I live, in Ottawa, snow tires are highly recommended, although many cars have only so-called "all-seasons". I use Michelin Arctic Alpin on one car, and Nokian Hakkapeliita on the other, and while I'm sure that studs would give even more traction, especially on ice, I've never found the need for them, even if they were legal here.
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Old Dec 10th, 2004, 09:44 PM
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I have a set of Michelin Arctic Alpines and have used them only for one season back in 2001. They are an incredible tire - traction in snow and stopping power on ice makes if feel that you are driving in the summer.
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Old Dec 11th, 2004, 03:55 PM
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If you live in an area that really needs studded tires to go anywhere, then you should use chains on non-studded tires. Once you get into the main roads, remove the chains and continue your journey.
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 01:44 AM
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rkkwan, It seems you never lived Upstate New York. Traveling there as a truck driver doesn't count.

We traveled recently to Toronto with our studded tires and nobody stopped us.
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 04:50 AM
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Incognito - I lived in New England for several years, and have travelled the NYThruway in the winter many times. I realize some of you need something better than just studless winter tires to get to where you go, but that's not an excuse to rip up the freeways in NY or in ON.

Would you tell the Canadian immigration that because you live in a bad neighborhood (and "wouldnt' dream of travelling without them"), you'll need to carry a gun, even though it's forbidden in Canada?
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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rkkwan, can you imagine anyone going to Toronto five times each winter and changing tires each time somewhere after getting close to Toronto?
Are you from Texas by any chance? I think only a person from texas would comapre snow tires to guns. Do you carry a gun in your truck because you may drive through a bad neighborhood?
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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Who cares where I live, or lived? But just FYI, I don't own or carry any firearms, and have never fired any.

I'm just pointing out that you posts have zero logic. It's your choice to live somewhere with lots of snow and require studded tires. It's not the problem for Ontario citizens. They don't want people drive with studded tires, and that's it!

It's YOUR problem, not theirs. Or mine.

And the choices are laid out here:
- Change into non-studded tires, and put chains on when needed around your central PA/NY neighborhood.
- Carry a set of non-studded tires and change it out somewhere before the border.
- Break the Ontario law and take a chance. Just don't complain here if you get a ticket.

BTW, yes, I can imagine people changing wheels and tires 5 times a winter, if that's necessary. When I was going to track days often a couple years ago, I probably changed wheels and brake pads 8-10 times a year.

Your logic is that because the law is inconvenient to you, then it's okay to ignore it.
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 05:44 AM
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rkkwan, I read my post again and I apologize. True is when we went to Toronto I did not realize there was such law. To us going to canada (not Toronto)is everyday thing. We go there to restaurants, movies, shopping, dentist, meet our friends
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 06:18 AM
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No problem. This is a board for discussion, isn't it?

Anyways, couple more thoughts. It may make sense to just rent a car in Buffalo for a short trip to Toronto. Sure it costs money, but maybe less than a ticket.

Also, I haven't really lived in areas with deep snow, but I've heard that the newer studless "ice tire" are almost as good. Maybe that's just marketing talk, but I wonder if those can be a good compromise, even if you live in central NY/PA.

Finally, handguns may not be the best analogy to come up with. How about radar detector? It's illegal in Ontario, but legal in 49 states and some Canadian provinces.
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Thanks, rkkwan. I like radar detector analogy much better
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 01:04 PM
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No need to start a war here.

Just FYI, I prefer studded tires in the winter because I drive back and forth between Northcentral PA and to the Adirondacks and it's just easier for three months driving on the studded tires than hassling with tires.

I have no problem with any city/country, etc. banning them and I certainly wouldn't want to cause problems by driving up there with them. I respect their wishes for the ban, regardless of the reason.

I actually booked a flight instead, and won't need a car once I'm up there. It was actually cheaper for me to do that than drive anyway. Live and learn.

Thanks again for all your responses. Now, fight nice everyone.

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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 07:36 AM
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Every time I see a mention of studded snow tires, I am reminded of a foreign female student who was trying to learn English slang. She had a copy of Reader's Digest that contained several newspaper malaprops in one of the humor sections.

Being one of her professors, she asked me for explanations of why the mangled headlines were funny.

For example, "Former Man Dies in California"

"Man Gets 10 Years in Violin Case"

Sign in a restroom located in a Far Eastern nation (name omitted).

"To flush, please step on peddler."


I think I did ok on the first three, but the 4th one about studded snow tires stopped me dead. For once I was totally at a loss as to what to day.

The headline in a Colorado paper:

"Stud Tires Out"

I was not going to touch that one with a 10 foot pole, or even an 11 footer.
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