Things to know when traveling in Canada

Old Jul 16th, 2007, 03:19 AM
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Things to know when traveling in Canada

We will be traveling by car to Toronto and Niagara Falls from the US. Is there anything that we need to know when driving in Canada that is different from the US. Do we need any special papers from my car insurance oompany, etc. What are some of the driving rules, etc. Thank you very much for any help.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 03:56 AM
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Posted speed limits are in kilometres NOT miles. Don't know about your state but in Ontario, right hand turns are legal even if the light is against you (Of course you still must yield and only make the turn if it is safe to do so.)
In Toronto - downtown - streetcars rule - so if one stops at a transit stop, you MUST stop BEHIND the streetcar even if you are in the right lane (Passengers will be getting on and off in the right lane and the TTC takes a dim view of motorists running down streetcar passengers.)
Those are the ones that come to mind immediately.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 05:38 AM
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Are there any different car insurance or info that I would need other than my regular insurance card and registration?
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 05:55 AM
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Clarifying... you need to stop before making a right turn on a red light, and by stopping "behind" streetcars, you need, in fact, to stop behind the side doors. So if you are beside a streetcar when it stops, you stop too, behind the doors... when the doors are likely to open, or are open. After the doors close, you can move.

Ontario has a lot of green arrows so you can turn, but not go straight ahead.

A flashing green light in Ontario means the cars facingyou have a red light, and you can turn in front of them.

Other than that, prettymuch the same as in the USA.

PEdestrian crosswalks -- people on foot have the right of way and you need to stop. They may point to show they want to cross, or they may press a button so yellow lights falsh. Regardlesss, you stop, and they walk, and do not pass a car stopped at a cross walk.

BAK

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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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You shouldn't need anything else besides your insurance and registration. However, it wouldn't hurt to check with your insurance company to ensure you have proper coverage.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Ask your car insurance company to issue you a "Canada card"--a small yellow card same size as US vehicle registration papers.
It should not cost you anything as it is not providing additional insurance, just verifying that the insurance you already have meets Canadian (and specific provincial) minimum standards.
I have never been asked for it at the border, but I have also never been stopped by traffic or other police in Canada, I assume it would really come in handy in case of an accident, as I was told you do need to prove that you're properly insured. Much easier to get that card now in advance of a trip!
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Old Jul 18th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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We are Canadians who lived in the U.S. for several years in the 90's and drove back and forth 5 or 6 times per year in our U.S. license-plated cars. Never were asked anything at the border or elsewhere in as far as our car or insurance went. But, check with your own insurance company to make sure you're covered. Probably are. But make the phone call to be sure.

The only other big difference I remember is, as mentioned by BAK, that I don't think they had the flashing green lights ("advanced green") in the U.S., at least not where we lived.

Oh - We also have occasional DUI police spot checks called "RIDE" programs (Reduce Impaired Driving). Most prominent during the Holiday season, but they crop up occasionally at other times, unexpectedly. Probably won't see one, but you should be aware - legal alcohol limit is 0.08.
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Old Jul 18th, 2007, 08:14 PM
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thanks for all the great advice.
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Old Jul 21st, 2007, 10:55 AM
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If you are to be driving in Montreal- not something I recommend- you cannot make a right turn on a red light on the Island of Montreal. You can off the island. The fine is large.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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I've been led to believe that the yellow insurance card is mandatory. I've never been asked for it, but I always get one from my insurance agent before entering Canada. Also, radar detectors are illegal in Canada. Finally, the Canadian police are much less forgiving of speeders. In my state (Wisconsin) it is generally understood that you can drive up to 10 mph over the speed limit without being ticketed -- I don't think that is true in Canada: the speed limit is the speed limit.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 02:58 PM
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We live close enough to Canada (Seattle) that our insurer asked if we wanted a proof-of-insurance card for Canada, and we get one with every renewal.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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And if you stop at a pedestrian crossing in Montreal, you'll get rear-ended.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 07:14 PM
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And if you stop at a yellow light in Montreal, you're also likely to get rear-ended.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 10:11 PM
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I used to love driving in Montreal. It is where I passed my driving license.
To change lanes, you fake it once, then do it.
Indicators and rear view mirrors are for wussies.
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