Riding INTO Canada in/around Niagra Falls area

Discussion in 'Americas' started by sgordon70, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. sgordon70

    sgordon70 Adventurer

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    All..I've seen a few videos and folks complaining about (A) border crossing on a motorcycle and (B) terrible/unsafe traffic in/around Toronto. My pal and I are riding in for just a couple of days to see a hockey game. We don't plan on traveling in peak commute times either. Is there anything we should be concerned about at either the border (trouble from crossing officials?) or Toronto itself (being unsafe..bikes getting messed with etc.)?

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. SuperGlueRyan

    SuperGlueRyan Been here awhile

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    I can't speak for crossing on a bike as I crossed at Niagra Falls in my car. That was pretty easy FWIW.

    I don't think that I'd ride in or near Toronto myself. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but the drivers there are... much more interested in their destination than what's going on around them. Maybe my experience was uncommon, people more familiar with the area might have more info. I would also warn you that there are a ton of trolley tracks in the city that are sure to be slippery and in some places have enough space parallel to them to drop a tire in if you don't hit them at close to 90 degrees on a bike. There also didn't seem to be much of a difference outside of rush hour, the streets were all pretty much busy at almost any time I was out in the car.

    As far as thefts or some other kind of vandalism... I wouldn't really be too worried about that, everywhere I wandered seemed to feel pretty safe. That's relative and anecdotal, though.

    I had a good time in the city, I'm sure that you will too!
    #2
  3. sgordon70

    sgordon70 Adventurer

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    Thanks!
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  4. Waterboiler

    Waterboiler Adventurer

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    The border:
    Not really an issue if you are 'clean', any criminal activity - even years ago ( DUI ) counts and you may be deemed 'non admissable' to Canada. YOu can get the older stuff expunged for a fee - I think they call it rehabilitation but you have to have the paperwork done in advance of arriving at the border.

    A lot of stuff that is 'normal' in the US is prohibited in Canada. Hand guns, mace, flickable pocket knives... Leave these items at home or with a friend on the US side.

    Toronto:
    I live in the burbs and travel to Toronto quite regularly. In a cage it is more about traffic and frustraion than unsafe. On the bike, things are diferent. The drivers are $%^$#$^ in town and worse on the highways. In town you have street car tracks to deal with on a lot of the bigger streets, they will dump you on your can faster than... I rode in once to see some friend last summer - just nuts - stress level through the roof. I do not know how the city guys do it - just too much going on. Maybe I would get used to it, if I did it more but the suiscidal cyclists are real pains. If you are used to urban ( and urban with crazy unskilled drivers ) they you should be O.K.
    All that said, Toronto is a great city - lots to see and do and relativly safe. In general, violent crime will not find you unless you go looking for it.
    #4
  5. sgordon70

    sgordon70 Adventurer

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    Thanks. I'm criminal free so I should be good. :-)

    I'll probably park and take the train in to the game just to be safe.
    #5
  6. Weird Bug

    Weird Bug Weird BUG

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    You can cross in the Niagra Falls area in two places. The Rainbow Bridge or I-190. I would suggest the Rainbow Bridge as you avoid all the truck traffic and motor homes travelling between the two countries. Took 3 hours to cross I-190 and about 30 minutes on the Rainbow.

    Have all paperwork handy, flip up your hemet - or take it off, take off your sunglasses.

    Also, there is a nice route a little out of the way that runs along Lake Erie - Route 18. Not sure where you are coming from though.
    #6
  7. sgordon70

    sgordon70 Adventurer

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    Thanks. Coming in from Buffalo. Any suggested superb/scenic routes all the way thru to Toronto?
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  8. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    When is the hockey game and how much time are you able to spend in Ontario and Toronto? It matters.Compared to Tennessee Ontario is about 2 months later with spring
    If the trip is within the next week or two forget about scenic tours. It is still
    early spring and only the crocuses and some daffodils are coming up, grass is still
    winterbrown , all trees are leafless, temperatures can be mild to freezing, dry roads still have coatings of salt and sand,cold rain or spring showers make roding miserable.Come back in late May or summer and do Ontario justice on a bike
    If the hockey game is in May you have a better chance of seeing spring greenery, blossoming fruit and ornamental trees and the Niagara Parkway from Fort Erie through The Falls and to Queenston and Niagara On The Lake offer a nice slow cruise .
    If you come early before spring shows up fully you might as well limit yourself to a fast run from Buffalo across to Fort Erie. And the QEW ( freeway) around the end of Lake Ontario with a short visit to see the actual falls on the Ontario side.
    There are really 3 good places to cross from NY state into the Niagara area
    Buffalo to Fort Erie( QEW)the Rainbow Bridge in The Falls and the Queenston- Lewiston bridge which connects I 190 to the 405 and the QEW .
    As for city driving in TO , if you have a valid drivers license and call yourself a motorcyclist you should have no trouble handling this or any other town. If a little bit
    of traffic gets you all confused and frightened it is time to hang it up.
    #8
  9. Ruffus

    Ruffus Dirty Old Mudder

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    If you cross the Peace bridge (Buffalo/Fort Erie border) you can get on the Niagara Parkway right off the bat & take a nice scenic ride along the Niagara river right to the falls, stop at Dufferin Islands for a break (just before the falls). Enjoy the Falls & anything else you want to do there, then catch the QEW from numerous places in the Falls & make a quick exit to TO or some place in between. :freaky

    If it's on a weekend, let me know, I can meet you practically at the border & ride a bit getting you in the right direction.
    #9
  10. sgordon70

    sgordon70 Adventurer

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    Thanks. Will be coming in on Sunday/Monday. PM me and we'll discuss?
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  11. corney

    corney Adventurer

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    My two cents is that Niagra Falls and Toronto is not an adventure ride! The 401 etc is like a I highway for those from down south. If you are set on riding up through there to a hockey game ride through Niagra on the Lake. Winery country and its beautiful. Stay in that part of Canada and you may be impressed.
    Toronto and the freeways would not make me happy on a dual sport bike.

    If you must stay by a the mass transit system station and ride into the rink that way.

    I am a Maple Leaf fan by the way! They give us a bit of hope every year and $#!¥ the bed every time:huh
    #11