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Crossing from the US to the Canadian side

Gurugram (Gurgaon...
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Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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I and my wife are on a sightseeing visit to the US from India. We are booked to travel to Niagara Falls on 17th July by Amtrak. (We have purchased 30 day Amtrak pass and would like to use it for this journey.) Reaching Niagara by about 4.30 pm, we would like to stop over for the night there before we go further to Toronto. I find all good hotels near the Falls are on the Canadian side, while as per the train schedule, we are to disembark on the US side.

Shall deeply appreciate guidance on the following -

a. Does the Amtrak train coming from NY also stop on the Canadian side close to the Falls?

b. If not, how to cross over to the Canadian side with our bags so that we can stay in a hotel that side? Is there a cab service in the area that can help us?

c. We have valid Canadian and US visas. In case we cross over in the train, how long does the immigration clearance take? If crossing by other means like cab or on foot, how long?

d. If we stay in a hotel on the US side, is there any arrangement for touring the Falls from both sides, before we proceed to Toronto?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Sjs43

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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How do you plan on proceeding to Toronto?

Staying on the Canadian side would be better...

Cabs will take you over....

Customs clearence times vary....Too unpredictable to give an accurate estimate...

Gurugram (Gurgaon...
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2. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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Thanks a lot, Dear Tdsuperstar! You were superfast in your response.

Plan to take a bus (or train, any suggestions?) to Toronto. Is there any tel no. where I can book a cab in advance? Any idea about the likely charges?

Ideally, after getting off the train, if I can get the cab at the train station itself, can use it for going around the Falls on the US side, cross over to the Canadian side and after immigration clearance, can be dropped at the hotel (to be booked in advance) that side; could tour the Canadian side of the Falls next morning before leaving for Toronto - Do you think it is workable?

Any suggestions for sightseeing around the Falls on both sides would be greatly welcome. Thank you very much once again and Regards, sjs43

West Grey, Canada
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3. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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Hi Sjs43;

a) If you board Amtrak's "Maple Leaf" in New York City, then yes, the train does continue into Canada, stopping in Niagara Falls (Canada) before continuing on to Toronto.

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=AM_Route_C&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241245666862

b-1) In Canada, there should be taxis waiting at the train station, or the bus station across the street, to take you to your hotel.

b-2) In the US, there will most likely be taxis waiting, but you will need to find a driver who has the needed documentation to cross the border. This will not be a cheap taxi ride.

c-1) The train allows for 2 hours to clear Canada Customs in their schedule. It will depend on how many people are on-board the train, and how quickly they are processed. As tdsuperstar commented, it is a very unpredictable situation to give an accurate estimate.

c-2) By taxi, it will depend on how busy the port of entry is, and how many people are in line ahead of you. Again, very unpredictable to give an accurate estimate.

c-3) By foot, you would need to take a taxi to the bridge to Canada from the train station in NF NY. You could then cross on foot into Canada. More than likely, this will be the quickest method, but again depends on how many people are in line ahead of you.

Best Regards

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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If you get a cab to drop you off by the Falls on the US side, you can walk over, I think that in a lot of ways this would be best.....be sure if you choose this method that you have your hotel stays well documented, as this will surely help the customs clearing process....

Gurugram (Gurgaon...
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5. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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Thanks a lot, Rescue Team and Tdsuperstar (once again) for very helpful responses.

The problem was that Amtrak 30 day pass is not valid for travel in the Canadian territory. So, my Amtrak ticket was ending at NF (NY). I have now bought a separate tickets from Buffalo to NF (ON) which should help us to cross over to the Canadian side by train, after Customs / immigration check. Is my understanding correct?

I have already booked a hotel in NF (ON) to spend the night there. From there, I can take a sightseeing tour of the Falls, also cross back to the US for having a look at the Falls from that side and come back to take a bus to Toronto.

Kindly confirm all this is doable and makes sense as per ground realities. Any bus co. organising package tours that include all this - NF tours on both sides and then travel to Toronto?

Wishing you a great weekend ahead !

Cheers!

sjs43

West Grey, Canada
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6. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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You're Welcome !

I would NOT travel to Buffalo. This new leg of your trip is just a waste of time.

Exit the train in Niagara Falls NY, take a taxi to the Rainbow Bridge, which is the name of the bridge into Canada, and then walk across.

That will be the quickest and most likely easiest way, and save you a great deal of time.

Once on the Canadian side, you can always find a taxi to take you to your hotel.

Best Regards

Berlin, Germany
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6,858 posts
7. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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The Amtrak Maple Leaf passes through Buffalo an hour before arriving in Niagara Falls NY, so the OP won't be going out of their way. I'm guessing they're planning to stay on the same train, but have bought an additional ticket to cover the extra leg across the border.

SJS, I don't know where you're going next, but if it's back over the border to the US, perhaps you should save the view from the US side until last? You can cross the border multiple times if you wish, but crossing only once each way may be less hassle.

As far as I know, there are no tours based in the Niagara area that go to Toronto. You can easily get yourself to Toronto by train or bus. See http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g155019-c97995/Toronto:Ontario:Niagara.Falls.A.Side.Trip.From.Toronto.html (but reverse the directions -- it assumes you're starting in Toronto).

Gurugram (Gurgaon...
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4 posts
17 reviews
23 helpful votes
8. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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Thanks Rescue Team,

Just to clarify, there would be no journey to and fro Buffalo. I have bought the tickets to NF (ON) just to cover our travel across the Rainbow Bridge, as the Amtrak Pass ticket ends on NY side.

The inhibiting factor in walking across is our physical capacity; being senior citizens with restricted mobility. Also, the question of our bags to be dragged all the way.

I also read somewhere that crossing the border by train involves immigration /customs check while travelling in the train. If so, it could save time.

Best regards,

sjs43

PS - Any tips regarding s/seeing package tours at the Falls?

West Grey, Canada
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94,952 posts
99 reviews
613 helpful votes
9. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side
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You're Welcome !

You hadn't mentioned the mobility issue - that changes everything.

Sorry, I can't help with a tour company in Niagara Falls.

Best Regards

10. Re: Crossing from the US to the Canadian side

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