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Buffalo - Niagara - Toronto - ARE WE CRAZY?

Birmingham, UK
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34 posts
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Buffalo - Niagara - Toronto - ARE WE CRAZY?

Hi all, hope you can help put my mind at ease!

My hubby and I have booked to fly into Buffalo on 7 Jan, then fly out of Toronto on 9th (as part of a larger itinerary). The original plan was to hire a car in Buffalo, drive over the border to view Niagara from the Canadian side and then drive on to Toronto, where we're staying for two nights.

Having read a few posts here I'm now wondering if that's such a good idea ...

Know it's hard to say, but is the weather likely to be prohibitively bad? Hubby is a safe and confident driver, but have never been that far north in January and don't want to risk life and limb for the sake of a holiday! Also, is the border crossing experience likely to be unduly difficult (We're both UK passport holders living in England)? Has anyone got any recent experience of this?

And, finally, we've read about the high one-way charges for car hire across the border. Alamo and Avis have both quoted about £120 for 3 days, based on collection at Buffalo airport and dropoff at Toronto airport, which doesn't seem too bad to me - does this sound right or am I likely to get there and face a hefty extra payment for crossing the border?

In short, are we crazy??!

Thanks a million in advance!

Buffalo
Destination Expert
for Buffalo
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1. Re: Buffalo - Niagara - Toronto - ARE WE CRAZY?

I can answer the question about your driving plans. No, you're not crazy! Assuming that your flight arrives in the morning, you will easily have enough time to rent a car, view the Falls from the Canadian side, and go on up to Toronto. We can't make any predictions about the weather, of course, but in this part of the continent, road crews tend to manage the snowfall quite well.

Also, you shouldn't have any trouble at the border crossing as long as you have your passports.

As for the rental car, the company you want to rent from should tell you in advance exactly how much the rental will cost and whether you can expect additional fees.

Enjoy!

New York State, USA
Destination Expert
for Buffalo
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1,408 posts
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2. Re: Buffalo - Niagara - Toronto - ARE WE CRAZY?

I agree with Pastiche, you're not crazy to drive!

When there is bad weather, the highways are well-attended to, and are probably the *best* place to be driving (as opposed to small, side streets). If the roads are dicey, then the best thing you can do is to drive SLOW since stopping takes longer. You should be fine, just take it easy and allow extra time to stop. The worst thing about the trip from Niagara to Toronto is the traffic!

-Dee

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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3. Re: Buffalo - Niagara - Toronto - ARE WE CRAZY?

Hi teamclarkjones;

Buffalo to Toronto is approx. 107 miles / 172 km, an average drive of about 2 hours.

There is only one toll highway along the way, which you do NOT need to drive on. If you are hiring a "Sat Nav / GPS" for the trip, I strongly suggest that it be programmed to avoid toll roads. Please have a look at the traveller article "Toll Highway 407 ETR" here on TripAdvisor;

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g155019-c126752/Toront…

Ensure that the rental company notes on the rental agreement that they authorize you to take the car into Canada. You may be asked by Customs when entering Canada for this documentation.

The 120 GBP fee sounds to be correct, but as has been suggested, have the rate confirmed in writing so that there are no surprises later.

You should have no problem entering Canada with your UK passports. If your plans "part of a larger itinerary" do not include a return to the US, remember to stop before crossing the bridge into Canada and submit your I-94W visa waivers to US Customs.

Best Regards

Birmingham, UK
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34 posts
29 reviews
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4. Re: Buffalo - Niagara - Toronto - ARE WE CRAZY?

Thanks all - that's really put my mind at ease!!

Can't wait to get there now!

Merry Christmas

x

5. Re: Buffalo - Niagara - Toronto - ARE WE CRAZY?

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