Niagara Border Crossings

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by Nagle, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Nagle

    Nagle Proud Canadian

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    We are leaving Guelph, On tomorrow and heading over to Buffalo. Which bridge would be our best bet for a relatively quick border crossing? We did this last year after dropping our son off at school and got stuck in line at US Customs for an hour. Can't for the life of me remember which crosssing we used.
    thanks
    John
     
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  3. dvc deernut

    dvc deernut DIS Veteran

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    best bet would be the peace bridge. On labor day weekend they will be busier depending on when your crossing. Before you leave home go on the border crossings site for live web cam on the bridges. The signs leading up to the bridges can be misleading. Go early in the morning.
     
  4. MedicGoofy

    MedicGoofy DIS Veteran

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    Whatever you do, do NOT cross at Queenston/Lewiston. It is by far, the worst bridge to cross at. Lines will be insanely long. USUALLY, and I do only stress usually, your best bet would be to cross at Rainbow Bridge, which is in Niagara Falls, and go from there.

    I will definitely second what DVC DEERNUT has posted. Go online and check out the webcams. But don't let them mislead you. Use those with posted wait times. The Rainbow can 'look' back, but they tend to move you quick. The Peace Bridge looks bad, it usually is bad:P And also, do try to go as early as you can. The earlier you cross, the better it will be.

    Good luck, and I hope the border fairies are with you:thumbsup2

    Jenn
     
  5. KNovacovschi

    KNovacovschi DIS Veteran

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    I agree either Peace Or Rainbow Bridge. We went over on Sunday of the Civic holiday weekend and it took 2 hrs to get over the Queenston-Lewiston. Labor Day weekend will be even worse cause its the end of summer. Good luck with whichever you choose.
     
  6. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    Before you leave check the border wait times online.
     
  7. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

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    As a long time resident of the area I have NEVER found the Rainbow bridge better than the Peace Bridge in over 20 years. It's a main entry point for Niagara Falls cross border shopping and travelling and can get really bad. REALLY bad. Lewiston? Don't even try it.
    We always use the Peace Bridge whenever possible and that will put you right in Buffalo. Others may have a different opinion, but that has been our experience every time.
    My neighbour went over the lewiston bridge 2 weeks ago after work on a Tuesday and got stuck for over an hour. A holiday weekend would be a nightmare. It's just too small for weekend traffic.
    We'll be coming back over the Peace Bridge tomorrow and I am expecting an hour or more but it would be worse at the Rainbow for sure.
     
  8. Nagle

    Nagle Proud Canadian

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    Thanks folks. Crossed at Rainbow bridge at 9:15 this morning. 8 lanes open. We were about 10th in line. As we got close, the agent at the empty Nexus only line waved me over. 10 minutes total. Very successful. Thanks again.
     
  9. tamarabannon

    tamarabannon Mouseketeer

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    I crossed Saturday morning, got there by 7:40 and it still took almost an hour to cross in. About the same coming out at about 2:00 pm.

    I used Rainbow. Rarely takes me more than 15 -20 minutes though, and that's unusual.
     
  10. minnie56

    minnie56 <font color=magenta>Whatever it is, he said it is

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    There's an app for bridge waits..I use that even though I have Nexus..
    :)
     
  11. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    So many say to use the peace bridge cause there's hardly a wait. Well thats baloney! I just came back on the weekend, used the peacebridge there and back (Aug.24 depature, Sept 1 return) and there was a wait both times.

    When i checked the border wait times for other bridges (rainbow & lewiston), it indicated there was no wait there, but at peacebridge there was 20-30 min wait. Ugh! Figures. I stuck with peacebridge thou cause those are the directions i had on me. Lol.

    Overall, it was a very easy drive to the airport from the peacebridge, so no complaints about that. soooo easy to find. I love the buffalo airport!! No wait at all! I landed at 2pm and had my luggage by 210pm! by 220pm i was at my car! :banana:
     
  12. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    I gotta get a nexus!!!!!!! You can zip right thru!
     
  13. MedicGoofy

    MedicGoofy DIS Veteran

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    You gotta know when to use the Peace Bridge and when NOT to use the Peace Bridge. Living and working in Niagara, and specifically using that bridge as an emergency border crossing, it is about timing on that bridge. If that bridge is busy and backed up, it can take a long time to cross. They are not quick about it. Yet, if Rainbow is busy and backed up, they are usually quicker.

    Summer on any of the Niagara bridges is busy. You have to know that. Peace Bridge tends to be the slowest. Rainbow while busy, is just due to tourists, and moves along really quick. Ive never had to wait long there. Even half way across the bridge, it's a 10-15 min wait.

    Winter months, Queenston/Lewiston continues to be busy. Always is. But that's when the Rainbow and Peace are best to cross. Usually mid day during the week. Never a wait. Oddly enough, between 6-7 in the am, the Peace bridge can get busy, working Canadians going over.

    The Peacebridge is not a bridge to typically use on weekends, especially a long weekend. Usually no bridge is, that bridge tends to get backed up onto the highway. It is nothing to have a 2hr wait.

    Just a quick thought on the Nexus and the Peace Bridge, if that bridge is backed up, a Nexus is going to get you absolutely no where. You have to CROSS the bridge, and actually GET to the Nexus lane. Same with Rainbow Bridge, UNLESS you use the Whirlpool bridge.
     
  14. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    See, i hardly ever cross the border, so i wouldnt know. Thanks for the info thou! Its very helpful. Guess in the future i'll have to pay attention the border-wait times online more carefully! :)

    Yes i know exactly what you mean. I noticed that going into buffalo. Nexus wont help you if the line is long.
     
  15. minnie56

    minnie56 <font color=magenta>Whatever it is, he said it is

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    Nexus is of little help going in...when the line is long coming back into Canada though the lane opens up a lot sooner to make the cut! Overall though....crossing by land it's not an impressive difference. At Pearson though..ahhh it is!:thumbsup2
     
  16. SaraMc

    SaraMc DIS Veteran

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    We usually call the border # once we hit Jordan ON. It's 18007156722. Gives you the latest bridge traffic updates.
     
  17. a.little.goofy

    a.little.goofy Earning My Ears

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    The whirlpool bridge in niagara falls is strictly nexus, never more than 1 or 2 cars in line. You can be across in a few minutes. Nexus was the best 50.00 dollars I ever spent
     
  18. webworm

    webworm DIS Veteran

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    I took my daughter and her friend over to do a little shopping this past Saturday and crossed at the Rainbow Bridge (10 min wait at 10:30AM) and crossed via Peace Bridge on way back at 5PM and same 10 min wait.
     
  19. Bonnie40

    Bonnie40 <font color=red>Sweet tomatoes, yum<br><font color

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    We also crossed at the Rainbow Bridge on Saturday around 8:30 a.m. (no wait) and crossed back via Peace Bridge at 8:30 p.m. with a 10 min wait. Icing on the cake was not having to pay duty on the $800 we said we spent! I was pleasantly surprised! I've been pulled over for spending $100 in a day..... :thumbsup2
     

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