TC's are great to have for an emergency back-up, in case the magnetic stipe on your plastic decides to quit. Nowadays, most clerk wouldn't know what a TC is, or what to do with it.
Most places will take American credit cards, however there may be fees over and above the exchange rate charged by the credit card issuer. Some credit cards have a Foreign Usage Fee tacked on for usage outside of the issuing country. Check with your card issuer for exact details.
For some money saving tips, have a look at the traveller article “Canada – Banks & Money” here on TA.
I'd use your credit cards and Canadian currency.......
Another vote for plastic and cash....
Your ATM card (presuming you have one) should work in Canadian ATMs so if using cash there's no need to load up on Canadian currency before crossing the border.
I have not seen anyone use travelers checks in a long time (decades) in Canada.
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