By the way, the tips and help on this forum are so awesome! We are getting excited. We leave in less than two weeks! (July 18th)
I went in late May on a Thursday afternoon. There weren't any lines at the border. It was fairly quick and easy.....and interesting.
How was it interesting?
Yeah, I thought I was the only one who found border crossings interesting.
Lewis family, if your visit is still a couple of weeks away, try checking the live border wait times web page (www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/general/times/menu-e.html) _this_ Friday afternoon. Traffic patterns tend to repeat weekly, so you'll get a decent idea. I doubt it will be too long.
A passport might get you waved through a little faster by the customs officer, but you won't get to the officer any sooner (and that's typically the longest part of any wait).
Typically you should be in the five to ten minute range and yes i do find a passport gets less questioning than the drivers lic/birth cert, combo....today, with the long weekend ending it was a two hour wait to get back in to the states
Well, when I was there it was me (43yrs old) My 76 year old mother in law and my son's girlfriend (18 years old). She was asking questions and in between each question, she would look at the wall to her left for what seemed like 5 to 10 minutes (though I know it wasn't really that long) then look to her right for a few more moments. Then she would look at us again and ask us another question and do the same thing again. I really felt like we were under suspicion or something although, we weren't a wild looking group by any means. I'm sure she was just doing her job. By the time she was through with us, we felt like we had just been interrogated.
Border wait times are like a crap shoot in the Casino. This past weekend I was stuck a minimum of 30 minutes on two different area bridges. About an hour another time, but it may have been because of the holiday weekend.
Avoid peak hotel check out time on Sunday mornings, if you want to leave, leave early around 8am or so going back to USA and there will be no delays. Leave from 10am-2pm expect varying delay times.
We found that the wait time was much worse crossing back into the US than crossing over into Canada. I don't know if that's a commentary on the border guards or just there's less traffic going into Canada. And it does feel like an interrogation sometimes. I think it's the whole 'I'm trying to intimidate you into incriminating yourself' type of deal lol
It's not a commentary on the border guards; but might be a commentary about fortress America
I've looked a couple of times this afternoon, which I'd think would be a typical mid-summer Friday. Here are the wait times right now:
Queenston, ON / Lewiston, NY
Last updated: 2008-07-11 17:06 EDT
Canada-bound cars: 1 hour 15 minutes
US-bound cars: 20 minutes (this was 45 minutes at one point)
Niagara Falls, ON / Niagara Falls, NY
Last updated: 2008-07-11 17:10 EDT
Canada-bound cars: 20 minutes
US-bound cars: 10 minutes
Last updated: 2008-07-11 17:02 EDT
Canada-bound cars: 10 minutes
US-bound cars: No delay