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Toronto to Albany

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ontario
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Toronto to Albany

Hi. I'm planning a road trip in October from Toronto to Albany for a concert. I see I can either cross at Buffalo and take I-90 to Albany, or cross at Orleans and take NY-12/I-90 to Albany. They seem pretty equal on the map, so I'm hoping to hear from someone who has done the drive on a weekday (Friday) and can advise on which route offers less headaches.

On the Friday on the way to Albany, I want to take the quickest, most practical route. Coming home on Sunday, I can be more liesurely so am planning on taking Rte 20 from Albany to Syracuse and then either onwards to Orleans or Buffalo, depending on your advice. Thanks for your help!

Vestal, New York
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1. Re: Toronto to Albany

FYI US 20 doesn't go through Syracuse; in that area you are about 25 miles to the east - if you want to take I-90 coming back after your US 20 jaunt continue west - I-90 is a short distance from places such as Auburn, Seneca Falls, Waterloo, Geneva and Canadaigua. This will allow you to pass through some nice Finger Lakes towns (Cazenovia and Skaneateles in addition to those already mentioned) and have easy access to the some of the lakes.

ontario
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2. Re: Toronto to Albany

Thanks rjr! I guess I wasn't zoomed into that map enough. :) But that is a good suggestion for the way home and I'll continue on I-90 crossing back into Canada at Buffalo. Do you have any opinion about which way I should go into the States on the Friday.... through Buffalo or through Orleans?

Albany, NY
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3. Re: Toronto to Albany

I’ve done that Albany <> Toronto drive at least 200 times, and also dozens through the Toronto <> Rochester ferry when it was in operation. I really miss that ferry! I never understood why the Canadian side didn’t support it, wheras Rochester built a nice big terminal and strongly supported the effort.

The only way the 401 East to I81 route is faster would be if you drive really really fast on the Canadian portion. Speed enforcement is a little more lenient in Ontario than New York State. The 401 East route also gives you more time on Canadian roads [which are nicer than American roads], than the way through the QEW / Buffalo.

Overall the QEW / Buffalo route is quicker, but less scenic. I assume you’ll cross at the Queenston Bridge into Lewiston, which avoids the city of Buffalo. Definitely no scenery there. And the NYS Thruway is the biggest bore of a highway I’ve ever seen. If you leave T.O. on Friday rush hour, which way is faster depends on what part of Toronto your drive begins. The QEW westbound can be a pain at rush hour. If you live on the east part of Toronto like Scarberia then I would opt the 401 East route. But if you live in miserysauga, then QEW westbound is shorter.

ontario
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4. Re: Toronto to Albany

Thank you IT. That was helpful! I've never used the Rocherster ferry but I remember reading about it when it was new and thinking it was a great idea. I agree it was disappointing that it didn't last. For my trip to Albany, I'm really coming from the middle -- north of the city, between 400 and 404.... but a touch closer to the 404. Mapquest puts both route options at just under 7 hrs. So perhaps I'll opt for the more scenic eastbound route past Kingston and over the Thousand Island bridge. Either way I go, I'll be caught up in Toronto rush hour. I've never used the Thousand Island bridge so was just wondering if it presented hassels not seen by mapquest.

Albany, NY
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5. Re: Toronto to Albany

Thousand Island bridge doesn’t present any more issues than choices through the QEW. What I found what can REALLY slow things at the bridge, is on occasion the border guards have some sort of alert and they check everyone meticulously. An unpredictable situation.

Seven hours is about right, if you don’t make any long stops.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Toronto to Albany

Necessary information.

7. Re: Toronto to Albany

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