The Guide That’s Answering Your Border-Crossing Questions

The Guide That's Answering Your Border-Crossing Questions
Written by Publishing Team

New York really has it all for those who love diversity when they travel. A single train trip to New York City will make travelers welcome fast-paced fun, while a drive north will provide all the peace and quiet one seeks from the mountains. A trip east to Long Island offers a suburban oasis that also doubles as a seaside paradise. However, it is also the gateway to the north and offers many ways by which one can move from one country to another.

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Visiting Canada is a fairly easy process with the help of either an enhanced driver’s license, also known as an EDL, a passport book or a card. The process of crossing the border is as simple as answering a few questions regarding the traveler’s country of residence, the purpose of the trip, how long they will spend, as well as a clue to each answer. The hardest part is selecting where To cross to Canada, and what cities are closest to each other. Fortunately, we have answers.

At the time of writing, the border between the United States and Canada remains closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please check border status before attempting to cross from one country to another.

Montreal entry points

New York State is huge in size and not only borders many other states but also shares a broad northern border with Canada. Fortunately, much of this frontier is also home to most of the major Canadian cities that bode well for those expecting a worthwhile experience. The most famous city and port, by far, is Champlain-St. Bernard de la Colle border crossing to Montreal. This port is located in Champlain, New York, and will lead travelers directly to Saint Bernard de la Colle, Quebec. From there, it’s about a 40-minute drive from central Montreal. This is the most frequently used port of entry from Quebec to the United States, and it is also the fifth busiest port from the United States to Canada overall.

Champlain, New York, and the Canadian Border
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This port is open 24/7, which is good news for those who want to cross during peak hours. Those with a NEXUS Card will be able to use the NEXUS lanes from 6am to 12am; For anyone planning to visit Montreal (or Canada) regularly, this is a great option and prevents passengers from waiting in regular traffic. Speaking of which, waiting times and traffic can be found on the CBP and CBSA websites, or through the CanBorder app.

The Chateaugay-Hinchinbrooke border crossing, which is still to the west, is open 24/7 and provides a great alternative for those looking to cross the border after 4pm or before 8am during the off-season. These limits are also less used and waiting times won’t be nearly as long, and the drive to Montreal is the same as for Cannon Corners, except for an additional ten minutes or so of travel time. Fort Covington – Dundee Border Crossing is also open 24/7 and is somewhat popular with travelers thanks to its proximity to attractions on the way to Montreal; However, the driving distance to the city – almost an hour and a half.

New York to Montreal Border Crossing
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Only about 20 minutes west of Champlain, New York, is the Cannon Corners-Coffee Hill border crossing, the much smaller entry point at Mooers Fork. This border crossing will take travelers to Havelock, Quebec, which is only about an hour from central Montreal. However, travelers can only cross into Canada between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., with travelers able to cross from Canada to New York between 8 a.m. and 12 a.m. from May 1 to October 31, and 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. between 1 p.m. November and April 30th.

Additional ports include the very lightly traveled Mooers-Hemmingford crossing, which is open 24/7, and is located about an hour outside of Montreal. The facility itself is also a registered historic site. The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge has been a border crossing since 1800, and US-bound travelers from Canada need to go through a customs check before being granted entry. However, the wait time to cross this bridge is usually no more than 20 minutes on weekends, and it is open 24/7 for those who want to visit Jonestown, Ontario.

Bridge from Vermont to Ross Point, New York
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The Overton Corners-Lacolle border crossing is very small and uncrowded and is a recommended alternative to the Champlain border crossing when the wait time can be very long. The crossing is open 24/7, however, it takes travelers along more back roads than the main Champlain crossing. The Rouses Point and Trout River border crossings are open 24/7, however, the Trout River is open very Rural and one of the furthest from Montreal, an hour and a half drive from the city centre.

Entry points in Ontario

The Lewiston-Queenston Crossing is a bridge that connects the two entry points, and this is the first entry point that takes travelers to Ontario instead of Quebec. It’s exactly 30 minutes outside of the main city of Buffalo and it’s open 24/7, with accompanying NEXUS lanes. The closest attractions to this bridge are Niagara Falls and St. Catherine, which makes a great gateway but also ranks fourth in terms of congestion in both countries.

Lewiston-Queenston border crossing to Canada
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Both the Seaway Bridge and the Thousands Island Bridge bring travelers to Ontario, with the Seaway Bridge beginning on the Rooseveltown side of New York and ending on Cornwall Island in Ontario. The bridge is now called the Three Nations Crossing in honor of the Akwesasne Mohawks, and is one of the busiest land crossings in both countries. It is important to note that those using this Cornwall Island crossing must go all the way to the North Channel Bridge to undergo inspection, lest they face a fine of up to $1,000.

Thousands of Ontario Island Bridge from New York
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The Thousand Island Bridge crosses the Saint Lawrence River and begins in Alexandria Bay before ending in Lansdowne, Ontario. Just like the Seaway Bridge, this bridge (alternatively, a bridge system) is also open 24/7, but it also has NEXUS lane options, which are open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 am to 2 pm. The only downside to this border crossing is that travelers can see a wait time of up to two hours depending on the time of year, so it’s best to check before driving down.

Next: Passport vs. Enhanced License: They both allow international travel, so what’s the difference then?

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