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Thread: PA to Toronto

  1. Default PA to Toronto

    Hello RTA,

    This is my second time coming here for advice. First time I needed some advice for a cross country trip from PA to California, during this same time of year, and all of your advice was greatly appreciated. (completed the trip with great success!)

    Now I come to you again looking for some somewhat last minute advice. I'm planning on driving up to Toronto on this coming Friday to visit some friends. This will be my first time crossing any border. Also my first time driving this far north in the winter. I'm a bit concerned about the weather....should I be? Right now the weather forecasts are saying a chance of snow for pretty much every spot along the route, but it doesn't seem like anything major yet. I've already told myself if I see any winter storm warnings or anything crazy like that, I'm not going to attempt the trip, but if I don't see any warnings, I'll head out Friday afternoon as planned.

    Any advice would be great. Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Keep up to date.

    Hello and welcome back !

    There is not much else you can do other than to keep an eye on up to date weather and road conditions of which you can find links to both here. For the Canadian side you can find reports here.

    Interstates are a priority to keep clear and traffic flowing and anything other than a major event will keep things open but could still turn a comfortable days drive into something of long, exhausting journey. It looks as though the 2 main routes to choose from would be I476/80/US15/I 86/390/90 or I 476/81/90 but someone more familiar with the area might be able to make suggestions on that matter.

    You don't say how long you are planning on staying but you need to consider the trip home as well. If you have a day or two either side of your journey to 'play' with, travel when a window of opportunity presents itself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    First things first, I'm assuming you've already got your passport in order, as you do need it to cross into Canada.

    It sounds like your plan regarding weather is a good one. I'd say the biggest thing to worry about for this particular trip is Lake Effect snow, which can result in higher snowfall totals in areas, and can be a bit more tricky for forecasters to predict. The portion of your trip on I-90 (depending upon where in PA you are starting from) is the most likely area to have this problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I had to look up your previous thread to see where in PA you are leaving from. The most efficient route, assuming clear sailing, is your preferred route to the Northeast Extension, then I-81 to I-90. If there are issues on I-90 and/or through the Buffalo area, you can stay on I-81 into Canada and take 401 to Toronto (if the conditions look better) - that's only about 50 miles longer. If the weather is the least bit dodgy, I'd prefer to stay on Interstate-quality highways, those will be more aggressively maintained. I would not want to take US-15 from Williamsport to Corning, it's not that great a road.

    If you are not planning on leaving till Friday afternoon, you are going to be driving well into the night - it's a 500 mile drive and would probably take at least 10 hours by the time you get done with traffic and the border crossing, assuming GOOD road conditions. Please be prepared to spend a night on the road.

    If you have never been to Canada, a couple things - use of headlights is required 24/7/365, and the speed limits are in kilometers per hour and are generally aggressively enforced. If you do not have a passport, you must have an "enhanced" driver's license - you can't get back into the US without one or the other these days. It's also recommended (but not mandatory from what I can find) that you get a Canadian insurance card from your agent.

  5. Default

    Thank you all so much for the quick responses!

    I think we are going to go with the I-81 to I-90 route. Based off the weather site you guys suggested it looks like we will be seeing some snow, but nothing of great accumulation. Looks like we are going to go ahead and do it, unless the storm changes over the next few days.

    I have my passport ready to go already, anything else you need at the border to get across?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Here is a site with helpful tips for crossing the border both ways.

  7. Default

    I live in the Buffalo area and there are no storm warnings for Friday. Usually lake effect storms are announced a day or 2 in advance so I wouldn't worry about weather on your way up. If you cross the border Friday night it may be backed up a bit but I wouldn't expect anything too bad. There is a site that shows border delays (google should find it for you). Getting into Canada, you will probably just be asked for your passport and your purpose for coming into the country. It really is no big deal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I live in the Buffalo area and there are no storm warnings for Friday.
    There sure are now. You may want to postpone your trip. I see snow across your entire route.

  9. Default

    GLC,

    Do you see any warnings though? From what I can see on the National Weather Service's website it's only a inch or so of snow that tapers off towards the afternoon?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default seeing red

    Things are looking marginal near Buffalo, but down right nasty near Syracuse and all along I-81.

    Here's the Weather Channel's current Interstate travel forecast:


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