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  1. #1
    sammy Guest

    Default Chicago to Toronto (best route?)

    hello, I am driving to Toronto from Chicago for the first time. Looking at various maps, there are a few different routes that can be taken. there are several ways through different highways, but was wondering if anyone has any experience with the best and safest route (i.e. through detroit/windsor on the 401 or through flint/northern michigan and 402). i was thinking going thru detroit might be congested (?) even though it looks shorter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    sammy Guest


    anybody? I would feel much comfortable driving, knowing that I am taking the smartest route.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    I've never driven this area so I can only tell you what MS Streets & Trips suggest. So I have no idea about safety issues.

    I-94 to just east of Battle Creek, MI.

    Then I-69 to just west of Lansing, MI. This will take you in a loop around the western and northern portions of the city without making you go through Lansing itself. Parts of this are also called I-96.

    Continue on I-69 to Port Huron.

    Then 402 to the London, Ontario, area, where you will merge onto 401 to Woodstock, Ontario.

    Then take 403 into Toronto.

    Distance: 524 miles. Estimated travel time: 8 hours, 45 minutes.

    As for there something in particular you're concerned about? While I've heard Detroit can be pretty iffy, but it sounds like you can easily avoid going anywhere near there.

    I've found that most places are quite safe. Don't worry too much about hype. After all, people live there and go about their daily lives, don't they? Just use the same personal safety and common-sense things that you would use at home. Maintain an awareness of your surroundings. Don't go someplace with a stranger. Avoid dark alleys and other unseemly places. That type of stuff. There are tons of posts here regarding personal safety for solo travelers. You might want to do a search on that and read some of the suggestions.

    I'm sure you'll be just fine. I've done solo roadtrips quite a bit as a single woman and I've never had a problem. Have a great trip!

  4. Default Lake Erie

    Judy's suggestion is a good one for speed. I've only driven this route once -- through Detroit in mid-afternoon and had no trouble with traffic (not that it wasn't busy, but it wasn't jammed). I had planned to drive between Niagara Falls and Detroit using route 3 as much as possible, hugging the edge of the Lake for the scenery, but it was slow going and I had to divert onto the superslab for a good part of the distance. If I could do it again -- I'd like to drive the length of route 3. It's a beautiful area, much like Indiana except there are more coniferous trees. Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default 6 of one....

    I made the trip to Toronto a couple of weeks ago. I took the Northern Route, via Flint and the Bluewater Bridge on the way there and the Southern Route, via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, on the way back.

    Honestly, there's not much of a difference. If I was to give a slight edge, I'd say go north. You stay in the U.S. a little bit longer, which means you have more time in a 70 mph speed limit and you can drive a little further on cheap American gas, plus the toll on the Bluewater Bridge is a dollar less than both crossings in Detroit, and once you're in Canada you pretty much hook right up with the freeway.

    Of course saying that, I had about a 30 minute wait getting into Canada that way, and no significant delays coming back. So a lot of it is just timing and luck.

    If you take the Detroit route, I'd recommend the Ambassador Bridge over the Tunnel. Try to find a traffic report first to find out if there are any delays on one route or the other, but the Bridge seems easier to get to from the Interstate and you spend a little less time driving through the city once you get into Windsor.

    When I drove I didn't have any real congestion in Detroit, but there was a little bit of construction. And in terms of safety, I've never thought of Detroit as a particularly safe city, but I've never felt like I was in real danger either. Again, a little common sense goes a long way.

  6. #6
    sammy Guest

    Default thanks

    Thanks everyone. Your comments/suggestions are extremely helpful!

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