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Niagara Falls Border Crossing: Get More, Spend Less in Canada


Reading Time:  5 minutes -

*Pictured Above: The Rainbow Bridge – Photo Cred: Christine Hess Photography 
More Americans are traveling into Canada this Summer, and this past July 4th weekend has been the busiest since 2007. This is fantastic news to the Canadian economy that took a hit since 2001, largely in part to the 9/11 terrorism attacks. That, combined with new passport requirements, saw less and less of our American friends crossing the border into Canada. However, the old saying “time heals all wounds” rings true when it comes to the desire to travel again. And travel is most definitely picking up with the U.S. citizens into Canada — we are seeing more and more Americans traveling into Canada at the Niagara Falls border crossings, and less Canadians traveling into the states due to the current Canadian dollar. As it stands, 1 US dollar is worth about 1.29 Canadian.
Many of the Americans that are traveling into Canada are either doing it for the first time, or the first time in a long time. So here is what you need to know about Niagara Falls Border Crossing:
We have 3 main border crossings into Niagara Falls, plus the Whirlpool Bridge for NEXUS travelers ONLY:

  • The Rainbow Bridge

Whirlpool Bridge
This bridge connects Niagara Falls, N.Y., with Niagara Falls, Ontario. This is the most direct route to Casino Niagara, Clifton Hill, Hornblower Niagara Cruises, and the Fallsview Casino.
Duty free Stores:
Canada (www.niagaradutyfree.com)
US (www.dutyfreeamericas.com)
Restrictions
**No commercial trucks
Number of Customs inspection lanes
Sixteen (16) car inspection lanes into the U.S.
Fifteen (15) car inspection lanes into Canada.

  • The Whirlpool Bridge

Whirlpool Bridge
This bridge connects Niagara Falls, N.Y., with Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Whirlpool Bridge is reserved for subscribers to NEXUS, a program for pre-approved clearance. NEXUS speeds border crossings and is open to residents of both the U.S. and Canada.
Restrictions
**No commercial trucks
**No pedestrians
**No bicycles
**Nothing in tow

  • The Queenston-Lewiston Bridge

Queenston-Lewiston Bridge
This bridge connects Lewiston, N.Y., with Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Restrictions
**No pedestrians
Number of Customs inspection lanes
Six (6) car inspection lanes. Four (4) truck inspection lanes into the U.S.
Ten (10) car inspection lanes. Five (5) truck lanes into Canada.
Duty Free Stores:
Canada (www.dutytaxfree.com)
US (www.dutyfreeamericas.com)
  

  •  The Peace Bridge

Peace Bridge
This bridge connects Buffalo, N.Y., with Fort Erie, Ontario
Restrictions
**None
Number of Customs inspection lanes 
Eighteen (18) inspection lanes (11 for passenger vehicles, 7 commercial) into the U.S.
Twenty (20) inspection lanes (15 for passenger vehicles, 5 commercial) into Canada.
Duty Free Stores:
Canada (www.dutyfree.ca)
US (www.dutyfreeamericas.com)
**If you have any questions about what documents are required to cross the borders, obtaining a VISA, and for LIVE camera views of the Peace Bridge and Ontario Highways, click here

Know What ID is Necessary:

All visitors arriving to Canada need a passport or passport equivalent. (If you are traveling soon, you can get a passport within 24 hrs with Rushmypassport.com.)
**U.S. citizens ages 15 or younger with parental consent will be allowed to cross the borders at land and sea entry points with certified copies of their birth certificates rather than passports.

Have a Note for Children Traveling without Both Parents:

Adults traveling over the border into Canada with children who are not their own should have a written note from the parents or guardians giving permission for the children to leave the country. The permission should include the name and contact information of the parent / guardian.

As stated earlier, the most accessible Niagara Falls border crossing to get to Clifton Hill and to view the majestic Niagara Falls is by accessing the Rainbow Bridge.
Niagara Falls Border
*Above: A shot of the Niagara SkyWheel — just one attraction of many located on Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Canada, just minutes from the gorgeous Niagara Falls*
Tips for crossing the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls:
1.) Enroll in NEXUS and E-ZPass to expedite your border crossing. NEXUS expedites the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travelers into Canada and the United States. NEXUS dedicated customs inspection lanes are available in the Niagara Region at the Rainbow Bridge.
E-ZPass is an electronic toll collection technology that makes traveling more convenient, helps reduce traffic congestion, and saves you money at the Peace Bridge by reducing fuel consumption and saving you 10% off the cash toll rate.

2.) Choose which bridge to take. Make an informed decision when deciding which bridge to cross by checking the CBSA website or CBP website to see what their posted wait times are for Niagara Region international bridges or http://www.niagarafallsbridges.com/. You can also call 1-800-715-6722 to get the wait times for Niagara Region international bridges. These options are updated hourly. Have proper identification ready to present to the Customs agent. Click here to view border identification requirements.
3.) If traveling with children who are not part of your immediate family, have a note from the parents that their child has permission to cross the border with you. The note should include telephone numbers where the children’s parents can be reached.
4.) Turn off radios and cell phones when talking to Customs agents.
5.) Declare all fruits, vegetables, plants and plant products, animals, birds, eggs, meat and meat products.
6.) Declare all items acquired for personal use.
7.) Do not fool around. Customs and Immigration agents on both sides of the border are law enforcement officials who take their duties very seriously. Approach inspection booths slowly and follow signage instructions.
8.) Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
9.) Be patient. Customs agents are responsible for protecting our nations’ borders and public safety.
10.) Check and empty your truck beforehand. Unnecessary items in your trunk may be a source of questioning by border officials and may add time to your border crossing.

11.) Upon arriving at the Canada Border Services booth, roll down both your front and back windows so that the border officer can address people seated in the back of the vehicle as well.

Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls Parking

Once you cross the border into Canada, you’ll want to descend upon the Niagara Falls area to take in the Falls and all the surrounding attractions and events. You don’t need to struggle to find parking with a large parking area, in the middle of it all, on Clifton Hill!
It’s a short walk from the Fallsview Casino and their adjoining restaurants, and it comes complete with a jolly cut that allows you to bypass crowds and get from the parking lot to the Queen Victoria Park and Falls in a matter of seconds. Watch the Niagara Falls fireworks shows, go on a boat cruise with the Hornblower Niagara Cruises, and/or try out the all-new WildPlay Niagara Zipline to the Falls!
Click the image below for information on Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls Parking central to it all:
Niagara Falls Border
Niagara Falls Parking
 
 

 

 


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