What can and can’t come into Canada
Residents of the United States who visit Canada are allowed to bring in a reasonable amount of personal goods duty free. The amount you can bring should align with your length of stay. Limits for some of the regulated items:
Alcohol: If you are 19 years of age or older and crossing the border into Ontario, you can bring free of Duty and taxes, either 1.5 (50 oz) of wine, 1.14 (40 oz) of liquor or 24 X 355 milliliters (12 oz) of beer of ale. If you bring more than the amount listed here, you will be required to pay the duty at the border on excess amounts. Make sure you fully declare all alcohol in your possession.
Tobacco: If you are 19 years of age or older and crossing the border into Ontario, you are allowed to bring, free of Duty, up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars 200 grams (7 oz) of manufactured tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks. You may bring additional quantities, but you will be required to pay duties and taxes on the excess amounts.
Food products: What is what is not allowed changes frequently. We advise contacting the Canada Border Service Agency for up-to-date information.
Pets: Dogs and cats accompanying their owners from the U.S. must have current (within 36 months) rabies vaccination certificates.
Residence returning to the United States
A returning resident is eligible for the $800 duty-free personal exemption ever 31 days, having remained for no less than 48 hours beyond the territorial limits of the United States.
Important notice for U.S. Residence
If you or anyone in party has a felony or misdemeanor conviction, you may not be allowed into Canada. This includes such offences as DUI. Your admissibility to Canada depends on the nature of the offense, how many offenses you have, as well as how long ago it occurred. If this applies to you or someone traveling with you it is imperative you contact immigration Canada well in advance of your arrival.
Crossing the Canada-U.S. border
All citizens age 16 and older, entering Canada by air (including in transit passengers who are transferring planes in the U.S.), land or water must present one of the following documents, a passport or passport card (Sentri, Nexus or Fast Card). Travelers age 15 and under require a birth certificate for land or sea travel and a passport for air travel. For current requirements go to cic.gc.ca
If you are traveling with your own children under the age of 16 and your spouse, bring their birth certificates. If traveling with a child other than your own or without your spouse, have the child’s birth certificate along with a letter of permission, including name and contact information for the child’s parent/guardians or your spouse.
Any necessary permits are issued at the port of entry. If you’ve rented a vehicle or trailer, make sure you bring along a copy of the rental contract, which stipulates that you have permission to use it in Canada. U.S. motorists planning to travel in Canada are advised to obtain a Canadian Non-Resident Interprovincial Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card available only in the U.S.
Contact your local insurance agency. For more information contact Canadian Border Services (204) 983-3500, or (506) 636-5064, or visit the website at www.cbsa.gc.ca.
If you are taking prescription drugs, make sure that they are in the original packaging, bring an adequate supply, and bring a copy of the prescription in case you need a refill during your stay in Ontario.
If this is not possible, carry a copy of the prescription or a letter from your doctor. For more information and insurance details, contact your travel agent, insurance broker, or your employer’s insurance provider.
Chartered banks are located in virtually all cities and towns. These full-service institutions are the best locations for exchanging currency. There is also a government sanctioned Canada / U.S. currency exchange service at the Ontario Travel Information Centre in Sault Ste. Marie and at the Duty Free Store & Kiosk. Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and AMEX, are generally honoured in all communities. Be sure to check with individual businesses before or when booking accommodations to ensure they accept your type of card.
In Ontario, a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 13% applies to most purchases.
For more information, contact:
• 1-800-565-9353 (inside Canada);
• 1-902-432-5604 (outside Canada); or
If you want to know what your money is worth in Canada, visit HERE to quickly convert your currency to Canadian dollars.
In Ontario, it’s important to plan ahead for the following holidays and booking ahead for accommodations during these holidays is recommended:
New Year’s Day January 1
Family Day Third Monday in February
Good Friday Friday before Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday Retail stores not open
Easter Monday Governmental Only
Victoria Day Monday before May 25
Canada Day July 1
Civic Holiday First Monday in August (not statutory)
Labour Day First Monday in September
Thanksgiving Day Second Monday in October
Christmas Day December 25
Boxing Day December 26
Drunk driving offences of any kind are dealt with very differently in Canada. Many US Visitors have been denied entry based if they have any kind of alcohol related offense. It does not matter if you are a passenger, driver or even walking. It does not matter what classification you offense was, nor how long ago it was. US President Bush was required to get a waiver to enter Canada based on a 1976 drunk driving offense.
To cross the border into Canada you must file for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or file for Rehabilitation if the crime is older than 5 years. TRP will allow you into Canada for a single trip, Rehabilitation removes the issue completely as long as you do not re-offend.
For police services anywhere in Ontario, call the 24-hour toll-free line 1-888-310-1122 or 1-888-310-1133 (TTY).
You must be 19 or over to buy or consume liquor, wine and beer in Ontario. It is an offence to consume alcohol anywhere other than in a licensed establishment, your residence or within a reasonable distance of your residence. Ontario laws prohibit having open bottles of liquor in a location accessible to the driver of a vehicle. Please don’t drink and drive! Liquor including wine and beer, is available through stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) or in smaller centers, by their authorized representative. Beer may also be purchased through “The Beer Store” or directly from brewery outlets. Beer, wine and cider is now available at select grocery stores in the province of Ontario.
Drinking hours in licensed establishments are from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. In Ontario, it is an offence to consume alcohol anywhere other than in a residence or on licensed premises. Please note that driving motorized vehicles, including cars, trucks, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), snowmobiles, and boats, while impaired is illegal. You can immediately lose your license for 90 days for refusing to take a breathalyzer reading greater than 80 mg (0.08%) of alcohol per 100 mL of blood. Charges may be laid under the criminal code of Canada.
Pleasure crafts may enter Canada by trailer or under their own power. All boats powered by motors 10 HP or over must be licensed. Boat licenses from outside Ontario are accepted. Operator Competency Requirements for Pleasure Craft – Regulation requires that all operators of motorized pleasure crafts have proof of competency and proof of age on board at all times. An operator card or equivalent, issued to a non-resident by their state or country, will be considered as proof of competency. For information visit www.safeboater.com
Planning to “land” your vessel on Canadian soil or did you leave Canadian waters and land on U.S. soil? All private boaters who intend to land on Canadian soil, or who have departed Canadian waters and landed on U.S. soil, are required to report to a CBSA designated marine reporting site. Upon arrival at this designated site, call the Telephone Reporting Centre at 1-
888-226-7277 from the phone provided to obtain clearance. Not planning to “land” your vessel or did you leave Canadian waters but did not land on U.S. soil? You still need to report to the CBSA. Certain private boaters may contact the CBSA by calling the TRC at 1-888-226-7277.
The Border Information Service (BIS) is an automated telephone service that answers incoming calls and provides general information on CBSA programs, services and initiatives through recorded scripts.
Service in English or French
Calls within Canada
Calls outside Canada
Long distance charges apply
TTY within Canada
The Baudette – Rainy River International Bridge connects Highway 11 in Ontario with Minnesota State Highway 72 and Minnesota and is the most western border crossing in Ontario.
International Falls / Fort Frances Border Crossing – US Hwy 53, US 71 / ON 71, Church Street
The Pigeon River International Bridge south-west of Thunder Bay connects Ontario’s Highway 61 with Highway 61 in Grand Portage, Minnesota.
Sault Ste. Marie
The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge connects Huron Street in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, with Interstate 75 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Cars, passenger vans and SUVs are not permitted to tow more than one trailer or one vehicle. Motor homes, trucks, pickup trucks and truck campers are legally permitted to tow two trailers or a trailer and a motor vehicle behind a trailer. However, a three vehicle combination that is swaying excessively, is unstable or has reduced handling capabilities is subject to action by the police as an unsafe combination of vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act.
The maximum length of any combination of vehicles is 23 m (75′ 6″).
Always Consult the current regulation handbook located here.
Under 18 you do not need a fishing license or outdoors card. You do need to be accompanied by someone who holds a valid outdoors card and fishing license.
For over 18
1 Day sport fishing license: $23.01 (Does not require an outdoors card)
The following require an outdoors card as well ($9.68)
8 Day sport fishing license: $53.54 ($30.53 for conservation license)
1 Year sport fishing license: $83.27 ($51.65 for conservation license)
3 Year sport fishing license: $249.81 ($154.96 for conservation license)
Fishing Licenses can be purchased online here, at participating Service Canada locations or at local authorized license dealers throughout Superior Country.
Licenses: All non-residents of Canada who want to fish in Ontario require a current non-resident sports fishing license and a non-resident Outdoors Card. Non-residents under the age of 18 may fish without a license if accompanied by a licensed family member. Any fish caught are part of the limit of the person with the license. Canadian residents require a resident fishing license and a current resident Outdoors Card.
Bait: You cannot bring live minnows, smelts, leeches or any other bait fish into Ontario from the United States. Night crawlers are allowed but they must be brought in containers with artificial bedding only.
Limits and Regulations: With countless lakes and streams, it is important that anglers are aware of the general regulations and of any exceptions to the general regulations (e.g. specific slots or catch and possession limits) that may apply to the lake you will be fishing. Ontario’s Fishing Regulations can be downloaded at www.ontario.ca/travel-and-recreation/fishing
It is illegal to bring any live bait into Canada. You can bring live worms into Canada as long as they are in non-soil based bedding.
Superior Country has numerous fish species sought after by anglers. Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Smallmouth Bass, Lake Trout, Brook Trout, Steelhead, Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Pink Salmon, Perch, Lake Whitefish, Lake Cisco, Burbot and even Carp.
You are allowed to bring back to the USA from your Superior Country fishing trip the fish allowed under Ontario possession limits which vary from species to species. Fish must be packaged for travel and easily identifiable as to the species. A one inch square skin tag must be left on any fillets being transported.
Consult your Fishing Regulation Handbook for possession limits and pay particular attention to combined possession limits (like trout species).
Non-residents must have one of the following to obtain a hunting license:
1) An Ontario non-resident hunting license issued to you after January 1, 1968.
2) A hunting license issued to you after January 1, 1968 by a competent authority in a jurisdiction where you were a resident of that jurisdiction.
3) An Ontario hunting license verification certificate showing your license to hunt in Ontario or that you passed the hunting license examination.
Visit www.ontario.ca/travel-and-recreation/hunting or call the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources at 1-800-667-1940 for further information.
Residents of the U.S. over the age of 18 may bring a hunting rifle or shotgun into Ontario for hunting purposes. You are also allowed to bring up to 200 rounds of ammunition duty free, or up to 1,500 rounds for use at a recognized competition. Firearms are subject to a registration fee. It is suggested that you contact the Canada Firearms Centre For information before you attempt to import a firearm.
Residents of the U.S. are encouraged to pre-register their firearms prior arriving. Handguns, fully automatic weapons, modified weapons, stun guns, mace and other weapons are not allowed in Canada. Proper storage of the firearm is important so make sure you are aware of the regulations. Of special note, firearms of any kind are forbidden in many of Canada’s National and Provincial Parks and adjacent areas.
For more information on importing your firearm into Canada and to receive a registration form, please contact the Canadian Firearms Centre at 800-731-4000 or 506-624-5380.
Non-Canadian citizens are required to purchase a crown land camping permit if camping on non-prohibited crown land in Superior Country. No permit is needed for camping at provincial parks however camping fees will apply.
You do not need a permit if you:
The cost for a permit is $9.35 + tax per person per day.
They can be purchased at any participating Service Canada location in Superior Country, Online or through authorized license issuers.