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Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

Toronto, Canada
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Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

We will be setting out July 31, heading for the Edmonton Folk Festival. We need to check into our B&B in the afternoon of August 5 so I want to pace myself. Does anyone know how many hours drive this is going through Canada?

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

Actually, Google Maps gives fairly reliable estimates of driving time; 36 hours via the States:

http://bit.ly/cNF9mJ

44 hours via Sudbury and Thunder Bay:

http://bit.ly/bcAcoG

That is pure driving time - not allowing time for food, fuel, or sleep. So you've got roughly the right amount of travel time; if memory serves, it took 4-5 days to get from Calgary to Toronto with our RV a few years ago.

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Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

I've done the drive from Edmonton to Toronto, and I did it in about 3 days, but that was go-go-go. If you are hoping to do it leisurely, plan for about 4-5 days.

If I may make a suggestion about driving, I've taken the Tobormary (sp?) ferry to Manitoulin. It is a scenic cut across the Georgian Bay, takes just as long as driving through Sudbury, and you use less gas, you just have to pay for the ferry ride. There are a few hotels on the secondary highway from Manitoulin back to the main highway that you can stop at on your way over.

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West Grey, Ontario
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3. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

Hi canoecarrier;

While the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from Tobermory to Manitoulin may save you a little in gas, it will cost you more in the long run !

The cost just for your car, one-way, is $34.70. The adult fare is an additional $15.95 each, one-way. There is no discount for the driver.

www.ontarioferries.com/chi/english/index.html

Best Regards

Mission, Canada
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4. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

Might I also add my input, as I am a former resident of Ontario who has both driven west from the London / Windsor area and also driven back to the London / WIndsor area a few times.

As mentioned earlier, the drive from Edmonton to southwestern Ontario can be done in 3 days but it is anything but leisurely unless you are a single person or maybe a couple who doesn't mind long day's drives. I usually put in 14 to 15 hour days of driving on my first two days and cut back on the third when driving by myself.

Number one suggestion: use Google maps to get a number of suggested routes, with various waypoints, i.e. stop-overs, in the trip. I have done this and it is immensely helpful in planning a road trip. Better than just relying on a GPS or road map. It also helped me plan out my gas stops and where I wanted to stop each night ... then I was able to call ahead for motel reservations. By the way, if you don't make motel reservations for the road trip ... well, this is up to you. If you're a couple who've been "coop'd up" all day and on the road in a vehicle, you'll enjoy that hot shower and bed each night instead of camping it. Without the motel reservation, you are likely still able to get reasonable and good accommodation along the road at various interstate exits - just be prepared for anything from the low end pricing to the high end. If you're driving through Canada, "fat chance" at getting anything "reasonable and good accommodation along the road" as Canada has never developed its highway system for tourists & truckers as much as the USA has. It's been starting to improve in Canada over the last ten years, but there is still a long way to go.

I also recommend driving out through the USA. If you're crossing at Detroit, get on I-75 and go north a bit and then cut straight west. The idea is to take the route that will take you through just the southern edge of Chicago just barely, and then keep going west to the interstate "bypass" for Chicago - don't go through Chicago. I have friends who live in Chicago, and they completely agree with me on this. Avoid the heart of Chicago if you've never driven there before. Then, continue heading north to Wisconsin following I-98 (?) north and west, veering west well south of Milwaukee, and around to the Twin Cities, i.e. Minneapolis / St. Paul, in Minnesota.

If you have time on your drive, I recommend a stop at the Cabela's Outfitter's store on the west side of Minneapolis / St. Paul. as you continue west. You can't miss the big store and it's sign on the north side of the interstate.

To continue, keep going west from the Twin Cities, and head to Fargo, North Dakota. At Fargo, it is up to you whether you want to head north towards the Canadian border crossing just south of Winnipeg or continue heading west through to Montana before turning northand heading towards Alberta and coming all the way north to Edmonton through Lethbridge and Calgary, Alberta.

I would recommend any route for anyone that has never done any route west before.

The only reason I suggest the USA route, especially through to Montana is that it keeps you in the States for at least 2 nights, and then you qualify for the > 48 hour cross border shopping rule for Canada Customs. There are a couple of good places for shopping ... the outlet store in Wisconsin just east of the Twin Cities, the Cabela's outfitters I mentioned, more outlet stores in Bismarck, North Dakota, etc. ....

Plus, you will just not believe your eyes when you drive the scenic, hilly and twist & turn route though upper Montana. It is like you have just been dropped into a "miniature Grand Canyon" when you get into the Badlands area. I highly recommend it seeing the Badlands in Montana if you are driving west. Plus, try to time your drive through the Badlands before sunset. Amazing sunsets over the Badlands canyons.

NOTE There are ticks in the high grass area near cow pastures in Montana, go ensure you're either wearing long jeans when out walking in the grass trails here OR check yourselves after any walk in the grass. Last thing I want is to recommend the Badlands area, and then have someone contract Lyme disease from getting bitten by ticks. Research the internet for how to treat tick bites.

FYI: If you do decide to drive up and cross back into Canada south of Winnipeg, go west a bit and then north just west of Brandon. Then follow the Yellowhead route, i.e. Hwy 16, which will bring you all the way to Edmonton. Very nice route. Definitely less boring than the Transcanada route, Hwy #1, out to Calgary.

Edited: 15 July 2010, 00:21
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Edmonton, Canada
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5. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

good point, RescueTeam. I just suggested the ferry because I have done it and I enjoyed that experience. I was unaware of the cost as it has been three years since my trip back.

I really agree with Cdn-Trvl_Writer about the drive through the states. I didn't think about it because of the change in requirements for passport. The last time I drove into the US, passports weren't a requirement, but they are now.

Good luck, canoecarrier. I hope you enjoy your trip!! :D

London, Canada
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6. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

Great advice from Cdn Trvl Writer but I would instead suggest crossing at Sarnia/Port Huron. No more time, but the border is quieter, so much faster, and the border agents are much less likely to make you feel like a criminal.

We've done the drive (a few times) in 3 days averaging about 16-17 hrs on the road and prefer going through the States as well--- if you have a passport. More stops for lodging and gas for one, and the route through Chicago/bypass is actually quite easy.

Normally we call ahead for accommodations based on where we are about 4pm. Many chains will call another location (eg Holiday/Hampton Inn) for you if you don't want to rack up cell phone charges.

With starting out July 31 to check in August 5th, you'll be fine with 12 hr days......and depending on how your time frame is, agree with taking advantage of US shopping. :)

Enjoy seeing Canada!

Mission, Canada
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7. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

I concur with Tobie about crossing at the Sarnia / Port Huron crossing. It is much easier! Only drawback is that to avoid the toll highway, i.e. Hwy 402, from just west of the London 401 Hwy / Wellingston Street area that then takes you direct to Sarnia, you need to drive further down the 401 Hwy and then navigate up to the Sarnia backroads. Not really all that difficult, but it slows you down. If you are coming from Toronto and want to use the 402 toll highway, I would recommend it. It is faster for getting direct to the border crossing.

Oh, and don't worry so much about not having a passport. It's good to have, but not absolutely essential for cross border traffic. If all occupants of the vehicle have valid driver's licenses and birth certificates, you should be okay. Also, not to indicate any profiling here, but if you are white anglophones, you will have little to no difficulty either. If you're not, get the passports.

Edited: 16 July 2010, 01:47
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London, Canada
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8. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

As mentioned already, while not absolutely necessary to enter Canada again, it is a very good idea to have a passport now when attempting to cross into the US. Just eliminates any concern or delay....

From the Canadian government:

cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/…s2x1

"The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian citizens travel with a valid Canadian passport because it is the only reliable and universally accepted travel and identification document available to Canadians for the purpose of international travel."

and from US Homeland Security:

dhs.gov/files/crossingborders/travelers.shtm

Land/Sea Travel

Canadian Citizens - Beginning June 1, 2009

Canadian citizens will need to present a single document that complies with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. and Canadian travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. It is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA).

If you already have a valid passport, then no worries.

gxp
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9. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

Highway 402 is not a toll highway. Only the 407 is.

Mission, Canada
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10. Re: Number of hours driving Toronto to Edmonton

Thanks gxp for clarifying.

I was under the impression for years that the 402 was a Toll highway which had cameras to take pictures of vehicles entering the highway on ramps, after which the owner of the vehicle would receive a "bill" in the mail, much like a photo radar ticket. Interesting to not that it was an OPP friend of mine that told me this back during the 1970s extension of the 402 to London.

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