US Citizens planning vacations to Canada

Canadian Walleye & Northern Pike Fishing Wilderness Vacations in Northern Ontario Canada by Float Plane or Train


Canada FlagUS Citizens Planning Vacations in CanadaUnited States Flag

Updated June 1, 2009

Currently the plan to require passports to enter the US by land will not be required until at least late summer to early fall 2008. There is no requirement for US citizens to show passports when entering Canada, and no requirement is being contemplated by the Canadain government. Normal citizenship and identification documents are acceptable for Canadian border services. Implementation of the US passport requirement has been delayed numerous times, but it does look like it will eventually be done. There are other departments in the US and Canadian governemnts that are looking at secure driverse licenses for border crossing and access to government services, but there is no consensus on how to do this yet so this initiative will take a while. In the mean time there is no doubt passports make crossing the US-Canada border much easier and faster.

News Regarding Passports for the US-Canada Border

US Passport crossing United States Canada Border From the sounds of this article from the Windsor Star, US Border Services have a good handle on the passport issue for returning to the US from Canada and there are no extra delays at the border entering the United States.

"New passport rules cause few border delays"

"Both passenger and commercial traffic were flowing normally, with only brief warnings issued by U.S. border guards for those without the proper documents.

A small paper information leaflet with a banner of "non-compliant" was given to anyone who failed to produce a passport or other satisfactory documents under Washington's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative rules, which also allow for use of enhanced drivers' licences or NEXUS cards to enter the U.S. at land borders.

"The new rule has not affected our traffic at all, and we don't anticipate it will," said Chief Ron Smith, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in Detroit. "We know we are going to have people crossing without documents. It's not our goal to stop traffic, but instead, go through an informed compliance period so people know what they need to do."

Hope this article helps anyone contemplating a vacation in Canada this summer who does not yet have a passport, enhanced drivers license, or NEXUS Card.

Have a Good Day! Canadian Wilderness and fishing vacation resort Ontario CanadaAl Errington Errington's Wilderness Island Resort Northern Ontario Canada Canadian Flag of Canada Vacations

You do not need, and will not need, passports for children under 16 for crossing the US-Canada border by land. US Home Land security has already decided that passports will not be required by US and Canadian citizens under 16 to enter the US. This does not mean that children are allowed to cross the US-Canada border without proper authorization and documentation. Both the US and Canadian border are part of Child Find and part of their job is to assure that children crossing the border are doing so legally and that they are in the custody or have the permission, of their legal parent or guardian, or that their legal parent or guardian has given permission for the child to cross the border. This precaution is of course to help children that have been abducted or are being transported illegally so these children can be returned to the safety of their legal parent or guadian. The requirements to insure child safety are not onnerous but they are important, especially with younger children who cannot speak for themselves adequately. If you are a childs parent a document such as a birth certificate proves it. If you are the childs permantent guadian you should have ther documents to prove this.If you are travelling with a child for whom you are not the legal guardian, you should have one of the previous documents as well as a letter from the legal parent or guardian stating that the child is travelling with you with their permission.
There are restrictions on what you can bring into Canada. Besides items that are illegal to possess in Canada or the US, Canada also has more stringent gun regulations. Handguns are are very restricted in Canada. If you routinely carry a firearm you can leave it with Canada Customs when you enter Canada. If you are exiting Canada at a different border crossing, Canada customs will also transport your firearm to the othe border crossing free of charge.

There also restrictions on bringing food, alcohol and cigarettes into Canada. Although you are allowed to some food in to Canada, it is only supposed to be enough for a couple of days consumption and some foods such as potatoes and some meat products are not allowed. Our reccomendation is that buy all of your food in Canada. It saves delays and agravation at the border and we have very good grocery stores here. If you are going to our resort you will probably be crossing the border at Sault Ste Marie. Sault Ste Marie has quite anumber of grocery stores, including 3 that are open 24 hours. In Wawa just before Hawk Junction, the Value Mart has a good selection of groceries.

Alcoholic beverages are a different story. Beer and Alcohol is very highly taxed in Canada. You are allowed to bring one case of beer or one bottle of liquor per adult without paying tax. This fairly well known. What is generally not known is that you can bring up to 10 cases of beer or ten bottles of liquor into Canada per adult if you are willing to pay the taxes on it. The taxes are 15% which is considerably lower than the 113% the government normally charges on alcohol. We do not want to encourage people to drink irresponsibly and you should only purchase the amount of alcohol you will need to enjoy your vacation safely and responsibly. However, if you are on an extended holiday in Canada we prefer that you spend your money on our great Canadian food, services and entertainment rather than taxes. You can buy your liquor and beer at the duty free store before you enter Canada. There is not a lot of difference between Canadian and US liquor, but Canadian Wine is very good and Canadian beer has a well deserved reputation for high quality and great taste. And yes it does tend to have a slightly higher alcohol content than US beers.

Cigarettes are also very highly taxed in Canada. Whether there is any difference in quality or taste between US or Canadian cigarettes I don't know, since I don't smoke. I do sympathise with you smokers though. The government does really take advantage of your addiction. Again, you are allowed to bring one carton (not just one package) of cigarettes in to Canada per adult.

Canadian Flag link to Canadian border crossing wait timesCanada-US Border crossing wait timesUS Flag link to US border crossing wait times

Fishing in CanadaPassports are not required for US Citizens to enter Canada.
A requirement for a Passport or PASS card for entering, or re-entering, the United States from all foreign destinations is not scheduled to be implemented until January 1, 2008 by land or water. People traveling by plane to the US are now required to show passports.

Starting January 1, 2008, the United States plans to begin implementing a requirement for passports, or some other secure document which shows citizenship, to enter the United States by land or water, or January 1, 2007 by boat or plane. For people driving across the border the US Government has now decided to create a less expensive PASS (People Access Security Service) Card. Canada is considering implementing a similar Citizenship card and integrating the card system with the US. This will affect visitors to the US and US residents re-entering the US. Although passports will not be required until the beginning of 2008, passports are actually the best form of identification for crossing the border.
United States passport applications are available at:

Many US post offices, clerks of court, public libraries and other state, county, township, and municipal government offices to accept passport applications. Some will take photos on site: The US State department has a "Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page" where you can input your zip code to find the nearest passport office at

More Information on applying for a US Passport


Bull Moose-Wildlife viewing in CanadaENTERING CANADA


United States citizens and legal residents of the United States do not need passports or visas to enter Canada as visitors. If you do have a valid passport we recommend bringing it since it will help facilitate crossing the border both into Canada and returning to the United States.

Passports are scheduled to be required to enter the United States from Canada in 2008, or 2007 if traveling by air or boat.

When crossing the border you may be asked to show proof of citizenship such as birth certificate, naturalization certificate or passport. If the identification does not have a picture ID you may be asked to provide this as well. A drivers license is generally sufficient for picture ID but is not proof of citizenship by itself. Photocopies of any identification are not acceptable and may initiate a more thorough investigation.


Canadian FlagUnited States FlagYou should have at least one document from each of these categories to facilitate crossing the
United States - Canada Border
Proof of Citizenship Proof of Identity
-Birth Certificate
-Naturalization Certificate
-Drivers License

Passports are the best form of identification because they prove both identity and citizenship. To apply for a US passport go to the US State Department website at:


Canada Customs and Immigration officers and United States Customs officers are members of or affiliated with Child Find Canada, Child Find of America, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. You may be asked to produce birth certificates. Anyone traveling with children not their own may be required to show written permission from the child's parent(s) and proper identification (birth certificate). For more information about Canada's Border Agencies role in protecting abducted children please go to this website:

Other Countries

Visitors from countries other than the US require a valid passport and in some cases a visitor's visa. Visas are issued by Canadian Immigration offices, embassies and consulates.

Criminal Records

Individuals with records of minor criminality (DUI's, youth offences, etc.) wishing to enter Canada can apply for a waiver. This should be done a minimum of 3 - 4 weeks in advance of the intended visit and can take up to 6 months. It should be noted that Driving Under the Influence convictions are considered a criminal offense in Canada which may effect your ability to enter Canada. For more information on how to get waivers or pardons on DUI's, and other convictions which may affect your ability to visit Canada, please go to this website:

Persons without waivers who have only DUI's or other less serious criminal convictions, and have no criminal convictions in the past 10 years are generally considered rehabilitated when they reach the border. Entry into Canada is at the Canada Immigration officer's discretion so presenting yourself well and being honest is very important when answering the immigration officers questions.

A "Remote Area Border Crossing Permit" may assist the Immigration officer in determining admissibility to Canada since it requires normal background checks. This permit costs $30.ºº Canadian (approx. $20.ºº US). More information regarding the "Remote Area Border Crossing Permit", and other programs which simplify entering Canada such as "CANPASS" visit this website:

Private Planes

If you wish to fly your own plane in Canada, you must make arrangements to clear customs. For our area Sault Ste Marie is the most convenient airport to clear customs and immigrations. General information on entering Canada by private plane is in this website: Contact Canada customs before you arrive so they can meet you at the airport using this information: You can leave your airplane at Sault Ste Marie or continue to the Wawa airport. If you have an amphibious airplane your can fly right up to our resort.

NavCanada Website:

Sault Ste Marie Airport: www.Sault

Wawa Airport:

Reference: N47 58 00 W84 47 12 1.7 SSW
7 degW UTC-5(4) Elev. 942' A5001
F-21 L04 HE4 CAP
The airport is open daily from:
7:30 - 8:00 p.m. May - August
7:30 - 4:00 p.m. September - April
Fuel: JET A1, 100 Low Lead
Oil: Shell Multi Grade, W80, W100, 100
After Hours:
$50.00 CDN
Pager #: 856-2344
SSM FSS 1-800-463-6377

Wawa Municipal Airport has a 1200 m runway

There is a public telephone on the Apron side of the Terminal

For flight plan FSS call 1-800-463-6377 or WX W4 1-705-856-1399


Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Products

For short-term visitors to Canada, the following restrictions apply per person:

-1.14 liters (40 oz.) of liquor or wine, or 24 x 355ml (12 oz.) bottles or cans of beer or ale (8.5 liters)
-200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or cigarillos or 400 grams of manufactured tobacco or 400 tobacco sticks
You must be 19 years of age or older to import alcoholic beverages or tobacco products into Ontario.


Firearms are strictly controlled and many are not permitted in Canada. Handguns and assault weapons are strictly prohibited. U.S. law enforcement personnel and other persons legally carrying firearms may check their firearms with Canada Customs and Immigration at their point of entry into Canada and the firearms will be returned to them when they leave Canada either at the same border point or at another prearranged border point at the gun owner's discretion.

If you are bringing a firearm into Canada for hunting or a sporting event you must report your firearms to customs at the border, complete a non-resident firearms declaration form in triplicate, have it confirmed by a customs officer.

Once confirmed, this declaration form will act as a temporary licence and registration certificate while in Canada and is valid for 60 days. The fee is $50 (Canadian) and you may renew your temporary licence any time during a 12-month period without paying an additional fee. For more information on form 909EF for temporarily importing firearm into Canada, please go to the Canadian Firearms Centre website at

Other Goods

Certain goods are restricted from entering Canada. If you are considering importing meat or dairy products, weapons, plants, vehicles, or exotic animals or products made from their skins or feathers, please contact Canada Customs beforehand for guidance.


Travel and Medical Insurance

Travel and Medical Insurance is something you almost never need on vacation. But, if an unexpected situation arises insurance can save considerable expense and stress.

Travel and Medical InsuranceThis website provides insurance quotes from a number of travel and medical insurance providers.

You should double check that your insurance policy covers you during your time in Canada. Consider purchasing supplemental or other insurance if your own policy is not enough. You may wish to check with your health insurance company to ensure that your policy includes coverage for medical evacuations to the United States as well as escorts to the United States, hospitalization abroad, premature birth abroad, and other coverage for a beneficiary who is involved in an accident or illness outside the United States. Carry details of your insurance plan with you (and leave a copy with a relative or friend at home).

**Please note: The U.S. Social Security Medicare Program does not provide for payment of hospital or medical services outside the United States.

Your Money Goes Further

US dollars, the Euro, and several other foreign currencies, enjoy a premium rate of exchange in Canada. Credit Cards are generally processed in Canadian dollars with, again generally, a fairly favorable exchange rate by the Credit Card companies.
Visa acceptedMastercard acceptedInterac debit cards acceptedAt our resort we accept VISA, Mastercard, Debit Cards, as well as US and Canadian Cash or Travelers Checks. For deposits on reservations we also accept personal or business checks, in Canadian or U.S. funds. We offer a fluctuating US exchange rate which is within 2% of our banks rate for buying US cash. For the last few years our US exchange rate for has been $1.00 US dollars equals from $1.15 to $1.25 Canadian. Other Canadian merchants may have different exchange rate policies. For the Euro; ¤ 1.00 is worth approximately $1.40 Canadian.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) Rebates

As a visitor to Canada you can claim a refund of 7% on every dollar spent while in the country on accommodation and most goods you take home. If crossing into the United States at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario you can claim your 7% GST cash rebate at the Duty Free Store on the Canadian side of the International Bridge approach. Be sure to keep your receipts for instant GST rebates (Minimum acceptable expenditures, excluding taxes, must cumulatively total a minimum of $200.ºº with each individual acceptable receipt totaling at least $50.ºº). Collecting your GST rebates is quick and uncomplicated and we will thoroughly explain the process to you before you leave our resort.

Automobile Radar Detectors

It is illegal to take automobile radar detectors into the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba or into the Yukon and Northwest territories. The police will confiscate radar detectors, whether in use or not, and may impose fines up to $1000.



To re-enter the United States, returning U.S. citizens need to show the Bureau of Citizenship and Naturalization Services or the Department of Homeland Security officer proof of identity and citizenship, such as a passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization (for citizenship) and photo identification (such as a driver's license) for identity. A U.S. passport is proof of both citizenship and identity. Persons who are dual nationals should enter using U.S. documents only, as they could be fined under U.S. law for entering the U.S. on a foreign passport.

Passports are scheduled to be required to enter the United States from Canada in 2008, 2007 if traveling by air or boat.

U.S. Customs

Articles acquired abroad and brought back with you into the United States are subject to duty and internal revenue tax. As a returning U.S. resident, you are allowed to bring back $400 worth of merchandise duty free. However, you must have been outside the U.S. for at least 48 hours, and you must not have used this exemption within the preceding 30-day period. The next $1,000 worth of items you bring back with you for personal use or gifts are dutiable at a flat 10 percent rate. Any dollar amount of an article or articles over $1000 is subject to variable duties.


Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario:
Canada Customs and Immigration
125 Huron Street, Bridge Plaza
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 1R3
Automated Immigration/Visitor Information:
Phone: (705) 941-3100
Canadian Government Websites:
Border wait time into Canada

Visiting Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency

Sault Ste Marie, Michigan:
U.S. Customs Service
International Bridge Plaza
Sault Ste. Marie, MI. 49783-1492
Phone: (906) 632-2631
U.S. government websites:
U.S. Department of State

Canadian Flag link to Canadian border crossing wait timesCanada-US Border crossing wait timesUS Flag link to US border crossing wait times

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Wilderness Island

Lake Wabatongushi * Ontario * Canada
Ontario Canada Canada Flag

22057 - 44 Great Northern Road
Sault Ste Marie ON Canada P6B 6H4
May - September (705) 884-2215
October - April (705) 946-2010





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Errington's Wilderness Islands Ltd

Errington Family Resort in Ontario Canada Al, Doris, Devin & Morgan Errington would like to welcome you to take a train or float plane in to our secluded wilderness island lodge for Great Fishing, Wonderful Wildlife and Relaxing Wilderness Vacations in Northern Ontario Canada.
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