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Driving from Toronto to Jasper

Hamilton, Canada
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Driving from Toronto to Jasper

Hi everyone... I am contemplating a drive from Toronto to Jasper in Jan. I was looking into cost of moving all my stuff with a company, shipping my car and flying, but it is over $7000!

I was reading another forum post about driving from Toronto to Edmonton and I'm wondering is about the route through the US... Has anyone done this? Would I face issues at the border with a car full of stuff and a dog? (I believe I would need proof of updated vaccinations for her).

I have done the drive from Toronto to Edmonton, ironically in January (the same time I am considering the drive to Jasper) and faced some crazy weather in Northern Ontario. Was stuck due to a road closure for over 6 hours with absolutely nothing around! A tractor trailer went over an edge...eeks! I'd rather not do that drive again, especially alone.

Advice about the US route would be appreciated :)

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

I'm not familiar with the US route myself; you'll probably get some responses from other folks on this forum, but you might also want to post your question on the Road Trips forum:

tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Trip…

Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

well you can run into snow/road trouble in the norther states too.

i think i might stick to the canadian route just because of the possible hasstle crossing the border twice. you may just breeze through but the thought of unpacking the whole car if you get a tough agent.- yuck.

Hamilton, Canada
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3. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

Great points made! I will check out the road trip forum as well :)

Thanks!

Winnipeg
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4. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

January is a completely unpredictable time to travel through the northern States or mid-Canada. We have travelled the American route a few times (once moving a student back from an Ontario university) and have never had to unpack our vehicle. The benefit of taking the American route would be that there are many more places to pull over if there is a blizzard. The highways are better and the towns are closer together. You can take either the route through northern Michigan or go south via Chicago (probably a safer bet for finding towns to stop in). Anyway you look at it, budget at least a week of travel time, in case of weather delays.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

I have made that trip (in Feb). Typically from S Ontario one takes the 401 and crosses at either Detroit or Sarnia.(I would pick Sarnia--Detroit too scary)..the problem with the US route is you go through some major cities with bad traffic, especially Chicago, and then Minneapolis.

Other than that the drive is OK, most of it is on major interstates. To me Chicago was the most stressful part.

Edited: 5:53 pm, December 16, 2011
Winnipeg
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6. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

One doesn't have to drive through Chicago. You can circumnavigate it to the west. We just did it in October and it wasn't a problem at all, other than having to stop every once in a while to pay tolls.

Edmonton, Canada
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7. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

i made the drive years ago with a car full of stuff. I think you need to fill out a form when you cross the border into the states declaring what you have with you. It would be best to prepare a list while you are packing. Then you show the list again when you come back into the country. It was a lot of years ago when I did it, though. The route through the states was way better driving. I hate the Lake Superior portion of the Canada drive even in the summer.

Hamilton, Canada
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8. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

Thanks everyone, great advice!

I'm still undecided...we have been lucky so far in this part for weather, but that could all change the first week of Jan....totally my luck!

So the other option is to ship my car to Calgary and fly out. Pick up the car in Calgary and drive to Jasper. I would fly my dog out a week or so later and pick her up in Edmonton. I would be limited to what I could ship in the trunk of my car, so I would have to ship boxes out. A little bit of a hassle, but I wouldn't be risking a drive across the country in the winter.

I actually think the trickiest part may be the drive from Calgary or Edmonton to Jasper...

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

Have you been told by the car shipping company that you would be allowed to ship the car with a full trunk? I was under the impression that many such companies require the car to be empty of all personal possessions when shipped.

Edmonton, Canada
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10. Re: Driving from Toronto to Jasper

I'd encourage creative thinking. Perhaps it is better to just store everything, live out of a suitcase on a couple of lawn chairs for a couple of months until the weather is more predictable. I have also found with long moves that it is sometimes just cheaper to sell some things than to ship them or move them.

The drive from Calgary to Edmonton tends to be good in the winter unless there is a storm that day. Ditto the road from Edmonton to Jasper.