Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: How best to combine Toronto, Detroit and Niagara Falls
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Tuesday 26 February 2013
Q. I am planning a summer holiday this year with my husband and would love to go to Toronto, see the city and also visit Niagara Falls. We have friends in Detroit so I thought this would be a good opportunity to see them as well. I wondered how best to get ourselves to Detroit from Toronto. We're more than happy to hire a car but will crossing borders cause a huge problem that is best avoided? As we’re on holiday we’d prefer not to sit in airports when we could be seeing the scenery.
A. Toronto is an excellent choice for a summer holiday, offering a combination of a cosmopolitan and cultured city with some wild and wonderful landscapes beyond in the province of Ontario – including Niagara Falls (which are far more impressive from the Canadian than the US side). Toronto is also, by a mile, the best gateway to that region of North America, thanks to the excellent deals on Air Transat from a wide range of UK airports. Every time I want a ticket to Toronto, the airline comes up cheapest (through its UK subsidiary, Canadian Affair, canadianaffair.com), and the on-board service is excellent.
Getting to Detroit without a car is (a) wise and (b) easy. While you could arrange to take a car across the border, immediately the cost and complication starts mounting. And there are two straightforward public-transport options. The first, straight to Detroit, is the ever-reliable Greyhound bus. It takes about six hours, for a fare of $39. But a better plan is to take the train to Windsor – the last Canadian city, just across the straits from Detroit. It takes just over four hours, and if you book in advance through viarail.ca you can easily find $29 one-way fares. Tell your pals I said they should come and pick you up (assuming they are, like everyone else in “Motor City”, car owners).
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