Canada - USA border crossings in each Canadian province
In the spirit of travelling across Canada, let’s turn our attention to the physical connection between Canada and US: our borders!
Canada and the US, what a great friendship. From fighting the War of 1812 to the trade relations of late, Canada and America seem to be at perpetual odds. We fight and then we make up.
Something that will never change, though, is the fact that we're connected to the US via 8,891 kms of borderland and 119 border crossings in total.
In this post we’re going to look at some of the important shared borders Canada has with its neighbour to the south, just in case you’d like to use one as inspiration for your next road trip.
All the highways will be referred to from the Canadian perspective, as the highways have both Canadian and American names. The different points of entry on both sides of the border also have distinct names, mostly. Some of the border crossings only permit travel in one direction, while others use bridges and tunnels to forge a connection.
Now, these aren’t all of the crossings, because that would take too long to detail, but if you love geography, let’s get into it.
Yukon – Alaska
Yukon has two border crossings with Alaska.
One is called Little Gold Creek and is located on the Top of the World Highway (Hwy 9) that has seasonal service depending on road conditions. This crossing is the northernmost and highest Canada/US border crossing.
The next is called Beaver Creek which operates 24 hours a day on the Alaska Highway (Hwy 1)
British Columbia – Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana
BC is unique in that it’s a fairly large province and shares its borders with four US states; the only other province to do this is Quebec. Alaska is to the north and Washington State to the south-west. Tiny portions of Idaho and Montana are to the south-east.
Alaska: out of the three border crossings listed, only one, Fraser, is 24 hours from the Canadian side, and only during the summer. Fraser is located on the Klondike Highway (Hwy 2) and will lead you to Skagway, AK.
Washington: There are 12 border crossings between British Columbia and Washington State, and most offer 24-hour service year-round. An interestingly named access point called Cascade is located on Christina Lake via BC Hwy 395. The town of Surrey is host to two crossings, the famous Douglas crossing along BC Hwy 99 and the Pacific Highway crossing via BC Hwy 15.
Idaho: Just two crossings exist to Idaho via BC, but the one that operates 24-hours is called Kingsgate on BC Hwy 95. The Canadian side is closed on holidays.
Montana: If you take the Roosville entry point on BC Hwy 93 it leads you to a tiny US town named Eureka in Montana.
Alberta – Montana
Alberta narrows right down to Montana and shares five borders with the American state.
The 24-hour access point is called Del Bonita on Hwy 62, while Chief Mountain, open during daytime hours mostly, can be accessed off of Hwy 6 through Waterton Park in Alberta’s southwest.
Saskatchewan – Montana, North Dakota
Saskatchewan also borders Montana but starts touching North Dakota as we venture eastward. All but two border crossings – one facing Montana and one facing North Dakota – operate with daytime service year-round. The two 24-hour crossings are listed below.
Montana: The Regway crossing can be found by travelling south on Hwy 6.
North Dakota: The North Portal crossing on Hwy 39 connects the cities of Portal, ND with North Portal, SK.
Manitoba - North Dakota, Minnesota
Our last Prairie province shares 12 border crossings with North Dakota and four with Minnesota.
North Dakota: access the International Peace Garden through the Boissevain entry point on Hwy 10 (PTH). The garden was established in 1932 and serves as a symbol of peace between Canada and the US. North Dakota is nicknamed the “Peace Garden State.”
Minnesota: The Tolstoi entry point on Hwy 59 (PTH) connects the city of the same name in Manitoba with Lancaster, MN.
Ontario - Minnesota, Michigan, New York
Ontario marks the point where the bridges and tunnels start showing up to transport travellers. There are three connections from Ontario to Minnesota, four to Michigan, and seven to New York. They mostly operate 24 hours a day.
Minnesota: The Fort Frances access point off Highway 71 becomes International Falls Bridge, a privately-owned toll bridge that connects Fort Frances, ON with International Falls, MN across the Rainy River. Only northbound traffic is charged, oddly, at $7 for cars and pickups. The price only goes up for larger vehicles.
Windsor-Detroit: At this busy crossing that connects Ontario’s Highway 401 with I-75, you can choose to cross by way of the privately owned Ambassador Bridge or underneath the Detroit River by way of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel. One quarter of all US-Canadian trade flows through this crossing.
New York: Find the Fort Erie Peace Bridge by following the QEW to connect to Buffalo, NY above the Niagara River.
Quebec - New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
There’s about 31 border crossings that you can access from the large province of Quebec; most operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Highways are called Autoroutes in this province.
New York: The St-Bernard-de-Lacolle access point on Autoroute 15 will eventually lead you to the Bronx, NYC via Interstate 87.
Vermont: The Stanstead crossing is found by following Autoroute 55 to the border town of Derby Line, VT in the New England region of the US.
New Hampshire: One access point is accessible via Chertierville on Route 257 that will lead you through the state’s major cities, including Pittsburgh.
Maine: The majority of the crossings to Maine are private and are primarily used by Canadian logging trucks that need access to the North Maine Woods. The Woburn entryway along route 161 is one of two public crossings, however, and will lead you to Coburn Gore, Maine.
New Brunswick – Maine
New Brunswick has 18 border crossings to the state of Maine. Half are in the form of bridges, like Edmundston and St. Leonard, while the rest occur over land.
Maine: to get to the very beginning of Interstate 95 in the US from NB, follow Route 95 in Canada to Woodstock Road.