Driving Calgary to Toronto - any tips?
Replies: 22 - Last Post: Feb 4, 2013 8:19 PM Last Post By: RoxyGyn
Jan 26, 2013 10:13 AM
Jan 26, 2013 10:42 AM
Jan 26, 2013 6:02 PM
2Don't think it's a good idea, the weather can be hellish so you do need good snow tires and a well-equipped survival kit. Every year one or more people die on the prairies after getting stuck in bad weather.
Suggest you stay south of Lake Superior (ie on the American side, cross south of Regina into North Dakota), come back up at Sault Ste Marie or further east.
How far you can go in a day is too dependant on the weather to predict.
Jan 27, 2013 6:43 AM
3You will be fine. If you're not used to winter driving then use snow tires. The roads are generally kept clear. If you're nervous about driving then stick to daylight. Make it 8-10 hrs a day. Plan the route in advance and pick the bigger places to stay in. You could even book hotels in advance if you do that
If you're not comfortable driving in the US then stay with the transcanada. There will be plenty of traffic even in winter.
A little common sense goes a long way. Plan your route for daylight hours. Book rooms in advance. If you're nervous take an extra day and drive less.
Jan 27, 2013 6:51 AM
Jan 27, 2013 8:26 AM
6I love how some make it sound like its an extreme exploration. The prairies may have blowing snow, but other then that, you should be fine. As long as you have a reliable car, common sense,... Oh and watch out for those semi drivers...they like passing more these days at over 110 km, leaving you in a snow squall, avoid if possible lol.
I've done it a million times... Usually stop near Regina or Brandon/Winnipeg pending on how I feel, then push the rest of the way...but that's just me.
Jan 27, 2013 8:37 AM
Jan 27, 2013 9:05 AM
8Just curious how often the "million times" driver has ever find a Canadian weather forcast to be correct for 12 hrs let alone for the trip from Toronto to Calgary?
Also 90% of Ontario drivers shouldn't be allowed near a car in the winter, let alone when they ask if they need snow tires. Heck snow tires are the law in Quebec just a couple hundred miles away & she wants to drive 2,000 miles.
Jan 27, 2013 9:22 AM
9Forecasts are usually close when it comes to major systems which is all that matters. Scaring people on driving MAJOR routes is a common practice here on LP.
To satisfy your question #8...million was a stretch...maybe a 100? Im originally from Moose Jaw Sask (now Calgary), and we drove to Reindeer Lake monthly...now that is a drive not taken lightly. Maybe drove Moose Jaw - Calgary several hundred times in my college years. You will be fine Roxy lol.
Jan 27, 2013 9:53 AM
10#9 you insist on overlooking the fact that Toronto drivers can't keep the wheels on the ground on a sunny summer weekend let alone a winter trip in blizzard country.
It's NOT scaring people it's being honest!
Jan 28, 2013 7:56 AM
That's sadly true. The entire population of Toronto actually dies on the 401 every summer; the city has to be replenished and repopulated with fresh blood from the suburbs every year. The mass destruction of vehicles is why the Ontario economy is so heavily concentrated on auto manufacturing. Prophecy foretells that someday a good driver from Calgary will come, one who can lead the peoples of Ontario to snow tires and salvation. Alas, that day is not today.
Seriously, RayitoG, lighten up. Toronto driving is certainly different from Calgary (or Prairie) driving, but it doesn't mean that Toronto drivers are all the idiots that you make them out to be. Toronto is home to the world's widest, and North America's busiest, highway. (The Deerfoot Trail manages barely a third of the traffic, even at its busiest.) Toronto drivers regularly cope with traffic chaos that would make Western Canadians weep.
Give RoxyGyn the benefit of the doubt. She's aware that her driving experience up until now - however difficult it might have been, and however competently and skilfully she might have carried it out - hasn't necessarily provided her with everything that she needs to know about winter driving and road conditions out west. She's asked an honest question on this forum, in a genuine effort to make herself and the drivers around her safer. Try being helpful, or if you can't manage that, then at least put a cork in your contempt.
Jan 28, 2013 1:40 PM
12#11 I was being helpfull in telling her she wasn't experienced enough to take on that trip.
You forgot Toronto also has the world's longest parking lot, the Don Valley Parkway!
Jan 28, 2013 11:22 PM
Lots of great information. I very much appreciate it.
The reason I ask about snow tires (which are currently on my car) is because I would have to leave the regular tires in Calgary.
There's not a lot of room in the car and I need to stuff it with as much of my belongings as possible.
That is also the reason why I will not have a passenger (takes too much room).
Most suggest to take US highways through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc. I'm a bit nervous about the Chicago and then Detroit area.
I'm not worried about Toronto drivers. I've driven rentals there many times. Main difference I noticed is that if you signal to change lanes in Alberta, the driver in the next lane will let you in ahead of him/her. But in Toronto, your signal guarantees that the driver will speed up as if to say "ok you can change lanes, but not until after I have passed you". Lol
Jan 28, 2013 11:28 PM
The reason people suggest the US route is because the roads have more lanes that the TransCanada, gas is much cheaper, food at pit stops is cheaper and the hotels are cheaper.
Another point about snow tires is that after 30,000 kms I have the feelings the treads will be gone and no longer deemed "snow tires".
I wish I could put off this trip but I need to be by a family member's side who needs me now. I don't even have a job lined up for Toronto so I will be going with my fingers crossed.
Wish me luck!
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