If you are planning a trip to Canada, it may not have crossed your mind to check out flying into the U.S.A. to do so. However, with the bulk of Canada's population located within a few hours of the Canada / U.S. border, there is often a U.S.-based airport near your desired Canadian destination that may be more convenient or cheaper to fly into. Worth checking out at the very least.
*Note* With recent changes to travel regulations in the U.S.A. (January 27, 2017), visas to nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen have been suspended effective immediately until further notification. Travellers from these countries should not consider flying into the U.S. to visit Canada.
For example, located in Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., just under 30 mins from the Canada / US border, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (airport code BUF) is 90 miles (144 kilometers) from Toronto - 1 hr 45 mins by car.
Travellers to Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Toronto or other Southern Ontario locations should consider flying into Buffalo International Niagara Airport and crossing into Canada by land for the following reasons:
- It's probably cheaper. Domestic airfare tends to be much cheaper than international, so a flight from a US city to Buffalo is often less expensive than, say, a flight from a US city into Toronto Pearson International Airport. Find out which airlines fly into Buffalo.
- Buffalo is convenient. By car, the Buffalo Airport is 30 mins from the Canadian border / Niagara Falls and about 1 hr 45 mins from Toronto. Stay in Niagara Falls upon your arrival, tour the region for the next day or two and then move on to Toronto.
- The Buffalo Airport is small and easy to get around. Getting in and out of the Buffalo Airport is significantly easier and quicker than in and out of Toronto Pearson Airport.
Getting to Canada from Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Limousines, Bus and Shuttle Services: Numerous companies offer transportation to and from nearby cities including Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Falls. Many of these companies also offer tours of the Niagara Wine Region.
- Niagara Airbus offers limousine, shuttle and bus service between the Buffalo Airport, Niagara Falls, and Toronto. The company has many tour packages, including city highlights and hotel/airport transportation.
- Jewel of Niagara offers limousine service from Buffalo Airport, Niagara Falls tours and winery tours (*CLOSED*)
- Buffalo Airport Taxi offers hourly shuttle service between the Buffalo Airport and major downtown Niagara Falls, Canada, hotels for US$40. Children under 6 are free.
Rental Cars: Renting a car in Buffalo and driving to Canada has many advantages. The drive from Buffalo Niagara International Airport to Niagara Falls is about 30 mins and to Toronto about 1 hr 45 mins. The drive between Buffalo and Toronto boasts dozens of wineries on the Niagara Wine Route (of course, if you want to indulge in the wine, consider being a passenger on one of the many Niagara wine tours). The drive between Buffalo and Toronto is an easy one by highway, but taking a more leisurely drive via the wine route is a much more beautiful and tasty one.
Travelers by car should research which border crossing to cross at and consider stopping at the Canada border for some duty free shopping.
Buffalo Niagara International Airport has 6 rental car companies on-site.
For more complete information about Buffalo Niagara International Airport, consult the Buffalo Niagara International Airport official website.