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Author Topic: one month in Atlantic Canada  (Read 3745 times)

renegadecd

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one month in Atlantic Canada
« on: July 07, 2013, 07:41:10 AM »
Hi Everyone,

We are planning our first RV trip to Canada at the end of this month and staying for close to a month. Stops are Cavendish, PEI, Baddeck, NS, Halifax, NS and a place near Hopewell Rocks.

Just looking into the logistics of the border crossing (My husband is so smart to think of doing that ahead of time!) and I just realized I may have a problem with my usual pre-trip prep. I usually grocery shop and stuff the trailer full to last us a while because we eat mostly organic and are gluten free and dairy free and items are usually either homemade or hard to find in new places.  But now I see that food may be confiscated at the border and its better to travel empty and buy groceries at the destination?  We are planning to cross in Houlton, ME.   

so, 1) does anyone have experience with crossing with groceries? Should I call the border crossing right before our trip and see what's allowed?
2) Any recommended grocery stores with an adequate health food section? I see Whole Foods has not really made it to Canada so I think it will just be luck to stumble across places with the things we need.
3) Will they really confiscate dog food?

Thanks!
Renee

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 08:33:47 AM »
    You shouldn't have any difficulty crossing with normal food stuff.  The difficulty is bringing foreign problem that could spread to local crops.  If there is potato blight, BSE or hoof and mouth that breaks out you will be asked not to bring anything that might be effected.  OTOH, if you are concerned the 2 major grocery chains (Sobey's & Atlantic Superstores) carry Organic and Gluten free products.  There is a chain called the Bulk Barn that sells by the pound and carries even more, but they are located in cities only. 
    If you do cross at Houlton/Woodstock.  Plan a couple of days at Mactequac Provincial Park, go to nearby Kings Landing, and take a drive up the St John River to at least Hartland, an hour or so north, to see the world's longest covered bridge.
   You will run into similar restrictions on the way south.  For example, citrus fruit, even is you brought it with you going north cannot be brought across the border.  Onions that are sprouting are not allowed, etc.
   I have never heard about any difficulty with dog food, and I've never been asked if we had any on board.
   I see that you are planning on going to Cap Breton, not too far from Baddeck is Fortress Louisburg, France's main North American fortification, and it is celebrating it's 300 year anniversary this year.  If you are going to be camping on the Aug 3/4/5 weekennd, be aware that it is a Provincial/Municipal holiday in many areas in Canada, and campgrounds a usually very full.  So, for that weekend I would recommend reservations.
   Enjoy your trip, and hopefully it will cool down by the time you get here.  We're at the cottage at Parlee Beach and it has been too hot to go to the beach.

Ed
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hoddinron

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 09:28:28 AM »
I'd also encourage you to take in Louisberg.  But don't wear a red coat when you approach the gate!  I made that mistake once and was mistaken for a "RedCoat" and challenged by the guards! ;D

Ron
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Jeff

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2013, 10:25:33 AM »
Our ingest issue with border crossings is that they are never consistent over which foods are banned. We have even called in advance and then had soething ese added to the lust. One inspector says it citrus, another apples, another meat, another potatoes, etc. We pretty much have started taking canned, prepared, and frozen food across the borders.

Alfa38User

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 11:00:40 AM »
The only restrictions I have encountered going into Canada are live plants (with earth on the roots). Going south into USA, citrus fruit is always restricted, regardless of where it was grown or bought. The lists of restrictions etc. seem to change often and it would appear that the border people do have a difficult time keeping track themselves. The only time I saw a pet food restriction in the last 7 years was while going south into USA was during a Hoof and Mouth (beef restrictions) scare when we were questioned about Cat food. What it said on the label of the can regarding contents and origin (USA) made no difference to the border people, cat food was cat food and was not allowed at that time. (They did let us keep several cans, as it was a prescription food, just to tide us over till we got to our destination.....)

Liquor and tobacco quantities are always asked about by both sides of the border as is the amount of cash being carried and each has specific allowed maximum amounts....

Otherwise, our overall experience is just as Jeff said and our solution is the same as his.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 11:23:44 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 11:02:54 AM »
    Many years ago, we took my Aunt and Uncle to Louisburg.  Having emigrated from Russia when a child, and having spoken Russian at home, I had prept him to respond to the gatekeeper's questions in Russian.  It was a hoot, the kids in period costume had no idea what he was saying and he had a great time playing with their heads.  King's Landing is not as historic, but it is also where people wear period costume, and the buildings were moved there when the hydro dam was being built.  Both are very similar to historic Williamsburg in VA.
    For the most part, unless you hit a border guard who's having a bad day, you shouldn't run into any difficulties.  But it does go without saying and as covered in many previous posts, do not, again DO NOT bring guns as if you get caught, you won't like the consequences.  You are far more likely to get kissed or hugged than attacked by someone with a gun.

Ed
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renegadecd

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 09:14:14 PM »
Thanks everyone!

Is there any price reason to do our shopping on the mainland or is PEI comparable?  I know the island is connected by a bridge but not sure if that makes it less affected by "island prices" since I hear it is a large toll to get off the island.

Please someone correct me if I have misoinformation!

Thanks
Renee

docj

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 09:26:13 PM »
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this website: http://www.beaware.gc.ca/english/brirape.shtml  Even though your actual experience will differ from this, this is the official list of what you can and cannot bring.  Instead of listening to people's recollections, many of which are wrong, start with the "real" list.

Having said that, we crossed the border into BC with our grandchildren a week ago for a month-long trip.  We had gotten rid of all "stone fruits", potatoes, and apples and all meats were in sealed packages clearly marked with country of origin.  We were somewhat disappointed that by the time the border agent had checked the children's permission documents she asked us absolutely nothing about weapons, alcohol, or food we were carrying.  I didn't even get the chance to declare my bear spray.
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 06:11:12 AM »
     As for grocery prices, you will find the 2 national chains represented and their prices will closely match prices elsewhere in the Maritimes, and I'm not sure if the Walmarts have yet to be converted to Super Walmarts.  However, be prepared as many grocery items are higher than in the US, and only a few are cheaper, alcohol and tobacco are extremely heavily taxed and much more expensive.  Yet, there is very little that is not available from what you are used to see in stores, including the infamous "grits" from another string.

Ed
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ArdraF

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 11:44:44 PM »
Be prepared for metric size cans.  Invariably I end up with several that are just a smidgen larger than our cans and they don't fit in the same space in cupboards.  You'll also find prices to be much higher there because of value-added taxes.

You're going to love Atlantic Canada.  Great people, beautiful scenery, and interesting history.  Louisbourg, Hopewell Rocks, Baddeck, Peggy's Cove, the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton, Bay of Fundy, Evangeline Trail.  All wonderful places.  Make sure you have backup camera batteries.

ArdraF
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 05:20:36 AM »
We crossed the border yesterday at Houlton. We had read the list, but we were not even asked about food. Asked for passports, where we were going and the length and purpose of our trip. The agent did ask if we had any guns. This question is always asked. It was an easy and quick crossing. BTW Motorhome are to use lane 4 (follow the signs). It wasn't manned, but an agent came out within a few minutes.

BTW, I-95 is closed at exit 276 and they take you on a detour. Wouldn't have been bad except it was raining. Doesn't add much mileage as the detour follows near the interstate.

ken
 
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 05:24:03 AM by Ken & Sheila »
Ken & Sheila
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 08:28:56 PM »
    Ken and Sheila, welcome to my world  :)  Drop me a PM if you want any info on the Maritimes, Donna are at the summer cottage until the end of the month, it is near Shediac, and we can get together when you pass through.

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

Stan Birch

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 10:10:41 PM »
We are planning our first RV trip to Canada at the end of this month and staying for close to a month. Stops are Cavendish, PEI, Baddeck, NS, Halifax, NS and a place near Hopewell Rocks.

Sounds like an okay weekend trip; but the fun doesn't really start until you arrive in Newfoundland, where a mere month is never enough!
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2013, 10:52:39 AM »
We've been in Newfoundland for a month and you're right we could have used more time. Leaving on the ferry tomorrow to spend some time in Nova Scotia and then a few more stops in New Brunswick.

ken


Ken & Sheila
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2013, 01:37:26 PM »
     Ken & Sheila, we're back in Dartmouth, with our youngest due to have her baby at any time.  We would like to pick your brains about heading west next spring.

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

Ken & Sheila

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Re: one month in Atlantic Canada
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2013, 03:31:39 PM »
Ed, We'll be at Woodhaven 8/27 through 8/31. Plan on going back to Peggy's Cove, Lunnenburg, and Halifax.
Hopefully we can get together sometime in that date range, but we realize you have other more important priorities!

ken

Ken & Sheila
2009 Monaco Camelot 42 PDQ
2008 Jeep Liberty, 2006 Saturn Vue
Fur-ball kids: Ariel and Mia

 

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