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  1. #1
    Blackhawk36's Avatar
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    US Ski Riding in Toronto area

    I am from Maryland. I have relatives in the Toronto area and on my next visit this summer I am considering bringing my skis up to do some riding. I have some questions

    1. Are there any issues with using a US registered SeaDoo in Canada, i.e, taxes, permits, fees, etc.

    2. How far from Toronto would I need to drive to find some nice water for riding and exploring?

    It seems like there a decent number of groups that ride in the area that I could hook up with.

    All the best
    Joe


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    First you must get yourself and your equipment into Canada.

    Posting this from the top of my head...

    Everyone in the car must have a valid passport or other official documents that would confirm your ability to actually be allowed back into the US after your trip. This will be check during your entry into Canada. Anyone who does not having sufficient and valid documentation may be refused entry and promptly sent back to the US.

    At the border into Canada, you must provide sufficient documentation/proof that the watercraft will not be staying in Canada, that you intend to return it to the US.

    I would suggest you have proof of ownership. A bill of purchase/sale from the seller, or your dealer if you bought new, should suffice in terms of ownership. The document must include the actual HIN number(s) from each hull, the full address of the buyer (you). And similar info for the seller. Actual signature of buyer and seller on the bill of sale. Dated.

    Hull numbers on the bow sides are a good thing, but by themselves they do not provide any info regarding actual ownership. Accompanying paperwork for the hull registration numbers would be good to have with you.

    The trailer must also be documented. Some sort of proof that that VIN on the trailer is owned by you. Bill of sale for the watercraft can count IF it has the trailer VIN number. If the trailer has a license plate, that should also be in your name. And you should have the paperwork.

    Same for the car/truck you drive into Canada. Proof that you own it, that is is properly licensed, and is properly insured.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    There are no annual permits or other fees for having or using a personal watercraft in Ontario.

    You are expected to know about restricted waters and rules when riding near the international (US/Canada) border.

    You are also expected to know the rules for boating and PWC operation in Ontario/Canada. How far away from shore, what speeds at what distances. And what the various marine markers and buoys in the water mean.

    All of this is learnable online. Canada has mandatory basic testing, which for residents results in a Boat Operator Card. This card basically is just proof that you took the boating test and passed. It is not a license.

    You can read the same Canada boater training materials yourself and develop the same knowledge, even if you can not get the actual card.

    What you could do is complete the materials and pass the test in your state for PWC operation and/or boating competency. Bring that card along. If you happen to be stopped by local marine police, they would be happy to see an effort has been made to do and know ‘more than the minimum’.

    I would suggest you made a copy of the proof of ownership document, laminate it and stash it somewhere inside the hull. Mine is wrapped around the fire extinguisher, inside the holder.

    We also have basic safety equipment requirements. I would suggest you go beyond the absolute minimum and carry a reasonable array of gear. Fire extinguisher, decent waterproof LED flashlight, working whistle and magnetic compass. Tow rope, dock lines, etc.

    Coast rated PFD for every person on board, in a size that properly fits them. US Coast Guard rated PFD are just fine, since you are from the US. Some PFD are just meant for water skiing and such, and may not have ANY certifications. Those do not meet the rule for PWC use.

    We have some rather large lakes and it is possible to get very far from shore. It is also possible to get confused about where you are or which way to head to get back to your launch point. I carry a portable marine VHF radio in a dry bag.

    Note that your VHF radio should have a CANADA mode setting, as some marine VHF channels are different than in the US. Using a US configured radio here can result in the Coast Guard not being able to hear you on some channels. Just find the setting and know how to switch the radio between Canada and US modes.

    Some marine radios may have an ‘International’ channel mode. That may or may not match with Canada VHF channels.


  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    So, welcome to Canada!

    Toronto is indeed on the shore of Lake Ontario, but this is a rather big place. Are you planning on boating close to your relatives location or venturing and exploring different waters?

    How long are you going to be in Canada? How much time will you have to be on the water?

    If you can PM me the postal code for where you will be staying, I may be able to provide some more direct guidance.

  5. #5
    moparguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    So, welcome to Canada!

    Toronto is indeed on the shore of Lake Ontario, but this is a rather big place. Are you planning on boating close to your relatives location or venturing and exploring different waters?

    How long are you going to be in Canada? How much time will you have to be on the water?

    If you can PM me the postal code for where you will be staying, I may be able to provide some more direct guidance.
    K447 nailed it!! I'll just add lake Ontario even in August is effing cold!!! Lake Erie is alot warmer, really depends how long you are staying. There are many water ways within 2hr drive of Toronto, some even closer.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moparguy View Post
    ... Lake Ontario even in August is effing cold!!!

    Lake Erie is alot warmer, really depends how long you are staying.

    There are many water ways within 2hr drive of Toronto, some even closer.
    Indeed, we always ride with wetsuits on Lake Ontario. Not for the air temperature, but for protection if we get tossed into the water. Sometimes the top couple of feet of the big lake can warm up, but if there is wind and waves it will churn the colder water up to the surface from below.

    Within 2-3 hour drive north(ish) from Toronto (depending on where in the GTA you are starting from) are MANY lakes.

  7. #7
    moparguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Indeed, we always ride with wetsuits on Lake Ontario. Not for the air temperature, but for protection if we get tossed into the water. Sometimes the top couple of feet of the big lake can warm up, but if there is wind and waves it will churn the colder water up to the surface from below.

    Within 2-3 hour drive north(ish) from Toronto (depending on where in the GTA you are starting from) are MANY lakes.
    Lake erie and niagara way are great riding areas too and water is always 75 degree plus . Southern Ontario offers 100's of waterways, alot of beautiful scenery too. Plus we have strong beer and maple syrup.....sorry no Eskimos or igloos hehehe

  8. #8
    Blackhawk36's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the advice. I will be staying in North York. I have a US Boater Safety Training Certificate and it includes PWC operation plus all proof of ownership, registration, insurance etc. I will familiarize myself online with Canada rules and probably coordinate here for group ride. Probably the best idea in unfamiliar territory.

  9. #9
    moparguy's Avatar
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    I'm down for a group ride, Canadian Coast Guard rules and U.S Coast Guard rules are pretty much the same.

  10. #10
    GOT BOOST? Dockside's Avatar
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    I'm up for a group ride. Theres so many places to ride it'll blow your mind.

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