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407 ETR question

Fairfax County...
Level Contributor
2,827 posts
29 reviews
407 ETR question

I plan to drive from Niagara Falls to Markham on a Sunday afternoon. The most obvious route seems to be via 407 which I understand uses electronic toll. I used the online toll calculator which gave me an estimate of over 22 Canadian dollars. Did I estimate it right? It seems to be a little bit high to me for that short distance.

If I want to avoid the high toll and the hassle of finding a way to prepay, is there an alternate route that would not add too much time?

Thanks.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3,837 posts
151 reviews
1. Re: 407 ETR question

Avoid the 407. Take the QEW to 403 to 401 east to 404 north. You can use google maps to get directions and set it to Avoid Tolls to avoid the 407.

Fairfax County...
Level Contributor
2,827 posts
29 reviews
2. Re: 407 ETR question

Thanks. That looked easy enough on Google map. Does it add much time? I am wondering the reason why some people are willing to the pay the 407 toll.

Paradise, Canada
Level Contributor
1,905 posts
23 reviews
3. Re: 407 ETR question

If you are from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and had to deal with the traffic on a daily basis, then you are definitely taking the 407. Traffic on the 401 is actually worse than LA. Even on a Sunday when you think the traffic would be lighter I'd be taking the 407 from Bass Pro in Vaughan to Oshawa. Ya tolls are expensive on the 407, but worth it for me to avoid traffic. Tolls are based on type of vehicle, time of day (rush or non-rush hour) and distance traveled.

Edited: 05 April 2017, 05:37
Gaspesie Region...
Level Contributor
2,393 posts
76 reviews
4. Re: 407 ETR question

Personally, I would pay the $50 to avoid the aggravation.

Which pretty much sums up why the 407 is "expensive" :)

Toronto
Level Contributor
1,741 posts
672 reviews
5. Re: 407 ETR question

You can't pre-pay the 407 - they will send you a bill. It's the cost of the actual tolls, plus the billing and camera charges. It will be more than $22 Canadian all in. Highway robbery but if it's convenient to our travel route it saves a ton of time.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5,900 posts
36 reviews
6. Re: 407 ETR question

You don't have to take 407. It is a Sunday afternoon and the highway traffic would be relatively light. 407 is very expensive alternate route for people in a hurry. I live in midtown and drive all over all the time. I have taken 407 two times in all these years since the highway was built, now more than 10 years ago.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
Level Contributor
4,337 posts
61 reviews
7. Re: 407 ETR question

Another potential expense with the 407 is if you are using a rental car. The rental agency receives the bill from the highway operator then adds an admin fee before charging it to your pre-authorized credit card. I used the highway with a rental during rush hour recently and my charge was $19 for about half the distance that you would be travelling.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,628 posts
376 reviews
8. Re: 407 ETR question

I agree with NickB488.

<<Avoid the 407. Take the QEW to 403 to 401 east to 404 north.>>

I live in N/E Toronto, not far from Markham, and this is the route I would take. If you had to travel at rush hour or had to catch a plane at a particular time, the 407 might make more sense. Not on a typical Sunday afternoon for a trip where timing isn't critical.

Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
2,984 posts
59 reviews
9. Re: 407 ETR question

@TorontoJK: "I live in N/E Toronto, not far from Markham, and this is the route I would take. If you had to travel at rush hour or had to catch a plane at a particular time, the 407 might make more sense. Not on a typical Sunday afternoon for a trip where timing isn't critical."

I agree with that. In a strange twist of logic, I actually like that the tolls on the 407 can seem shockingly high. Because of that, I know that the 407 is there as a fast option for when I'm really in a time-critical situation. If it only cost a couple of dollars for a trip, it would end up being just as busy as other highways, and wouldn't be there as a dependable option when I really needed it. If there weren't free alternatives, I would likely have a very different opinion!

For a leisurely trip to Niagara on a Sunday, don't bother with the 407. For a return trip from Niagara to Pearson airport with a flight to catch, it's good to know it's there.

Fairfax County...
Level Contributor
2,827 posts
29 reviews
10. Re: 407 ETR question

Thanks all. I can feel your pain. We have something similar in Northern Virginia called the Expressway. It is cheap when there is no traffic in the regular lane, and gets real expensive when you really need it (like when the regular lanes are all jammed up) It is legalized price gouging.

The only positive side is you do have a choice when there is an emergency or if you are late for an important meeting.

I will stay off of the 407. Thanks.

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