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As an American you may be unaware of the diving posibilities in Ontario. There is a surprising amount of incorrect information in circulation about Canada. Canada is not so remote and cold a place as you may believe. Below is a list of quick facts that may surprise you:


Here are some facts about Ontario.

If you live in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, or New York then you share either a land or water border with Ontario, and are within a six hour drive of a border.

If you live in the states of North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine then you are within a single days drive of Ontario.

Border Crossings

All you will need to cross into Canada is an American Birth Certificate or Passport. Please be aware that weapons will not be allowed across the border. Neither hand guns nor spear guns are legal in Canada. Hunting permits are available. There is a very serious zero tolerance law in effect at the borders. If you decide to bring recreational drugs with you, you could lose the vehicle that transports them across the border.

A list of border crossings is provided HERE

Currency

American money is readily accepted in Canada. The current exchange rate works in your favour. It has floated around 20% in the past few years. Most stores will give you a reasonable rate of exchange, but not as good as the exchange rate available in banks.

The Metric System

The Scuba Diving industry in Ontario is still using the standard system so you will have no problem here. The highway system has changed to metric. Here are the most common speeds you will encounter.


Speed [km/h] Speed [MPH] Where
30 18 residential
5030 residential
60 36 city streets
80 48 highways
90 54 some highways
100 60 400 series highways
Diving Certification

PADI, NAUI, YMCA, CMAS, ...All the standard certifications are recognized in Canada. No SCUBA certificate is legally required, but you won't be able to rent gear, charter a dive, orfill tanks without a C-card. It is also a good idea to bring a complete log with you if you plan to do deep, or technical dives, as the charter service or store may require it before they help you. It would be disappointing to plan a vacation, drive a long way, and be turned down because a service provider was concerned about your level of experience. You must fly a float and flag when diving. This rule is enforced in many of the areas. Besides, giving the sheer number of recreational water craft in Ontario it is foolish to dive without a float and flag.

Equipment required

Ontario diving is cool to very cold. A wet suit is a must. With the exception of the extreme southern end of Ontario an exposure suit is always required. A wet suit of 3/4 of an inch, or a dry suit is best. A thinner wet suit may not provide enough comfort. Visibility is moderate to poor in the waters of the Great Lakes.

Further Information

The START HERE page will explain how the site is layed out.Maps of North America will provide a better understanding of Ontario's location compared to the U.S. Border crossing maps are also provided. From there you can proceed into maps of the province and begin to explore the diving available .

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© M. Colautti 1996-1999, 2000


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