RV Trip Planning Essentials: Paying Tolls in Canada

By Jake Maynard

Like anything in life, success often starts with planning and research, and an RV trip across Canada is no different! To get the most out of your RV travels, and minimize expenses, RV trip planning and research is crucial.

Remember the saying “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it”? Well, when RV trip planning, you need to be prepared before crossing the bridge (quite literally)! Otherwise, you may suffer trip delays and some not-so-pleasant surprises.

Although RVezy.com RV rentals cover your insurance in Canada (plus roadside assistance services), toll roads and bridges are the responsibility of the renter. And we want to help as much as possible to make sure renters are well prepared!

In this article, we discuss how to prepare for paying tolls in Canada, and we also provide the major roads and bridges in Canada to look out for.

 

RV Trip Planning: Paying Tolls in Canada

RV trip planning paying tolls in canada

Toll ways are either managed by the Province, or by a private company. In both cases, preparation for paying tolls in Canada can be done in a few simple steps:

1) Plan your RV trip route.

2) Identify the main highways and bridges you will need to travel on.

3) Identify whether any are toll ways (we list Canada's major toll roads and bridges later in this article.

4) Find the most up-to-date fees and payment method for each relevant toll way online, because they are subject to change.


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 Cash, Card or Transponder?

Most Canadian toll roads and bridges provide three ways to pay the fee, which includes cash, card or an electronic transponder installed in the vehicle. There are, however, a few toll roads which only provide for electronic transponder payment methods, including some parts of Highway 407 and 412 in Ontario, for example.

 

Cash and Card Payment Preparation

If the toll caters for cash and card payment methods, then all you need to do is have a handful of various Canadian coins ready to go, and a bank card as a back up. However, if the toll way does not have cash or card payment options, then it is a bit more complex. 

 

Only Payment Preparation

While some transponder toll ways do have cash and card payment options, some do not. And it is these 'transponder only' toll ways which need a little more RV trip planning.

If you're renting an RV, the best way to avoid issues with these toll ways is to find a toll free alternative route. If you have no other option, or you accidentally travel on a transponder only toll way, the RV owner will be billed (either via a transponder if it is fitted, or a photo if it is not).

In these cases, RVezy still provide a smooth process by ensuring the renter pays for any outstanding toll fees to reimburse the owner. But, bare in mind that toll operators charge a higher fee for tolls billed to the owner, so we recommend trying to avoid transponder toll ways when using an RV sharing system, unless the RV is already fitted with a transponder.

To further help you with RV trip planning, here's the major toll roads and bridges you should factor into your Canadian RV travels. We also mention which payment methods apply to each.


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Major Canadian Toll Roads

paying tolls in canada

The most significant toll roads in Canada include:

  • 407 Express Toll Route
  • 407 Highway East
  • 412 Highway
  • Cobequid Pass
  • Autoroute 30
  • Highway 5

1) 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) (Ontario)

This toll road makes up a section of Highway 407 in Ontario. The 407 ETR runs from Queen Elizabeth Way, for approximately 107 kilometers to Highway 403 in Burlington. It is a privately owned toll road, and doesn’t have a manual toll booth, which means you can’t pay with cash or card. If you travel this route without a transponder, the owner will be billed and you will be subject to higher than usual toll fees. 

For up-to-date fees and account information check out the 407 ETR website.

 

2) Highway 407 East (Provincial owned toll way) (Ontario)

This toll road is next to the 407 ETR, starting after Brock Rd in Pickering to Harmony Rd in Oshawa. It can be traversed using the same transponder as the 407 ETR, and cannot be paid with cash or card. If you travel on this route without a transponder, you will also be charged higher toll fees.

However, fees are slightly cheaper than the privately owned 407 ETR, and can be found up to date on the 407 fee comparison webpage.    

 

3) Highway 412 (Ontario)

Also known as the King’s Highway, it is only 10 kilometers long, stretching from Highway 401 to Highway 407.

You can use the same transponder as the one used for the privately owned 407 ETR and provincially owned 407 Highway, and the same fee structure applies as the latter. You cannot pay with cash or card.

 

4) Cobequid Pass (Highway 104) (Nova Scotia)

This a 45 kilometer stretch of road running from Thomson Station in Cumberland County to Masstown in Colchester County. It can be accessed and paid for in cash or card via a toll booth. It also has transponder options to allow for stop free highway travel. .

Access the Highway 104 website for up-to-date fees and further RV trip planning information.

 

5) Autoroute 30 (Quebec)

The Quebec Autoroute runs for 161 kilometers from Autoroute 40 in Vaudreuil-Dorion to Route 132 in Bécancour. Cash or card fees can be paid at the St Lawrence bridge part of the toll road. You can also have a transponder fitted.

For up-to-date fees and information check out the A30 website.

 

6) Highway 5 (British Columbia)

Highway 5 no longer charges a toll fee. We have included just it to make anyone doing some RV trip planning is well aware that it is free.

It is a stretch of road running for 524 kilometers from the Trans Canada Highway in the south to Highway 16 (the northern Yellowhead route). There may still some old toll signs left around the place, but they no longer apply.

 

Major Canadian Toll Bridges

paying tolls in canada

In Canada, there's a number of bridges which charge a toll fee to cross into the USA, as well as a few internal toll bridges.

Several of the border crossing bridges are part of the E-Zpass system, which involves an electronic transponder and a subscription fee. However, all bridges still allow for cash or card payment, and most border crossing bridges allow payment with Canadian or US dollars.

 

Canada/US Border Crossing Toll Bridges:

  • Fort Frances-International Falls Bridge
  • Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge
  • Blue Water Bridge
  • Ambassador Bridge
  • Peace Bridge
  • Rainbow Bridge
  • Whirlpool Rapids Bridge
  • Queenston-Lewiston Bridge
  • Thousand Islands Bridge
  • Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge
  • Seaway International Bridge (Three Nations Crossing Bridge)

We also wrote a recent article about RV trip planning for crossing the Canadian/US border.

 

Internal Canadian Toll Bridges:

  • Angus L. Macdonald Bridge (crossing Halifax harbour in Nova Scotia)
  • A. Murray MacKay Bridge (connecting the Halifax Peninsula with Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)
  • Olivier Charbonneau Bridge (crossing Montreal's Rivière-des-Prairie in Quebec)
  • Serge-Marcil bridge (links up with the A30 toll road in Quebec)
  • Confederation Bridge (connecting the mainland to Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick)

Once you identify which toll bridges you need to cross, jump on their website to make sure you're prepared for up to date fees.

 

Remember, RV Trip Planning is Key!

By using our toll road and bridge information, and a little extra RV trip planning, you will be well prepared for anything a toll way can throw your way! Paying tolls in Canada won't be a problem.

If you're renting an RV through an RV sharing system like RVezy, remember to ask the RV owner if they have any relevant toll transponders fitted, and if not, you can at least be prepared for how to tackle those sections of road.

And rest assured, RVezy will ensure a smooth, fair process for any outstanding toll fees resulting from your trip.

Safe travels!

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