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I'm flying from Saint Louis, MO to Montreal by way of Toronto: STL -> YYZ -> YUL. That will be YUL -> YYZ -> STL on the return. All flights were booked as one trip with Air Canada.

I have a roughly 90-minute layover on the way out and 150-minutes on the way back. My understanding is that I will actually go through customs at YYZ both directions. Normally I'm not worried about short layovers as I travel fairly light. However, this is the first time leaving the country for me and I don't know what to expect at customs.

I have nothing in my history that should be remotely suspicious. I'm traveling for a relatively well publicized conference and staying only the length of the conference. I will have nothing to declare either way (unless I pick up some maple syrup to bring back).

  • Is this booked on one carrier? Or did you book the two legs separately? – DJClayworth May 8 '18 at 13:43
  • One carrier, Air Canada. – Elros May 8 '18 at 13:44
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    These are all well above the minimum connection times for these connnections: see aircanada.com/us/en/aco/home/plan/check-in-information/… – Hilmar May 8 '18 at 14:10
  • For most people, customs and immigration (actually, you do them in the opposite order in Canada in my experience and all in one for the US) are little more than a formality. Just remember to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth - if in doubt, declare it. Typically it takes only a couple of minutes at the counter with the immigration agent and you are on your way again. – Richard May 8 '18 at 14:25
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I fly through YYZ (Toronto Pearson) a lot and have done tons of both transborder (Can<->US) and international flights there.

90 minutes is slightly tight, but I wouldn't stress too much. Just be sure not to dawdle, and get on with things as soon as you can.

You will indeed clear Canada customs/immigration when entering Canada, and will preclear U.S. customs/immigration before boarding your US flight home.

If you have NEXUS, you will be in even better shape. If you have Global Entry, you will be in really good shape going back to the U.S. Unfortunately, Global Entry does nothing to help you enter Canada. (NEXUS includes Global Entry benefits, and has privileges while entering Canada.) But even without, I wouldn't be too worried about this.

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If you booked your ticket with a single carrier that means the carrier thinks this is enough time for you to make that change. And of all carriers, Air Canada should know the processing times at Toronto Pearson.

Both times seem like enough if your flights are on time. And if they are not then Air Canada is responsible for the delay and will get you to your destination. There are ways that you can be hurried through the customs line if you are on a flight that is due to depart shortly.

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