Gone are the days of simply popping over to Canada for some shopping. Today, a trip to Canada requires advance planning and personal documentation, regardless of where you cross over. Detroit, Michigan, has two border crossings, both leading into Windsor, a city located in Ontario, Canada. Whether you prefer to travel by bridge or by tunnel, make sure that every member of your Canada-bound party is prepared.

Ambassador Bridge

The Ambassador Bridge is located at 3400 W. Fort St., about two miles southwest of downtown Detroit. The bridge is the busiest international land crossing in all of North America. You'll have to stop and present your passport or other identification to a border agent before you drive onto the bridge, which has four lanes and is 1.6 miles long. You'll also have to pay a toll.

Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is located at 100 E. Jefferson Ave. in downtown Detroit. It's the only existing underwater international border crossing. After you go through security checks above ground, you'll drive down into a tunnel that runs 75 feet below the surface of the Detroit River and extends 5,160 feet, or just under one mile. If you're in a car, you'll pay a toll; buses and vehicles with attached trailers pay more than a single vehicle. Motorcycles aren't allowed in the tunnel.

Passport Requirements

Every person must have personal documentation to get into Canada, even if you're traveling on a bus full of passengers. According to the U.S. Department of State, an American who is 16 or older must provide both proof of citizenship as well as proof of identity. This means presenting either a passport or both a government-issued photo ID and a copy of his birth certificate to enter Canada. Children who are 15 or younger must have proof of U.S. citizenship. Each child must have either a passport or a copy of his birth certificate. If you're planning to stay in Canada for longer than 180 days, you must also contact the Canadian Embassy to apply for a visa.


If you're a frequent traveler to Canada, you may apply for the NEXUS trusted traveler program. To get a NEXUS card, submit an application and proof of citizenship, along with a processing fee, and submit to an interview. If approved, you'll receive a card that allows you go through a designated lane at the border crossing, where you'll have an expedited security check. Children can also enroll in NEXUS. Anyone with a criminal record may need additional documentation in addition to a passport; consult the Canadian Embassy if you have a criminal record to find out if you need to get a waiver before entering Canada.