Warning: Rant Ahead. Have a Chrysler for your trouble. I'm beginning to think that I should not take any more trips to Canada. Don't get me wrong, I love Canada: You Canadians don't know how well you have it, with a beautiful country and polite society. I just cannot stand the CBSA/ASFC. They are basically as bad as the USCBP.
I've been to Montreal before, and got the third degree from CBSA and Immigration Quebec. I figured that boiled down to language politics (Broad stroke, I know, but it does fit), and this time went to GTA.
I did get a Chrysler 300 from Avis. In Black. Shazam. It's a very Toronto car, I think.
There's effective border controls, and then there's just complete and utter paranoia. Sorry, but it just doesn't compute to go gaga over a single man, travelling alone, from the US to Ontario, and staying a week. And after explaining that I cannot take normal holidays, because my line of work requires me to support my clients (because they are in retail normally, and holidays mean more demand), I still get crap about going to visit Canada in the winter.
Me: "I live in a place where it's normally 20-35 degrees (C). If I wanted hot weather, I can very easily stay at home. You don't have to have perfect weather to enjoy visiting a country: I visited Belgium and the Netherlands while it rained!"
And here in lies the comparison: I have never dealt with this kind of treatment going to the Schengen Zone. I have been issued a long stay visa in the past from France. I've even had a French border agent say to me, when admitting me to France for my third trip to France in the last 10 years, "We're glad you came back to visit. Have a good holiday."
As a USian, I wish someone would bring some sanity to border controls in the US, as it's likely some of these kneejerk reactions are really reactions to the US going into lala land over international travel. Figures, since depending on who you ask, anywhere from 2/3s to 1/2 of Americans don't have a passport.
Please, Canada. I want to love you enough that I spend more of that awesome stuff called tourist money! But your government makes me want to save to keep going back to Paris and Amsterdam.
And it makes me sad. You don't want to make people sad, do you, Ottawa?