No lines! Niagara's Rainbow Bridge border crossing goes quiet as travel ban clamps down on non-essential traffic

A bridge too far…

On any given day, travellers going back and forth to the USA and Canada via the Rainbow Bridge can expect wait times that can sometimes exceed 90 minutes. Nearly 100,000 vehicles crossed that bridge in just the month of March 2019, according to NiagaraFallsBridges.com.

But not now.

Not in this day and age of the “new abnormal” we live in thanks to the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Because on Tuesday, after spending a few hours at the Rainbow Bridge, I did not witness a single car making the crossing from Canada to the U.S. or vice-versa (there are a few exemptions to the no-crossing rule – i.e., diplomats and truckers – but I did not witness any exemptions to the rule on this particular day.) Nevertheless, it was surreal gazing upon this span – which first opened in 1941 – to be completely devoid of traffic, be it car, bicycle or pedestrian. Especially given that this bridge is often mired in gridlock. But the bridges between our great dominion and our friends to the south are in lockdown mode.

Then again, why would anyone from the province of Ontario want to cross into New York State in the first place? New York is the U.S. hotbed for the Coronavirus, with more than 25,000 confirmed cases, a number that continues to grow on a daily basis. As we all continue to struggle with this ongoing pandemic, it is clear that “somewhere over the rainbow” does not lead to a utopia, but rather, an ongoing health crisis that has the potential to claim so many lives.