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STANSTEAD, QUEBEC – In most neighbourhoods, a simple flowerbed or a lightweight fence is what separates two neighbouring properties. But in the small town of Stanstead, Quebec, an entire country stands in the way between neighbours.
Situated on the border with Vermont, Stanstead is mostly known for a peculiar street called Rue Canusa, which travels right along the U.S.-Canada border. On one side of the street sits Canada, while on the other is America. And to cross from one side to the other to greet your neighbour, you’ll need to go through U.S. customs.
According to NARCITY, when driving down the street it doesn’t matter which side you’re on. But it’s another matter entirely if you get out of your car and walk across the street. If you don’t have a valid passport, you’re out of luck and won’t be permitted to cross the street at all.
Longtime mayor Philippe Dutil, in an interview with British Youtuber Tom Scott, said that due to new regulations it’s gotten a lot harder to cross the street. While in the past when customs agents often turned a blind eye, today’s stricter rules now mean residents and visitors must show their passport to agents who “look at whether you have a record or not”, said Dutil. He also added that agents will inspect the registration of your car.
All this just to cross the street.
For Dutil, however, the process is slightly easier as he’s a dual citizen. But for everyone else? Word of advice: just don’t get out of the car.