Canadian snowbirds flock to Ogdensburg as they wait to cross the border home

Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 4:30 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Canadian snowbirds have descended on Ogdensburg. A detour to the border city is proving the easiest way home for many.

Canadians are back at area bed and breakfasts and hotels in Ogdensburg.

“This is a Canadian, this is a Canadian, this is a Canadian that are coming this weekend,” said Donna Reagen, Sherman Inn co-owner.

They’re not coming from Canada. They’re coming from places like Cancun and Florida. A 74-year-old cab company owner has made it her mission to get them home.

“We try to put their mind at ease and put themselves at ease by saying, ‘Look we’re going to work this out – make it all right for you,’” said Susan Rupert-Sharland, SR MED CAB owner/operator.

It’s not easy. There are a lot of rules. But, by coming back by land, they can avoid mandatory hotel quarantines in Canada – as long as they test negative for COVID-19 in Ogdensburg.

“Everybody is anxious,” said Rupert-Sharland. “They’re not sure if they’re going to get back home or not.”

The cab company takes anywhere from 10 people a week to 10 a day across the border. While they wait for COVID-19 test results, they stay at area bed and breakfasts and hotels.

“Having these COVID tourists staying with us was not part of the business plan, but it certainly has helped at an important time for us,” said James Reagen, Sherman Inn co-owner.

Most fly into the Ogdensburg airport via one of two daily United flights.

This isn’t just good for hotels and cab companies. It has a ripple effect throughout the city.

The Canadians are patronizing restaurants, stores, the Remington Museum and Maple City Trail. Those places are hoping the visitors like what they see and come back.

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