My husband and I got back a few hours ago from landing at the Lansdowne Bridge. It all went pretty well!
I went alone in a rented car, and approached the US border. When I got to the border officer on the US side, he was sort of a jerk. As I handed him my passport I told him that I was just interested in turning around so I could go back to the Canadian POE to land as a Permanent Resident. Apparently, this was a big hassle for him. He rolled his eyes and sighed and muttered a little bit, before asking me a barrage of questions. Where did the car come from? Do I have the rental agreement? How much did I pay for the car? Who paid for the car? Where was my car? Where was I from? Where was my husband? Why wasn't he with me? Where does he work (twice)? When was the last time I was in the states? How did I get to Canada? How long had I been in Canada? Where did I fly in to? Could I show him my driver's license?
I was getting nervous, because I didn't want to get into some of the intricacies of my status (like the extended Visitor's record from Canada, which I had with me, but he may not have known the meaning of). He kept tossing questions at me (I assume in an effort to throw me off), until a female border officer came out. He told her that I was an American citizen looking to turn around and go back to land at the Canadian border. She glanced at my passport, and said it was fine. He thrust my paperwork back through the window at me (a tangled mass of car rental agreement, passport, and driver's license) and then pointed to the turnaround spot. He told me in a relatively friendly manner that I could go just past those barriers to where the one way signs were and turn around there.
I was a bit shaken by that experience, so I pulled over at the Free Trade parking lot to gather and organize my documents and get my shaking under control. I'm an anxious person to start with, that that experience did nothing to soothe my nerves.
But I suppose that isn't what they're there for.
The folks on the Canadian side were very nice and helpful. The lines were VERY short (at about Noon on a Monday). The gentleman in the booth gave me a yellow slip, told me to park to the left, and then enter through door number 1. I was the only one there for immigration. There were three guys sitting next to me, and one leaned over and told me that the last girl in had her car towed. I told him that was bad news, and the rental agency probably wouldn't be too impressed! I made it through the immigration part in about 15 minutes. He called me up and took my passport and COPR. After about 10 minutes he called me up to go over the COPR and have me sign it. Then he went back for 5 minutes to enter the information into the computer, and then came back to give me my passport and explain the PR card, OHIP application timing, and getting a SIN number. The Goods/Goods to Follow list part took about 10 more minutes.
No Welcome to Canada, or pins, or packets or anything fun like that... but I was simply grateful to be landed, and happy that they were so kind.
We stopped at the first Service Canada building we came across, and I applied for my SIN number. They Verified my paperwork, and I received my shiny new number in about 15 minutes. She said the card should show up in the mail in about 2 weeks.
So... I guess that's that! My first job interview as a Permanent Resident of Canada is on Wednesday. Time to celebrate and regroup tonight, and prepare for that tomorrow!
Sorry for the long post! I just wanted to get it all out. I want to thank you all for your help, your support, and your knowledge. You have made this horrible process much more bearable. Thank you for listening to my ramblings, and being patient with my OCD questioning.
I'll still be hanging around here. These forums are addicting.
And I have many friends here to see safely to the other side.
P.S. For anyone wondering, here's the follow up on my landing obsessing. It would have been a very poor choice for me to bring my car (American) to land. When I was working on my goods to follow list, the agent asked me about the car I had driven there. I told her it was a rental, and there was no problem. I think that would have gone differently if it had been my car. She did not ask to see the rental agreement or anything (but the US side did).