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Hey, guys.

Lately during my discussions about my trip I wanna plan to St. Pierre for next year's car ferry, I've started growing an interest in photography of foreign cars and their license plates, whether they be from Canadian provinces, the States or other countries entirely, as well as hunting for buses and trucks that are either from outside of Simcoe County (where I live), from outside of Ontario or from other countries entirely. I thought it'd be a good topic for us license plate fanatics to post our catches from our various little pieces of paradise where we come from. I'm interested in Canada and Europe mostly, but the States and anywhere else is welcome, really. I've seen similar threads on places such as Citydata and Skyscrapercity about the same topic, and thought about putting one here.

Here's what I'm interested in:

-foreign cars from Canadian provinces, American states or other foreign countries, especially rare ones for your area. The rarest ones I've seen in Barrie were two Mexican license plates, one was from Quintana Roo state (on a Suburban) while the other I forget where, I think either Chihuahua or Chiapas (on an old F150), along with a Dutch plate on a mid-2000s Iveco Daily that I spotted in 2005 but never got the chance to photograph.

-rare buses and trucks from outside your region, province/state or country (an example locally to me would be a York Region, Toronto, Dufferin, Durham or Peel-based school bus in Barrie, or school buses from Northern Ontario, eastern Central Ontario or Grey-Bruce, a coach from a company in another province or state that's not Greyhound in Barrie, as well as coaches from companies from GTA/Southern Ontario, Northern Ontario or northern Quebec that get off the highway and drive into town, or any out-of-town transit bus in Barrie that's not GO Transit [don't think that's happened at all here yet], or any American buses trucks that visit my city. I'll also include Texas-registered Greyhounds in places to the north of where they normally go, basically anywhere north or far away from the cities where American Greyhounds depart from that go to the border, north of Toronto/MTL/Ottawa or north of Calgary/Vancouver/Winnipeg for example).

-taxis from outside of your city, region or province (examples in Barrie for me include taxis from rural Simcoe County/Muskoka as well as York Region and Toronto, including a couple Beck cabs I've spotted here. One of my relatives also came to my house from the Airport in a Mississauga cab before, while I've also heard of New York City taxis entering Ontario a few times from friends.)

-emergency vehicles from outside your city or region. Examples known to me locally include RCMP cars and Metro Police vehicles that visited Barrie as well as York Regional Police's Lake Simcoe boat the Wahwateesin (if I spelt it correctly? Haven't seen it in years), various OPP boats from Orillia and further north and Durham Region Police's Zodiac that have visited Kempenfelt Bay, as well as ambulances from neighbouring counties that have been here on transfers or emergency runs, along with fire trucks from out of town that have visited here before.

-European grey-market imported trucks or post-1970 grey-market import buses in North America (I know of at least 5 late-80s/early-90s Scania trucks that are in Ontario, all owned by the same guy. Mexican coaches in the border states or in Canada would be welcome as well.)

-these pictures should be taken and spotted in your city or region where you live, or on any travelling you've done abroad.

-another one I'm interested in is Canadian plates in Mexico or on other continents. For example, during my search last night I found two whole pages of Ontario and Quebec plates that made it to Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland, and a few pictures of Ontario plates on cars in Estonia. The farther away or more obscure the destination, the better. :) This can also include posts from us Canucks who've spotted buses from our towns in places such as Toronto, New York, California or the Gulf while we're travelling as well.

-I'm also interested in sumamries on what the most and least common foreign plates or out-of-town companies are in your areas. For me, most common plates here are Alberta, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for Canada, while the most common I've seen from the States have been from New York, Michigan, and Florida, the least common were anything southern or western, while the rarest ones I've seen were the two Mexican plates, a California plate, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, and the Netherlands. Most common out of town taxis I'd say are from companies in Essa Township, Springwater Township and Innisfil, as well as some from New Tecumseth, Collingwood and Bradford. Most common out-of-town buses in Barrie are from York Region and the GTA, but they rarely go off the highway. Ontario Northland has regular departures here, but they're not rare like spotting a Tisdale or a Maheux in Barrie off the highway. In fact, it's pretty rare if any coach comes off the highway and stays in town. Trucks can come from pretty much every province and state on the continent, with the most common being Manitoba, Alberta, BC, Quebec and New Brunswick, associated with big companies, as well as some American ones from Illinois and other states that are popular with huge fleets, with some representation from companies such as Swift, Werner and J.B. Hunt, and the common Arizona plates on Uhaul's rentals. The rarest ones I've been told are from Mexico on trailers hauled by Canadian or American trucks from the Faurecia plant in San Luis Potosi to plants in Bradford and Barrie where my stepdad used to work at.

That being said, I'll share some of my best catches over the last 10 years to get the thread started. Included are Cleveland Southeastern 5522, a Prevost XL-II on Ohio plates taken in 2006, a Kunkel 102DL3 running a Greyhound overflow in 2014 between Toronto and Owen Sound, a Texas-registered classic MC12 I spotted in Downtown Barrie a few years before the MC12s were transferred here, Great Canadian Setra from Waterloo Region (quite a few visited us a few years ago), an East Ferris Bus Lines Blue Bird from Northern Ontario (spotted 2008 in Midland during a track meet I was on), and Setra demo at Downtown Barrie with North Carolina plates that was carrying a charter group for the Dragon Boat festival of 2011.

 For cars, I threw in a Pennsylvania plate in the Painswick quarter of Barrie that I spotted while out doing errands in the neighbourhood.

I'm looking forward to see what else you guys can find, and whether they'll be more interesting than mine. :);) Post away!











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On ‎09‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 10:02 PM, IRT_BMT_IND said:

I saw a Mexican coach in Toronto about 10 years ago. It was dual plated, with a Mexican plate, and California IRP/IFTA.

Yeah, based on pictures I've seen, any Mexican buses that would regularly go north of the border would have a Mexican plate (possibly border bus or other SPF plate), and an IRP plate from an American state, usually either California or Texas, depending on which state borders theirs.

What make was the vehicle? Was it a used North American import, or a Scania or Volvo or something like that?

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I've seen a few European vehicles in Ottawa over the years, mostly RVs spending the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  Last year, I spotted one RV each from Germany (ISO code D), Spain (E), and France (F).  I also spotted an Austrian RV (A) on the Rockcliffe Parkway about five years ago.  Of other vehicles, I once saw an RHD old-style Mini with British number plates parked at St. Laurent Shopping Centre a number of years ago, and a sedan with Luxembourg plates about fifteen years ago (plain Euro plates with a white oval on the trunk containing ISO code L).  I also spotted a Mexican tour bus at the Rideau Centre (SPF MEX plates), but I remember almost nothing else about it.

As for Canadian and American plates, I tend to notice then ignore them, as I do see them quite frequently.  A quarter of Ottawa-Gatineau's population lives in Quebec, so I see those plates on a daily basis.  Next most common plates I see are from New York, which is only an hour's drive away from Ottawa and many North Country residents shop at Ottawa malls.  IIRC, I have seen plates from every Canadian province and territory, and every US state, even Nunavut and Hawaii, but I cannot recall ever seeing plates from Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.  One plate that does get my attention, though, is the US diplomatic or consular plate, which makes the occasional appearance in our nation's capital.

My strangest plate sighting, however, was a New York plate I saw on my honeymoon, on a car parked near the bank of the Seine in Paris, France! ^_^

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I've never seen a European license plate here in North America but I've seen North American license plates countless times in Europe

Anyway, my prized possession is spotting this Nunavut license plate in Hamilton


Quebec and Minnesota spotted in Belgrade, Serbia

zO0WeJ6.jpg UJMvJTC.jpg

I've seen Ontario license plates plenty of times in the Balkans and it makes sense since Ontario has a sizeable Balkan community, though I've seen New York and Illinois far more often there

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I can't recall the last time I saw a non-North American or Mexican plate, but I still have plenty of examples of what has been mentioned here.

Recently, while heading back from my up-north cottage back in June, I saw a Detroit taxi pulling into a rest area on I-75 near Clarkston, 30 miles northwest of Detroit.

And regarding American and Canadian plates, I've seen plates from plenty of states and I believe I saw a Quebec one while visiting one of the main tourist destinations in the Detroit area a while back.

Since a quarter of the Detroit area's population lives in Windsor and the surrounding area (and the fact that many residents of that area shop at many Detroit-area retail establishments), I see Ontario plates quite often.

The next most-common out-of-state plates I see around here are from Ohio, which is only almost an hour-long drive away from Detroit proper and those residents, again, often visit Detroit-area attractions, although with the ongoing multi-year I-75 reconstruction resulting in an all-out closure of the southbound lanes for several miles, getting those people back to Ohio has gotten a bit more cumbersome.

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I don't have any photos for you, but I have found this picture of a BC one on the internet. Copyright matters, but IDC at the moment.



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Though I had seen the old polar bear shaped ones, I saw my first new-style Nunavut license plate (they adopted it in 2012, same as ItsAMetro's picture above) on a brand new Ford F-150 in a Walmart parking lot in Winnipeg! What I'm really wondering is how do Nunavut vehicles get into other provinces and territories considering there are no roads into Nunavut from other provinces or territories.... Are they shipped by boat? If so, that must be expensive!

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If you see an Ontario or Quebec plate in a European capital particularly between August and November it's likely to be Foreign service officer who has just arrived on a posting abroad and waiting for their diplomatic plates to be issued by the host country.


I drove  around Geneva for about 6 weeks on Ontario plates when we first arrived there until our dip plates were issued by the Swiss authorities.

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