I'm from Montreal, Qc and I ordered a CNC router frame (from K2CNC) in the US. Shipping method was UPS, and the cost, as quoted by the vendor seemed reasonable. After digging a bit, I discovered it was a lot more complicated than I first thought it would be. First, UPS from the US to Canada is known to be a ripoff with "surprise" outrageous brokerage fees and all kinds of additional costs that are hidden from the shipper, but are requested during delivery, then the router was an oversize item, and as such I had to use UPS Freight, and the rules are even worse. Mainly, I had to hire a brokerage firm, or get a brokerage account with them, and that includes security clearance, fees and paperwork processing can last around a month. I could also have it shipped to a UPS warehouse, and do the customs work myself from there, but they would not tell me which warehouse that would be. Since my vendor is from the west coast, that could even mean Vancouver, long delays, more paperwork, and paying again for re-shipment within Canada !
I digged into what ebay users do in similar circumstances and found out about what is known as "Amerifriends". That means peoples / businesses close to the border who accept to get the parcel on your behalf. You then cross the border, pick it up and do the import work yourself.
I was a bit concerned with the router being sent to some nowhere place, but found a commercial version of "Amerifriend" called Freeport Forwarding who would do it for a very reasonable fee as they take 5$ for a small parcel, 10$ for my router wooden crate.
The place is located very close to the Lacolle border checkpoint (good for people in Québec and eastern Ontario), and I'm sure there are other similar places elsewhere.
I called K2CNC and had the shipping address changed to Freeport's address, with my name on it. I also asked them to make an invoice with Customs declaration mentioning that the product is of US origin and attach it outside the crate.
When the machine arrived. I crossed the border (told them I was going to buy a tool in the US), and easily found the place (about a mile from the border checkpoint, Google Maps is your friend). The place was a bit messy, but they helped me put the crate in the RAV4).
On my way back, Canadian Customs directed me to the tax office, I went in with the K2CNC invoice. They only asked if it was for persomal or business use and what it was and I told them it was a personal woodworking machine. Invoice value was 1500US$ (a KT2514 frame+Bosh router & precision collets), they calculated taxes, and that's all I had to pay, not one cent of additional fees. I expected they would ask me to open the crate, but they never even had a look at it.
I highly recommend this method. It's totally legal, fast, low cost and very easy. For small items, USPS works well. I got the steppers & drivers that way, cost was the taxes + a low 5$ brokerage fee, however the 2 parcels were held for more than a week (unclear if it was at customs or Canada Post office). If I had known before, I would have made a grouped order with several other items.
I'll certainly use it again for stuff that can't be shipped by USPS.
BTW, it's somewhat unrelated, but I'd be glad to find out other CNC router owners (or DIYers) in the area.