Jones told CBC News he may appeal. But for the time being, he said he would head back to Florida.

The Canada Border Services Agency made Jones go through a secondary inspection when he arrived at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., around noon. Secondary inspection involves a search of a person's vehicle and more extensive questioning.

He was held there for several hours before being told he would not be allowed into Canada. Jones said the CBSA cited a previous peace bond infraction in the U.S. as well as an incident relating to a disputed honorary doctorate in Germany to keep him out. "The reasons are pretty bogus in our opinion," he said.

Jones said the border officials, who he described as "cordial", asked him about "the hate speech aspect" of his Toronto appearance.

"Definitely, the concern was ... that rally we were to attend and speak at," he said.

Jones called the decision to bar him a "grievous act" and said it was unwarranted in a country "that is supposed to have freedom of speech."

"I think to ban you from a country…I think there has to be more serious charges," he said. "I think you have to be a criminal or pose some type of threat to national security."