Canada’s Meetings-Centric Eastern Cities Also Have Some of the World’s Most Breathtaking Nature in Their Backyard
By Gretchen Kelly
Canada is open for business for meeting planners. After a long, cautious closure, our neighbor to the north continues to mount an impressive recovery, beckoning meeting planners with Euro flair and the natural beauty that surrounds the major cities of Eastern Canada: Montréal, Quebec, Toronto and Ottawa.
Local Expert Tip:
“Québec City has everything an event professional is looking for: stunning scenery, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful food and world-class event facilities. It’s the perfect blend of history and innovation, where attendees can feel the European flair and live unique French-Canadian experiences.”
– Ann Cantin, communications and marketing director for Québec City Business Destination
5 Reasons Meeting Profs Love Eastern Canada
Quebec City. The City of Festivals embodies the phrase, “faraway, so close.” The cobblestoned streets of the UNESCO-protected Old City steps away from major meeting venues like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac are dotted with cafes where meeting goers can soak up Old World atmosphere a short flight away from most major U.S. cities.
Toronto. With a $364 billion economy, Toronto generates 20% of the country’s GDP and is an innovation hub for North America. More than 135 million people live within a 90-minute flight and two airports serve the destination flying to 55 countries. Toronto has a big city vibe with small town friendliness and accessibility.
Montréal. Ninety million Americans live within a two-hour drive of Montréal, which has the luxuries of a major North American city with European style. The city defines the French word “chic” while also keeping it real with homey delights like poutine and a globally recognized comedy festival, Just for Laughs.
Ottawa. Canada’s capital is walkable, accessible and has 6,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the Ottawa Convention Centre. Ottawa is full of small delights like the famed ByWard Market where meeting goers can stroll the stalls and enjoy Canadian treats like a sugary Bear Claw (a favorite of President Obama on his state visit).
The Laurentian Mountains. Eastern Canada’s cities are all within a short drive from the region’s lake and peak-filled Laurentians. Hotels like Fairmont Tremblant at Mont Tremblant keep planners close to nature while providing everything needed for a major event.
Quebec City Convention Centre. Billed as “anything but conventional,” the Centre has underground passages that connect to Quebec Hilton and the Quebec Delta as well as an indoor parking lot, keeping the venue an all-season draw.
Total capacity of 9,000 attendees; 294,290 sq. ft. of usable space.
Montreal Convention Centre (Palais des congress de Montreal) is the first convention center in Quebec to receive GBAC Star certification. It’s natural-light-filled and close to all city attractions.
113 event rooms; 396,785 sq. ft. of exhibition space; 353,036 sq. ft. of meeting space
The 2 million-square-foot Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC), sits on a direct air-rail link to Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ), making it convenient even for a quick flight in and out of town.
442,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space; 77 meeting rooms; over 700,000 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space.
Ottawa’s Shaw Centre counts 6,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of its doors and was recently named AIPC’s APEX Award winner for “Best Convention Centre in the World.”
190,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; 28 meeting rooms.
The brand new Hyatt Centric Ville-Marie Montréal, is located in the heart of Old Montréal with 177 modern upscale guestrooms, including five suites, a signature restaurant fusing Québec and British cuisines, and a rooftop pool (slated for summer 2023).
Largest of four meeting rooms has 1,656 sq. ft. of meeting space for 150 people.
This article appears in the digital-May 2023 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.