Eastern Canada might not always be a top-of-mind choice for U.S.-based meeting planners, but this region offers a remarkable array of options for memorable gatherings. The pairing of a distinctly European vibe with Canadian friendliness is enticing enough, yet add in a favorable exchange rate and tax-rebate program for foreign conventions and planners have plenty of reasons to head north. Here are the top three reasons why.
1. Plenty New to Do
In case you think you’ve “been there, done that,” rest assured, there’s always something new to explore. Need team building? Toronto’s EdgeWalk allows visitors to walk hands-free along the edge of the 1,168-foot-tall CN Tower (gulp). Need a fun activity for kids? In Montreal, visitors can take a ride on La Grande Roue de Montreal, a nearly 200-foot-tall observation wheel overlooking the St. Lawrence River and historic part of the city. Looking for a one-of-a-kind dining experience? An hour north of Halifax, Nova Scotia, your group can eat fresh-as-it-gets seafood on the floor of the Bay of Fundy, home to some of the most extreme tides in the world.
2. Great New Hotels
Eastern Canada’s hotel offerings are constantly evolving as well. In Toronto, for example, this winter will see the opening of The St. Regis Toronto, a 65-story property in the heart of downtown; the boutique Kimpton chain recently opened Kimpton Saint George Hotel, a hip new property located near Royal Conservatory of Music (suites are equipped with turntable systems and albums from Canadian artists, naturally); and the new Hotel X, a 30-story property overlooking Lake Ontario, has a rooftop pool, movie theaters and ample ballrooms and event space.
“It’s not only affordable, but the currency exchange right now is advantageous,” says Mark Lorimer, from the Los Angeles-based Eventive Group, who recently organized an event in Quebec City. “Of all the conferences we’ve done in the last 10 years, this was by far the one people said was the most fun—and one they’ll talk about for a long time. It had a Canadian twist to it, and the hospitality in Canada is just wonderful.”