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FIFA Women's World Cup


Canada is the host of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, with matches taking place in six cities across the country (June 6-July 5). Here’s a very quick guide – from west to east – to the respective hosts


Surrounded by water and framed by mountains, Vancouver is so often voted ‘Best Place to Live in North America' that they might just as well give the city a permanent crown. Vancouver even has a football heritage: its

Whitecaps are one of three Canadian teams to play in North America’s Major Soccer League (MSL). Suggest your clients head to Stanley Park, perhaps on a rented bicycle. And sign up for a foodie tour taking in Chinatown, historic Gastown and stops at the city’s famous food trucks – Korean burritos anyone?


‘Canada’s Festival City’ is home to North America’s largest fringe theatre festival, the International Street Performers Festival held each July (see main picture); has North America’s largest urban park, River Valley, which is 22 times bigger than New York’s Central Park; and the continent’s largest shopping and entertainment complex, West Edmonton Mall. Edmonton is great for strolling: embark on the self-guided Gallery Walk, which passes by many galleries and the Alberta Crafts Centre, a showcase for Albertan artists. And stroll from downtown across the North Saskatchewan Bridge to historic Old Strathcona, packed with bars, restaurants and one-off stores.


Canada’s eighth-largest city is best known as a gateway for those heading up to Churchill to see polar bears and the Northern Lights. But the city slap bang in the geographic centre of the country has plenty to tempt visitors to stay awhile. Opened last year, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights sees visitors experience stories and interactive galleries based around ‘equality’, ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. In Assinboine Park, Winnipeg Zoo is now home to polar bears, the star turns of Wonders of the North: Journey to Churchill.


Canada’s capital is not all about the politics, but stop first at Parliament Hill – Canada’s worthy recreation of Westminster – to catch the Changing of the Guard (10.00). And between July and September witness the evening sound and light show, with colours and images projected onto the Parliament building. Explore Ottawa by bicycle: over 110 miles of paths link natural areas, parks, gardens and sites running alongside the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers and the Rideau Canal. And if your clients have time for just the one cultural institution, make it the National Gallery of Canada, home to the

country’s best collection of Canadian art.


MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC With its hotels and office buildings, Montréal has the feel of a major urban metropolis, but it is layered throughwith plenty of Old World charms. Stroll downtown and the next neo-gothic or Victorian landmark will never be far away. Recommend a three-hour city tour, for an overview of the many different neighbourhoods. Old Montréal dates back to the 1640s and its ‘must see’ site is the 1829 Notre Dame Basilica: its austere façade gives little clue to the majesty of the cathedral’s incredible interior.


Canada's only ‘official’ multilingual capital sits at the geographic heart of Maritimes Canada. Stroll down a Main Street dominated by coffee shops and juice bars and stop to look inside the Capitol Theatre, an 800-seat restored 1920s-era vaudeville house. Five minutes from town, Magnetic Hill is home to both a zoo (with lemurs from Madagascar, tiny-fanged deer from China and zebras from Africa) and a family-run winery. Within an hour’s drive are major provincial attractions like Fundy National Park, Hopewell Rocks and Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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