If you’ve worked in America you’ll be largely prepared for working in Canada – but don’t make the mistake of assuming the two are the same place. Canadians are a proud bunch and don’t appreciate comparisons to their southern neighbours, even if similar business rules apply. Canadians are also loyal to their province, so if you know something about British Columbia or the fortunes of the Vancouver Canucks you’ll get plenty of brownie points.
Vancouver landmark, the downtown Hotel Georgia (www.rosewoodhotels.com), reopened not long ago after a full restoration courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts some 85 years since first opening. Many original design features have been incorporated and there’s 10,000ft2 of meeting space, a Rosewood Spa, pool, Hawksworth restaurant and Prohibition cocktail lounge. Elsewhere, Canadian group Fairmont has four hotels in the city – on the waterfront, at the airport and two in the city centre.
Diva at the Metropolitan Hotel (www.metropolitan.com/diva) has become a well-established favourite since opening in 1996, while the Raincity Grill’s (www.raincitygrill.com) waterfront location, elegant dining space and menus with a focus on locally sourced dishes will win most diners over. Both have an abundance of seafood options. A considerably less formal option is the Elbow Room Café (www.theelbowroomcafe.com) – a local favourite for weekend brunch.
Head to historic Gastown or Yaletown and you’ll be spoiled for choice. In Chinatown, however, is the Keefer Bar (www.thekeeferbar.com), serving an intricate cocktail menu of ‘apothecary-style drinks created to soothe ailments and balance mood’. It also serves good Asian-themed food.
Air Canada, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic all operate non-stop services between London and Vancouver. Numerous one-stop options are also available with Air Canada through its hubs.
The Canada Line connects the airport to downtown Vancouver in 26 minutes. Plenty of taxis are available, with fares to downtown generally costing $28-32. An Aeroshuttle minibus also operates between the airport and downtown hotels with fares from $14 one-way or $25 return.
Vancouver is on Canada’s west coast, eight hours behind GMT. The currency is the Canadian dollar. See: www.tourismvancouver.com.
To appreciate Vancouver’s majestic setting visitors should head for the 130-metre high Harbour Centre. Alternatively, embark on a harbour cruise or, for the more adventurous, take a kayak out on the water. Well worth checking out are Stanley Park, historic Gastown, the highly-acclaimed Vancouver Art Gallery and bustling Chinatown.
“Some small businesses close completely in July and August and government departments may work variable hours during the summer months. Fewer UK business visitors come to Canada during the winter months of December to March”