We are all abuzz with the news that Canada may soon have some new Royal guests, and we can’t wait to welcome them. But where will they settle? Canada is famous not only for its huge geography and wide open spaces, but also the privacy and seclusion that affords. From hip urban centres to windswept seascapes, we have speculated on some of the top Canadian cities that the Sussexes might decide to call home, as well as some recommendations for them when they arrive!
If the Duke and Duchess are looking to slow down and find a simpler pace, there is almost nowhere better than Niagara-on-the-Lake. Famous for its quaint downtown full of top restaurants and unique handmade goods, the Sussexes could spend their days strolling the shoreline, taking in the colonial architecture, and visiting the prolific nearby wineries in this warm region of Ontario. Better yet, they will feel right at home surrounded by the British history of the area; Fort George, built in 1796 and the focus of the British settlement in the region, is now restored to its former glory and ready to explore. For Archie (as well as Mum and Dad) there is the Shaw Festival series that runs World Class theatrical performances throughout the year for adults and children alike.
It’s an obvious choice for a reason; Victoria is a gentile bastion of English-style architecture and gardens that offer a bucolic escape from the real world. With even and temperate weather, Victoria reaches an average summer temperature of 17°C / 62°F and an average winter low of 9°C / 49°F, meaning they will be right at home with the even-keeled weather. Victoria is not all quiet though, with a variety of hiking trails, calm bays for kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, cycling, and even whale watching to try. We recommend a look at the community of Cordova Bay Beach, where multi-million dollar homes can access the picturesque public beach. While the water off the coast can be chilly, Victoria offers beautiful and secluded lakes within a short drive of Victoria. We think Archie would love to paddle in West Shawingan Lake Park, which is perfect for young children (and their parents) looking to dip their toes in peace and quiet.
St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador
At the opposite end of the country, St. Johns Newfoundland and Labrador is a great place to find a community of friends quickly, perfect for Royals starting over. As one of the oldest cities in North America (500 years young!), this quaint and charismatic town is full of whimsical touches, friendly locals, and stunningly beautiful sights that is unlike anything found in London! St. John’s is a town to savour, where life slows and strolls are long. We recommend that Harry and Meghan make everyone back home jealous by filling up their Feed with pictures of “Jellybean Row”, the colourful streets of vibrantly painted townhouses. Or travel to the water’s edge at Signal Hill National Historic Park and overlook the Narrows, with sweeping views out to the Atlantic Ocean. If the couple is feeling homesick for familiar British nightlife, the town comes alive at night, with live music pouring from the friendly traditional pubs, some even offering a “scuff” (a dance). St. John’s is also a fantastic jumping off point for exploring the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The famous Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with dramatic fjords and raw natural beauty carved over millions of years will delight the whole family.
We think that Prince Harry will feel right at home in Calgary, and for good reason; his love and support of sporting events will be nurtured in this sport- and activity-centric city. A vibrant hub of winter sports in particular, Calgary is close to Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains, and maintains world-class training facilities as former host of the Winter Olympics. If the family truly wants to get away from it all, the wilderness surrounding Calgary will provide every means of escape, from snowboarding, snowshoeing, skiing, and ice fishing. With so much activity, little legs would likely want a break! The Calgary Zoo is home to 119 species, including the famous Giant Pandas, in a lovely 92 acre setting. Archie (as well as Mum and Dad) will likely appreciate the prehistoric park Dino Dig, the Carousel, and the Zooventure Playground. In Downtown Calgary, top restaurants beckon. Thanks to a strong focus on the local food movement, grass-fed AAA Alberta beef is featured on almost every menu. We recommend The Cattle Baron for the top-drawer western hospitality, as well as the steaks.
It’s no secret that the Duchess of Sussex used to be a television actress, and she spent the bulk of her time filming the popular series Suits in Toronto. Formerly living in the Seaton Village area of Toronto in Midtown, she was within walking distance of ritzy Yorkville with its “Mink Mile” of designer stores and trendy pop-ups, as well as close to the famous Royal Ontario Museum and Bata Shoe Museum. She also has significant ties to the city with her best friend Jessica Mulroney situated here, and one of her favourite charities, The Felix Centre. “She volunteered on a regular basis at St. Felix Centre’s kitchen as part of their Community Meals Program,” said Enrique Cochegrus, manager of business development and communications for the organization. Toronto would make an excellent compromise for a young family looking to blend instantly into the dynamic and vibrant scene of world-class attractions and events such as TIFF, while also being within escape distance to the cottages of Muskoka and Kawartha Lakes.
While the Sussexes are making up their minds, may we recommend they stay at one of our Extended Stay properties, such as the Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites, or Home2 Suites? Each spacious studio, one, or two bedroom suites features kitchenette facilities and plenty of room to stretch out. At Homewood Suites, we think that Archie will be in heaven with all-you-can-eat waffles and fun toppings like whipped cream, berries, and sprinkles, plus Meghan and Harry will appreciate the evening hospitality hour with complimentary wine, beer, and appetizers. At Embassy Suites, they could enjoy a cooked-to-order complimentary breakfast including fresh and local ingredients, complimentary evening reception, and a state-of-the-art fitness centre to burn it all off. And at Home2 Suites, Meghan’s beagle Guy will be well taken care of at our pet-friendly hotels.
We look forward to welcoming the Royals and seeing where they will choose to settle!