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Located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland Labrador, Canada, St. John's is a captivating destination for meetings and events. As the first English settlement in North America, St. John's is often referred to as "North America's oldest city." However, its cultural attractions and amenities are anything but outdated. St. John's convention and meeting guests will feel right at home in one of Canada's fastest growing metro areas, thanks to plentiful accommodations, fine dining and world-class event space.
The St. John's Convention Centre sits in the heart of downtown, just minutes from hotels, restaurants and the harbor. With more than 20,000 square feet of space (16,000 square feet in its main convention hall), the facility can easily accommodate trade shows, presentations, receptions and meetings. The St. John's Convention Centre is also committed to providing an eco-friendly setting for green events: Its green policy includes an extensive recycling program; catering options that feature local, seasonal produce; energy-efficient lighting; and water-conserving fixtures.
Additional St. John's meeting space can also be found at the Delta St. John's Hotel and Mile One Centre, both of which are conveniently connected via pedway to the convention center. The hotel has more than 403 rooms and 20,223 square feet of meeting space, the largest conference facility in Atlantic Canada. The Mile One Centre offers a 6,000-seat arena and 2,200-seat theater. As the largest and newest entertainment and exhibition facility in St. John's, the Mile One Centre is one of the hottest venues in the city, hosting hockey games and musical acts such as Melissa Ethridge, Lonestar and Alan Jackson. St. John's also has 17 hotels as well as a large convention facility in the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland.
For unique event venues, St. John's has plenty of museums, theaters and restaurants that are perfect for welcome receptions, post-conference dinners or award ceremonies. One of the newest and most captivating attractions in St. John's, The Rooms comprises Newfoundland's Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum. Its multi-level atrium can accommodate over 1,100 people reception-style, while its boardroom has space for up to 25 people who will enjoy breathtaking views of the St. John's Harbor. Built into an excavated glacial formation, the Johnson Geo Centre is one of the most distinctive buildings in St. John's and a sure hit for meetings, dinners and receptions of up to 350 people.
St. John's economy is rapidly growing, and the city has the second-highest GDP of all major Canadian cities. The Provincial government is the largest employer, while the city itself is the hub of Eastern Canada's oil and gas market. ExxonMobil Canada is headquartered in the city and companies such as Chevron and Suncor Energy have major regional locations in St. John's. Tourism is also on the rise.
The coastal capital of Newfoundland Labrador, Canada, has captivated visitors for hundreds of years, from the settlers who first claimed the area in 1497 to the millions of tourists who flood the city streets today. Known as the oldest city in North America, St. John's cityscape is a distinct reminder that it was one of the first British colonial capitals. Walking through its steep, hilly streets, guests will note a unique mix of low, colorful buildings made from a variety of materials that were readily available among the fisherman and merchants who lived and worked in the city during its early days.
Walking through St. John's will also take guests to a number of interesting historic sites. One of the most popular attractions is Signal Hill, where visitors can take a history tour, watch a historic weapons demonstration or enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The Murray Premises is a popular historic site in the downtown area. A collection of former mercantile buildings for the fishing industry, the complex has been restored and is now home to restaurants, stores and the Murray Premises Hotel offering 67 rooms.
Visitors can also learn about the rich heritage of St. John's at its many museums and galleries. The Rooms, a complex comprised of the Provincial Archives, Museum and Art gallery, is one of the newest and most exciting attractions in St. John's. The Railway Coastal Museum explores the story of the Newfoundland Railway from a 106-year-old former train station, which offers space for 400 people reception-style.
St. John's rugged landscape – from the rich, green birch and spruce trees to its towering icebergs – also makes for one of the most exciting activities in the city. Located in the east end of the city, Pippy Park is one of the largest urban parks in Canada, full of walking trails, a campground and the Fluvarium, an education center where guests can peer into the ecosystem of Nagle's Hill Brook. Guests can also take a stroll through the scenic Bowring Park, or charter a whale watching or iceberg tour off the coast of the Atlantic.
St. John's residents know the best way to unwind after a long day of exploring is with comfort food and drinks. At restaurants across the city, sample traditional Newfoundland fare such as fish & brewis, a mix of salted cod and crushed crackers; seal flipper pie; and toutons, a fried dough cake. After dinner, enjoy the local nightlife at George Street, reportedly the location of the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Despite being the wettest and foggiest of the major Canadian cities, St. John's tops other destinations with its relatively mild winter season. In fact, it has the mildest winter for a city outside of British Columbia, with average highs in the winter months between 29°F and 34°F. Its humid continental climate also yields refreshing summers, with average temperatures between 68°F and 86°F. Snowfall in St. John's averages 127 inches annually, and rainfall averages 47 inches annually.
St. John's Convention Centre
The St. John's Convention Centre offers more than 20,000 square feet of flexible space, ready to accommodate meetings of all types and sizes. Its main convention hall has 16,000 square feet, or room for 1,116 seated guests or 1,773 reception guests. For trade shows in St. John's, the convention hall can also accommodate up to 70 10-foot-by-10-foot booths. The St. John's Convention Centre also has 2,200 square feet of meeting space spread across two rooms.
For even more space, the facility is linked via walkway to the new Mile One Centre. The largest exhibition and trade show venue in St. John's, Mile One Centre boasts a 6,000-seat capacity, a 33,000-square-foot arena with space for up to 150 10-foot-by-10-foot booths, and the 2,200-seat Molson Canadian Theatre.
Topping off the options at the St. John's Convention Centre is the Delta St. John's Hotel. Located adjacent to the convention facility, the hotel offers an additional 20,223 square feet of meeting space as well as over 400 rooms. The hotel also provides catering to functions at the St. John's Convention Centre.
Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland
Ideally located overlooking St. John's harbor and within walking distance of the downtown business district, the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland recently completed a full renovation in 2010. Guests can now enjoy 301 spacious guest rooms and suites and amenities such as a two-level fitness center, complimentary outdoor self-parking, two restaurants including the new four-star OPPIDAN, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
The Sheraton also has 16,000 square feet of meeting space spread across 17 meeting rooms. Its venues can accommodate up to 1,100 guests theater-style or 700 guests banquet style. Business guests at the hotel will also enjoy a 24-hour business center and free Wi-Fi in all meeting spaces.
St. John's International Airport (YYT)
Approximate taxi fare: $23 USD
Since privatization in 1998, St. John's International Airport has grown by leaps and bounds, welcoming roughly 1.25 million passengers in 2009. The airport has three charter airlines offering seasonal service and six airlines offering year-round scheduled passenger services to destinations in Canada, U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean and to London.
While waiting for flights, passengers can browse the airport's three retail shops or stop at the food court. Arriving guests may also want to pay a visit to the airport's visitor information center. Run by the airport authority, City of St. John's and Newfoundland Labrador Department of Tourism, the center offers city information and assistance in vacation planning. St. John's International has 850 parking spaces.
Metrobus operates 18 bus routes throughout St. John's and nearby Mount Pearl. Nearly 3.1 million passengers take advantage of this easy and affordable system to reach points of interest in the city, including downtown, Avalon Mall and Memorial University.
Regular cash fare is $1.75 for children and $2.25 for adults. Passes for 10 rides are available for $15 for children and $20 for adults.
St. John's International Airport has six on-site rental car agencies: Avis, Hertz, Budget, National Car Rental, Thrifty and Enterprise.
City Wide Taxi is the exclusive taxi provider to St. John's International Airport. Taxis can be found in the arrivals area. Fare to downtown is $22.50.
Photo Credit : Destination St. John's
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