Evelyne Viens got the away side off to the perfect start with a fine finish inside after just three minutes. England were caught out by Canada's intense press and Viens took full advantage.
Nichelle Prince doubled Canada's lead with under five minutes to play. Karen Bardsley received a pass on her own goal line and got the ball tangled between her feet. Prince pounced and tackled the ball into the England net to secure a hard-fought victory.
Hege Riise's start to life as England boss has been rough, to say the least. They have just one win from her first three matches in charge.
Story of the game
The match got underway with Canada applying an organised high press right from the off. They were rewarded for their efforts after just three minutes when Demi Stokes was caught in possession inside of her own box. Viens gambled on the error and stole the ball from Stokes before slotting past Carly Telford to give the away side the lead.
England regained their composure and dominated possession in the opening 30 minutes. Jordan Nobbs struck a free-kick from distance which required Stephanie Labbé's fingertips to push it over the bar.
Bethany England was next to try her luck for the Lionesses but the angle was acute and her shot was both high and wide of the goal.
England went into the half-time break trailing by the one goal.
The second half got underway and saw Manchester United's Ella Toone come on for Fran Kirby - who for her standards had a very quiet first half.
After a rather dull opening to the second half, England started to commit more players when going forward once they reached the hour-mark. Canada dealt with them well and England's attacking approach suited the Canadian's as they were then able to counter with great pace and cause England even more issues from the back.
Nobbs decided to give Canada a bit of their own medicine as she led the charge on a counter-attack and found Toone at the back post. Unfortunately for Toone, her touch was too heavy and the move came to nothing.
Lauren Hemp had the best chance of the game as she was one-on-one with Labbe. She picked up the ball and went on an excellent individual run before she was stopped by Vanessa Gilles with a perfectly-timed tackle.
For England, it wasn't to be. Bardsley received a dangerous back-pass on her own goal line and Prince hounded the England 'keeper. She won the ball and tapped the ball in for Canada to seal the win for the away side.