Zimbabwe XI suffered some setbacks in their reply but finished the first day against Canada in the stronger position after the hosts were dismissed for 129.
The visitors were 88 for 3 at stumps, with Vusi Sibanda (23) and Craig Ervine (27) unbeaten, after Keith Dabengwa reached 24.
The left-armer Umar Bhatti picked up 2 for 40 to give Canada some hope after a difficult day.
Canada were sent in and made a solid start thanks to a 45-run opening stand, with Hiral Patel racing to a run-a-ball 32, but then the innings fell apart.
They lost six wickets for 22 runs and it was only an unbeaten 46 from the captain Rizwan Cheema that took them into three figures.
Ed Rainsford, the opening bowler, finished with 3 for 45 while Tendai Chatara was also effective in the early and later stages to gain 3 for 21.
Shingirai Masakadza and Timycen Maruma chipped in with two wickets to give Zimbabwe a strong start to the four-day cricket match.