The two Canadian MLS outfits battled it out in an intriguing contest in Vancouver with the home side providing most of the chances throughout but being unable to take an advantage into the return leg at Toronto's BMO Field next week.
The 'Caps took the lead through French striker Eric Hassli who produced a curling left-footed shot in the 64th minute before the Reds hit back just under ten minutes later thanks to a Maicon Santos deflection from a Nick Soolsma cross.
Despite being frustrated to a draw, Whitecaps skipper Jay DeMerit admitted that it was a positive performance.
"It's always frustrating to walk off the field with a 1-1 draw after the way we dominated the game tonight," said DeMerit. "But you have to look at the positives.
"You have to think that it's halftime. You have to think that if we go do that there, we'll come out on the right end - winning. I guess that has to be the positive thinking in a two-leg series."