As Gerard brought me my morning gin and tonic and I sat on the patio, watching the hounds chase the housekeeper, I mused to myself: Why is there no Little Britain in Toronto?
I’m not ruminating on this Little Britain, or even a Wee England — I mean an area in Toronto full of British pubs, good steak and kidney pie and the chance to have a good old chinwag with other Brits?
There’s a Little India … a Little Italy … a Little Portugal … and China even has its own bloody town! The Greeks too! Why not the Brits? I rubbed my chin thoughtfully, cleaned off my monocle slightly and gazed into the distance. Research had to be done.
I walked two feet to my computer, went to Google and found this, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada:
“In the 1500s explorers from Europe came to North America to claim lands. They realized that this land was rich in resources. Soon settlement began, with people seeking a new life in the new world. The two European countries that figured the most in North America were Britain and France. They met Aboriginal Nations that had been living for thousands of years in what is now Canada. These First Nations and Britain and France often had difficult relations. They often went to war with each other but sometimes they were friends.”
Nice to know that “sometimes they were friends,” but sounds like the implication is we took it over and pissed them off. The Brit integration had begun.
So, in effect, there really isn’t a need for a Little Britain … we’re all over the place. Kind of like The Borg, but being assimilated into certain aspects of British culture and history instead of a massive black robotic cube thing floating through space.
You can see the Brits pop up when the World Cup/Euro is on, as they gather in their favourite Toronto watering holes to watch their national teams fail on penalties. Or when a royal wedding takes place. Ahhh, good times. (*sniff* Welling up a bit here.)
We don’t need to claim part of Toronto as “British” — there’s a load of us scattered throughout the whole city. Just seems a bit fragmented at times, but what can ya do?