Monthly Archives: September 2015

It’s a great time to be living in Toronto right now if you love sports

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That’s one happy coffee, super-caffeinated and twitching with excitement at being sold in Toronto

I popped out of the office yesterday and was strolling down Yonge Street when this geezer stopped me and said, “British Bloke.” I said, “Wot?” He said, “British Bloke.” I said, “Wot?” He said, “British Bloke.” I said, “Wot?” He said, “British Bloke.” I finally said, “Wot d’ya want?!”

Turned out he had the wrong person. Anyway, as I was meandering along in the early-autumn sunshine, I thought about the buzz around Toronto sports at the moment. It’s brilliant.

This is in large part due to the Toronto Blue Jays making the playoffs for the first time in 22 years. To a British Bloke used to quarter-finals and semi-finals and finals and you win the cup, the playoff system is still a little confusing. But there’s a massive wave of excitement sweeping the city now as people are starting to hope for big things.

They have really played well as a team and deserve every success!

Similarly, Toronto FC are close to making their own playoffs too — maybe as early as this coming Saturday. This is a team that has REALLY had its ups and downs, so it will be a BLOODY BIG DEAL if they make it this time. Fingers crossed. The Brits in Toronto crew will be at BMO Field cheering them on.

Now, the Toronto Maple Leafs. We always see the glass as half full here in our office. New manager, new attitude, new Leafs … we are hoping. Another Toronto team that hasn’t won anything major for a while — last time was 1967 — we’ll be getting behind them when the season begins.

Imagine if the Leafs, TFC and Blue Jays all won something this year? We have no idea the odds of that happening but would put some cash down just for shits and giggles. The return would be huge!

We’re Brits. We love Brit stuff. But we also choose to live in Toronto and that means we get behind the city and wish them all the luck in the world!

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Tomatoes, eggs, bacon and a nice bottle of 2011 Cab Sav please

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The Sims enjoyed browsing the fine groceries and booze on offer in the same supermarket they had just built

With the long-overdue news yesterday that beer is to be sold in select Ontario grocery stores by Christmas (some good comments from readers further down in that article), the Brits in Toronto crew were pretty happy about that. Freedom and choice at last. But then we read a little closer.

“The first batch of licences will be limited to 25 grocery stores in the Greater Toronto Area, 16 in western Ontario, 13 in the east and six in the north.”

“By May, about 150 stores will be approved to sell beer while the province hopes to boost that number to 450 supermarkets within three years.”

“Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said beer sales will be introduced to grocery stores in a ‘prudent, socially responsible way.'”

It’s like we’re not being trusted to be treated as adults. You go to the UK, the States — even Montreal — and you can happily browse the aisles, selecting your groceries for dinner, and then wander two feet over to the booze aisle and pick up a nice bottle of wine, or case of beer.

It’s so convenient. You don’t have to jump in your car and make another stop at an LCBO or Beer Store somewhere.

But here in Torontario (we made that up, it’s a combination of Toronto/Ontario), when you’re heading to a party or somewhere, you need to get some booze but it’s 10:01 p.m. — then you’re going to be the cheapo sponger that turns up with no beers or wine because the places you can buy booze have closed. It’s ridiculous.

Head to a pub and sit outside on a little patio to enjoy an alcoholic drink. Great, all legal. But stick your arm holding a pint over that railing, or step outside the door and take a sip = ARMAGEDDON! END OF THE WORLD! Breaking the law. Corrupting and influencing everyone walking by, enticing them with the evil booze.

People will always be able to get booze if they need it. And of course, there are those who don’t want to drink. Free will and all that. But we just want to have the CHOICE of when to do what we want.

Relax a little. We can be trusted. It’s 2015.

Contest — Toronto’s British Invasion: We Love London Ticket Race

London

London calling. At 5 cents a minute cheap rate

We just stumbled haphazardly across this brilliant contest to win two round trip tickets to London, England, not London, Ontario.

Snip:

“Come out and experience the excitement of London coming to Toronto with Flight Centre Canada’s We Love London Ticket Race! This thrilling, all-day sightseeing event will take place in Toronto on Tuesday, September 22 (TODAY!) from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. A clue will be revealed every hour on Flight Centre Canada’s Facebook and Twitter accounts that will take participants to checkpoints across Toronto that have been re-created as iconic London experiences.

“Be the first one to each stop and say the ‘secret word’ (as revealed on social media) to win TWO round trip tickets to London! Don’t stress if you’re not the first one there — every racer to the checkpoints will receive a boarding pass to the British-themed after-party, where you can snack on hors d’oeuvres, enjoy an English pint, snap tourist photos and get one final chance to win round trip flights and more great prizes.”

So wot ya waiting for me old mucka?! Git ya boat race over here for all the details!

Totally biased product review by me — Pusateri’s English Blue Stilton

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Nothing says English like some Blue Stilton

We were feeling a tad peckish in the Brits in Toronto Yorkville office the other day, so sent out Dave our new intern on a food run. He didn’t disappoint.

Nestled in between the Monster Munch and pork pies we spied a hefty chunk of cheese … namely English Blue Stilton from Pusateri’s Fine Foods. (Our faces lit up with joy similar to Dave’s when he found out it was an unpaid internship, but he’d really really benefit from the role, exposure to media contacts, the intricacies of a fax machine and the glowing references we’d give him after his four-month, 35-hour-a-week free learning experience.)

So, how was the cheese?

OMG. Can we say that or do we need to text it? This cheese is brilliant.

Imagine it’s Christmas dinner. Your nan wakes up and asks, “Who cut the cheese, luv?”

No one, nan. No one. This cheese simply crumbles into bite-size pieces. It’s the kind of cheese that sticks to your fingers as you eat it. Or you can simply put it on a Ritz cracker, add a little Branston Pickle atop the pile and eat it that way.

It has a really nice creamy texture, with a bite of tanginess. This is the kind of cheese we keep in the fridge and nibble on each night. Throw some in your soup and watch it melt, then drip off your spoon as you lift it up eagerly, not rushing the moment but making it last.

It’s very good! We give this cheese a Brits in Toronto 5/5 stars.

Newcomers Toronto Fair — October 3, 2015

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TIFF will be over by then so you might as well come to this

Ever get to Canada and feel like you need a helping hand? Been there, done that. Never knew about the Newcomers Fair back then … but luckily there’s one just around the corner in October to help people now.

Deets:

“As Canada’s largest event for newcomers, we understand the challenges you and your family might face when moving to a new city or country. At Newcomers Canada we can help you whether you have just arrived or want to stay longer.

“Our Fair is not only Canada’s leading recruitment event for foreign-born workers already in Canada, but includes Visa and Immigration Advice, Career Services, Education and English Language Testing, Foreign Credential Assessment and Settlement Services.

“If you need to sit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test for immigration, studying or employment, make sure you register for our FREE IELTS Master Class.”

It’s free to pre-register online for the whole shebang, so check out this page for more information.

Please add yourself to our Britmap

Britmap

Britmap

We all love Britpop — changed the world of music back in the day.

Now it’s time to change the world of maps. Britmap. A map of Brit-related places and other useful services in the GTA.

We encourage you to add your establishment (we approve them all) or subscribe to the feed and alerts.

Let’s put Brits back on the map!

See Downton Abbey author Jessica Fellowes in Toronto

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Please don’t tell us the butler did it AGAIN?

If you like Downton Abbey, you will love Jessica Fellowes. A UK author and public speaker who tours extensively on the subject of Downton Abbey — the show that was created by her uncle, Julian.

She now has three official Downton books from her extensive research with her all-insider-access to cast and film sets. Jessica is a wealth of Downton Abbey knowledge.

Jessica’s retrospective show has been a major hit in the UK and USA and garners rave reviews on her Downton Abbey multimedia presentation complete with audience Q&A.

Jessica is appearing in Toronto for ONE DAY ONLY — Saturday, October 10 — and tickets go on sale to the general public at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 11.

Guess what? That’s right mate. Brits in Toronto has been given the pre-sales password* to get in there early. Be quick … it expires on Friday!

*And it is: BATES