Hello everyone, my name is John, AKA “British Bloke” and I created Brits in Toronto almost four years ago. How time flies and what a brilliant experience it’s been.
I started this website with the aim of helping Brits discover Toronto, find out the best places to buy the products they missed from home, interview interesting people and get their views and basically have some fun and educate people on all that Toronto has to offer, from a British ex-pat perspective.
Since then, the support has been astounding and I’m extremely grateful for all the e-mails, tweets, enthusiasm and interest that has been shown in this very niche area.
Anonymity has been fine until now … but I can’t take Brits in Toronto to the next level this way.
Then an e-mail came recently: “British Consul General Kevin McGurgan, OBE invites you to an exclusive trade tasting event featuring exciting newly released UK beverages and mixers.”
My finger hovered over the regular “Thanks, but can’t make it” response … until something clicked, and I realized that Brits in Toronto needed to be at these events, needed to start getting a little more serious and see where I can take this passionate side project of mine.
I went and had an amazing time.
But, on the flip side, I’ve turned down the chance to comment on British happenings in The Toronto Star, CBC Radio’s Metro Morning and the Metro newspaper because I wanted to stay under the radar.
The invite by the British Consulate-General Toronto got me thinking that now is the time to take Brits in Toronto onto its next stage, be able to cover more events, interview people openly and just make this a stronger community for British people in this city.
Everything stated thus far has been true: I did move to Toronto in 2000 … I am British … and real people have been featured in Successful Brits in Toronto and trying to help real people find work and real products and places have been reviewed by me.
But there is no Brits in Toronto “crew.” No office, interns, British admins or cohorts. It’s just me, sometimes talking to myself with two Twitter accounts or being very careful not to tweet the same thing twice. Think I have slipped up a few times and maybe people noticed … maybe not. Those days are over.
So, I’ve tested the concept, people seem to like it and with continued support from the British ex-pat community, let’s take Brits in Toronto onto bigger and better things!
John AKA “British Bloke”