UK’s I Am Not A Witch included in European Union Film Festival in Toronto

European Union Film Festival

 This year’s EUFF is being held in … you guessed it … Toronto!

The critically acclaimed European Union Film Festival returns to Toronto with a wide variety of films screening from November 8-22 at the Royal Cinema. Award winning-films will make their debut at the festival, representing a rare opportunity to see these movies on the big screen. With genres spanning drama, comedy, romance and more, there is something for everyone at the EUFF.

Included in the line-up is the United Kingdom’s I Am Not A Witch, a dark, satirical fairy tale about a young girl accused of witchcraft.

After a minor incident in her village, nine-year-old Shula is exiled to a travelling witch camp where she is told that if she tries to escape she will be transformed into a goat. As she navigates through her new life with her fellow witches and a government official who espouses her, exploiting her innocence for his own gain, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom.

The film was both the British entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards 2018, and the 2018 BAFTA winner for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer.



Some Brits to catch at this year’s Hot Docs Podcast Fest in Toronto

The Sound of Europe

Masterclass: The Sound of Europe

I got an e-mail from the organizers of the Hot Docs Podcast Festival starting November 1 in Toronto saying, “This year we’ve invited a couple of British shows and artists over and we wanted to let your followers know about it!

“Two I wanted to flag in particular: The Allusionist, a very funny British show about language, and a Masterclass with Elisha Sessions, Senior Commissioning Producer at BBC Podcasts.”

Here’s links to The Allusionist and Masterclass: The Sound of Europe so you can check them out.

British violinist Daniel Hope and Friends: AIR — A Baroque Journey


Daniel Hope

British violinist Daniel Hope cradling his favourite violin

I personally think the violin looks like one of the trickiest instruments to master. How can you pluck the strings AND use the bow at the same time, whilst grimacing? It takes preposterous skill.

Here’s British violinist Daniel Hope making it look easy:

And guess what? He’s coming to Toronto on Saturday, November 3 if you wanted to see some of that violin class in action.

British violinist Daniel Hope, “Among the best in the world as well as the most thoughtful,” (The Observer) returns to Koerner Hall with an outrageous romp through the baroque with a dazzling ensemble of virtuosi wandering minstrels.

Here’s all the deets …

The Royal Conservatory Presents Daniel Hope and Friends: AIR — A Baroque Journey
Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West
Tickets start at only $45
For tickets call 416-408-0208 or visit

You can also send him a little tweet too and welcome him to Toronto!

Entry requirements reminder for Brits travelling to Canada

London to Toronto

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Quick scary story. I went back home in the summer and booked online using my British passport. All well and good travelling across to the European mainland, up to Scotland and back down to London.

But when I tried to check in online 24 hours before my flight back to Toronto it wouldn’t let me do it and stated some scary message along the lines of — and I paraphrase — “not having the correct documentation,” “the Canadian government isn’t allowing you back in” and “you have to sort it out at the airport.”

I spat out my tea and then tried checking in again online using my Canadian passport. That went through without a hitch. Phew!

Having lived in Toronto for 18 years I got lazy with checking requirements to travel between the UK and Canada … and got caught out.

So this is a word of caution. With Christmas coming along and the possibility of having family and friends over, make sure all their paperwork is in order.

Here’s the official word from the UK government as a starting point.

Seeking British expats for a case study about homesickness being conducted in Toronto and pays approximately $750 if selected

Woman crying

“I really miss me mam, back ‘ome like. But $750 will definitely help me get over that sadness.”

A friend alerted me to this today — thanks Leanne! — and thought I’d pass it on. Might apply myself.

FYI: I have no connection to this company and it’s not an advert. So do your due diligence and Brits in Toronto can’t be held responsible for any woes that arise.

Here’s the original posting. Cut and paste begins … NOW.

Seeking British Expats for a case study about Homesickness being conducted in Toronto

Looking for British Expats – ages 20 to 60. Must be someone who was born and raised in Britain and later moved to Canada. Participants to the case study will be asked to share their experience with homesickness.

*Pays approximately $750 per person if selected.

Please send your name, age, phone number, tell us where you are from in England, how long have you lived here, where do you live currently, recent photos (no hat or sunglasses) and ideally a quick cell phone video of you answering this question: What do you miss most from back home?

Are you a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident?

Email –

Please write ‘HOMESICKNESS’ in the subject line of your email, along with your name and age. (E.G. HOMESICKNESS – Josh Howard – age 38)

If selected, we will book you directly from submission. In order to be considered, please make sure you have sent in all required information above. Information collected will only be used to process your application. Participants will be recorded on video. Such video will only be used internally, unless other uses are expressly approved in writing by the participants. The case study is not conducted in the context of medical research. No counselling, medical advice or treatment will be provided in connection with the case study.

Submissions are due ASAP or before: Oct 18 at 9am.

You must be available for this key date (in Toronto):

Case study interview – October 24, 2018

Totally biased product review by me — Campbell’s Butter Chicken and Vegetables Soup

Butter chicken and vegetables soup

Heaven in a tin? If you’re too lazy to read the review, no

Was wandering around Loblaws at the weekend looking for the organic alfalfa sprouts section when I spotted two words on a tin that shouted BUY ME! Butter Chicken … soup. With veggies thrown in to make it a balanced meal. Sold!

Noticing that this soup was part of the famed Chunky range I hoped that the contents would live up to the lunchtime legacy — but, alas, not to be.

It wasn’t really a soup, per se (by or in itself or themselves; intrinsically), but more of a gloopy stew. It’s the kind that when you heat it up on the cooker, heat bubbles get trapped under the surface until they force their way up and explode out of the saucepan, like a butter chicken stew volcano eruption.

Had a quick sniff and — yes — it smelled like curry. More like a Mulligatawny soup actually, the kind that the Canadian government still won’t let Brits bring into the country from back home. But we’ve started a Twitter campaign to right that travesty!

Taste? Too tame. Butter chicken is on the mild end of the “sweat and blow your nose” spectrum but I was hoping for a touch more spice.

The vegetable-to-chicken ratio (VTCR) seemed too high and the “Chunky” bits of chicken were very small and a little tough for my liking. It did fill me up though, so that was a bonus.

Bit disappointing when all is said and done. Unfortunately have to give this curry product a Brits in Toronto 1/5 stars.

Successful Brits in Toronto: James Deeley

James Deeley

“Oh yes, I’d say it’s definitely NOT a bull market! Law joke, by the way. Ha!” (But it doesn’t really work, James, because it should be a bear then, not an elephant, mate.)

“I’m the funny Brit on @DownToFlux.”

We spotted that statement from James Deeley and immediately “funny” and “Brit” ticked a lot of boxes for us, but “flux” not so much as we have no idea what that means and probably only appeals to people who dress up as Spock and stand in line for three hours for Gillian Anderson’s autograph at $250 a pop or something.

But then we went down the rabbit hole and actually read his bio and it said, “British guys that play games & talk about stuff.”

We’d say that James has definitely made it in life based on that, and thus, is our latest Successful Brit in Toronto.

We also note that he works for a law firm so have to say that the following is James’s own words and not legal advice in any way apart from the bit where he recommends a British pub that allegedly has the best roast this side of the pond. If you feel that is NOT the case then please get representation and contact James directly and leave us out of it. Ta.

What made you decide to choose Toronto as a city of choice? Did you plan a permanent move, or wanted to “try it for a while and see how it goes” and it turned out to be longer than planned?

I had visited Toronto a couple of times on holidays and fell in love with the city straight away, seeing how clean everything was, how friendly and helpful the people were, and just how proud they are of their city. I ended up visiting about five or six times before finally moving out here in June of 2016.

I moved to Toronto with the plan to stay here permanently right from the get go, and nothing I have experienced while living here has made me doubt my choice at all.

What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?

Because I came over with the intention to stay here permanently, it was tricky to find a job that wasn’t just waiting tables or working in a Tims, jobs that many people on the same type of visa as me (Canadian Working Experience) go for in order to fund their adventures.

I wanted a job with solid career prospects from the start and because I didn’t have Permanent Resident status at this time, it was almost impossible to land a permanent role, so I tried everything to get my foot in the door with even a temporary contract position.

I signed up for LinkedIn, I handed out copies of my resume to anywhere that’d take it, I scoured job sites for hours and hours, and visited about 10 different recruitment agencies, one of which got back to me within a week with an eight-week temporary role in a downtown law firm, helping them move offices.

Luckily for me, my manager liked my work ethic and I’m still in the same firm two years later, just in a permanent position managing teams in both Toronto and Ottawa.

What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?

I think some of the best aspects of living in Toronto are the same things that made me fall in love with the city during my first visits, and the pride that people have for Toronto and their sports teams really makes you feel a part of something special.

Building on that, there is always something going on and it feels like you can find another hidden gem every time you go out. Toronto has so many different cultures and backgrounds within it, and there are so many fantastic restaurants, bars, music venues etc. to satisfy any craving you may have!

HST has to be one of the less attractive aspects of living in Toronto, or Canada in general. It takes a while to adjust to the fact that everything costs 13% more than the marked price!

Another of the downsides, as I’m sure most Torontonians would agree, is the winter. It’s not as bad as other parts of Canada, but as a Brit who is used to mostly rainy winters with the very occasional snowfall, it’s quite the shock to the system to have everything under a foot of snow for months!

House prices have to be one of the major downsides of living in Toronto. I’m from a little town outside London where house prices were pretty bad anyway, but looking for somewhere in Toronto for a reasonable price is almost hopeless!

You’re far better off looking for somewhere a little outside of the city, or just renting until you’re a millionaire!

Do you make an effort to connect with other Brits in the city, or just meet them when chance allows it? Any recommended pubs/eateries/other places for homesick Brits to meet each other and network?

Most of the people I met when I first came over were through an organization called SWAP Working Holidays, who help people who come to Canada on IEC visas to adjust to Canadian life and meet people. They host lots of social events and it’s through these that I met many of my friends, who are largely fellow Brits (Maybe it’s the same sense of humour?).

Whilst some of these friends have now moved back home to Blighty, a few of them chose the path to Permanent Residency like myself, and we meet up pretty regularly, and also try to meet new people of any nationality! It just so seems that our interests tend to guide us towards Brit-heavy things!

Talking of Brit-heavy things, the Toronto Wolfpack Rugby League Team play out of Lamport Stadium in Liberty Village, and not only is going to a game a great day out, but it’s a good way to meet other people as most of the crowd are Rugby fans, mainly Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, with a smattering of Canadians for good measure!

Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.

If you’re moving to Toronto and have heard about the winter weather, it is not a joke! It’s a far better option to wait until you get here to buy some winter clothes because it’s pretty unlikely that your winter gear from home will be up to the job. Plus it saves plenty of room in your suitcase!

For those of you, like myself, that really do get a craving for a good old Sunday roast, The Queen and Beaver on Elm street is a British-style pub that serves the best roast I have had so far this side of the Atlantic!

A good way to meet other Brits in Toronto, I’d suggest doing it through the Meetup app, or through Facebook. On both I am a member of groups called Brits in Toronto (funnily enough) and there is always people posting advice, events and other useful stuff.

If anyone if after any information about anything more specific, I’d encourage them to reach out to me directly (Twitter) and I’ll do my best to help them out! It’s a big deal moving countries, but you are in good company in Toronto.