Tag Archives: david miller

Successful Brits in Toronto: David Miller

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Toronto’s very own Ipswich Town FC supporter recalls 1978

The Brits in Toronto crew are very honoured to have a former Mayor of Toronto agree to be our latest Successful Brit in Toronto: David Miller.

Now the President and CEO of WWF-Canada, all it took was a single, firm, modest “sure” via Twitter and the deal was done.

So here we go …

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 chose Toronto but my mum chose Canada. We emigrated in 1967 originally, and came to Ottawa for her job as a teacher. I chose to come to Toronto for law school, because I loved the fact it had a subway and streetcars. And I knew that if I worked hard, I could get a good job.

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

My first real job was paving roads in Calgary, to pay for university. They were happy, as long as you had an Alberta address and were fit. My mum, though, had a different experience. She was recruited as a teacher by immigration, then, once we emigrated, told by the Ottawa School Board that she wasn’t qualified in Canada. She was livid. And sorted them out …

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

The best aspect of living in Toronto is the green space — the waterfront, the parks, and the river valleys. The worst is the winter weather. It never stays fully winter and the city turns brown. In Ottawa, it’s cold enough that the snow stays as snow.

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?

I don’t make too much effort to join British events in Toronto, although I have gone to some formal ones, like with the Canada/UK and with the Consul General. I see other Brits when I go to a suitable pub to watch the football — I proudly wear my England shirt, and watch them break our hearts. Again.

Ipswich Town is my home club. Remember ’78!

Best pub to just enjoy: Allen’s on the Danforth. John Maxwell pours a great pint, food is excellent, and a terrific patio.

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

I seem to connect with others from the British Isles through sports — rugby, which I played for over 20 years, football, and cricket primarily. But there are some great formal organizations, like the Chamber of Commerce, and the accounting organization CIMA, that can help meet people from a business perspective and often host events with interesting UK speakers. Cheers!

Thank you, sir!

Former Toronto Mayor David Miller blows the whistle on Toronto FC

"I can't wait! We're going to win so much!"

“I can’t wait! We’re going to win so much!”

So, there I was this morning in my jammies, supping on a hot cuppa char, nibbling on a choccy biccy and mulling over what to blog about today for my five readers and mum.

And then — lo and behold! — a football-related-former-Toronto-mayor-type story broke across my social networks. Back of the net.

Former Toronto Mayor David Miller (in my opinion, better than the one we have now) wrote a public letter to Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment saying how disappointed he is with the way things are going at Toronto Football Club.

So much so, in fact, that he’s handing back his season tickets. And if you know David Miller’s fandom of TFC, you know that is a VERY STRONG PROTEST.

Full text:

“Dear Sirs:

TFC Management Changes

I am writing because I believe that the recent management changes at TFC, and your president’s comments on football/artificial turf, have seriously jeopardized the future of this club. From the moment Coach Cummins was allowed to leave, the team has jumped each year from one playing vision to its opposite, thereby preventing on field progress. At the same time, the experience of the supporters has declined – together with their passion. This is amply demonstrated by the fact that it is now necessary to have someone sing the national anthem, when previously supporters sang O Canada themselves, unaided.

“Since the failed hiring of Preki as its coach, the club has desperately needed stability. Hiring an experienced and high level President/GM, only to fire him a few months later, is exactly the opposite of what is needed. It was either wrong to hire Mr. Payne, to fire him, or both. Similarly, either pursuing a skilled young player like Urruti for two years was wrong, trading him three weeks after acquisition was wrong – or both.

“Here is my advice:
– Stabilize the management. Change simply has to stop – this is the last chance to get it right.
– Stabilize the team. Today, there are at least signs of passion and hard work on the pitch. Build on that with selective change. Don’t start over.
– Stabilize the experience. End the speculation about the Argonauts CFL team coming to BMO. Mr. Leiweke’s suggestion that they might, and the necessary implication that they would play on artificial turf, was the wrong thing to say, at this time in particular. You risk losing the most committed supporters of TFC if the venue is changed to accommodate Canadian football, particularly if turf returns.

“As you know, I have been an ardent supporter of TFC since you and MLSE first had the vision to bring Major League Soccer to Toronto. I have supported the team through thick and thin, defended management, was one of the first season ticket holders, and, in my former capacity, was instrumental in building the stadium and supporting its conversion to grass.

“I am so frustrated with the latest management missteps that I am returning the remainder of my season tickets to you: it is the only way I can emphasize how serious the situation is for those of us who support TFC. Please donate them to an appropriate cause.

“There once was magic at BMO Field. The latest reshuffle has made the possibility of that magic returning almost certainly disappear.

“David Miller”

I am with you, David … and I’m not.

With you because — yes — as a TFC fan too since they formed, I am also very frustrated, disappointed and, quite frankly, bewildered by their lack of direction and constant re-shuffling of management and the players. There’s no coherency and that will not lead to success.

I’m also torn with your decision, David. As a lifelong (21 years, I’m still young, good-looking and in the prime of my life, honestly guvnor) fan of Tottenham Hotspur I’ve seen the ups and downs of sticking with the same club. I have to say that’s all part of it, right?

You cheer at the wins and groan at the losses. I don’t have season tickets to Spurs but, if they were in the same position as TFC currently are, would definitely not give them up. The minute a club sees the stands half-empty then all really is lost.

David — I think you’ll find TFC fans on the fence with your decision. But, we respect your stand and hope that, in some small way, the very public gesture will somehow turn things around at the club, so once again we’ll see you in the stands at BMO Field!