A lot of work is going into the planning of this for the British community in Toronto and we’re expecting 150+ to come out and meet fellow Brits and catch a TFC game as they take on Sporting Kansas at BMO Field.
So, plan to come out, bring your friends and family and let’s show Toronto that there’s a very active British community that supports its team and city!
Here’s what you get for the measly price of $54 per ticket:
Early access to the stadium
$10 food and drink voucher!
The schedule, as it stands now …
Meet at Brazen Head pub if you want a pre-game pint.
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Early entrance to BMO field at gate 1B.
Welcome remarks by reps from your hosts TFC, Brits in Toronto, Toronto Brit Meetup Group and Typically British Toronto.
Three raffle prizes!!!
The PRIVATE bar opens!!!!
Kick-off — Go TFC!!!!!
Optional for people to stick around and watch the Raptors game inside the stadium on the big screen!!!!!!
Here’s some shots of the private area and bar that has been exclusively reserved for ticket-holders before kick-off:
OK, then — at this point you’re probably gagging for a ticket so here’s how to purchase one (or more we hope) …
Simply visit this link and use the password: British
Or, if you prefer to speak to the TFC rep organizing all this for us — and fellow Brit in Toronto — contact Jake Wyatt at 416-815-5400, ext. 3072 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll gladly help.
Hope to see all you fellow Brits in Toronto on June 7 for what promises to be a stellar night of football and networking. Cheers!
Yep, got the first-ever goal for Toronto FC. *Drops mic*
Picture the scene. You’re a professional footballer. You take a chance and leave your home country and move to Toronto to play for the city’s new MLS team, Toronto FC. You score TFC’s first-ever goal (in front of home fans). You get TFC’s first-ever red card. Seat cushions have rained down on your head and you now have a chant dedicated to you.
Just another tick box on the career achievements of today’s Successful Brit in Toronto: Danny Dichio, Head Coach of Juniors at the Toronto FC Academy and Club Ambassador for Toronto FC.
Brits in Toronto caught up with this very busy bloke to hear about how he came to Toronto, some on-the-pitch memories and where he likes to spend his free time when not coaching the footballing stars of tomorrow …
What made you decide to choose Toronto as a city/club 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? Guessing that TFC played a massive part in that decision — what influence did you have in the choice as a player to come here?
We had always intended to move to North America as a family when my playing career had ended. Fortunately, I had the opportunity from a few clubs in the MLS to finish my playing days here in North America.
I came to an agreement with Preston North End in England to end my contract early as Toronto FC had already began their inaugural season and wanted me to join them ASAP.
I had never been to Toronto before and was little bit worried for my family as we were venturing into the unknown, but I was excited to join a newly formed expansion team in their first-ever season.
It did not take us long to fall in love with the city and we immediately knew that this was a place we felt very comfortable in … and now call our home.
What steps did you — or a manager/rep — take to land your first Toronto role? What is your responsibility now at TFC?
Toronto FC made first contact me with as they knew there was interest from other clubs in the MLS to bring me over from England. I had spent some time with Chicago Fire who wanted to discuss a deal, but there were problems involving obtaining a work visa.
Toronto FC proposed a deal for me to come over ASAP if I could get an early release from my contract in England.
The position I hold now at Toronto FC is the Academy Head Coach with the U17 team and I am also the Club Ambassador. My role is to develop younger players at Toronto FC and help them in their pathway to hopefully making it as a professional one day.
Standout memory as a TFC player?
Obviously the game against Chicago Fire where we scored our first ever goal in MLS history. It was a very emotional day for all involved as we had not scored a single goal in our first five games of the season.
I was lucky enough to get on the end of a cross to tap home the opening goal. I will never forget the celebrations that day in the stadium after the goal went in.
The club had given out foam seat cushions to every fan and as we celebrated the goal … these seat cushions rained down from every section of the stands onto the pitch. We had to wait 10 minutes or so for the pitch to be cleared!
To add to this crazy day, I unfortunately got myself sent off later in the game after an altercation with a Chicago player, but amazingly for the first time in my career, I received a rousing applause from our home fans as I left the field.
What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?
Best aspects of living in Toronto are the people are very friendly and we feel that it is a very safe city to bring our young family up. Toronto also has an amazing mix of different cultures from around the world that all respect and abide by the country they are living in.
I love that there is so much in the GTA that you can do, whether it’s sports orientated with all our various teams to support. There are excellent museums and parks to wander through as well as the small beaches you can sit and relax at.
I really like how there are different little pockets of the city that have their own individual character — whether it’s due to the cultural background of that area or the historic architecture.
Worst aspects has to be the cold in the winter months! I am not too bothered about the snow as I like the changes with the seasons … and I love getting out in the snow with the kids … but when that wind chill hits -30 or -40 then that’s a problem.
Also the distance to England is obviously not a short trip, so its hard at times to only see our parents/grandparents once a year.
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 am always running into Brits all over the city. A lot of them are big football fans and watch the Premier League on TV which I cover at the weekends with Sportsnet TV.
If I am going out for a drink and listening to live music, then I like to go to The Orbit Room on College Street. It has a great atmosphere with some quality live bands. The only problem is the owner/manager “Tim” is a massive Spurs fan!
There are a lot of good eateries around the city, but I have yet to find a good pie and mash cafe.
I miss my curry a lot and have just recently found an excellent small family-run restaurant in The Junction called Curry Twist.
There are a couple of nice fish and chip shops around the city with my favourite being Chippy’s on Queen Street West.
Another thing I really miss is the traditional Sunday roast carvery which you would find at your local pub.
Your pick for the Euros?
I have a sneaky feeling that England are going to surprise a few people! As long as they can stay injury free and keep faith with the younger core of players that we have.
Other than that, I feel France will have a decent tournament at home in front of their own fans.
Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.
Do your homework on the different areas in the city that suit your living needs. If you have a young family then there are some great pockets to live and bring up a young family.
If you are young and want to live in a vibrant up-and-coming area, then there are so many popping up now instead of going for the standard expensive downtown condo.
Good luck with the rest of the season and thank you Danny for sharing those TFC memories and passing on the good eating tips!
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.
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.
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!