No matter where you are in the world, on July 1st,Canadian spirit will surround you. Weeks before Canada Day, I was searching for a place my husband and I could go to celebrate and meet some fellow Canadians when I came across Canada Day International. This is an all things Canadian event that takes place in Trafalgar Square showcasing some of Canada’s best in technology, arts, culture, education and of course, food.
Overwhelmed with excitement over this event I signed us up to volunteer. Our orientation night took place at Canada House in the square. This is where everyone asked if they had found cheese curds for poutine, the most popular question asked every year. The answer was, ‘as close to cheese curds as you can get in the UK’ and had been taste tested and approved by the Canadian staff organizing the event. We took the early shift, getting things ready and talking to people as they walked through the area. We also had the privilege to sample some of the Nanaimo bars from The Maple Food Company, a Canadian desserts company based in the UK.
It was an amazing day and we are so proud to be Canadian. As we have traveled throughout the year to many great places in the world, the more we appreciate our home country.
It’s been 1 month without a Tim Hortons cup of coffee, maple syrup soaked pancakes, some classic Swiss Chalet sauce and well, we couldn’t last any longer without them! To cure our homesickness for our staple foods we went to The Canada Shop in Covent Garden. Of course this is where plenty of Canadians go to pick up a few things they didn’t realize are different in the UK including pickles/relish, Christie cookies and Kraft products like KD and peanut butter.
Since there was a gathering of Canadians all in the store hovering around the maple syrup we felt like we knew them. It turns out we didn’t know them exactly but we did both know the same people! This is how it all happened, first the guy said he knew where Wyevale, Ontario actually was and had a friend there. I asked who (since it is a small town) and it turns out it was a family in Perkinsfield that I recognized the names of. It turns out he went to school with the brother of a girl I used to play hockey with. Yes, I AM CANADIAN!
The other “Canadian hot spot” in London is the Maple Leaf. It’s a pub just down the street from the Canadian Shop. It’s a sports bar that lets hope will show some NHL games if the strike ever ends. I think we found our place to go on Canada Day and to just hang out if we’re feeling a bit far from home.