Canada is easily one of the most beautiful countries on Earth, as well as one of the friendliest and most fun to live in and visit. Whether you are a homesick expat or a Brit who wants to reminisce on your time in the Frozen North, there are a number of ways for you to bring Canada into your daily life while in London – or to celebrate Canada when you feel so inclined.
Even though Canada and the UK are thousands of kilometres away from one another, there is a surprising amount of culture and heritage that is shared by the two countries – Canada is in the Commonwealth, after all! Below are just a few of the most Canadian things that you can easily do and enjoy in London!
Catch a hockey match
If you are a hockey fan, or even just feeling nostalgic, why not catch a hockey match and have a pint while you do? There are many different sports bars and pubs across London that regularly play hockey matches – you just need to do a bit of googling before the match. If you are a hockey player yourself, there are several different ice hockey and field hockey teams, clubs and societies around the UK – including in London.
Make time to enjoy the wonders of nature
One of the things that sets Canada apart from any other country in the world is the beauty of its natural world. There is arguably nothing more beautiful than an evening in Vancouver looking across the water to see the twinkling lights of the city centre with Grouse Mountain in the background.
One of the best ways that you can connect with Canada is to intentionally set aside some time to just enjoy nature. As one of the biggest cities in Europe, you may think that you will be hard-pressed to find nature in London, but there are actually a number of really beautiful parks to explore. Parks such as Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and St James’s Park are all lovely, but they are also very Victorian in the sense that every plant is contained, managed and manicured.
Richmond Park is a better park to explore if you are looking for some wildlife, nature and freedom. Home to deer and a host of other native flora and fauna, Richmond Park is a lovely place to spend an afternoon and explore. A word of caution though – keep your distance from the deer! They are wild animals and not props for social media. A number of overly eager, irresponsible – and arguably selfish – selfie-takers and influencers have been attacked by the deer in recent years for coming too close.
Head to the snow
There are now a few snow centres around the UK, including The Snow Centre right outside London in Hemel Hempstead. These are indoor snow parks and, as bizarre as it might at first seem, they are incredibly fun and popular.
You can practice your skiing and snowboarding any time of the year on these artificial slopes – or teach your little ones how to do their first snow ploughs. After an afternoon of skiing, you can also enjoy the ambience of wintery goodness by enjoying a coffee or lunch at one of the centres. After a while in the cold and snow, you will feel like you are back at Banff or Whistler if you use your imagination.
The Maple Leaf
No list of Canadian activities in London is complete without mentioning The Maple Leaf. The Maple Leaf is conveniently located in Covent Garden and is a Canadian-themed pub. From the sign to the flags to the entertainment and drinks on special, everything will remind you of home. As you might have guessed, this is also an excellent spot to catch HFL and NHL matches while enjoying a brewski.
You can turn your evening into a truly Canadian experience by grabbing some poutine afterwards. If you head to Broadway Market, you will find P’tite Poutine, which is a celebrated food stall run by two Canadian expats – so you can rest assured that the poutine is authentic!
Create a bit of Canada at home
If you are hesitating to leave your home on a cold winter’s night to visit The Maple Leaf, the good news is that you can create a bit of Canadian culture at home. In fact, staying home when it is too cold to go out is, in itself, a very Canadian thing to do! Whether you are homesick or just love Canada, you can enjoy a bit of Canadian culture by putting on a film from the Frozen North such as Bon Cop, Bad Cop, One Week, Les Boys, Goin’ Down the Road or The Shipping News.
There is more that you can do than just watching a movie, however – you can also play Canadian music (other than Nickelback!) and play Canadian games, including at online casinos. The online casino industry has exploded in Canada over the course of the last few years, and although it has not yet reached the level of popularity that the industry enjoys in the UK, more and more Canadians are trying out online casinos every year.
There are now hundreds of different online casinos for gamblers to choose from, all of which are working to attract the attention of gamblers through their extensive libraries of games, seasonal offers and attractive registration bonuses. Gamblers who really want to go the extra mile to create a Canadian ambience can play Canadian-themed online slot machine games such as Bonus Bear, the Break Away series, or Ice Hockey.
There is arguably nothing more Canadian than a coffee and donut pairing from Tim Hortons, and if you are a homesick expatriate, there is arguably nothing better. There are currently dozens of Tim Hortons around the UK, including Northern Ireland. The good news is that there are many more that are coming soon – so hopefully, you will soon be seeing Tims in every town around the UK.