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Chloe Amsden at the Maple Leaf in Covent Garden
Andy ParsonsChloe Amsden at the Maple Leaf in Covent Garden

Poutine, coffee and comedy: it’s the best of Canadian London

James Manning
Written by
James Manning

Thanks to our Commonwealth ties and agreement on how to spell ‘colour’, the UK is home to the world’s third largest population of expat Canadians (after the US and Hong Kong). You’re probably no more than three degrees separated from a Canuck, but you might not know it: we’re a low-key bunch, with our mild-mannered culture of maple syrup, moose and Mounties.

That’s not to say we haven’t left our mark on London, not least all the bearded men in double denim, aka the ‘Canadian tuxedo’. But how can you spot a genuine Canuck? Well, apart from having our own variety of accented English that’s distinctly not American – listen for words like ‘eh’, ‘oot’ and ‘aboot’ – we’re the ones apologising more than any of the locals. (Canadians are so apologetic that we even have an Apology Act clarifying that saying ‘sorry’ doesn’t imply liability.) And you’ll never spot us wearing a Canada Goose jacket to get through your laughably mild winters. Chloe Amsden

Did you know? Canada gave the city two famous bears: a black bear who lived in London Zoo and became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh; and a grizzly whose ghost is said to haunt the Tower of London.

Chloe’s favourite Canadian spots in London


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Sample the Toronto coffee chain Second Cup in Notting Hill: it’s no Tim Hortons, but it does the trick.

Hit up The Poutinerie on Brick Lane for the best poutine in London, with real cheese curds from Quebec.

The Maple Leaf in Covent Garden serves the essential Canadian hangover cure: The Bloody Caesar (with Clamato juice). It’s also the best place to go for Canada Day on July 1.

Founded in Vancouver, Kit & Ace on Redchurch Street offers luxe, machine-washable cashmere.

Ontario’s own Katherine Ryan regularly graces stand-up stages across town. For a more highbrow culture fix, catch an exhibition at Canada House.

Coming up in March, the Banff Mountain Film Festival is a full programme of hair-raising mountain adventure shorts.

The best of Canadian London, according to you


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‘I was humbled to find the Canada Memorial in Green Park a few years back. It remembers the 1 million Canadians who served with British forces during the World Wars, and it points to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I grew up.’ RPate via

‘The annual Canadian Comedy night features an all-Canadian line-up for the Maple Leaf Trust charity.’ Arlene G via

‘Wright’s Bar at LSE is my go-to for a ‘Tims’ steeped tea fix when I’m homesick or in need of some Nonna loving.’ @ranisuleman via Twitter

‘When I get homesick for Toronto I head to the underground concourse in Canary Wharf. It’s like I am back in the PATH: Toronto’s 30km underground walkway.’ Janice S via

Now discover the best of Swedish London.

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