144 Years Old, Still Younger Than The Underground

Lordy, lordy look who is 144. It’s my home country of Canada. When talking about Canada and how old it is to people in the UK, I usually mention that the Underground is three years older than Canada as a proper country. The Metropolitan Line was open for business on January the 10th, 1863. The British North America Act was signed in Westminster Palace on July the 1st, 1867. This usually puts things into perspective. Canada is still a very young country… and can’t hold a candle to the history of London 😉

This year I thought it would be neat to go around London and capture some of the places where Canada pops up. I’m sure I’ve missed some but I got a pretty good batch.

The entire Canada Water area is pretty good for this. The area is named after the Canada Water lake. There was also a Canada Dock, you know back when there were actual docks in the area.

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Canada Water Underground station on the Jubilee line.

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Walking outside the station you get hit with a lot of Canada-ness. And construction.

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Catching a bus near Canada Street

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Moving along from Canada Water we have the Docklands. Specifically the area around Canada Square. The story behind the naming of the area isn’t all that interesting. It’s because the original developers of the area, Olympia and York, are owned by a rich Torontonian family.

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One Canada Square used to be the tallest building in the UK until the Shard came to town further west along the Thames.

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One Canada Square from the inside. Can’t say I’m a fan of the decor.

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And One Canada Square from the outside, looking up.

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Entering One Canada Square from Cabot Place / Canary Wharf DLR station. I don’t get as properly lost in around here as I used to, but it’s still a bit confusing.

Off now to Covent Garden, where I don’t get as lost. Streets need to be at least 100 years old it seems for me to properly navigate them.

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It’s the Canada (and other Commonwealth Countries) Shop! It’s where I get my Kraft Dinner, ketchup chips and Coffee Crisps. They have a window display at the moment for all things Canada. Well, all things they have in stock. I’ve cleared out the ketchup chips.

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A short walk up Maiden Lane from the Canada Shop is the Maple Leaf Pub. I went here for the first time a few weeks ago and had a ridiculously large plate of potato wedges. They were very good. They had bacon on them. And chicken. However, I think I need to take issue with them not serving Canada Dry gingerale or chicken fingers.

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Last stop is the at the moment empty Canadian high commission, Canada House, next to Trafalgar Square. All the flags have been down and the place locked up for a few months now while they renovate the place.

Let’s take a moment to hark back to March last year when there was a bit of a flag gaff at Maison du Canada…
Something's Not Right
Two New Brunswicks. No P.E.I.. Bizzarro World.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to queue up for a Tim’s doughnut and curly fries at the Canada Day in London do.

That Distinctive Orange Glow

Another food post. This one has been in the making for a while. You see, a month or so ago I had a crazy craving for that most Canadian of comfort and convenience foods; Kraft Dinner. I didn’t eat it a whole lot when I lived there but I certainly wasn’t a stranger to it.

I went to the Canada Shop hoping they would have some. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Their stock was dwindling a bit in general and there was no KD to be had. I asked the lady at the shop when they were getting some in. The answer was probably in about a month or so… and that loads of people have been asking the same question. Was a shame, but the craving eventually passed.

Fast forward to last week and a friend of mine shares an article about the history of Kraft Dinner’s branding and packaging. In the article it mentions that it is in fact sold in the UK under the name Kraft Cheesey Pasta. My gosh, I must find it! I went to all the supermarkets near me last Sunday but no joy. What’s worse is that I now had a craving for it again.

Today after work I popped into the Canada Shop and what do mine eyes see but a bottom shelf full of that rectangle of processed food goodness. I picked up four boxes. And an Oh Henry bar seeing as I was there.

I whipped some up tonight and not having a way of properly measuring the milk (from a bag, of course), I think I did a jolly good job. I will admit that had to convince myself to not eat the whole pot. Just the smell of the macaroni boiling was nostalgic. I honestly can’t recall the last time I dug into a plate of orange macaroni elbows. The wait was worth it.

Le Dinner de Kraft

Milk Done Right

Growing up milk always came in plastic, 1 litre bags. You’d get three bags in a pack and there were always packs that had been ravaged because people wanted to just buy a litre. There was sometimes the option to buy 1 and 2 litre cartons, but the good people wanted their milk in a bag, the way it’s meant to be.

It wasn’t until I think the 90s that at least P.E.I. had plastic milk jugs. What a novelty. Now I have milk packaging novelty in reverse. Yesterday my housemate and I went off to Sainsburys to pick up some food. Near the dairy section I saw something that literally made me clap and jump up and down. It was milk… in bags!  And fancy pitchers!  Into the cart they went. I was so excited that some lady even approached me to give me a business card for her eco-packaging business. Oh dear.

Anyhoo, let’s have a look at milk bags, UK 21st century style…
Milk Bag & Fancy Pitcher Milk bag – check. Fancy pitcher – check. This one not only holds the milk bag, but also punctures it and has a lid. I’m much more used to these sort of old school pitchers. We had a yellow one at our house and my grandparents had an orange one. The bag was left exposed and you had to either cut the bag with scissors or with one of these clip snipper things.

Moving right along with the photo exposé.
Getting there The bag is secured into zee jug.

Success! Let the good times pour.

Just Jugit JUGIT!

All Provinces Accounted For

All Provinces Accounted For

Huzah! The Canadian embassy has finally sorted out that situation I flagged up (ah ha!) a few weeks ago. Gone is the surplus New Brunswick flag and the P.E.I. flag is back in place. Congratulations Prince Edward Island on joining Canada again. It didn’t even take a massive debt caused by building a railway this time around.