5 Hilarious Differences Between Canadians and Brits

Just over a month ago I was living in London, UK and accepting the fact that my exchange year was never going to happen. I would have to face final year, actually graduate and then get a job like a real adult. Obviously this didn’t happen as I’m writing this in a coffee shop on Bloor St West in Toronto, Canada. For anyone who has tried to find accommodation in Toronto, you’ll know what I mean when I say this is no mean feat. With my name on five waiting lists, I started to lose hope, but then a friend recommended Ryerson’s Off-Campus Housing Facebook page (a complete life saver in the end). I scrolled until I came across an affordable room, messaged my future housemate and got lucky that she thought being British was a good enough reason to live with me.

This all happened a week before I arrived in Toronto. So months of stress had come down to one week in which I had to book flights and make preparations for the first (and last) DIY project I will ever undertake (in case you were wondering, putting a bed together is hard,  and the flat was fully unfurnished). It was a rocky start, but after going to my first baseball game, having my first 3am Smoke’s Poutine and enjoying my first Thanksgiving, I am happy to report that I am living my best life with my two incredible housemates.

After a month of living with Aliya and Joel (The Canadians), we’ve inevitably started to pick up on some pretty hilarious differences between Canada and the UK. Here are some notable mentions:

1. What’s a mare?

You say Tomato, I say Tomato.

You say par-mi-JAN. I say par-mi-ZAN.

I’m positive that some of the Canadian slang I’ve picked up will cross back over the pond with me. Like visiting Timmies or buying a pair of runners. However, I’m sorry guys, I can’t bring myself to say loonie or toonie.​ My roommate took to social media to comment on my English tendancies. It’s true. I say this a lot. And it’s so clutch.

2. You have better food. Come @ me Britain.

Firstly, we have completely different biscuits. And yours are better.

Our biscuits are thin, crunchy and sweet whereas yours are thick, salty, look kind of like our scones and are really sorting out my hangovers.

You have poutine, the BEST drunk food I think I’ll ever have.

Also, bags of milk. I had no idea this was a thing. Consider. My. Mind. Blown. We go with regular cartons (side note: we do drink a lot of tea).


You have Saturday Night Live (which we watch random YouTube videos of). I am ashamed to say I didn’t know The Lonely Island before I came here. Feel free to judge me.

I have taken it upon myself to introduce Aliya and Joel to the most inappropriate British TV shows we have, which isn’t a fair representation of Britain as we still kind of like to be known for Harry Potter, the Royal Family and Love Actually. The shows you need to look for are Sex Pod and Naked Attraction. The first is where you get sex advice by watching pornographic demonstrations (this is on actual TV after 9pm) and the latter (my personal fave) is a dating show where people pick each other based on what they look like naked. And yes, they go full frontal.

4. You like to drink too, but not as much

My housemates have made it very clear that Canadian drinking culture is similar to ours. However, it is hard to adjust to the 2am cut off. While in Toronto you can’t get served after 2am, in the UK the majority of bars and clubs are open till 4am every Friday and Saturday, if not everyday.

5. Why do Canadians love Drake so much?

Drake is big in the UK, but people in Toronto take it to a whole new level.

You turn on the radio. Drake.

You’re in a bar. Drake

You’re having pre-drinks. Drake

I don’t think you’ll ever get me obsessing over Drake but the city, the culture and the people? Consider me hooked.

Read more: How to Survive a New Country