Celebrating British Retail in Toronto, October 29 – November 9

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Between October 29 and November 9, the British Consulate-General Toronto,  U.K. Trade & Investment Canada, Visit Britain and the British Council are hosting ’12 Days of GREAT’ at College Park, 444 Yonge Street. Various British retailers will participate, including some who have recently come to Canada, and others confirmed to be opening Canadian locations within the next couple of years. 

Part of College Park will be transformed into a pop-up ‘U.K. House‘, featuring curated fashions from British brands Aquascutum, Ben Sherman, Mulberry, REISS and Simon Carter as well as displays from ClarksDr. Martens and Cutler & Gross. Luxury leather goods handcrafted in England from Globe-Trotter, Swaine Adeney Brigg and Ettinger will also be on display (courtesy of Toronto-based Betty Hemmings Leathergoods) including replicas of items used by Her Majesty the Queen, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Edmund Hillary and Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Replicas of pieces used by Sean Connery as James Bond in From Russia With Love and Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in the Imitation Game will also be featured.

U.K. House will be launching the GREAT British Shopping Map of Downtown Toronto which will highlight the British boutiques in the downtown core and will encompass an augmented reality social media contest powered by Blippar, for a chance to win flights to the U.K. from British Airways. You may follow #TOshopsUK for information and pick up a map at U.K. House and select retailers. Contest entrants will visit participating stores in the downtown core (U.K. House, Ben Sherman, Clarks Edit pop-up, Cutler & Gross, Dr. Marten’s, Simon Carter London, and the CF Toronto Eaton Centre locations of REISS, Ted Baker London, Topshop, and Topman) and share their experience on Twitter. The GREAT British Shopping Map of Downtown Toronto will be available starting October 29th at U.K. House (444 Yonge Street), the 12 Days of GREAT website and participating retailers’ locations. The contest will run until November 8 with winners announced on Twitter on November 9.

The strong business ties between Canada and the U.K. will also be a focal point over the 12 days. In particular, companies interested in expanding into the U.K. are invited to a free workshop, ‘The U.K. As Your Springboard to Global Growth’. Experts will offer insight on the benefits of setting up in the UK, legal, tax, and visa matters. Registration is open and space is limited.

On October 31 and November 1, local Beatles expert Piers Hemmingsen is hosting The GREAT Beatles Walking Tour of Toronto. These free walking tours will stop at various landmarks and retrace The Beatles’ route when they played Toronto in 1964. Registration is now open and free tours take place 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm each day. 

This 12 day celebration also coincides with a special Magna Carta exhibit at Fort York featuring an incredibly rare edition of Magna Carta from 1300. On loan from Durham Cathedral, this historical document serves as the root of democracy and the rule of law in both the UK and Canada. Tickets are available online.

For more information visit www.12daysofGREAT.com and for a complete list of UK events in Toronto over the next couple of weeks, download the public events calendar: GREAT British events in Toronto – Fall 2015 (PDF, 499KB, 2 pages). For further information: Follow @UKTI_Canada, @UKinCanada, and #12DaysofGREAT on Twitter, Follow UK in Canada on Facebook, Follow UKinCanada on Instagram.


Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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