I finally have done the deed and transferred funds from Canada to the UK using a foreign exchange (FX) dealer - in this case CanadianForex - instead of the bank-to-bank wire transfer method I had used before.
Back in April I posted the results of my research (#1 Options, #2 Fees & Exchange Rate, #3 Extra Services & Practical How To, # 4 FX Dealers into the use of FX dealers to move and convert money and it appeared to be an attractive option in terms of speed, cost and convenience.
I am happy to say that it all went smoothly, the money arrived safely in my UK bank account with no extra fees and within the total 8 business days from end to end, i.e. from my Canadian bank account to my UK bank account. The process was almost completely electronic, online and automated, with only a phone call from the FX dealer, done within minutes of my booking the transfer online, to confirm the arrangement (perhaps a good thing since one must initiate the transfer of funds - also done online through the bank website - from my Canadian bank account to CanadianForex).
Perhaps the only disappointment is that within days of locking in the transfer and exchange rate, the CAD/GBP exchange rate went down from about $2.03 to $1.95. That cost me quite a bit but it was unforeseeable and unpredictable as it could just as easily have gone up. However, I might try booking a forward rate (CanadianForex allows one to lock in a rate for a future transfer up to one year ahead) if it goes down to the low $1.90 level.