“Sure, why the hell not.”
With those enthusiastic, committed and determined words, we managed to line up yet another Successful Brit in Toronto. There are so many — the city is truly spoilt by the sheer number of talented Brits willing to give up their cushy lives over the pond, and come here to make a go of it.
Andrew Davies … the stage is yours:
What made you decide to choose Toronto as a city of choice? Did you plan a permanent move, or wanted to “try it for a while and see how it goes” and it turned out to be longer than planned?
My then Canadian girlfriend, now wife, lives in Toronto so it was inevitable that ultimately I would end up in Toronto, especially as my skill set (civil engineering estimator) is in such demand here.
What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?
Arrived on Saturday, CNE on Sunday, interview on Monday and a job offer arrived on Tuesday. It was all very Solomon Grundy apart from the bit about being buried on Sunday. I have been buried in work since I arrived. The lack of “Canadian experience” fortunately hasn’t really been an issue — and if anything, being British has opened a few doors for me. Cool Britannia. 🙂
What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?
Traffic and commuting in Toronto is a nightmare. My first two months of commuting was probably the most stressful and painful thing I have ever had to do, other than leaving family and friends back in Yorkshire.
However once you get to where you are going though, you will find that people are welcoming, open, understanding, friendly and great fun. The city has so much to offer that there is never a dull moment. If you want it, Toronto has it.
Do you make an effort to connect with other Brits in the city, or just meet them when chance allows it? Any recommended pubs/eateries/other places for homesick Brits to meet each other and network?
I have British friends and, yes, I enjoy getting together with them. However, I don’t go to meet homesick Brits pining for Coronation Street, Heinz tomato soup or Curly Wurlys as that’s not me. I go to have a laugh with a fellow Brit who “gets” the humour and doesn’t get offended if you tell them to f**k off.
Don’t get me wrong though, I miss a decent pie and pint like the next guy.
Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.
If you are moving to Toronto, don’t hesitate, do it. I did, I don’t regret it and I wish I had done it 20 years ago. I would urge you though, to network with friends who are already here and get advice on locations before you do it.
That’s great advice, Andrew. Thanks mate! If anyone is curious where the photo was taken you can connect via LinkedIn.