Successful Brits in Toronto: Graham Connaughton

Graham Connaughton

“I can help find the manor that’s right for you! Just call 1-800-GUVNOR and ask for Big G.”

We keep telling potential advertisers that Brits in Toronto is “prime real estate” but now have the chance to meet an expert in that field.

If you pick up the old dog and bone and have a chinwag with Graham Connaughton about prime real estate, he will definitely be ready to chat. He’s been in the business for the past 30 years and is, therefore, a Successful Brit in Toronto.

You can check him out here [insert blatant plug HTML code] at this website [/end free ad.]

So we invited Graham into our house, in the middle of our street, our house (there’s always something happening, and it’s usually quite loud) to tell us about his life in Toronto …

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 father actually chose Canada as I was a boy when we arrived in Sault Ste. Marie 1965, followed by a move to Windsor.

I chose Toronto for the economic opportunity that a growing city brings. I attended York University in the mid ’70s; watching the CN Tower being built was somewhat of an indicator of where the city was headed … up, up and away.

What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?

Fortunately for me I was well integrated into Canadian society prior to my arrival in Toronto as I had at that point lived in Canada for over 10 years. My first job like many in Windsor was in the auto industry, however the opportunity to sell real estate trumped the auto industry.

My first real estate sales position in Toronto was with K. See Real Estate selling condos at One Park Lane.

What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?

The best part of living in Toronto is that it is a multiethnic international city. The restaurant scene offers every cuisine imaginable and being the fourth largest city in North America, most major musical acts stop by when touring.

We have our own Broadway on King Street which features many of the Broadway shows either in preview or on tour, to say nothing of the galleries and club scene.

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 don’t go out of my way to connect with Brits in the city, but living close to the The Caledonian on College I can usually drop in for a pint once a week.

Donna the pub owner makes you feel at home and there’s quite a group of regulars to commiserate with, beside which my brother-in-law who lives in Kingsville, Ontario is from Liverpool, 20 miles from my hometown. We visit often and frequent.

Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.

I’ve noticed more young Brits in Toronto lately. It’s a great city and the British heritage makes us all feel less a stranger in a strange land.

Being a Realtor I track trends and Canada is number two after Australia for British expats. For those who are arriving, it’s a great ride that only a youthful country can bring.

I arrived just prior to the Centennial and the 150th is right around the corner. Canada rocks!

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