“Pork scratchings? Yer ‘aving a larf ain’t ya, geezer?! This is Toronto!”
Ted Clark was a little unsure as to whether he was “successful” enough to earn a coveted spot on Brits in Toronto. This man co-founded a brewery. With an ale called Across the Pond.
“I actually started this business because I was still drinking my favourite English ales, like ESB, Lancaster Bomber, Abbot Ale and Old Speckled Hen about five years ago,” explains Ted. “But I thought I could brew something similar that I would want to drink with local ingredients.
“Hence Across the Pond, English Special Ale, a bitter and our flagship beer, which is reminiscent of the excellent ales around Cambridge from my youth. This current Canadian craft beer movement reminds me of the CAMRA movement that I experienced in the UK during the 1970s and early 1980s,” he adds.
Case nicely made.
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?
I came here in 1981 from a tiny village near Cambridge on a gap year after ‘A’ levels. I planned to travel and see if I liked the city, and I am still trying to decide whether to stay … although with two children in university, a house, a dog and a beer business, this decision has probably already been made.
What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?
I thought I had landed a dream job at Sunshine Village in Banff, Alberta but the year I was hired it did not snow; resorts only started paying salaries when there was skiing, and I ran out of money and had to come back to Toronto to find other (real) work in a sporting goods store.
What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?
Best: I actually like the weather here and appreciate the change in the seasons. Since moving I have taken up ice hockey and skiing, and developed a strong network of like-minded friends. We play hockey, drink beer, and then ski, and drink more beer.
Worst: Initially I missed my family and friends, and in particular the beer and banter in a good pub.
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 really seek out other Brits, but I have found a lot of good pubs/bars around High Park where there is great live music and craft beer.
3030 Dundas West, The Hole in the Wall and The Mugshot Tavern are fine examples.
Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.
Canada is an amazing country with lots to offer on both a personal and professional level. Travel, meet people, try new activities and enjoy your life!