Successful Brits in Toronto: Rory Petty

Rory Petty

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Like a well-aged wine, fine cigar, roasting a turkey or being stuck behind a Sunday driver on the way to the seaside, some things you just can’t rush. Such is the case with Rory Petty.

We first contacted him on January 22 to be our next Successful Brit in Toronto. Today is February 22. That makes it exactly a month. But his answers are good. Very good. Worth the wait, we think you’ll agree.

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 better half is from Toronto, and having been on the London treadmill for a number of years, I was keen to try a different style of life in Toronto. I’m a Permanent Resident legally, but my mindset is this could be permanent or temporary still — citizenship is the next goal.

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

I work in advertising, and luckily for me, the UK is seen as a leading practitioner of this internationally. A lot of what I do is transferable, but I also had to sell myself aggressively (being in advertising probably helped me in that respect).

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

The best thing is the sheer livability — those global surveys don’t lie when Toronto makes the Top 5 … especially when you’re coming from an expensive city like London.

But people make a place, and Torontans (Torontonians is so long) are so damn likeable; the small town friendliness in a big city is great.

Worst? Property prices.

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 meet them through happenstance, but love when I do.

An Sibin Pub in Riverdale is an Irish pub, but the drunken hubbub there really reminds me of British pubs. Canadian pubs/bars tend to be too genteel.

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

The Numbeo Cost of Living Comparison was a great tool to see how our finances would stack up here vs. London.

I also sampled Toronto in both summer and winter to make sure I really wanted to come!


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