Monthly Archives: March 2018

Successful Brits in Toronto: Ryan Wheeler

Ryan Wheeler

“Express yourself, create the space, you know you can win, don’t give up the chase. Beat the man, take him on, you never give up, it’s one on one!”

We put the call out for more Successful Brits in Toronto, and what do you know? Ryan Wheeler stepped up.

It took a few days to hear from him … but then the reason became clear with his reply: “Sorry guys, been off sick with some dreaded cold!”

So, after sending our thoughts and prayers to Ryan, we hassled him a bit more and got his answers to our deep questions below and the striking photo you see above. Looks like he’s pretty handy at football.

Let’s find out more …

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?

It was a spur of the moment decision. My girlfriend and I had just gotten home from work, we were tired, grouchy and generally fed up of leaving work at 5:00 p.m. Not to mention the perpetual rain and overcast skies to really drive home the misery of a day.

One of our friends had moved here a year prior and we spent a while speaking with them on Messenger about their experiences. After this, we decided Toronto was the only option. Fortunately a week later the IEC visa was opening and we went about applying for that.

We had initially planned to stay for as long as the visa would run with an idea we would stay if we enjoyed our time, but we told family we were wanting to move here for good.

After our first year we decided being here permanently was what we wanted and we applied for permanent residency as soon as we were able to. Next stop, citizenship.

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

Initially we waited for a month after landing before applying for any jobs. We wanted to take in the sights of the city and surrounding areas without the stress of work lingering over.

Once I had started sending my resume out, it was a slightly tedious process. I applied for several jobs daily. Editing cover letters and countless edits of my CV to match the job role without much reward.

Eventually I talked to a recruitment agency to see if they had anything open to matching my skill set and experience and they secured me an interview for a temporary position with a large insurance company with the chance to make it a permanent role at the end of the temporary period.

After I went on this interview I got two more interviews with recruitment agencies themselves as a consultant. Must have been the British accent that enticed them to take a chance, haha.

I decided to take a position with a recruitment agency, as it was full time and a skilled position. Both of which were needed in applying for the coveted permanent residency.

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

It’s just a lovely city. The areas I’ve lived in and visited are all clean and friendly. There are little pockets of settled nationalities all over the place so you can go and experience something new often and as frequently as you want with a usually very accessible transit service.

The worst aspect of being in Toronto I’ve found so far is the period of time between late February to mid March. It’s a time where the weather goes from 12 degrees one day to -5 degrees over the next few days. So it really plays with my willingness to adapt to the cold. In the depth of winter at -30 degrees I can handle it, I know it’s going to be cold.

In the summer when it’s close to 35 degrees, I can deal with it, because I know it’s going to be warm. It’s just that little void between those dates that mean I can no longer handle it being 1 degree because two days ago it was 10 degrees and I was in shorts.

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 meet up with new Brits in Toronto. However when I first came to the city I was made aware of a football team looking for new players and I went there in my first week to train with the lads.

For anyone new and interested in football, I’d recommend trying out for a team if you wanted to play to a good standard.

There are also companies like Toronto Sport and Social Club, who advertise a light and friendly atmosphere for all types of sporting activities throughout each change of season, where you can drop in when a team needs a player and meet like-minded groups of people, all welcoming with open arms to enjoy some sports at a recreational to advanced levels and then go for a beer or two afterwards.

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

Buy good winter gear and make the most of the summers!


Totally biased product review by me — Dorset Drum

Dorset Drum

You can now buy photography prop stands that look exactly like bathroom towel racks

It’s time for another totally biased review and we have an aged cheddar cheese called Dorset Drum on the podium today.

Wandering around Loblaws, our eye was immediately drawn to the Union Jack on the packaging, a sure sign of potential quality. Unfortunately, we were a bit let down in this instance.

The Brits in Toronto crew like our aged cheddar to crumble as easily as an Arsenal back four, but this one didn’t. It’s kind of rubbery and doesn’t taste that aged at all.

Not a fan so we give it a Brits in Toronto 1/5 stars.

Win two tickets to music documentary Something Left Behind and Q&A with David Gedge from The Wedding Present

The Wedding Present

He left something behind but we’re not sure what

It’s contest time!

On Saturday, March 24, The Wedding Present are playing a concert at the Horseshoe Tavern.

Earlier that day at 2:00 p.m., there is a screening at the Carlton Cinema of their brand new documentary, Something Left Behind. It tells the story of the making of their much-heralded debut album George Best, and reflects on the past 30 years in the music business. The Facebook event page is here, and tickets are available here.

At the end of the film attendees will be joined by David Gedge, original founding member of the band, and Andrew Jezard, the filmmaker.

What’s not to like about that?! Want the chance to win two free tickets to attend the screening?

Just comment below or tweet Brits in Toronto why you want to go in one word or more and we’ll pick an entry at random on March 22 and connect you with the generous PR person who offered the prize.

Good luck and here’s a sneak peek of the film:

Let’s all help fellow Brit Flo find a job!


 “I love food, me. Really do. Events with food are even better, seriously, because I’m looking for a job in that area. Ta!”

New month, new Brit looking for a job in Toronto. Let’s all help Flo as she prepares to cross the pond and try life in this fair city.

She writes:

“Hope you’re well and the weather’s on the turn for you! We’ve had a spot of snow over here (I’m based in SW England, in Bristol) the last few days, but I’m sure I’ll be laughing at these light dustings come the end of the year when I’ll be living in Toronto.

“Could I have started this e-mail in any more of a British manner?

“I came across your blog earlier this week, and never one to turn down an opportunity and a bit of help, I thought I’d ask if you wouldn’t mind helping me out with sharing my details in the search for a job for when I move this coming May?

“My LinkedIn page is here.

“I’m looking for something events related, although not necessarily corporate events! And if I can incorporate my love of food within it, even better!”

So, if you know of a good opportunity for Flo please e-mail her at flo_greenland AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk and tell her Brits in Toronto sent you, cheers.