They say an Englishman’s home is his castle but unless you own Casa Loma that’s not entirely true. So today’s Successful Brit in Toronto — Andrew Mcloughlin — is here to set the record straight as a real estate professional.
“Our house, it has a crowd,” explains Andrew. “There’s always something happening and it’s usually quite loud. Our house, in the middle of our street.”
That doesn’t really narrow it down much in a city the size of 630 square kilometres, so we need to find out more about Andrew’s passion for real estate, what brought him here to Toronto, what he’s up to and so on.
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?
Growing up in the North-West of England had a lasting impact on me. It taught me that I needed to strive and plan for my goals if I ever want to achieve them. St. Helens is a great town with some amazingly talented people, but there was a point in my life, when I was around 18 years old that that travel bug bit me … and it bit hard.
A friend and I decided to travel throughout Europe for three months. This experience was transformative. It opened our minds and expanded our world view in the most impactful of ways.
Following that trip, we were hooked and knew we needed to travel more — so, on a whim, we decided that we wanted to work in Canada. We applied for work permits, packed our bags, and off we went!
At that age, everything is an adventure and this was no different. I eventually got a permanent work permit and then, over time pursued Canadian citizenship.
What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?
It wasn’t the smoothest transition for me. I had some experience in software development and web design but initially I was prepared to work anywhere, doing almost anything; from working at a clothing store in the Eaton Centre to an industrial metal bending factory in Vaughan.
At the time, I thought nothing of waking up at 4:00 a.m. to take the subway and two buses north of the city, because it was all part of the experience! Through these opportunities, I was afforded the chance to meet new people and really getting to know my new city.
I eventually landed permanent roles in web development for marketing agencies and then earned the opportunity to work for a multi-national financial firm in their marketing and analytics department for the last nine years.
I always knew that my passion was in real estate and during my time working in the financial industry, I pursued my real estate goals and became a licensed realtor. As a realtor, I am inspired by the families and investors I am fortunate to partner with.
I am inspired everyday as I introduce clients to their dream homes and support them in turning those dreams into a reality!
What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?
Culture, diversity, great food — Toronto has it all. I really love this city! I met my wife here — over 10 years ago — and I am not afraid to say that I was punching above my weight when I first asked her out … but this is Toronto … and anything can happen!
The sights also get me every time. Coming from a small town in the UK, I wasn’t used to big cities and I still get a feeling of excitement in my stomach when I drive south on the DVP, on to the Gardiner into the downtown core. It’s great!
I don’t love the traffic, but for a world class city, Toronto feels smaller and more intimate than other big cities.
I feel as though there are so many opportunities here if you are willing to work for them.
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?
It’s by no mistake that my wife, son and I chose a neighbourhood that has one of the largest British demographics in the city!
One of my favourite local spots that has THE BEST fish and chips in Toronto is only a few blocks from our house. If you take anything from this article you must go to the Olde Yorke Fish and Chips in Leaside. Do it now … you won’t regret it!
Andrew very kindly sent along a ton of links at that point, but we countered back and knocked him down a few, thus we shook hands on the deal at that point and here is the piece of Brits in Toronto website real estate he now lauds over forever. Pay him a visit!