We got so caught up in the excitement of the World Cup draw today — England face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia (not bad!) — that we forgot there was a Successful Brit in Toronto just sitting there in our in-box waiting to be unveiled.
So, here we go. The World Cup is one of the biggest events in the word, and the beautiful coincidence is that Ruby Sohi works as the Chief Event Organiser at Royal Blue Events Management, which has no connection whatsoever to the World Cup but we’re sure their events are top notch too.
Here’s Ruby’s route to 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 husband has always loved Canada and actually spent some time in Toronto as a child. He introduced the idea of emigrating shortly after we got married in London. I had visited Toronto a couple of times before but never really considered such a big step. After a few more visits we decided to make the move shortly after our first son was born.
Eight years on, we love Toronto and are so happy to call it home!
What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?
As we prepared to emigrate, I decided to use this opportunity as a spring board to set up a business and work for myself. I had always dreamed of running my own business doing what I enjoy most. I prepared for the launch of a boutique event planning agency; Royal Blue Events Management whilst still in London.
Within three months of landing, I was out networking and building this new brand. It was certainly a challenging time, being a new immigrant on top of launching a business with the hopes of establishing a new network of friends, colleagues and clients. Within six months, I was fortunate enough to have secured my first client!
Today, I have executed all kinds of events including festivals, conferences and galas in and around Toronto, Kingston, London, Waterloo, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.
What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?
In addition to the beautiful parks and awesome city events, the best aspect of living in Toronto is the diverse mix of people. Toronto is a cosmopolitan city and everyone has been so welcoming, I love the inclusivity within this community.
As for the worst, I have to say the cold winters. They definitely take some getting used to. That said, the summers usually make up for the bad winters.
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 make any special effort to seek them out but it’s always great when you detect an accent and end up having a great conversation with a fellow Brit!
I am yet to discover a good chippie and pub, although the local British shop usually fuels my craving for Robinsons Blackcurrant Squash and Quavers!
Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.
Moving to Toronto was a big (and brave) step, but its safe to say it was definitely a step in the right direction.
Thanks Ruby! If anyone wants to connect, here’s her LinkedIn profile.