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About Toronto Scuba Centre

About Toronto Scuba Centre

About TSC

The Toronto Scuba Centre is an organization dedicated to a superior level of scuba diving instruction using the PADI format. Successful completion of a course through the Toronto Scuba Centre results in a PADI certification in the course chosen by you.

We are able to offer the open water portion of any of our courses in a local dive environment. On occasion Toronto Scuba Centre organizes dive trips internationally. During one of these trips you can also complete a number of our courses.

Peter Mikhail, the principal instructor at the Toronto Scuba Centre teaches a wide variety of PADI courses and have a wealth of diving experience and knowledge. It is because of his passion that the Toronto Scuba Centre and its instructors are committed to taking that extra step to work with you as much as you need to feel comfortable and confident in your newfound diving skills.

Toronto Scuba Centre is proud to have some amazing business relationships that help us help you get the most out of your diving experiences. Our primary teaching location is at the prestigious Bishop Strachan School, one of Toronto’s premier downtown private schools, conveniently located at St. Clair and Spadina. Teaching at such a venerable location offers our students the use of Bishop Strachan’s state of the art classrooms and private pool.
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Peter Mikhail, Instructor

peterPeter Mikhail is an instructor and co-founder of the Toronto Scuba Centre. Peter has been training students in recreational scuba diving for more than 10 years. Peter is rated as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer and teaches many of the speciality courses offered through the PADI system. Peter has created and published a course specifically for PADI which deals with fear and anxiety around water. The course is called ‘Breath and Relaxation’.

Originally from London, England, Peter trained as a PADI Dive Instructor in the Cayman Islands at the world famous Bob Soto Divers,  a pioneer of scuba diving who worked with Jacques Cousteau in creating what we now know as recreational scuba diving.

peter mikhail padi award 2013peter mikhail padi award 2014

Peter’s vision as an instructor, however, is far greater than just providing students with their certifications. Peter believes that given the opportunity and the personal desire to dive, he can help anyone become a safe and confident diver.

His gentle, yet motivational teaching style has been acknowledged by PADI who have awarded Peter 2 ‘Certificates of Excellence’ for his contribution to student scuba training so far, awards he is very proud to have received.

Peter’s experience and reputation has been significant in making him one of Toronto’s most respected and frequently requested recreational dive instructors. He has created a solid base of students that continue to further their dive training with him and prove the point that good training and the ability to meet individual needs is what keeps students diving.

Peter’s experience led him to be chosen to train the cast of Cirque de Soleil in Toronto in 2008. Peter is also actively involved in introducing scuba to underprivileged communities and children. Peter began working with the Toronto Police Department in 2011 providing scuba diving experiences to children through their give-back community program TAVIS.

Tiff Laprise, Instructor

Tiff LapriseTiffany took up diving in 2008 before moving to Australia to pursue a career in teaching. While in Australia she had the opportunity to dive some of the best sites on the west and south coasts, and fell in love with the richness of life in the sea. Since then, she has had the opportunity to dive in warmer waters including St. Maarten’s; Turks & Caicos and Belize which has some of the best diversity of sea life in the Caribbean. While diving she has come across reef and leopard sharks, sea turtles, eels, lobster and rays – although her dream is to dive with giant mantas. In the summer, Tiff can be found helping out TSC at the lake and in Brockville during their Advanced diving weekends, which aside from great drift and wreck diving are also a fun time to connect with other divers around a campfire.

One of the greatest things about scuba diving are the people you meet in this sport and how quickly you make friends from all walks of life. It is a great community to be a part of whether your interests are sea life, exploring wrecks, or travelling to exotic places, you will find divers to be welcoming and fun!

For Tiffany, one of the best things about working for TSC is having the opportunity to share her experiences and passion for the sport with new students, especially children. Since 2011 she has worked with TSC and the Boy Scouts to introduce scuba to kids. In April 2012, she travelled to the Cayman Islands to complete her Instructor Development Course which combines her love of teaching and diving and achieved her PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Instructor rating. She looks forward to working with the TSC family to introduce diving to new students and helping existing divers reach their goals.

Chris Mulcahey, Instructor

chris mulchaeyChris Mulcahey first tried scuba diving in 2004 in Koh Tao, Thailand. It was there that he completed the Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses. He had always enjoyed swimming and snorkeling as well as all types of wildlife, especially marine life, and so he instantly loved it. He was especially hooked after he did his first deep dive and was lucky enough to be circled by several reef sharks!

As he traveled for a few years after that, he usually gravitated towards the oceans and seas and dove every chance he got. During that time, he dove in Vietnam, Egypt, Panama, Honduras, Belize and Mexico. He says some of the most memorable fish he has ever encountered are manta rays, eagle rays, mahi-mahis, giant tunas, whale sharks and several other species of sharks.

Chris particularly liked a small island in Honduras called Utila and decided to do the Rescue Diver and Dive Master courses there. Upon his return to Canada, he moved from his hometown of Ottawa to the west coast. He lived in Vancouver for the past few years and that’s where he got his first taste of cold water diving. After doing a few dives wearing a wetsuit, he quickly decided to do the PADI Dry Suit Diver course!

He has since experienced a whole other world of diving here in Canada. From giant pacific octopuses to beluga whales and from ice diving to the shipwrecks of the great lakes, Chris looks forward to exploring all this country has to offer. After returning to Koh Tao, Thailand in 2010 and completing the Instructor Development Course, Chris once again moved approximately 5000 kilometers across the country and is now living here in Toronto. He is happy to be here at the Toronto Scuba Centre teaching and sharing everything he knows about this amazingly addictive activity we call scuba diving.

Marisa Wong, Instructor

marisaMarisa first started her dive career on the infamous Koh Tao, Thailand in 2011. Since then she has travelled the world diving and teaching in exotic places including The Andamans Nicobar Islands, India, The Great Barrier Reef/West Coast, Australia, Bali, Indonesia, Phuket, Thailand, Mabul, Malaysia, Nassau, Bahamas and many more. She is a specialty instructor in various PADI Courses and an EFR instructor. She has a strong passion for the underwater world and is fascinated by sharks, mantas, turtles and diving Elephants. She enjoys teaching and sharing her love for diving!

Josh Labell, Instructor

joshJosh began diving while on holiday in the Dominican Republic in 2008 and he was immediately hooked and diving became his primary passion. Throughout the summer of 2009 Josh trained intensively in Key Largo, Florida ascending to the professional level of PADI Divemaster. This experience would eventually lead him to successfully realizing his dream of becoming a PADI Open Water Diving Instructor.

During that summer he had many adventures and came to know the reefs and wrecks of the Upper Keys very well. His primary attraction in diving is marine life particularly the little ones that others often miss. He has spent many a pleasure dive floating in one spot just to see what would emerge from the stillness in front of him. He has done dives around the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

Highlights include: swimming with sharks and sea turtles, manatee and a gigantic school of barracuda; and assisting in filming a coral spawning He is currently planning a Trip to dive the Great Barrier Reef and South East Asia.  He is also keen to learn to dive on a closed circuit re-breather system so he can spend even more time under water.

Josh as passionate about teaching as he is diving he currently teaches Secondary School to students with special needs. He completed his Instructor Training in 2011 and joined TSC in 2012.  He is very happy to teach at the Toronto Scuba Centre as it give him a chance to combine the two things the loves to do the most; teaching and SCUBA diving. He is always happiest helping people learn to dive or improve their skills.

Shona Milligan, Instructor

shona

Shona Milligan first experienced the underwater world in 2000 on a trip to the ‘Spice Island’ of Grenada. Ultimately she found it beautifully exhilarating, however, initially it was a personal challenge to overcome the anxiousness she felt. With the patience of an excellent instructor, Shona found she did not want the dive to end loving the colours and sea life.

Becoming an open water diver started her passion of scuba diving. Formerly an instructor in martial arts, Shona realized she wanted to continue to teach – this time bringing her passion of diving to new divers. Having students that are nervous as she was at the beginning and guiding them through their challenges brings an enormous amount of pleasure as an instructor.

She has continued her own education with PADI over the years and is ranked as a Master Instructor. This allows Shona to teach both recreational and professional level students. She assists regularly in Instructor Development Courses (IDC). Shona says it is a fantastic feeling as an instructor to see one of your open water students achieve the level of Open Water Instructor!

The Caribbean is a second home to Shona as she prefers short flights and long vacations. As well as Grenada, Shona has travelled both solo as well as leading groups to Tobago, The Grenadines, Bahamas, San Andres, San Maarten, Belize and most recently Cozumel. All of her trips she documents via underwater photography and loves to see new sights and sea life on every dive while searching for the beloved sea horse. She enjoys meeting people from all over the world on her trips and has many friends in other countries, sometimes arranging to meet somewhere and go diving.

Niels Christensen, Instructor

nielsNiels started diving 40 years ago, and from the first time underwater, he was hooked and has been coming back for more ever since.

A former Toronto Police Search & Rescue Diver, he has over 3,500 dives in a variety of conditions and brings a wealth of practical experience to the Toronto Scuba Centre instructional staff.

A firm believer in protecting the marine environment, Niels volunteers each summer as Dive Operations Manager for a reef conservation NGO in various places around the world and has dived throughout the Caribbean, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Egypt, Belize, Honduras, Columbia, & Mexico.

Among the qualifications Niels holds are: PADI, IDC Staff Instructor, Instructor – CPR/AED/First Aid – Infant/Child/Adult, Oxygen First Aid Instructor, Enriched Air Instructor, Specialties in Wreck diving, Deep diving, Underwater Naturalist, Night diver, Drift diver, Boat diver, Ice Diving, Nitrox, Underwater Digital Photography, Transport Canada Licensed Captain – Masters Limited Certification on vessels to 60 Tons.

Christine Trosztmer, Instructor

christine

Christine is a long time scuba diver, having completed her Junior Open Water certification with NAUI back in 1982 and transferring into PADI in 1984. She started work on her Dive Master certification in 2005 while attending medical school on the Dutch island of Bonaire for two years. She completed her PADI Instructor certification in 2009 and teaches several courses a year. Her instructor ratings include Boat, Deep, Wreck, Drift, Dry Suit, O2 provider and Emergency First Response.

Among her various occupations, Christine is a horseback rider and coach, teaches First Aid and volunteers with St John Ambulance, she has a small counselling practice and teaches psychology at Sheridan College.

Alastair Carlow, Instructor

alistair

Alastair is from Scotland and has recently moved to Toronto to work in the city. He is a PADI Instructor and took up diving in Gibraltar in 1998 at the age of 16 to help fund his adventure of circumnavigating the world by yacht and felt living on a boat for 2 years without the ability to strap a tank to his back and scrub boat hull’s would be madness. He completed his Divemaster in The Red Sea and his Instructors in Sydney, Australia.

He has dived extensively throughout the South Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean and mostly recently the Maldives. In all he has logged around 500 dives with Humpback Whales, Penguins, Sea lions, Reef, Hammerhead, Lemon and Tiger Sharks.

He holds a number of teaching positions within the water sports world including Dinghy sailing, Windsurfing, Wakeboarding, Waterskiing and is a Commercially Endorsed Advanced Powerboat Instructor. He dabbles in Skydiving and Bungee’s, runs Marathons and flies tandem flown Micro lights. He knows which end of the snow ski’s point down the hill for the most direct route and is a proficient snowboarder in the park with 3 season’s off piste guiding experience, he plays drums in a covers band and will be at the TSC pool every Thursday night to help you with sales or questions about kit and always has time for a chat.

Elijah McCaffrey, Instructor

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Paul Bradshaw, Divemaster

Paul BradshawPaul Bradshaw first experienced scuba diving in 1985 age 10, however it wasn’t until 2007 that he rediscovered the sport and took it up in earnest. A graduate of Toronto Scuba Centre, Paul has worked with both principle instructors to obtain the level of divemaster. Paul took the extra step to the professional level of divemaster to improve his dive skills and allow him take his diving to the next level.

Paul also loves just jumping into the pool and passing on his dive knowledge and love of the sport to students of Toronto Scuba Centre. Despite having dived at several locations across the globe, including Hawaii, San Diego and the Bahamas, Paul’s favourite diving occurs right here at home in the challenging waters of the Saint Lawrence River and, in particular, the wreck of the Keystorm.

The waters of the Saint Lawrence River represent an excellent challenge to scuba divers and allows them to be confident that if they can master the waters of Canada, they can master them anywhere in the world. He enjoys challenging his training and skills to the limits and finds that when combined with safe dive practices the results are rewards not experienced in everyday life.

Soo Jun, Divemaster

soo

As a 5 year-old, Soo had an early exposure to life as a scuba diver, when her dad took his family on frequent scuba trips all over Asia. Soo knew that it was inevitable she would eventually become a scuba diver.

After getting her open water certification in 2008, Soo has never stopped diving. Soo loves the fact that scuba diving lets her meet a wide and eclectic group of people and feels that the sport is extremely welcoming and fun to be a part of.

For Soo, one of the best things about the sport, however, is the challenge it presents every time she dives. Scuba diving keeps her challenged mentally.

For almost anyone, diving makes one face their fears and learn something new during every dive and it is this constant learning and challenge that excites Soo on every dive. As a Divemaster, Soo loves the fact that she now has a new level of challenge in coordinating her diving with others looking to her for guidance and that she has the opportunity to share her experiences with new students. Soo, also enjoys baiting new divers about diving with sharks, even though most of them do not share same enthusiasm as she does. No cage!

About two years ago, Soo had the opportunity of a lifetime, when she decided to take time off from work and backpack across the world. Soo had the opportunity to dive in the Bahamas, Bonaire, Belize, Roatan, Mexico, Florida, Cuba, the Philippines, Thailand, India, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Hawaii, all the way through to the cold waters of Vancouver and Northern Ontario. While diving, Soo is thrilled to have dived with sea turtles, giant manta rays, blue ribbon eels, pygmy sea horses, whale sharks and has even lived to tell a tale of lying next to leopard sharks.

Cosmin Ovesia, Divemaster

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Stefanie Foerch, Divemaster

Stef caught the “dive bug” after her friends spent a year trying to convince her to sign up for a PADI Open Water course in London, UK. Following that, she continued most of her training, including her Divemaster, in balmy UK waters (if only!) and as such her drysuit is usually her best friend.

Before moving to Toronto, she assisted as DM on PADI courses in the UK and travelled to explore the wrecks and reefs of the Red Sea, Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Her introduction to Ontario scuba diving was in the summer of 2013, when she not only discovered the beautiful diving sites of Tobermory but also got to know the Toronto Scuba Centre and its great group of instructors, DMs and DMT.

Stef dislikes flooded dry suits, free-flows and irresponsible divers; she likes frog kicking, comfy women’s BCDs and unusual dive spots (even in the cold and/or zero vis).

As a DM, Stef loves passing on her passion for scuba diving and seeing the joy of someone taking their first breath underwater.

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Yan Laporte, Divemaster in Training

yanYan started scuba diving in 2011 while on a month trip to Thailand. Having some time to spare, he took the Padi Open Water certification in Koh Tao, the scuba mecca of south east Asia.

He was always fascinated by the astounding variety of marine life and the multitude of environment in which they thrived. But to see it for himself, interacting with curious fish, breathing underwater, that feeling of weightlessness; from that moment on, he was hooked! This is a sport he always dreamed of trying, and now, he’s doing it!

Back in Toronto, all he could think about was his next dive. So until he was able to scuba in tropical waters again, he signed up for a fun-dive weekend with The Toronto Scuba Centre during the summer of the same year. Yan then decided to gain more knowledge and experience by moving to the next level of certification.

He completed the Padi Open Water Advance course with TSC in the summer of 2012 and then enrolled in the rescue course in 2013. He is now learning and mastering all the skills necessary to move up to the next level and become a PADI Divemaster.

Between the reefs of Thailand, the majestic Cenotes of Mexico, and the calm waters around Isla De La Juventud(Cuba) Yan also enjoys the challenge in diving the fresh waters of the St-Lawrence river. Every summer since he started diving, he joins The Toronto Scuba Centre for a full weekend adventure diving shipwrecks and drift diving. Each of the wrecks found there are amazing, but if he had to pick one, it would be the combined shipwreck and drift dive on the Lillie Parsons. The fast currents literally transport you effortlessly over a long distance and make you feel like you are flying like a superhero… Yan’s secret destiny!!

Yan is working hard to develop his scuba diving career and become a PADI professional. He wants to continue to share his passion and his stories of Scuba with new diving students and teach everyone the importance of respecting the fragility of this amazing ecosystem.

Steven Pedlow, Divemaster in Training

Steven first tried diving in 2002 while on vacation in the beautiful Canary Islands. Once back in Ireland (and mesmerized by SCUBA), Steven completed his Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver PADI courses. Since then he has been diving off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, in Bermuda, Grand Cayman, and even in the “cool” waters of Canada’s own Tobermory. Steven has a real passion for all things related to diving and is keen to pass on this enthusiasm by assisting in the training of new divers.

Jason Dykstra, Divemaster in Training

Jason completed his open water course in 1994 and has been enjoying recreational diving since in places like Hawaii, Turks and Caicos, Cozumel, Cayman Islands and others.  In the last year he has completed his Advanced course, Rescue course, and First Aid course with TSC and is in the process of completing the Divemaster course now.  Jason is excited to hit some bucket list trips with TSC in the years ahead to places like Indonesia, Fiji, Egypt.

To learn more about diving, contact us.