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Founder and President
Meet Carlos Tomas
to teaching manual shift driving.
Carlos Tomas, president of Shifters, started the school in 1987, long before the internet he had a reputation for outstanding driving skills and teaching. Carlos isn’t just your run-of-the-mill driving instructor.
A passion for manual transmission cars.
With extensive racetrack and skid pad experience Carlos has taught at George Brown College, Ontario Safety League and Young Drivers of Canada. In addition, he designed and judged the on-road segment of the Wheels/Bridgestone Ontario Driver of the Year Challenge, a high-profile driving contest held between 1990 and 1995 organized by The Toronto Star.
Shifters is Canada’s first school
devoted exclusively to teaching manual shift driving.
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In his own words
teaching, not just…opinions…
Be it concept or experience, everything we hold to be true boils down to opinion.
Pertaining to manual transmission driving the base of opinions is very broad, and some of these opinions help fuel the body shops, engine and transmission rebuilders, and auto wreckers of the auto repair industry.
Before founding Shifters I had to distinguish fact from fiction.
I approached authorized car dealer service departments, independent garages and transmission repair shops to find what the most common avoidable repairs to the powertrain, that they performed.
And more importantly, how the driver could have prevented these repairs.
The most amazing find was the commonality of the repair types, and the technicians’ agreement on the common-sense prevention advice.
I did similar research in both the high-performance end of training, both on the skid pad and on the track, as well as in the realm of road safety and defensive driving strategies. I combed through several text books used throughout North America’s Driver Ed curriculums, including 3 advanced Driver Manuals from the UK, including Patrick Bedard’s eye-opening “Expert Driving”, looking for the best recommended manual shift driving practises.
I’d already been teaching for for 10 years prior to that, I learned more than a few things, learning so much in that time myself.
Based on these recommendations I structured the content for all of the Shifters Training Programs, and yes, they are based on opinions…but opinions, based on facts.
Respected & Endorsed
We work with companies
to provide information and driving skills.
We’re proudly recognized by these outstanding businesses and organizations…
- AGINCOURT VOLKSWAGEN
- ALL STAR DRIVING SCHOOL
- AMB DRIVING SCHOOL
- BMW AUTOHAUS
- CANADIAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION
- CBC TELEVISION
- CTV TELEVISION
- DON VALLEY VOLKSWAGEN
- DOWNTOWN ACURA
- DOWNTOWN MAZDA
- EASY DRIVING SCHOOL
- GE CAPITAL NEWS
- HONDA DOWNTOWN
- MARINELLO MOTORS
- MAZDA OF BRAMPTON
- ONTARIO MARCH OF DIMES
- PIERRE SAVOY
- QUEENSWAY VOLKSWAGEN
- READY HONDA
- ROADSPORT HONDA
- THE SKID CONTROL SCHOOL
- YORKDALE DUFFERIN MAZDA
- YOUNG DRIVERS OF CANADA
Learn how and when to use the clutch.
Save money on car rentals when you know how to drive a manual shift transmission.
What makes this driving school different?
What also separates Carlos’ driving school from the rest is his insistence that his students learn how to handle emergency driving situations. Because, as far as Tomas is concerned, road safety cannot be overestimated. He arrived at this conclusion while instructing physically challenged drivers at the Bloorview Macmillan Rehabilitation Center, where any of his students had become seriously disabled as a result of making one single driving error.
For decades, thousands have grown to appreciate Tomas’ school for what it is—truly unique. Many have literally come from all over the globe to receive instruction.
Here’s what others say…
Views and opinions from past clients and associates.
“Carlos Tomas doesn’t run just any driving school…. The man knows what he’s talking about”
Bill Taylor – The Toronto Star
“If your driver training stopped when you got your license, you’re missing out … Shifters is in a separate class from BDE courses, a specialty program teaching a specific skill using specific techniques.”
Nicholas Maronese – Auto Focus, Back to basics: Driver training 101
“I had almost exhausted all possibilities when I saw a school called shifters.ca (www.shifters.ca) Aha! That was it. I mean, clearly, why pay to learn to drive a truck if you’re not also going to learn to shift?”
Nancy Irwin – Canadian Biker Magazine
“I ordered the Mini Cooper in April, signed up for the lessons, and by the time the car was delivered in May, I was completely ready to go. It was worth every penny.”
Carla Arnold – Ticketing Operations for CanStage
Ready to start shifting? Choose the option that works with your schedule.