Tom returned to Canada in 1905, moved to Toronto and found work in the photo engraving business. In 1908, he joined The Grip Limited, where he would meet future members of the Group of Seven. His good fortune in finding colleagues who were committed painters, passionate to experiment with new painting styles, was augmented when a patron in the form of Dr. James MacCallum discovered him. Tom was encouraged to leave commercial work and go north to paint by the doctor who paid for his expensive supplies. When he returned to the city in the cold winter months, Tom worked from his small sketches to paint the large colourful canvasses that mark his career.