Originally from Amsterdam, Holland, Ted immigrated to Canada with his life-partner Jan Holmberg in 1977. After establishing the Scanwich restaurant, catering to business executives in downtown Vancouver they sold the business to their staff and moved to Whistler in 1979. Ted and Jan opened a variety of retail stores in Whistler Village including Gourmet Bakery and Fine Foods, Forget Me Nots, Chef and Baker, Whistler Tops, Ruggers, Berg & Berg and Mucho Macho. Ted began his political career in 1986 when he was elected to Whistler council in 1986, he was re-elected as councilor in 1988 and in 1990 he was elected mayor. He was reelected as mayor in 1993. After ten years in Municipal politics Ted moved on to provincial politics and was elected as the Liberal MLA for West Vancouver-Garibaldi in 1996. Ted was reelected in 2001 and served as Minister of State for Community Charter and Minister of State for the 2010 Winter Olympics. He was part of the delegation in Prague in July 2004 when the 2010 Winter Olympics were awarded to Vancouver and Whistler.
On November 15, 2003 Ted and Jan were married , a few months after same-sex marriage was legalized in BC. At that time, Ted was one of the most senior politicians in the world in a same-sex marriage. It didn't last long, a day later a cabinet shuffle left Ted without a portfolio. Both Ted and the Government stated that the timing was coincidental.
Ted left provincial politics in May 2005. He launched a third bid for mayor in August 2005, but the campaign was unsuccessful.
Ted passed away on 28 Oct 2009.