7. Where can I meet with Canadians?
In fact the new immigrants badly need support and advice from people who have been living in Canada for a long time. If you want to learn faster and to establish friendly relations with native Canadians refer to the HOST Program. You will be introduced to local individuals or a Canadian family, who are usually volunteers living nearby with whom you can meet by appointment each one or two weeks in the period from 4 months to a year.
There is also the Mentoring Program. Mentors from this program will help you to understand the Canadian labour market. Approximate duration of the mentoring program is four months, six hours each month. Place and days of meetings you can negotiate with your own mentor. You will be able to communicate in person, by phone or via e-mail. The consultant of Newcomer Information Centres will give you addresses of organizations serving immigrants with these programs. If you have a hobby, contact with Canadians with the same interests. For example, if you are an avid fisherman or you collect stamps, contact a society of fishermen or philatelists. See Toronto Directory Hobbies & Crafts www.toronto.net/Hobbies_and_Crafts.html.
8. Where can I meet with colleagues in my profession?
In Canada, there are many professional associations, where you can find professional colleagues. Apply for membership and participate in meetings to discuss new technologies, get advice on licensing matters and employment. Toronto hosts an annual Internationally Educated Professionals Conference, where hundreds of immigrants attend and they arrange special breaks for communication. Another good place to get acquainted with professional colleagues is the Sector Councils, which unite representatives from business, labour, education and other professional groups. They provide a practical perspective on a wide range of issues related to technological change, quality standards, planning, and human resource development.
Source: www.newcomersuccess.ca (search for Sector Councils).
9. Where can I meet with people who are running a small business?
If you decide to open a business in Canada and want to meet people who already have experience in this area, visit the centers which manage a small business. These centers always have fresh information, brochures and booklets on small business and duty advisors, who will answer your questions. You can also make useful contacts in lectures and seminars for small businesses, which are regularly held in the centers, which are in all major cities of Canada and Ontario. Their addresses can be found at www.ontario.ca/business-and-economy/small-business-enterprise-centre-locations. For businessmen who want to communicate, exchange ideas and get helpful tips, there is a website www.meetup.com/Newcomer-Entrepreneurs-Network.
10. Where can I meet with other job hunters?
If you are looking for a job, you're not alone. In Canada, there are organizations that help people find a job. The most common in Toronto are Employment Recourse Centres (ERC). Visit www.211Toronto.ca then click "Employment, education and training", and "Employment Resource Centres". You will receive a few dozen addresses of such centers in Toronto with an indication of the areas where they are located, their phones and lists of services. There are also specialized ERC, which help in finding employment for youth, women, the elderly and the disabled. In the Employment Resource Centre you can sign up for the Job Finding Club (JFC) or Assisted Job Search Program (AJSP). The latter program is made specifically for immigrants. Attend job fairs, which you can find online by keywords The Toronto Employment Directory. There you also can be acquainted with job hunters to help each other through difficult times.
11. Where can I meet with people from my social group?
In Canada, there are many organizations which represent different social groups. Men can meet in sport clubs; women can make friends in a number of women's organizations, such as "Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto". There are websites for young immigrants www.newyouth.ca, with information about opportunities to study, work and spend leisure time for young people. Seniors can learn about their opportunities in the Province of Ontario’s online Guide to programs and services for seniors in Ontario. Parents with children can meet in libraries, where there is always a program for children and adolescents. Your children can play with other children, listen to interesting stories, choose a desired book and even get assistance in preparing school homework. Look online for your social group and you will find a lot of options to contact representatives of your social group.
12. How can I find my religious group?
Freedom of religion is a fundamental right of Canadians that is written in the Canadian Bill of Rights. There are a large number of different religious groups in Canada and you can easily find your one. Walking through the streets of Toronto, you can find hundreds of religious sites. Although it is believed that in Canada government is separated from religion, but there are Catholic public schools, which are financed by government, because the most faithful Canadians are Catholics. Religious communities are friendly to newcomers and help them adapt to the country, so religious centers for the faithful immigrants are a good place for meeting and dating people of the same faith. Go to http://english.inmylanguage.org, click Daily life, My community and Where can I find information about places of worship?
(To be continued)