The 16th Week

Information Centres for New Immigrants

What information centres offer new immigrants
The Department of Immigration Canada believes that lack of information is the main problem for new immigrants. The Government has therefore decided to open special information centres for immigrants where newcomers can learn everything they need for successful adaptation to the new country.
The purposes of information centres are to provide newcomers with the most recent and accurate information about the addresses of government and public organizations serving immigrants in their communities, to give information about government and community programs that help new Canadians, to provide the addresses of schools where immigrants can learn English and their children can study, to provide information about Canadian family and labour law and to give advice about the possible forms of financial assistance available to immigrants, and more. You will also be informed about where and how you can protect your rights and obtain free legal assistance and get interpreter.

Lectures and seminars
In the Toronto information centres lectures are often conducted on such topics as:
•Your First Days in Toronto.
•You Have Just Arrived.
•Newcomers & Income Tax.
•Ontario Education System for Students.
•Ontario Education System for Parents.
•Evaluation of Foreign Credentials.
•Your Financial Rights.
•Welcome to Toronto.
•Canada: a Nation.
•Canadian Culture and Traditions.
•Your Road to Employment.
•Your Legal Rights at Work.
•Parents and Law.
•Family Life in Canada.
•Housing Information and Services.
•Canadian Workplace Culture.

Can you get advice in your language?
Lectures are usually accompanied by presentations on the screen, made by the Power Point computer program; all participants get printed booklets on the subject and often they are offered coffee and biscuits.
Arriving at the lecture, you will be able to ask questions and if necessary, arrange for an individual consultation with an employee of the centre who speaks your language. You can get help to make your adaptation plan and where necessary, you will get a mentor.

How to find the closest information centre
The YMCA agency supervises seven information centres in the Toronto area. The main one is located at the following address: YMCA Newcomer Information centre, 20 Grosvenor St. тел. 416-975-9622. Another information centre is located in North York at 4580 Dufferin Street, (Dufferin & Finch) tel. 416-635-9622. Other addresses you can find at
Each centre has a library with brochures on various aspects of life in Canada and also computers with Internet access, printers, fax machines, copiers and other office equipment. To visit the centre, you are not required to make an appointment in advance. Trained counselors will answer all your questions and recommend a suitable program.
Centres for Education and Training
In Ontario, there are also the Centres for Education and Training. They are located in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville and their addresses are listed on the site: Their services include provision of information necessary to immigrants, evaluation of the English language level, employment assistance, a café for women and youth meetings.

How to overcome the cultural differences between immigrants
The agency CultureLink located in Toronto at 2340 Dundas Street West, Suite 301, phone 416-588-6288, has opened an information centre and offers help to overcome cultural differences between the various ethnic groups of immigrants. It also helps newcomers in settling and integrating into Canadian society. As well, the agency has opened a youth centre for immigrants. Here, people aged 14 to 24 years old can attend seminars and consult with experts on employment, enroll in courses in English and communicate with other youth.