Newcomers to Canada: Connecting with your community
Your first months in Canada can be full of change. Exploring your new community and getting involved can help you meet people and feel at home. Many groups, communities and organizations in Canada can help you start making these connections. On this page, we’ve collected some resources to help you get started.
On this page
- Settlement service providers
- Community centres, recreation centres and libraries
- Sports teams, associations and social clubs
- Places of worship
- Your neighbourhood
- Your child’s school
Settlement service providers
Settlement service providers are great places to meet other people. They offer a wide variety of programs, training and activities you can take part in. They also provide free services that can help you adjust to your new life.
Canada Connects matches you and your family with Canadian citizens or longtime community members. The volunteer you’re matched with will
- meet with you on a regular basis (online or in-person)
- help you understand how your new community works
- offer guidance to support your settlement process
You can find out more about Canada Connects or similar programming from your local settlement services provider.
Find newcomer services near you
Community centres, recreation centres and libraries
Most neighborhoods have community centres, recreation centres and libraries nearby that offer activities and services for the whole family, including
- swimming lessons, fitness and dance classes
- recreation, storytelling and music for kids
- e-book and computer tutorials
- public computers and internet access
- books, CDs and DVDs to borrow
- conversation circles to learn English or French
This is a great way to meet people in your community with the same interests as you.
Check out the website of your city or town to find out more about activities offered at your local library, and community or recreation centres.
Sports teams, associations and social clubs
Playing sports is another good way to meet people of all ages. In most cities and towns, there are organized sports leagues at different skill and age levels, including
- flag football and dodgeball
- basketball, soccer and softball
- ball or rink floor hockey
- badminton and ping pong
- ultimate frisbee
- dragon boat
Joining associations and social clubs help people with common interests get together. There are many different types of associations and social clubs, including
- neighbourhood groups
- cultural clubs
- book clubs
- game clubs
- music, arts or dance clubs
To find sports teams, associations and clubs in your area
- search online or on social media
- look in the community section of your local newspaper
- call or visit your local community or recreation centre
- contact your City Hall
Places of worship
A place of worship is a great place for you to find support during your transition to life in Canada. They often provide social services to people in need and help newcomers settle in their community. You can meet people who
- know where to find food that meets your religious dietary needs
- speak your native language
- share your culture and traditions
Introduce yourself to your neighbours at
- neighbourhood events (for example, block parties and yard sales)
- local parks
- community gardens
Some neighborhoods even have their own social media groups you can join to keep in touch and learn about events in your community.
Your child’s school
Getting involved with your child’s school and school board is an excellent way to become part of a school community. Settlement workers are also available in many schools to offer services for the whole family.
Take a look at the website of your child’s school and attend parent meetings to find ways to get involved.
Volunteering your time is also an excellent way to
- meet people
- contribute to your community
- gain Canadian work experience and volunteer hours
You can volunteer in different ways at many places, including
- community centres
- charitable organizations
- hospitals and retirement homes
- settlement service providers
Volunteer Canada has more information about volunteering. You can also ask a local service provider for advice.
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