Welcome Group Links and Resources for Remote Social Support
Together Project is proceeding with our Welcome Group program via remote volunteer on-boarding, training and matching support. In keeping with physical distancing requirements, we are asking our Welcome Group volunteers to avoid in-person interactions with their matched newcomer households until further notice.
Now more than ever, we believe that access to social connections is critical for vulnerable newcomers. We suggest that volunteers check in with matched refugee households more frequently, not less. You may want to call or send a WhatsApp message to your matched household every few days. It is important to ask questions, share information and be responsive to concerns. Together Project staff are here to help you so please reach out for guidance.
Newcomer Kitchen Program
“Willing to Work” Women’s Food Business Training Program. A 12 week (2 full days a week) program learning ways to start a small food business. Activities may include making take-out meals, developing a produce for sale at a farmers market, creating gift baskets, hosting cooking classes, or catering for a party. Program includes classes and also real experiences making and selling food. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Start dates: July 27th, October 7th and January 4th 2022
Minimum Requirements: Newcomer to Canada (under 5 years), English minimum level: Canadian Benchmark Level 4, must have PR status.
Queer Refugee Hearings Program (QRHP) Toolkit
The QRHP Toolkit aims to assist individuals claiming refugee protection based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and/or sex characteristics (SOGIESC) by:
QRHP Toolkit also includes its questionnaire, containing over 300 questions to address claimants’ understanding of same-gender and opposite-gender relationships, and circumstances leading them to leave their countries, among other topics.
The QRHP Toolkit is free and available in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.
Virtual Arts and Crafts Classes for Kids
For children between 6-13 years old, arts and crafts classes are available every Thursday with us by contacting 416-261-4901 ext. 3221 OR email@example.com
New IRCC Newcomer Settlement Portal
Newcomer services can help. Want to learn more about your community? Daily life in Canada? How to get around? Free information and orientation sessions can help newcomers integrate in Canada.
You can get help with
• daily tasks such as finding housing, filling out forms or submitting applications
• finding work
• learning English or French
Visit Canada.ca/newcomer-services to learn more about these and other services.
Youth Change Makers
Over the course of eight weeks and with the support of the Youth Group Lead and other participants in the program, youth will be equipped with tools, skills, knowledge and understanding to be the change they wish to see. They will also have the opportunity to directly apply what they have learned by being mentored in the planning and creation of their own social impact project.
They will develop skills such as leadership, planning, communications, networking and many more. They will also have the opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded youth from Ontario as well as attend regular meet-ups with expert guests.
Complimentary PRESTO Card Initiative
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Toronto Public Library are providing complimentary PRESTO cards to people who do not yet have one or may face challenges in purchasing one. Cards are available at select Toronto Public Library branches, while quantities last. Learn more here: Complimentary PRESTO Card Initiative.
Homework Help Program
A virtual drop-in program offering personalized homework support for all students between JK and Grade 7. This program is designed specifically for children currently attending virtual school who require some extra support with their subjects in a small-scale environment. Online via Zoom, please note you must register in order to receive the Zoom password. Monday to Friday, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. (students may drop-in at any time). To register and receive Zoom password: Please email Tyheriah at firstname.lastname@example.org
Culture Link Virtual Language Circles
CultureLink provides newcomers with a safe learning environment, along with mentors to help practice English. This is free program for conventional refugees and is offered for different levels and at a variety of times in the week. Learn more here.
Learning English With Online Games
This is a list of websites that offer games for newcomers to practice English, these are especially great for children/youth learning English:
Free Fitness Weekly Fitness Classes for Newcomers
Cultural Link invites newcomers to join them for physical activities to simulate their mind and body and a chance to break the isolation and socialize online. Come along and meet your community working toward physical fitness.
Fitness is facilitated by an occupational therapist, Laya, with over 10 years experience in the field. For more information on how to register, please check out this flyer.
Access Alliance Youth Mental Health Mondays
Access Alliance is providing weekly online mental health promotion through instructed crafts, guest talks and activities. Join the program by following @accessallianceyouth on Instagram on Mondays at 3pm to 4pm.
EarlyON Drop-In Program
This is a free virtual online program where parents and caregivers with children 0-6 years of age can join in together to enjoy 60 minutes of fun-filled exiting activities such as singing songs and rhymes, show and tell, creative and sensory play, and story time. Email email@example.com to register.
Access Alliance Seniors Cardio Interval Training Weekly Classes
In this exercise class, you will incorporate body weight movements in set intervals to promote cardio respiratory fitness. Dance to old classics or recent hits in a continuous and rhythmic manner. Classes are taught online and facilitated by a Registered Kinesiologist. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Register for COSTI Employment Services information sessions and learn about their services, how they can help you with job search and to market yourself during this challenging time. Program calendar.
Ready For My Refugee Hearing aims to empower every person seeking refugee protection in Canada to be as prepared as possible for their refugee hearing. It brings together two successful programs aimed at achieving this mission: The Preparation Guide and READY Tours.
Considering recent developments related to COVID-19, the FCJ Refugee Centre is providing Virtual Orientation Sessions for claimants to prepare for their hearings. For registrations please contact Carolina Teves at email@example.com
Available in 9 languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Turkish, and Sorani Kurdish.
Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS)
The first few years in Canada can be difficult and particularly challenging to navigate the Canadian education system. The Settlement Education Partnership in Toronto (SEPT) is a partnership between Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), (TDSB) and (TCDSB). SEPT provides a program called Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) and CultureLink is one of the agencies that provides services in the south-west area of Toronto.
SWIS Program workers support newcomer families in accessing free government and community resources in the area, including; English language, employment and immigration support, children, youth, and senior services. Families and youth work with CultureLink Staff to create group sessions for newcomers! SWIS are located in over 40 schools in Toronto and CultureLink delivers SWIS in Cluster 5 as a part of Settlement and Education Partnerships in Toronto (SEPT).
For more information please contact: Shelina Rangwala, SWIS Worker Program Tel. 416 588 6288 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As kids gear up to head back to school, Kids at Home has something for all interests! Craft your own back to school supplies or enjoy a new take on space with creative art projects. Discover a new favourite story with Unite for Literacy’s collection of narrated storybooks. Learn how to practice self-care in turbulent times with a month-long calendar.
YMCA Fitness and Fun Classes
60 free online workout classes & free online programs for kids. Here: https://ymca360.org
This website lists helpful information, resources, workshops and programs for newcomer parents, children and youth.
A Child Care Fee Subsidy helps a family with the cost of licensed child care. There is a waitlist, so apply as soon as possible. You can apply for a fee subsidy as soon as you know you are pregnant or expecting a child through adoption.
BounceBack is a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.
What’s Up Walk-in Clinics
Immediate mental health counselling for children, youth, young adults and their families, and families with infants is available at the What’s Up Walk-In®Clinic. Counselling sessions are available by phone & video.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9AM – 7PM.
To access, call Mental Health T.O. at 1-866-585-MHTO (6486) to be connected to a counsellor. www.whatsupwalkin.ca/
Fair Pass Discount Program applications
The City of Toronto resumed accepting new applications for the Fair Pass Discount Program since Monday, December 21. Residents can confirm their eligibility and apply for the Fair Pass Program online at www.toronto.ca/transitdiscount or over the phone by calling 416-338-8888.
This new portal organizes tenant information in one place. Tenants, advocates and service providers can access the portal to learn about tenant rights and responsibilities, how to fight an eviction, City rental assistance and eviction prevention programs, the RentSafeTO program, accessing emergency housing and more. The portal can be accessed at: www.toronto.ca/renterhelp
The classes are Monday to Thursday 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM and on Friday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM for women only. During COVID-19, we’re offering our services virtually. If you have questions, contact: email@example.com
The 519 Frozen Meal Program
The 519 has been offering weekly frozen meal pick-ups to their community members. For families with small children this means you can get frozen meals for each member of your family, including purees and child friendly meals.
Family meal pick-ups will happen on Thursday between 9AM and 5PM.
You can sign-up in 3 ways:
1) Send an email to Meals@The519.org and The 519 will send you the link to the registration form
2) Go directly to the on-line registration
3) Ask our EarlyON staff for a paper copy of the form
Please check this flyer for the meal preparation instructions.
Food Assets Map
A map created by Food Security Team at Agincourt Community Service. Up to date information on food banks, free/low cost meals, delivery services, and supermarkets. Access map here.
The People’s Pantry
A grassroots initiative providing home-cooked meals or grocery bundles to families and individuals in the GTA who are struggling financially due to COVID. Meals or groceries delivered 100% free of charge. More information: Here.
Free meals, no questions asked, delivered to one’s home. Use promo code Free to get a free meal at checkout. Go to Mom’s Kitchen TO and click “order now.”
Afri-Can Food Basket
Individuals and families within the African, Caribbean, Black community in Toronto who need help getting food because of COVID. Complete the form: Here. More info: https://blackfoodtoronto.com/
Free Grocery Delivery by Volunteers
Good Neighbour Project (www.goodneighbourproject.com/) – 647-873-2230
Friendly Neighbour Hotline: (http://uhnopenlab.ca/project/hotline/) – 1-855-581-9580
The Ministry of Education is providing financial support to parents to assist with the costs of educational resources during school and child care closures as a result of Ontario’s declared emergency to stop the spread of COVID-19.
This page offers a list of resources which can be used to help minimize those impacts and help get Toronto residents back on their feet.
Ontario Works provides money for food, shelter and other costs to people in financial need who meet the eligibility criteria. Applications for Ontario Works financial assistance is available online and by phone 416-338-8888.
If you have a disability and need help with your living expenses, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). If you are not already receiving support from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, you can apply for emergency assistance online.
Learn about the temporary changes to residential rental processes, and where landlords and tenants can get more help. In response to the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, no new eviction orders will be issued until further notice.
Information on economic support to individuals, families and businesses during COVID-19.
Canada is are providing up to an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20.
Those who have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
A list of all city services impacted by the state of emergency in Toronto.
New food access supports and resources are available for seniors and other vulnerable people experiencing hardship related to COVID-19.
Ontario is waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage.
This tool has up-to-date service listings across Toronto, including ‘open’ Food Services and agencies. Additional layers and details are being updated daily by 211 Toronto and the City of Toronto.
Learn about the help you can get to raise your income or lower your expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This page answers questions about the Canada Child Benefit, Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and family sponsorship in 10 languages.
The City of Toronto has introduced a chatbot to help residents and businesses with common COVID-19 questions.
Answer questions to get a customized list of benefits for which you may be eligible. The Benefits Finder may suggest benefits from federal, provincial or territorial governments, and does not collect or track your information. The more questions you answer, the more customized your results will be.
Rent relief is available to low-income households who are in rental arrears or need to move to more suitable housing. The Toronto Rent Bank Program, funded by the City of Toronto provides interest-free loans to cover rental arrears and rental deposits.
This Anti-Black Racism Analysis Tool for a Radically Equitable COVID-19 Response was developed by the City of Toronto Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit to ensure municipal services, spaces and policies are fully inclusive and accessible to Black Torontonians.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the social, economic and health crisis in Toronto’s Black communities, the Anti-Black Racism Analysis Tool has been adapted to serve as a resource for governments and community organizations that are committed to making their services, planning, practices and programs more responsive to the unique and specific experiences of Black communities.
Students are learning at home — remote learning — because of COVID-19. Learning will take on a variety of forms and may include online learning, phone connections, assignments submitted by email, online classrooms, off-line tasks and more.
This page answers questions about student’s assessments, schedule and access to Wifi and devices.
This guide for students can help them understand their rights and expectations during remote learning. Some of the language and questions are for older students, but parents, and younger students can find the information helpful as well. There is also some resources for food, mental health and legal supports.
All students attending virtual e-learning will use Brightspace a learning management system provided to all Ontario school districts by the Ministry of Education. For information about how to login and technical support go here:
The YMCA Newcomer Information Centre is now extending its services online. They offer One-on-One Live Chats providing customized settlement plans. Information and Referrals on Government Benefits, Immigration and Citizenship, Employment, Education and Training, Credential Assessment, Language Training, Health, Housing and much more. Various in-house and guest-speaker Webinars covering topics of Life in Canada, Study in Canada, and Work in Canada. Virtual Community Connection activities to networking and practice language skills. An Online Forum to post questions and get professional answers from our team of specialists.
Employment related programs and services all listed under one roof. An initiative of Toronto West LIP employment resource connections action group.
The Employment and Settlement teams at Newcomer Women’s Services offer regular webinars. They’re free—and in the case of the employment webinars—they’re open to everyone. Settlement webinars are open to permanent residents, convention refugees, naturalized Canadian Citizens, refugee claimants, international students, temporary foreign workers, and approved Ontario provincial nominees. Topics include: housing, resume building, interview prep, and personal finances. Look at their schedule here.
For seniors to meet people and engage in activities weekly on Wednesdays from 11:30am to 1:00pm. Activities include are education, cards and games, yoga, special events and more. Call 905-403-8860 ext. 5231 to register or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tech Lending Lifeline – digital device and wrap around services for youth and older workers on OW
People without a tech device and internet access during the COVD-19 pandemic have suffered from disconnection from family and friends, employment, services and more. Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) responded by offering WoodGreen funding to acquire digital tablets and internet plus life stabilization services.
Please ask clients to contact their OW Case Worker to get involved with this program. If you have questions, please contact Brent Grimard at (416) 645-6000 ext. 1923 or email@example.com.
Use this search engine to find available work, training, upgrading, and apprenticeship opportunities. Please note that Ontario Works will cover the costs of certain training programs but typically will only pay for one program.
This questionnaire is designed to help assess your risk factors for COVID-19 infection and to provide guidance on how to keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy.
A number of dedicated assessment centres have been established across Toronto to facilitate assessment and testing.
Cover Health is providing virtual care services to anyone in Ontario. They can serve most needs of patients all from the comfort of your home.
Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Clients can self-refer to programs and find the appropriate supports needed to help cope with the stress, isolation and anxiety. Online iCBT (Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is supported by therapists and available in English and French.
This is a network of community members that are willing assist with delivering supplies and groceries to healthcare workers, those with disabilities, compromised immune systems, accessibility barriers, and the elderly, across the GTA.
A page for older adults and people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems.
The following are options for accessing free or low cost Internet in Toronto.
Rogers Communications Expands Connected for Success Program
Rogers Communications announced it is expanding eligibility for its Connected for Success program to help bridge the digital divide for more Ontarians. The high-speed, low-cost Internet program is now expanding to new qualifying customers receiving income support through Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), and for senior Ontarians receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). It is available everywhere in Ontario that Rogers offers Internet service.
Eligible customers can apply through the Connected for Success website and they must provide verification that they are receiving government financial assistance under one of the five qualifying programs.
Anyone in Toronto with a valid email address can go to a Wireless Toronto location – see map. Use your device to connect to the network called wirelesstoronto.
Free Internet Hotspots In Public Spaces
Anyone in Toronto can connect to free internet hotspots at specific locations around the city.
SHAW: Dundas & Victoria Street (northwest corner) – Shaw Go network – no login
BELL: Indigo, McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s – can use even if they are closed
TELUS: Toronto Coach Terminal, 610 Bay Street
Find supplementary resources for elementary and secondary students to practice math and literacy skills and learn at home.
With kids at home and parents looking for educational activities, many of our favorite authors are offering online read-alouds and activities on social media.
Right now, kids everywhere can instantly stream a collection of stories, including titles across six different languages on Audible for free.
The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing that has come about due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Daily projects by grade level to keep kids busy, reading, thinking and learning.
BrainPop is a group of educational websites with over 1,000 short animated movies for students in grades K-12, together with quizzes and related materials, covering the subjects of science, social studies, English, math, engineering and technology, health, and arts and music.
Tynker is an educational programming platform aimed at teaching children how to make games and programs.
8000+ video chat classes for K-12 science, art, mindfulness, english, social studies, life skills, and more!
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Classes in math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.
Explore live radio by rotating a 3D globe.
14 international museums providing virtual tours right now.
Explore images and videos from space missions over the years.
Easy-to-use library with hundreds of practical eBooks on soft skills and personal development. Free for students.
Watch free television and movies in Arabic.
64 free courses available on topics including business, health, programming, humanities, religion, and science.
Free, high-quality recreation, active living, arts and culture activities for all ages to enjoy while staying, playing, and learning at home. Sort by audience for different target age groups – many activities are for everyone.
Arts@Home brings Toronto’s arts sector together for you—delivered straight to your home. Many of Toronto’s leading arts organizations are reaching beyond traditional practice to come together and freely share digital content that bring the arts home for you.
Over 100 free live K-12 classes available all day long intended to help parents fill their children’s day with enriched learning. Some popular classes are “Intro to Spanish for Kids”, “Coolest Women in History”, “Java Programming Basics”, and “The Story of Your Favourite Fairy Tales”.
This sewing and knitting program helps newcomers build a community and feel at home. Every Wednesday from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Register by calling 9054038860 ext. 5231 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join weekly yoga every Thursday 1pm to 2:30pm. The sessions work on improving balance and flexibility, relax, reenergize, stay active and make friends. Join by emailing email@example.com or calling 416-261-4901 ext. 3230
These resources from the Toronto Public Library can help newcomers practice English. A library card is needed to access all these resources. If you do not have a library card, you can sign up online for an Instant Digital Card here.
Engoo – Language Practice Materials
Plenty of language practice resources are available on this site, free to use and grouped by category and language level. Feel free to use these materials for language learning practice sessions with newcomers. https://engoo.com/app/materials/en
Learning English With Online Games
This is a list of websites that offer games for newcomers to practice English, these are especially great for children/youth learning English:
Below you can find the Registration link for the first English Class we are organizing for anyone who is interested in learning English .
This is a page dedicated to providing as many multilingual resources related to COVID-19 as possible. Users can access a range of information in 50 languages (and counting)