After You Arrive
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311 provides residents, businesses and visitors with easy access to non-emergency City services, programs and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 311 can offer assistance in more than 180 languages.
- Call 311 to access services
- Learn more about 311
InMyLanguage.org provides information for newcomers in more than 30 languages.
There are two vitally important documents that all newcomers to Canada must obtain: a health card and a Social Insurance Number.
A Health Card is required to use provincial healthcare services covered by OHIP, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. All Canadian residents are covered for major medical and hospital costs by provincial health insurance programs.
A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. A SIN is issued by the federal government to one person only and cannot legally be used by anyone else.
The City of Toronto provides services to residents regardless of their immigration status, with some exceptions.
City staff must protect the confidentiality of the information belonging to residents who are seeking City services that they are entitled to receive. A person’s immigration status is confidential information. Learn how the City protects your privacy.
When you apply for or use City services, Toronto employees will not ask about immigration status unless it is required by law. Your status will not be reported to anyone except in the few circumstances where it is required by law.
- Access to child care subsidies requires a T4 tax form. No one will ask for immigration information.
- Access to long-term care homes and services such as Homemakers and Nurses Services requires an Ontario Health Card (OHIP). No one will ask for immigration information.
Services Available Only to Residents with Immigration Status
Settlement workers are available at City Hall (100 Queen Street West, main floor rotunda) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, to assist newcomers with the following free and confidential services:
- Accessing interpretation or translation assistance
- Help finding training and career building opportunities
- Information and referral to other community services, schools, and health care
Drop by or call 416-338-0688 to book an appointment.
You can also meet with settlement workers at Newcomer Services Kiosks across the city:
176 Elm St., Main Floor
Every Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Every Wednesday: 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Cliffcrest Employment Services
2985 Kingston Road
Every Monday & Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Lawrence Square Employment & Social Services
700 Lawrence Ave. West, East Tower Entrance,
Suite 330, 3rd Floor
Every Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lesmill Employment & Social Services
20 Lesmill Road
Every Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
York Humber Employment & Social Services
605 Rogers Road
Every Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Learn about other settlement worker programs.
There are free health services available to you and your family from the City of Toronto no matter how long you have been in Canada.
Find out about financial help to pay for health and medical related expenses like dental care, assistive devices and eye care.
There are some professions where you need to be registered or certified in order to work in Toronto or Ontario. This is especially true for professions where you must show proof of experience or aptitude, such as medicine, accounting, engineering, teaching and nursing.
The Province of Ontario’s Office of the Fairness Commissioner ensures the credentials of internationally trained professionals are evaluated fairly and transparently.
Many immigrants arrive in Toronto with plans to attend schools, universities or colleges. If possible, please bring your high school and post secondary transcripts (written documents) with you to Canada to help speed up the application process to Toronto’s School Boards and Ontario’s Colleges and Universities.
In Toronto, there are a variety of schools, universities and colleges that can grant diplomas or degrees and recognize foreign education credentials comparable to Canadian standards through a credential assessment service.
There are other organizations that also deal with professional accreditation:
- Check out City employment services and programs available to Toronto residents.
- Visit Toronto Employment & Social Services locations to get help with your job search.
- Visit the Newcomer Job Seekers section for info on City services specifically for newcomer employment.
- Explore the section Jobs at the City to learn of current opportunities to work for the City of Toronto.
- Visit the Neighbourhoods & Communities section to explore where in Toronto you would like to live.
- Check out the Finding Housing page to learn about subsidized housing and renting in the private market.
Make sure your potential neighbourhood is well-connected by transit:
Toronto’s licensed child care system has over 1,000 centres and 19 home child care agencies providing early learning and care for children up to 12 years of age. The City supports quality programs which promote healthy outcomes for all children.