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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.
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.
When you apply for or use City services, City of Toronto employees will not ask about immigration status unless it is required by law.
Review the identification requirements for commonly accessed City services or call 311 if you would like to speak to someone about your eligibility for a specific program.
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:
This program is offered in partnership with the Toronto Settlement Collaborative, made up of Catholic Crosscultural Services, Centre for Immigrant and Community Services, CultureLink, North York Community House and The Neighbourhood Organization.
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.
Learn about other settlement worker programs.
Need more information about settlement worker programs? Please email Kera.Vijayasingham@toronto.ca.
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.
Learn about health resources for uninsured Torontonians through the Wellesley Institute Health Network.
Find your nearest Community Health Centre and access integrated health care, language and settlement programs specifically for newcomers, even if you do not have a health card.
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:
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.