Services for Newcomers to Canada

Our Settlement Services’ team is here to help newcomers to Canada adjust to life in St. Thomas and Elgin County.

Settlement Services

Information

Information on important settlement issues to help newcomers make informed decisions about life in Canada.

Orientation

Orientation to the St. Thomas-Elgin community and to Canadian life.

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Referrals

Referrals to programs and services in the region including employment, health care, language and skills training.

Training

English language training for eligible adult learners.

Employment

Employment-related supports for newcomers looking to build their professional networks.

Connections

Community Connections’ activities to help adults and youth make friends and engage in the local community through our Newcomers Networking Circles and the Newcomers Youth Club.

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Interpretation

Interpretation services in some languages to help newcomers navigate settlement-related issues.

English Language Classes

We offer free English as a second language training for adult immigrants who are Permanent Residents of Canada. Our instructors use settlement themes to teach reading, writing, listening and speaking skills within the framework of the Canadian Language Benchmarks. Learners also receive information about the local community, Canadian culture and the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. Classes are available during the daytime in St. Thomas and at Sommerfeld Mennonite Church and in the evenings in Aylmer.

Why Chose Us?

  • Language for everyday life
  • Small class sizes
  • Computer activities
  • Transportation support
  • Make friends and have fun

Who Can Join?

To be eligible for our English language program, you must be 18 years or older and one of the following:

  • a landed immigrant, Permanent Resident, Convention Refugee or other person permitted to remain in Canada
  • able to show an original, valid immigration document such as a Permanent Resident card, Confirmation of Permanent Residence, Notice of Decision etc.

To participate in the program, individuals must complete a placement test by an assessment centre.

 

Class Locations

YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin

16 Mary Street West 
St. Thomas, ON
N5P 2S3

Aylmer Community Services

25 Centre Street
Aylmer, ON
N5H 2Z4

Sommerfeld Mennonite Church

6700 Springfield Road
Aylmer West, ON
N5H 2R2

YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin Main Office

Aylmer Community Services

Sommerfield Mennonite Church

Newcomer Networking Circles

Our group information sessions help newcomers to Canada learn about important settlement topics and about life in St. Thomas-Elgin. The sessions also provide opportunities to meet new people and connect to services in the community.

Some of our past sessions have covered:
• Banking in Canada
• Getting ready for school
• Protecting yourself from fraud and scams
• Fire safety
• Voting in an election

Click here to see upcoming events

Newcomer Youth Club

The Newcomer Youth Club provides newcomer youth between the ages of 10-17 with a safe and supportive space to build friendships, improve their English language skills and learn about life in Canada. The club helps youth to develop a sense of belonging to the local community and to build positive relationships with adults and peers. It also helps youth to strengthen the soft skills they need to succeed in school, work and life in Canada.

Some of our past activities include:
• Bowling
• Tree planting
• Robotics and coding
• Stained glass art
• Tours of local fire and police stations

Newcomer youth looking for help completing their high school volunteer hours are encouraged to speak with settlement staff.

Click here to see upcoming events

How can we help?

If you have a question about the programs and services we offer in Settlement Services please call (519) 631-9800 or complete the form below.

Please note inquiries are reviewed within 2-3 business days.

Lisa’s journey

A reflection of the Housing Supports offered through the YWCA.  Struggling with generational poverty, abuse and addictions, at age 48 Lisa was referred to the YWCA St. Thomas Elgin by her continuing education teacher. Lisa was trying to make changes in an environment...

Amy’s journey

Amy now holds her head up high; with a radiant smile and looks forward to the future.

Courtney’s journey

Home is not a place… it’s a feeling

Natalie’s journey

The YWCA gave me the opportunity to start over and choose a better life.

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