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Canada Newcomers Resource Guide

Updated: July 14th, 2021

New to Canada? Welcome, we’re positive you’ll get settled real fast and make new friends who will let you feel right at home. While it’s completely natural to experience culture shock at first, you’ll soon fall in love with the ethnically diverse and beautiful country with impressive geographic features, including vast mountain ranges and more than two million lakes.

To help you navigate your new life in Canada, we’ve created a quick and easy Canada Newcomers Resource Guide, complete with all the important details you need to know. From public transit to public holidays - we got you covered!

Get Settled in Canada - Your Guide

yellow-arrow-on-road-path-to-follow-concept | Newcomers to Canada Guide

Provincial Newcomers Resources Guides

Traveling from one province to another can feel like entering a completely new country. That’s how unique each Canadian province is and rules and regulations differ greatly from one to the other. For example, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan may cover you differently than the Alberta Health Insurance Plan. And for this reason, we compiled a list of Provincial Newcomers Resource Guides, to help you find tailored information and resources directly from the province you’re planning to call home.

The following guides come complete with information on provincial healthcare, housing costs, childcare and even resources that can help you find work.

Newcomers Resource Guides

  1. Alberta;
  2. Ontario;
  3. British Columbia;
  4. Saskatchewan;
  5. Manitoba;
  6. New Brunswick;
  7. Nova Scotia;
  8. Prince Edward Island;
  9. Newfoundland; and
  10. Quebec.

Emergency and Helpline Numbers

As a newcomer in Canada, it’s crucial to know the national number for police, fire or medical emergencies which is 9-1-1, just like in the United States. The number is toll free and operators will be able to assist you in your own language. Toronto’s residents and visitors have access to 9‑1‑1 services in up to 240 languages. For other kinds of emergencies or distressing situations, you can call the following helpline numbers:

Helpline Numbers to Know in Canada
Number Details
9-1-1 For fire, police or medical emergencies. The services are available in multiple languages.
1-833-456-4566 Canada Suicide Prevention Service
1-800-565-8603 Drug and Alcohol Helpline (Ontario)
888 426-4435 Animal Poison Control
1 (866) 863 0511 Assaulted Women’s Helpline (Toronto)
1 (866) 633-4220 National Eating Disorders Information Centre

Public Transportation in Canada

Asian-woman-on-bus-with-mask-canada-public-transport | Newcomers to Canada Guide

How do you plan to get around? As a newcomer in Canada, you may not have your own mode of transportation just yet and will have to rely on public transport. The good news is that the Canadian transportation system is very efficient but you’ll find more variety in major cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. The different modes of transportation include busses, trains or subway and taxis or ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also very popular. Find out what you can expect to pay to use public transport in Canada below.

Type of Transport Average Cost
Bus - Monthly Pass $165 (adult)
Subway - Weekly Pass $43
Lyft/Uber $8 per km
Gas $1.197 per litre
Ferry $17 per person (one-way)

Canadian Public Holidays

It’s always good to keep tabs on upcoming public holidays so that you can plan ahead for a weekend getaway or fun outings with friends. Canada has its fair share of public holidays but we can’t give you a precise amount because they differ in each province and territory. For example, Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, is a public holiday in most provinces except for Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Ontario. And some provinces have specific local holidays like Nova Scotia Heritage Day on the 15th of February. Religious holidays such as Ramadan, Shavuot, and Diwali are observed across Canada.

Public Holidays in Canada 2021
Date Holiday
1 Jan New Years Day
15 Feb Family Day (Only AB, BC, NB, ON, SK)
2 Apr Good Friday
5 Apr Easter Monday (Only NT, NU, QC)
24 May Victoria Day (All except NB, NS, PE, QC)
1 Jul Canada Day
6 Sep Labour Day
11 Oct Thanksgiving Day (All except NB, NS, PE)
11 Nov Remembrance Day (All except MB, NS, ON, QC)
25 Dec Christmas Day
26 Dec Boxing Day (All except NL, NT, NU, ON)

Joining Expat Groups

Group-of-diverse-people-meeting| Newcomers to Canada Guide

Expat groups are a great way to meet like-minded individuals. Meeting with other expats in Canada will make your integration in the country easier by helping you build a new support network. In fact, you can even join an expat group before moving to Canada to ask for helpful advice from people who have been in your shoes before.

Expat Groups in Canada

  1. InterNations
  2. MeetUp
  3. Canadian-Asian Associations;
  4. India-Canada Associations; and
  5. South Africans in Nova Scotia

Places of Interest

Don’t just sit at home, get out and explore! It’s important for newcomers to Canada to connect with their new surroundings which can have a particularly beneficial effect on their transition. Heading to museums, local markets and national parks can help you gain a greater understanding of the local history and feel a greater sense of connection. Not sure where the places of interest are in your area? Simply check Trip Advisor for things to do in your area, like if you live in Toronto. Or start your ultimate bucket list of places to see with the help of our Newcomers to Canada Exploration Guide below.

top-travel-destinations-in-canada-per-province-infographic | Newcomers Resource Guide

Not a Newcomer in Canada Yet?

Planning to move to Canada? With this Newcomers Resources Guide and the professional services and guidance of licensed visa consultants, your move will be easier, quicker, and stress-free! With over 100 visa programs to choose from, we find the one you and your family qualify for. Sign up today to start a full online evaluation.

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