The information below will assist Ukrainian newcomers, Durham Region residents and service providers in the region.

The Government of Canada has announced special measures to support immigration and settlement of Ukrainians. Many Ukrainians arriving under immigration measures will come via the Canada Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) as temporary residents. Permit holders will be able to access federal and provincial supports and benefits.

Information on the number of people who have applied and arrived in Canada can be found on the Government of Canada’s Key Figures webpage.

Federal and Provincial Government services and supports

Federal Government

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

IRCC provides information on resources and supports provided by the federal government including supporting Canadian citizens, and Ukrainian nationals arriving, returning to, or staying in Canada.

IRCC can assist with: 

  • Applying for the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET visa)
  • Applying to immigrate to Canada
  • Travel, testing and borders information
  • Extending your stay or restoring your status in Canada

For more information on coming to Canada, the IRCC Help Centre provides answers to frequently asked questions. You can also call 613-321-4243.

Province of Ontario 

The Province of Ontario provides resources to support settling in Ontario including:

The Ontario Ministry of Health is providing newly arriving refugees and people arriving through other exceptional humanitarian authorizations with access to health-care programs including primary care providers, specialists, and mental health service providers.

Contact the toll-free multi-lingual Refugee HealthLine at 1-866-286-4770 for more information about available supports and to be connected with a health care provider.

Durham Region immigration and settlement supports

Many partners in Durham Region work together to build welcoming communities and to help settle immigrants and refugees in communities.

The Region of Durham is working with community partners to co-ordinate settlement and other community services to best meet the needs of Ukrainian newcomers. Below are key settlement service providers and programs, and other helpful community services in Durham Region:

Durham Welcome Centre Immigrant Services

Welcome Centre Immigrant Services is a place for newcomers to Durham Region. You can ask questions, get information, access settlement and other services and join programs.

Welcome Centre services are government-funded and free of charge. Language interpretation supports are available.

These services include help with:

  • Filling out forms.
  • Finding housing.
  • Common questions.
  • Applying for your health card
  • Applying for a social insurance number.
  • Getting settled in Durham.
  • Employment.
  • English language classes.
  • Accreditation information. 

There are two locations in Durham Region. More information is below.

Ajax Welcome Centre

Address: 458 Fairall Street, Unit 5, Ajax, Ontario L1S 1R6

Phone: 289-482-1037 or toll-free: 1-877-761-1155  

Email: wosen.beyene@WelcomeCentre.ca 

Pickering Welcome Centre

Address: 1400 Bayly Street, Unit 5, Pickering Ontario L1W 3R2

Phone: 905-420-3008 or toll-free: 1-877-761-1155  

Email: pam.dewilde@WelcomeCentre.ca

Conseil des Organismes Francophones de la Région de Durham (COFRD)

The Conseil des Organismes Francophones de la Région de Durham (COFRD) offers settlement services to French-speaking newcomers to help integrate and settle into the region's Francophone community. Here you can get information on housing, education, social services and health care. 

English language classes

You can take English classes through the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board. English classes range from basic literacy to advanced English. To qualify for these classes, you must have your language skills assessed, be 18 years of age or older and either a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, landed immigrant or refugee claimant. In some cases, free child supervision is available while you are in class. You may also be eligible for free transportation assistance.

Available locations:

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are available for school-age children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. Contact a school board below to locate the school closest to your home and to find out about ESL classes for your child. 

Public school boards

Catholic school boards

Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Program

Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) is a program for newcomer families that is available in all elementary and secondary schools in Durham Region. It connects newcomer families to services and resources within the school and community.

Services include:

  • Group information sessions about schools in Canada
  • Orientation with school staff
  • Assessing needs of new students
  • Newcomer orientation week (NOW) for high school (secondary) students
  • Welcome and information for newcomers (WIN) program (a one-day program for students in Grades 6 to 8)

For more information:

Local Ukrainian community groups 

Durham Ukrainian Relief Project

The Durham Ukrainian Relief Project is a group of community members that have organized to support Ukrainian newcomers fleeing war and arriving in Durham Region. To connect with the Durham Ukrainian Relief Project, contact the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) Durham Chapter at durham@ucc.ca.

  • If you wish to donate money to support newcomers arriving in Durham Region connected with this Project, a local monetary fund has been created to support Ukrainian newcomers in Durham Region.

Local Ukrainian Churches

Other helpful services and supports

Feed the Need in Durham 

Immigrants and refugees experiencing food insecurity are encouraged to contact Feed the Need in Durham at 905-571-3863.

Urgent Care Durham

Urgent Care Durham (UCD) is a local urgent care clinic supported and staffed by Durham Doctors and Nurse Practitioners. Urgent Care Durham can assist with routine medial care and mental health needs. Contact Urgent Care Durham online or by phone at 905-706-9798.

Canadian Red Cross

In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross is providing reception services for people displaced from Ukraine at select airports. Registration with the Red Cross helps to ensure people have access to necessary information as they arrive and settle in Canada. It also provides Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with information which can be used to better understand the needs of people arriving. 

Airport-based Canadian Red Cross reception services and information include:

  • Reception, registration and translation services.
  • A Welcome Package (available in English, French, Ukrainian and Russian) with information on how to access government services and referrals to community service providers.
  • Experienced clinicians and mental health specialists who can refer those needing medical attention, or who may be struggling with mental health challenges to appropriate service providers.

Ukrainian Canadian Social Services

Ukrainian Canadian Social Services provides culturally sensitive programs and services for members of the Ukrainian ethno- cultural community. Services include housing support, orientation and settlement services, mental health services, translation/interpretation, and more.

How Durham Region residents can help

Offer housing

Volunteers for host homes can connect with COSTI, an organization that is screening and working with volunteers to best support Ukrainian newcomers in their homes. They match volunteer hosts with newcomers arriving to Durham and the broader GTA.

If you are interested in volunteering housing assistance, email COSTI at HousingHost@costi.org or visit the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) website and complete the Housing Assistance for Newcomers Form.

Donate: financial and physical

Local:

  • Durham Ukrainian Relief Fundmoney goes directly to newcomers through the Durham Ukrainian Relief Project.

  • Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is accepting a range of donations to support the arrival of newcomers and displaced Ukrainians in Ontario. OCASI will co-ordinate regionally to support Ukrainians in Ontario communities. To donate goods, services, employment or housing, visit the OCASI donation portal to find the appropriate application forms.

Other:

  • The Canadian Red Cross: launched the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal to support those affected by the ongoing conflict in the country. Learn how you can help at the Red Cross.

  • The Canada-Ukraine Foundation and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress have established the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to provide support to the millions of Ukrainians displaced from their homes. To learn more, visit Canada-Ukraine Foundation.

  • The Ukrainian Canadian Congress is accepting financial and in-kind donations to support the settlement of Ukrainian arrivals.

  • The Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society is collecting donations for Ukrainian students studying in Canada who have lost their source of financial support. To learn more about this initiative, visit Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society.

Provide health care

Members of the medical community who can take on new clients, including immigrants and refugees, can email LDIPC@durham.ca.

Hire newcomers

Connect with local Welcome Centre employment services to reach newcomers in search of employment.

Sponsorship

Sponsor refugees and support family reunification efforts. Learn more about sponsorship.

Volunteer

Volunteer to assist with resettlement. Learn more about how to volunteer.

Be a welcoming and inclusive community member

Arriving in a new community having fled war and crisis can be extremely stressful. Being friendly and welcoming can help make the newest residents feel good and that they can belong as they get to know their new community, make friends and start their new life. We all have a role to play in building welcoming and inclusive communities. Learn more at durham.ca/OurHome.

Learn more about Canada’s Values, about Integration, and about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

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