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Helping Refugees

Below is a listing of services that will help you learn more about sponsoring and supporting refugees in York Region.

Why Sponsor Refugees?

For a listing of more videos and information on sponsoring refugees, visit the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program website.

Your First Two Weeks in Canada

The video below, titled Your First Two Weeks in Canada, is intended to help newcomers prepare for their life in Canada and explain some of the initial steps that they should take upon arrival. The video is from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and has been dubbed into Arabic.


Map of Services in York Region

Below is a mapping tool of services that will help you learn more about sponsoring and supporting refugees in York Region. Please click on the image below to load the mapping tool.
Screen capture of the York Welcome newcomer services mapping tool

Settlement Services

Settlement services are for ALL newcomers to Canada. York Region has an extensive network of immigrant service-providing organizations that are able to provide services, counselling and settlement assistance to newcomers.

Settlement Agencies

There are five Welcome Centres in York Region and are dedicated to welcoming newcomers to Canada.

Each Welcome Centre provides settlement and integration services, English language classes, employment supports and other services as required. Welcome Centres can be very flexible in serving newcomers.

Please get in touch with the one closest to you.

Markham North

8400 Woodbine Ave, Suite 102-103
Markham, ON L3R 4N7
(South of Highway 7)
Direct Phone Line: 289-846-3645
Fax: 905-477-3219

Markham South

7220 Kennedy Road (Hollywood Square)
Markham, ON L3R 7P2
(South of 14th Avenue)
Direct Phone Line: 905-479-792


16655 Yonge Street, Unit #26
Newmarket, ON L3X 1V6 
(South of Mulock Drive)
Direct Phone Line: 289-841-3032

Richmond Hill

South Hill Shopping Centre
9325 Yonge Street, Unit 31A
Richmond Hill, ON L4C 0A8
(Northeast Corner of Yonge & 16th) 
Direct Phone Line: 289-842-3124
Fax: 905-884-3163


9100 Jane Street, Building H, Units 56-67 
Vaughan, ON L4K 0A4
(South of Rutherford Road)
Direct Phone Line: 905-761-1155
Fax: 905-761-2080

Additional links for York Region

Access Alliance
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
Canadian Human Rights International Organization
Catholic Community Services of York Region
Centre for Education and Training
Centre for Immigrant and Community Services of York Region
Christie Refugee Welcome Centre
COSTI Immigrant Services
FCJ Refugee Centre
In my Language
Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees
Jewish Immigrant Aid Services Toronto
Job Skills
OCASI- Settlement
Ontario Immigration
Salvation Army, Immigrant and Refugee Services - North York Satellite Office
SEAS Centre - North York Centre
Social Enterprise for Canada
Social Services Network for the York Region
The Cross-Cultural Community Services Association
Welcome Centre Immigrant Services – York Region
Welcome Ontario Syrian Refugee Assistance Information – Available in Arabic

School Boards

Any student new to Canada will need to be assessed for math and language skills before being admitted to class.

York Region District School Board

All new students who have arrived in Canada within the last six months must visit the school board’s Reception Centre before going to any local school.

York Region Catholic District School Board

Any secondary student new to Canada must also be assessed. Visit For more information specifically for newcomers.  

Elementary students may apply directly to their local school.

Food Banks

Food security can sometimes be difficult for a variety of reasons.  Below are links to agencies that may be able to assist.

Aurora Food Pantry
Gibson Centre
Humanity First
King Township Food Bank
Markham Food Bank
Newmarket Food Pantry
Richmond Hill Community Food Bank
Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers - Rosies Closet
Salvation Army
Vaughan Food Bank

Clothing and Household Items

For assistance to help clothe refugees or furnish a home the following organizations may be able to help:

JRCC Furniture Depot
Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers - Rosies Closet
Salvation Army
The Furniture Bank

There are many excellent resources for healthcare for persons now living in York Region. Two additional provincial resources that may be helpful for refugees specifically are:

The Refugee HealthLine 1-866-286-4770

Sponsor groups and refugees can call this line directly to be connected to health care providers in their community. This includes dental and psychological services. Syrian Refugee Health Care Options in Ontario

Search for a Doctor

Provided by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons and will help you find a family physician who speaks Arabic or other languages.  

Additional local health resources include:

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) York & South Simcoe - MOBYSS (Mobile York South Simcoe)
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) York Region Branch - Aurora - Counselling and Treatment
Catholic Community Services of York Region - Counselling Services and Family Life Education Groups
Crossroads Medical Clinic for Newly Arrived Syrian Refugees
Family Services York Region
George Brown College - WAVE Clinic
Interim-Federal Health Program (IFHP)
Krasman Centre
Mackenzie Health
Markham Stouffville Hospital
Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
The Salvation Army - Community and Family Services
Southlake Regional Health Centre
The Regional Municipality of York - Community and Health Services - Public Health - Children In Need Of Treatment (CINOT)
Vaughan Community Health Centre

Additional Resources

Any of the following may be of help to refugees upon arrival to help with settlement and community integration.


Victim Services of York Region Inc.
York Regional Police - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bureau

Parks and Recreation

Aurora Parks and Recreation
East Gwillimbury Parks and Recreation
Georgina Parks and Recreation
King Parks and Recreation
Markham Parks and Recreation
Newmarket Parks and Recreation
Richmond Hill Parks and Recreation
Vaughan Parks and Recreation
Whitchurch-Stouffville Parks and Recreation

Legal Resources

Community Legal Clinic of York Region
Community Legal Education Ontario

Financial Management Supports

Canada Revenue Agency - Community Volunteer Income Tax Program
Family and Credit Counselling Services of York Region
Canada Child Tax Benefit Benefit Calculator
2015 Income Tax Form

Public Transportation

GO Transit
York Region Transit/Viva


Aurora Public Library
East Gwillimbury Public Library
Georgina Public Library
King Township Public Library
Markham Public Library
Newmarket Public Library 
Richmond Hill Public Library
Vaughan Public Library
Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library

Emergency Shelters

360 Kids
Belinda’s Place
Blue Door Shelters
Leeder Place Emergency Family Shelter
Newmarket Youth Shelter
Porter Place Men's Shelter
Salvation Army (The) - Sutton Youth Shelter
Sandgate Women's Shelter
Sutton Youth Multi-Service Centre
Yellow Brick House Women's Shelter

Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering Opportunities

Children’s Aid Society

The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of York Region has translated key information resources for parents and caregivers into Arabic. The topics include: 

Babysitting - Guidelines for Parents - Arabic
Home Alone - Arabic
Positive Discipline of Older Children - Arabic
Positive Discipline of Younger Children - Arabic
Positive Parenting of Infants - Arabic
York Region CAS - About Us - Arabic

Information for Sponsors of Syrian Refugees

Strengthening Services to Syrian Refugees & Beyond

A One-Day Forum for Staff & Volunteers

Job Skills presents a day of learning that includes: informative workshops, networking and information exchange about needs, best practices, personal success, and lessons learned. November 8, 2016, Markham Ontario. $25 includes meals, parking, Forum materials.

York Region Cost of Living - Presentation from February 2 Refugee Sponsorship Information Fair
Welcome Centre Services Presentation - Presentation from February 2 Refugee Sponsorship Information Fair
Sponsoring Syrian Refugees - Presentation from February 2 Refugee Sponsorship Information Fair
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
Lifeline Syria
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program
HOME Registry at Woodgreen Comm Services
Volunteering Opportunities

How to donate

Donations for Syrian Refugees in Ontario

For more information please email YR Immigration Partnership.

The Regional Municipality of York en-US Helping Refugees