What we're about

Welcome to Toronto's Newcomers Community -- BIG CITY, Small World

We are the largest newcomers group in Canada, and SECOND LARGEST in the world**

* Our mandate is to offer FREE Service to Newcomers across GTA -- Together, we make Toronto a first-class city, and a model for the rest of the world :)

** FYI, the largest newcomer group in the world is 'New in Berlin', while we have grown past the ones in New York (around 6,500 members) and Paris.

*** We would be happy and fulfilled to see our members blend in and enjoy their life in Toronto, as we were once newcomers too and we are all a family;)

Note: You need to be 18+ year old or older to join. (If you are under 18 you need to get permission from main organizers if you really like to participate in our events.)

Let's build a friendly community with people originally from outside Toronto or all over the world, as well as anyone who would like to meet people of different cultural backgrounds or to provide assistance to them.

Language, Job hunting, Information/Free seminars (leisure, living, immigration, legal, education, community resources...), Experience sharing (do & don't...), Settling in general, Commute assistance (carpools/rides, license tests), Expanding social circle and horizon, Tutoring/Mentoring, Health/Emergency...

A newcomer can use your help for a long list of things. Many of us were also once a "newcomer" to an unfamiliar country, city, or even a totally different culture, and we know how that feels.

It's not that easy to get people to volunteer, but I am sure there are quite a few willing to help from this group. Let's try our best and make this happen!

Your contributions in any way will be valued and appreciated!

PS: You do NOT need to be a NEWCOMER to join this group. "Native English speakers" are always among the highest demand for "community partnership" of International newcomers. You may help a newcomer learn English, and at the same time you get to learn a new culture, language, and expand/diversify your social circle... And we all like to do some good deeds:)

* More events, fun activities, and free services to be facilitated soon... Stay tuned!!


Sharing of info for newcomers:


* Thanks for your support and for sure we are eager to offer better and better service to our members! It will be appreciated if you can have in mind to invite friends or people who may benefit from our group or who like to contribute to our community:)

Upcoming events (4)

WELFARE Call or WARFARE Call - Shall we have CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT over SIU matter?

Real civilians. "Wellness check" is NOT a racial issue - yet it's sooooo close to the core of challenges associated with another vulnerable group - people with mental disability or temporarily in distress for whatever reasons. That being said, at the interaction of multiple marginal groups things could get multiplied, or magnified to a significant state... And that "thing" could be the risk or stake they are to face in a supposedly beneficial visit. It can be the perceived threat (or a real one) to the EMS or others who's coming for "rescue" And that (welfare call*, accompanied with an outdated SOP) was just the tip of an iceberg, or a piece of that tip. * I spelled it wrong the first time to "warfare call", but found it ironically suited the reality better occasionally. E.g., the call might have sprout from a conflict between a "normal person" and one with a history (of mental illness or suicide etc.). It might indeed be the revenge by a neighbor or ex-boyfriend... (Complete the list yourself.) I am skeptical of how "defund the police" might help them do a better job, and am not in that stream of thoughts or activism. But this is an open forum. You might come with your opinions and resources**. Let's see what we may do and should do at a critical time like this, peacefully and legally. ** Friendly reminder: BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR REMARKS, and your ACTS. Let wellness checks be wellness checks; let people calling for help get the help they called for.

** Better Canada, Better World ! **
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By age 10, Katherine and her family had raised enough money to send thousands of life-saving bed nets to families and children in Africa. http://www.empoweringwomeninfo.com/education/philanthro-teens-the-next-generation-changing-the-world What are you waiting for? * We are not asking for your donation, but participation, inputs, and encouragement. * Help us by spreading the words so that we may gather enough like-minded volunteers and momentum to make these initiatives a success! 1. Let's build the BEST Female Entrepreneurs Community in the world! Female Entrepreneurs in Canada (http://www.meetup.com/Toronto/) Canada has that environment and potential and now, let's do our part and together make it happen! 2. * 100 Cities, Million People, Billion Connections * -- A global platform initiating from Toronto: GLOBAL FRIENDS (20 cities; 100,000 members worldwide!) http://www.meetup.com/Toronto_Friends/events/225870727/ Like John Tory said, Toronto is a model for rest of the world regarding how people live together. Let's share our experience and influence around the globe, building a global communitywith strong bonds/connectionsacross barriers of nations, languages & cultures. 3. The smart phone phenomenon debuted in Canada (Blackberry of RIM). Let's help our bright young minds with bringing their dreams and innovations into realization. Toronto Entrepreneurs (8,000 dreamers w/ actions, #1 professional/business group in Canada) Toronto Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs (TYPE) (http://www.meetup.com/Toronto_Young_Professionals/) Get prepared for a future Apple or Google next-time it happens! A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. ~John Lennon

What's your experience as a newcomer in Canada? A bit scary? Lol

http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/trudeaus-pitch-for-brand-canada-in-a-trumped-up-world/ What can we do to remain safe in a new environment and country? Welcome to make your suggestions http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/for-the-record-justin-trudeau-on-the-need-for-inclusive-growth/ PM: If I’m able to stand up and make a pitch for Canada on the world stage, it’s because Canadians allow me to. What people talk about—welcoming refugees, and being open to the world, it’s not me deciding that we’re going to do that and imposing it on all of you. It’s Canadians who’ve asked me: can we do more? Can we welcome refugees into our communities? Provinces, municipalities stepping up. Canadians understanding that we share a responsibility in the world, and as I talk with people on the world stage, whether it’s economic conferences like Davos, or talking to global investors, people are very, very interested. ..... The secret of Canada of course is Canadians. We understand that diversity is a source of strength. We know that if we work hard and support our neighbours, we’ll do better than if we work hard and ignore our neighbours. We know that success works when we create—as Naheed always speaks so eloquently about—strong communities. That’s what we’ve managed to do. That’s why we are more resilient than so many countries in the world. And that’s why the global community of investors, entrepreneurs, are looking at Canada with two eyes: First of all, how can they invest and benefit from what Canada is doing, but also how can they draw on the success and the leadership that Canada is showing and has shown for a long time, to benefit their own countries and their own communities. -------------------------------------------------- Do you have anything you like to recommend to government agencies? Or questions? * When there are appropriate opportunities, I'll try to pass some to appropriate ones, or may inquire on behalf of you (or the group at large). Let me start with a couple experience sharing or tips, useful or not. R#1: 911 calls should support more than the official languages. That's one thing that has been puzzling me for years. If you can speak neither (perfect) English nor French, how are you going to seek help from 911 in emergency? Or your visiting family members from overseas? And tourists. They do NOT have interpreters. I heard of this before. I happened to just make a 911 call, and took the chance to have that confirmed. (I'll share the story briefly later - not important. And if you find anything wrong with what I said or posted, please do not hesitate to let me know or advise. Appreciated!) I guess many of you are already using S#2 below or the first half of S#3, and have quite a few safety tricks/tips or ammo of yourself. Welcome to share yours. You do not need to use or consider anything you don't like - just sharing some tips some members here might not know yet. S#1: Use 'live video broadcast' from Facebook from your mobile to protect yourself when appropriate. To do it quickly, follow only Steps 1, 2, 3, 6 (the bulleted ones). • Step 1. Open the Facebook App from your mobile. • Step 2. Press 'What's on your mind'. • Step 3. Press 'Live video'. (Second option from the list.) Step 4. Select privacy: 'Public', 'Friends', or 'Only me'. Step 5. Flip the video camera (by pressing the 'flip' icon on screen - its top-right position). • Step 6. Press 'Go live'. (Your live video starts after a 3-second countdown.) Step 7. Press 'Post' (bottom-right button) to keep a copy on your Facebook. (if feeling higher security measure is needed, continue with the following:) Step 8. Press the 'download icon' (bottom-right of the video screen part) to keep a copy in your camera roll. Step 9. Text your friend the video clip. Practice a few times during your spare time (before you might actually need to use it). It's a nice feature to use or to learn for sharing of great moments with your friend also, so that wouldn't waste your time (and it takes like 10 seconds or less to learn). S#2: Use voice/video recording of your mobile, when the other party may lie and deny what they said or did. • Legal background: According to my understanding, it is LEGAL to record voice and/or video when you are present - i.e., you can record your own conversations with others. (Plz correct me if wrong, or if you can better articulate this.) S#3: If you are a female and take a taxi, carpool, or a (unfamiliar) friend's car, text* a friend the license plate number or something that may indicate that driver. Or at lease post it on your Facebook timeline but keep it hidden (only you can see it), and delete it upon safely completing the trip. *You may do that (texting or phone calls) seemingly like a casual chatting or by using another language. Have a closer friend or family member to receive that from you. I am hearing a news now stated that 'a female hitch hiker was raped and kept captive for weeks in Australia'. Not in Canada either, but I've also heard quite a few cases or news where female passengers were sexually assaulted in taxis, even cases when there were two of them (drunk or being unknowingly drugged by their drivers.) A day after I did the above supplements, I found that this kind of things do happen in Canada also. And in the following case, the perpetrator even got away with it (through a protested judge ruling on March 7, 2017) after being caught by police on the spot. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/03/07/crown-appealing-halifax-taxi-drivers-acquittal-in-a-drunk-can-consent-case.html And if I remember it right, that same cap driver was reported by two other women at least in previous years for sex assaults already, but those cases were not pursued after being formally reported to the police. So, protect yourself, and share with your friends. ---------------------------------------------------- I noticed a safety issue in Ontario a while ago: the door of a taxi I took was locked during my ride, and if I remember it right, there was no way I could open that door unless unlocked by the driver. I am not sure whether this is a common practice here (e.g., for not letting customers run off without pay or something), and how prevailing it is. (You may comment below if a frequent taxi customer.) It was useless to argue on such things with anyone or any agencies, and I was even reluctant to post it on my network until seeing this news today: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/taxi-driver-faces-charges-after-video-of-cab-hitting-cyclist-goes-viral-1.3736231 Lots of safety problems in this city, which is recently elected among the five most livable cities in the world... Newcomers are not familiar to the environment here, and more vulnerable to various threats. I guess that many newcomers likely do not even know the incident in the above news constitute an 'assault', and is eligible to report to police or complaint to media... Hopefully members here (local Canadians or immigrants -- new or old) can help taking care of each other or at least share some tips or info to better enjoy or survive in this big city. If you need some help or know someone in need of help, you may let us know. You can post below* or contact me, but I don't always have availability to check meetup messages. * If for privacy reasons you do not like to talk about the nature of your need, you may ask for my contacts below, and we'll follow up from there. As said, I just made a 911 call (while adding R#1). It was because a car was like going to hit me. (It was not an attempted murder lol, but a really bad and incompetent driver.) The 911 lady asked me whether he was drunk, but how would I know? They would ask you what kind of cars, the color of the car etc. I told her the license plate number, and in such a situation the 911 call centre would made a broadcast to have him caught. (But that lady also told me that if he had gone far they were not likely to find him. Just so you know I called right away.) FYI, you may call 911 to report impaired drivers. There is also an non-emergency number for • Toronto Police:[masked] -------------------------------------------- A few other useful numbers: • Crime Stoppers:[masked] (Confidential report or tip lines.) [masked] (TIPS)[masked]-TIPS http://www.222tips.com • Kids Help Phone:[masked] 24 hour help line for kids on any issue http://www.kidshelphone.ca • Canadian Anti-fraud Centre:[masked] http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm • 311: non-emergency City services and information 211 is Canada’s primary source of information on government and community based health and social services. To speak directly with an information specialist dial 2-1-1, where the service is available.

Free Immigration Advice
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Original title: Free Immigration Advice from RCIC (https://www.meetup.com/Canada-Newcomers/events/231228779/) Hello Everybody , I am a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant based in GTA , and I noticed that a lot of people have many simple immigration questions that they really should not be paying for . I am thinking about organizing a weekly sessions in Toronto , Mississauga, Brampton where I could talk about those issues and answer questions. Please let me know if you would be interested .

Past events (226)

Unconscious Bias - 8pm CNN (this Sunday)

Online event

Photos (148)