What we're about

NEAT (Newcomers Explore and Appreciate Toronto) walks (https://www.culturelink.ca/services/health-and-recreation/neat/) is part of the Mentorship Program at CultureLink Settlement and Community Services. (http://www.culturelink.ca)

NEATwalks (http://www.culturelink.ca/NEATwalks) are organized by NEAT groups which consist of Newcomer Volunteer Event Planners and Volunteer Mentor Event Planners.

New Torontonians with the help of experienced and knowledgeable mentors explore Toronto and organize guided tours or activities all through the year. These tours/activities are open to the public and generally are family-friendly unless specified. Jane's walk, Doors Open Toronto, Queenston Heights (Niagara Falls), From from China town to City Hall, Halloween themed tours, Fall colours theme, cherry blossoms, learning about the trees and plants, lights and sights of Downtown Toronto, Exploring the PATH and skywalks, are few of the many walks that have been organized since the beginning of this group.

During the winter NEATwalks are referred to as "Wintegaration" Events, meaning that we try to have some WinterAction and SnOw much fun during December through April (weather permitting). General winter activities include skating, tobogganing, hiking, playing games in the winter, maple syrup festival, snowshoeing, etc. Some activities require deposit upfront to reserve spots due to limited numbers of attendees.

New events each year!

With the help of community partners like High Park Nature Centre and corporate partners like MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) as well as many designated individual volunteers, we try to provide a variety of activities such as Leaf Scavenger Hunt Hike, Smartphone Photography Hike, Snowshoeing, Bat Walk and Star Party, Trips to Toronto Argos or Toronto Marlies games, etc. We have also started indoor board game nights that are for adults only held during the cold winter months. These events are in addition to what NEAT groups organize. Each NEAT group organizes its own unique events or activities through brainstorming and exploring Toronto and as per their interest.

Since these events/activities are organized by different people, each event is unique in its own way and you will be able to have a different experience each time.

Benefits:

Participating in our walks/winter activities opens doors to learning about Toronto's local cultures, history and art, enjoying winter as well as networking and making new friends.

Specifically for newcomers to Canada, NEATwalks encourage social interaction, remove barriers of isolation and break winter blues and is a wonderful way to be exposed to Canadian outdoor culture.

One can also become a Volunteer Mentor or Newcomer Volunteer Event Planner.

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Acknowledgement and Recognition:

NEATwalks recognizes and acknowledges the priceless contribution of our NEAT/Wintegration mentor and mentee organizers. Their hard work, innovative ideas and on-going event planning has given this program a real boost and popularity. A huge thank you to all our new and repeat attendees for their participation and making our events and tours successful!

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Usage of Photos and Videos:

We take pictures and make videos during our trips, tours and activities. We usually have a sign-in sheet that also serves the purpose of Photo/Video Release. We only capture group photos and focus on the organizers when they are presenting. Sometimes we use such photos and videos for promotional purposes on our website or newsletter or in any other relevant material that we might publish. Pictures and videos are also uploaded on this group and are accessible to members only. If you attend our activities and would like to share your pictures of that event, you can easily upload them on the event page.

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Participating in our walks/winter activities:

We welcome everybody to our walks/activities. However, participation is entirely voluntary and at your own risk. Please read the liability statement below. The event sign-in sheets also talk about liability waiver.

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Cost:

All of our guided tours and activities are free and do not have a limit of attendees unless specified. Winter activities may have an upfront deposit due to limited spots. Such deposits can be made via cash or cheque.

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DONATIONS:

If you are able to, please donate at https://www.culturelink.ca/about-us/donate/donation-form/ -- Choose "NEATwalks" under "FUND" located just below the amount box to ensure that the money goes to NEATwalks pool.

All these donations that we will receive will support expenses like transportation cost Niagara Falls or Kingston ON, sports events tickets (Toronto Argos, Raptors 905 and Toronto Marlies games with guided tours), entrance fee to Maple Syrup Festival, skating rink and skate rentals, Toronto Island Ferry tickets, Museum and other special event tickets, etc.; enabling us to continue to provide a variety of special events.

Imagine the possibilities!

As of November 8, 2019, we have over 800 members. If each member donates $10 once a year, we can easily raise $8000.

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SPONSORS:

If you are interested in sponsoring special events or trips, please contact Ruben at 416-588-6288 x 231 or via email at NEATwalks@culturelink.ca.

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Are you a Newcomers to Canada (Immigrant or Refugee)?

CultureLink is funded by IRCC (Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada) previously known as CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) to support the integration of new immigrants and refugees by providing free services and programs such as NEAT Mentorship Program and the NEATwalks. Therefore, if you are a newcomer (landed immigrant or convention refugee) attending our walks and activities we are required to collect your immigration information (one of these documents--- landing paper/permanent resident card/acceptance letter with ID information).

Access to this information enables us to provide appropriate services intended to support the settlement and integration process for newcomers to Canada. This information is kept strictly confidential and only used for reporting to IRCC. Access to this information also ensures stability and continuum of the services for immigrants and refugees in Canada. We thank you in advance for providing this information. Check out the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/gather-info.asp or contact Rubeen Chauhan at 416-588-6288 x 231 / NEATwalks@culturelink.ca for further details.

As Newcomers, you can also volunteer as event planners and get hands-on experience in project management, social media and event planning. Successful event planners will receive certificate of completion. Please check out the details on our NEAT (https://www.culturelink.ca/services/health-and-recreation/neat/)webpage.

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Liability Statement:

Please read the liability statements carefully (copied below). CultureLink and it's representatives are not responsible for any loss/incident that may occur during NEAT walks and winter activities. Everyone participating is responsible for their own safety and well-being and belongings and of their children (if applicable).

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All Participants must Read and Agree to the following NEAT Meetup Group Waiver form - By Registering with the NEAT Meetup Group you are acknowledging that you have read and agreed to the following:

1. You understand and appreciate the risks inherent in the walking tour(s)/winter activities, and you voluntarily and knowingly assume those risks. You release CultureLink Settlement Services, its employees, Board Directors volunteers, funders and sponsors, from any liability for any injury or loss you might incur in connection with the walks/activities.

2. You, for yourself, your heirs, executors and administrators, waive and release forever any and all rights for claims and damages you may have against CultureLink Settlement Services, its employees, Board Directors, volunteers, funders and sponsors, in any manner due to any personal injury or property loss sustained by you as a result of your participation in the activities associated with the walks/activities, including any volunteer activities you may engage in while preparing for the walks/activities.

3. You agree to follow the rules established for the conduct of the participants in the walks/activities or instructions of CultureLink staff members or volunteer organizers on the walks/activities.

4. You agree that you will be responsible for your own welfare and safety in participating in the NEAT walks/winter activities.

5. You agree that if you bring any children and/or minors to the walks/winter activities, you will be solely responsible for their welfare and safety.

Thank you!

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Contact Person:

Rubeen Chauhan

416-588-6288 x 231 | rchauhan@culturelink.ca / NEATwalks@culturelink.ca

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