Programs & Services

Settlement Services

Immigrants, whether newly arrived or long established, need assistance in their process of settlement and adjustment to our City’s socio-economic and cultural environment. COSTI provides assistance to individuals at different phases of their settlement process. We help recently arrived immigrants and also assist settled immigrants who continue to require social and government services. Our Settlement Counsellors provide supportive one-on-one counselling, referral, information and orientation, interpretation, crisis intervention, and orientation workshops to over 10,000 people every year.

Services Available

  • Referral: Newcomers are linked to community resources and services such as banks, shops, housing, health, cultural, educational, recreational and legal facilities.
  • Information and Orientation: Clients are provided with practical guidance to help them cope with the problems of everyday living. Through one-on-one and group orientation sessions, clients are provided with information on banking, taxes, daycare, school registration, shopping, budgeting, food preparation, safety, the police, Canadian values, roles and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.
  • Documentation: Clients receive support in completing government documents such as Permanent Residence Cards, Work Permits, OHIP applications, Citizenship applications, applications for sponsorship, Child Tax Benefits, and other related forms.
  • Interpretation: Interpretation is offered to newcomers to help them cope with day-to-day life.
  • Counselling: Where newcomers are experiencing difficulties in adjusting to life in Canada, Settlement Counsellors identify and address specialized services available through community organizations and government institutions.
  • Employment Related Services: Counsellors provide information and referral to services in the community that can assist clients with their employment needs; this includes information about trade/professional certification or recognition of academic credentials.

Who is Eligible

Services are available to Permanent Residents of Canada, landed immigrants, convention refugees, Minister’s Permit holders, or refugee claimants approved by Citizenship Immigration and Canada.

While this service is mainly for newcomers, other eligible immigrants who need help in adapting to Canadian society and integrating into the community may also qualifty, regardless of how long they have been in Canada.

Contact Details for:

Settlement Services
Please refer to locations below.
Phone: Please refer to contact information below.

This Program is Located at:

Brampton Employment Services
10 Gillingham Drive, Suite 300
Brampton, Ontario
L6X 5A5
Phone: 905.459.8855
Fax: 905-451-4321
bramptonemployment@costi.org

Caledonia Employment Services
700 Caledonia Road
Toronto, Ontario
M6B 3X7
Phone: 416.789.7925
Fax: 416.789.3499
employ@costi.org

Corvetti Education Centre
760 College Street
Toronto, Ontario
M6G 1C4
Phone: 416.534.7400
Fax: 416.534.2482
edu@costi.org

Language, Settlement & Skills Training Services, Vaughan
Welcome Centre Immigrant Services, 9100 Jane Street, Building H
Vaughan, Ontario
L4K 0A4
Phone: 905.761.1155
Fax: 905.761.2080

Mississauga Employment Services
6750 Winston Churchill Blvd., Unit 8A
Mississauga, Ontario
L5N 4C4
Phone: 905.567.0482
Fax: 905.567.0144
mississaugaemployment@costi.org

North York Centre
Sheridan Mall, 1700 Wilson Ave., Suite 114
Toronto, Ontario
M3L 1B2. PO Box 88
Phone: 416.244.0480
Fax: 416.244.0379
nyork@costi.org

Vaughan Centre
3100 Rutherford Road, Suite 102
Vaughan, Ontario
L4K 4R6
Phone: 905.669.5627
Fax: 905.669.1127
vaughanemployment@costi.org

COSTI Settlement Services are funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

Related Resources

View Workshop Calendars

I just arrived in Canada and my daughter is sick. What can I do?”

There is a three month waiting period for those who apply for OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). Unfortunately, doctors and hospitals will only treat patients with a valid health card. In cases of emergency, hospitals will treat patients without OHIP coverage but will require payment for their services.

Private health coverage plans are available through various insurance companies.

  • Community Health Care Centres will treat patients without documentation.


  • A list of these Health Care Centres can be found through www.211.ca.


  • Interim Federal Health Care coverage (IFH) is available for refugee claimants who have already applied for refugee status with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


  • 416-967-2626 in Toronto, or 1-800-268-7096 ext. 626 in Ontario.

Volunteer Opportunities for Newcomers

211 Community Information & Volunteer Centre provides information on volunteer opportunities.

Visit their website for details: www.civc.ca or call 1.877.228.CIVC.

Useful Websites for Newcomers

Settlement.Org provides newcomers with information and resources to settle in Ontario. The website offers valuable Information on education, employment, health, housing, immigration, language and literacy, and legal services.
Website: www.settlement.org


211Toronto is a directory of over 20,000 community, social, health, and government, health services.
Website: www.211toronto.ca


Registering Your Child In School

In Ontario, all residents between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school.

By Ontario law, children under the age of 18 have the right to attend school in the area served by their local board of education. This is true even if they, their parents, or their guardians are in Canada illegally or without status.

You must register your children at the local school or school board office. The school will need your help to decide which grade your child should be in. Check with the local school board to find the location of the nearest school and how to register your child.

Generally, to enroll children in school, it is required to take the child to the local school with the child’s birth certificate/passport; immigration status; immunization/vaccination documents, and any previous school records or documents.

School Board Contact Numbers

Toronto District School Board
263 McCaul Street, Toronto
Tel: 416.397.3000

Toronto Catholic District School Board
80 Sheppard Avenue East, North York
Tel: 416.222.8282

York Region District School Board
60 Wellington Street West, Aurora
Tel: 416.969.8131

York Catholic District School Board
320 Bloomington Road West, Aurora
Tel: 416.221.5050 or Toll-free 1.800.263.2075

When can I apply for Canadian Citizenship?

To become a Canadian citizen, you must be 18 years of age or older, be a permanent resident of Canada and have lived in Canada for at least three of the four years before applying. The time you lived in Canada after you became a permanent resident counts as full time. The time you lived in Canada before you became a permanent resident counts as half time only if it falls within these four years. You may be asked to complete a residency questionnaire and to provide supporting documentation. 

Children under 18 years of age do not need to have lived in Canada for three years before applying. However, the child must be a permanent resident of Canada to apply for Canadian citizenship. To apply on behalf of your child, you must either already be a citizen or apply for citizenship together as a family.

If you are between 18 and 54, you must provide proof that you can speak and understand English or French. Proof can include:


  • Results of a CIC approved third party test
  • Transcripts or diploma from a secondary or post-secondary school where you studied in English or French, in Canada or abroad or
  • Proof that you meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 or higher in an approved, government funded training program


In addition, you must pass the citizenship knowledge test on the rights, responsibilities and privileges of being a Canadian citizen. The questions are based on information provided in the study guide "Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship". If you are 55 years of age or older, or if you are under 18 at the time of the application, you do not have to take the test.

You can contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada call centre for information on citizenship andiImmigration: 1-888 242-2100 (telephone number valid in Canada only).


Can I sponsor my parents to Canada?

You can sponsor your parents. In order to qualify, you will be required to meet certain income requirements and you must provide financial support for the family members you are sponsoring for 10 years from the date they become permanent residents.

If you have other questions regarding sponsorship of siblings and other family members, call the COSTI North York Centre at 416.244.0480, or the Corvetti Education Centre at 416.534.7400.

Contact the CIC Call Centre for information on Citizenship and Immigration: 1-888 242-2100 (telephone number valid in Canada only).

Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for more details: www.cic.gc.ca.

How do I apply for a health card in Ontario?

Only residents of Canada are eligible to receive Health Cards through the Ontario Ministry of Health. Residents are defined as Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Convention Refugees. You must reside in the province of Ontario or be physically present for 153 days in a 12 month period.

A health card is required by physicians in order to access medical services, and is required for every member of the family.

Coverage will begin three months after the initial application.

You will need three original documents in order to register. They include proof of citizenship or permanent residency, a recent income tax assessment, driver’s license, credit card etc.

For more information, contact the Ontario Ministry of Health in Toronto at 416-314-5518 or visit their website at www.health.gov.on.ca.

How do I apply for subsidized daycare?

To qualify for subsidized daycare you must be a resident of Toronto. You must also be a Canadian Citizen, a Permanent Resident or have Refugee status and be eligible to work or attend school in Canada. In addition, you must be either employed, in school, or in a training program. If you are receiving Ontario Works, you must be involved in an activity approved by your Social Services caseworker.

The amount that you will pay for child care is based on your income and assets, your expenses, and the number of family members.

To obtain an application package, you can contact the City of Toronto, Children’s Services Kidsline at 416-392-KIDS (5437).

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