Who We Are

Quick Facts

COSTI Background Information

Established in 1952, COSTI is a community-based multicultural agency, providing employment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrant communities and individuals in need of assistance. COSTI annually serves a total of 39,000 individuals from a very diverse population, ensuring that individuals from every corner of the world are provided with equal access to our services. Operating from 17 locations in Toronto, the Region of Peel and York Region. COSTI is one of Canada's most culturally diverse agencies, with over 60 languages spoken by staff.

  • 39,000 clients, over 80,000 client contacts/services
  • Over 300 full-time and part-time staff
  • 17 locations
  • 170 volunteers contribute a total of 15,000 hours each year and are involved primarily in administrative work, special events, fundraising, advisory committees and promotion/outreach activities.
  • Total annual budget: $23 million

Clients from Canada and Around the World

93% of the clients that come to COSTI, come from elsewhere in the world:

  • 15% Middle East
  • 14% South Asia
  • 11% China
  • 9% Caribbean
  • 8% Africa
  • 8% South America
  • 8% Central America
  • 7%Eastern Europe
  • 7% Southeast Asia
  • 7% Other
  • 6% Western Europe

The thousands of individuals that come through COSTI each year are extremely diverse yet they have one thing in common - they share a dream to make new and prosperous lives for themselves in Canada. With the help of COSTI's Settlement Counsellors and Employment Consultants, they do just that.

  • 73% are between the ages of 21 and 65
  • 22% are children and youth up to the age of 20 years
  • 5% of our clients are seniors over the age of 65

Allocating Resources to Direct Service

COSTI has been successful in achieving its goals through the generous financial support of private donations, federal, provincial and municipal government sources, as well as United Ways of Toronto and York Region. COSTI's total annual budget is approximately $23 million.

  • 34% is committed to Employment Services for internationally trained professionals; youth and adult employment planning, preparation and placement services; small business development; and apprenticeship and trades programs.
  • 33% of agency revenue is reserved for Family and Mental Health Services, rehabilitation, and settlement counselling, seniors, and housing help services.
  • 3% is allocated to Community Development & Public Education. Services include: problem gambling programs, services for women who have been abused, and support for community-based agencies providing job search workshops for new immigrants.
  • 30% goes towards providing English language instruction, childcare services, computer and skills training, and citizenship preparation classes.

Programs and Services

Click here to read a summary of our programs and services

Did You Know...

  • 57% of COSTI's clients are female.
  • Within the last year:
    • 6,750 newcomers improved their language skills by attending English language classes, Literacy, Grammar in Conversation, Oral and Communications Skills classes.
    • 6,700 immigrants received assistance with their settlement and adjustment through supportive counselling, information and referral, interpretation and assistance in the completion of government forms. Over 1,000 refugees were provided temporary shelter at the Ralph Chiodo Family Immigrant Reception Centre.
    • 11,015 individuals accessed employment services.
    • 2,830 youth received employment support services including placement supports, counselling and mentoring opportunities.
    • 2,500 families and individuals in the City of Toronto and York Region received support in finding or improving their housing.
    • 2,300 individuals came to COSTI for counselling and mental health services
    • Over 1,000 seniors accessed our seniors' programs.
  • COSTI has a broad network of formal and informal partnerships, alliances and connections with over 90 organizations at many different levels across Canada and Ontario. We have an abundance of learning resources across Toronto, York Region, and Peel. Clients have access to books, periodicals, COSTI publications and technical journals at all COSTI locations.
  • COSTI has been a United Way member agency since 1968.