Home Settlement Toronto Newcomer Day 2024: Here’s what you can look forward to

Toronto Newcomer Day 2024: Here’s what you can look forward to

Toronto Newcomer Day 2024: Here’s what you can look forward to

Toronto is one of the most diverse and welcoming cities in Canada and the world. A few hundred thousand immigrants, refugees, and international students make it their home yearly. To welcome and celebrate its newcomer residents, the city hosts a Newcomer Day event with cultural performances, diverse cuisines, an information fair, and more!

Toronto Newcomer Day 2024 is set to take place on Thursday, May 23, at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of the city.

This year’s Toronto Newcomer Day is special – it marks the event’s 10th anniversary in the city. “Since its inception in 2015, Toronto Newcomer Day has grown considerably, and we are happy to see that we have been able to grow with our collaborative partners. This not only includes our prestigious sponsors but also community organizations that participate in the information fair, food fair and interactive activities. We have been able to connect newcomers to more resources and supports that hopefully assist with their settlement journey,” says Kecia Richardson, Acting Manager, Toronto Newcomer Office.

What’s planned for this milestone year? “This year, we are excited to have worked with a local artist with lived experience to support the design of our promotional materials. Additionally, we successfully partnered with Toronto History Museums and the Toronto Public Library to organize a series of preliminary events in collaboration with the Local Immigration Partnership. We are excited to premiere a lookback video at our Toronto Newcomer Day launch. The video shines a spotlight on the artists and collaborating partners that have participated in past events as they discuss why attending Toronto Newcomer Day was such an integral part of their success,” adds Richardson.

Here’s what to expect at Toronto Newcomer Day 2024

All the necessary information you need, in one place: More than 100 community, settlement, education and awareness agencies will set up information booths on-ground at Toronto Newcomer Day 2024, making it easy for newcomers to learn about various free and subsidized programs and services in one convenient location. You can access services across career guidance, healthcare, language training, mentorship, finances, education, faith, arts and culture, and youth services, among many others. Reps from the City of Toronto and agencies that offer assistance to immigrant groups, refugees, persons with disabilities, and those who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ will also be at the information fair. Feel free to browse through the many booths and do not hesitate to ask questions.  

Dance, learn and play: Plenty of activities for adults and children at Toronto Newcomer Day 2024 are designed to intrigue, entertain, and inform. From noon to 1:30 pm, you can enjoy live performances from up-and-coming Toronto artists on the main stage at the venue. Participate in sports at the Play Mobile booth and spin the nearby wheel to learn interesting facts about your local government.

Also part of the event, the guided tours that take you around City Hall and Toronto’s historic neighbourhoods are a great way to explore the city.

Express yourself through song at the Music from Hope: Creating Connection event, or through artwork at New Constellation, where you join other participants to create collaborative art reminiscent of the stars that pepper our skies – provided you’ve registered for both events. 

Also read: Toronto Newcomer Day 2021 artists share their story

Experience and taste immigrant culture first-hand: A number of newcomer-run businesses will set up stalls where you can buy items that connect intimately with their cultures and traditions. Buying from the Newcomer Marketplace helps these local businesses grow, and is a great way for you to form connections with business owners that will last a lifetime. 

The same is true of the Newcomer Food Fair, where you can buy food that has been lovingly made by newcomers who have set up their businesses. Every dollar you spend at their stalls helps these businesses grow, expand, and cater to more and more people looking to find a taste of home in a faraway land.

Parked just outside Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto Newcomer Day 2024 are several food trucks offering traditional Canadian fare – always popular with everyone – such as burgers, fries, ice cream, and pop. 

With famed Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons being an official sponsor of the event, head to their iconic red-and-white branded truck to grab free drinks on the day. 

Witness a heartwarming citizenship ceremony: An integral part of the annual event is the citizenship ceremony, where immigrants mark another major milestone towards building their lives in Canada. It’s quite a stirring occasion, complete with an oath, a rather encouraging speech, and the national anthem.

Toronto Newcomer Day is truly a celebration of newcomers that is pivotal to ensuring they feel welcomed. “With 50 people receiving citizenship at the event annually, Toronto Newcomer Day becomes permanently woven into the fabric of their newcomer journey. Beyond providing newcomer artists a platform to showcase their skills and talents, Newcomer Day also looks to celebrate newcomers in the workforce through collaboration with some of our contributing partners and vendors. The City has a longstanding history of equity, diversity and inclusion. Toronto Newcomer Day is a demonstration of that,” says Richardson.

The New Canadians team will be at Toronto Newcomer Day. Come, say hi!

We’re an official media partner of Toronto Newcomer Day. “As a newcomer-focused information hub, we value our long-standing partnership with the City of Toronto and the Newcomer Office, and we’re thrilled to have supported Toronto Newcomer Day since its inaugural year and contribute to its growth to become a major annual newcomer celebration in the city,” shares Gerard Keledjian, Managing Director, New Canadians TV Network. “Our team engages with the attendees and captures all the action. We particularly cherish the memorable moments at Toronto Newcomer Day when we meet our viewers in person, especially those who, while still in their countries of origin, learned about the event through our platforms and made sure to visit Nathan Phillips Square upon arriving in Toronto to connect with resources and organizations,” he adds.

We at New Canadians amplify Toronto Newcomer Day’s outreach and capture the voices and experiences of newcomers to Toronto, broadcasting the content through our national TV show and online platforms across Canada and the world, giving our audience a taste of the day and showing off the welcoming spirit of the city to all immigrants and those who are on their way here.

Talking about New Canadians’ contribution to the event, Kecia Richardson from the Toronto Newcomer Office, shares: “The cooperation with New Canadians TV Network has played a crucial role in the success of Toronto Newcomer Day. Their expertise in capturing key moments has enhanced our storytelling through powerful visuals. We look forward to collaborating with the network to promote this annual event. The television segments produced have been instrumental in helping newcomers feel welcomed and valued in our communities. We are thankful for the meaningful interviews they have conducted over the years, which have helped enrich our event.”

Like every year, New Canadians will have a booth at Toronto Newcomer Day. Do stop by to learn about the offerings we have to help make your new Canadian journey easier. We will also be publishing related content on our website and social media channels, so make sure you stay tuned in!

Event details: Toronto Newcomer Day 2024

When: Thursday, May 23; 10 am – 3 pm

Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2 (Note: This is an outdoor event. So, we recommend that you check the weather forecast and come dressed accordingly.)

Getting there: Toronto has a well-developed public transport network that makes it easy to get around the city. Visit TTC.ca to plan your trip. Depending upon where you live in the city, other options include taking the GO Train or GO Bus or the UP Express to Union Station, and then either making the short walk or taking the TTC to get to Nathan Phillips Square. Go Weekday Group Passes make it easier for you to travel together, while children aged 12 and under always ride for free. 

What’s happening before Toronto Newcomer Day

Before the main Toronto Newcomer Day event, you can visit ‘Homeland Memories: An Exhibit’, where you can explore newcomer artists’ memories and connections to family back home: themes that resonate with a lot of newcomers. With cultural heritage being at the heart of every newcomer’s story in Canada, this is sure to strike a chord with many who have recently arrived in the city. This exhibit runs from May 17 to 21, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, at the City Hall Rotunda and is hosted by the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network along with the City of Toronto and Sketch Toronto. Please note that should you wish to attend this event, you will need to go through security screening and are therefore advised to pack light.

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