Home Settlement Toronto Newcomer Day Launch: City reps reflect on 10 years of the event, what’s planned for May 23

Toronto Newcomer Day Launch: City reps reflect on 10 years of the event, what’s planned for May 23

Toronto Newcomer Day Launch: City reps reflect on 10 years of the event, what’s planned for May 23

In the run-up to this year’s Toronto Newcomer Day, an event that celebrates and assists newcomers to the city, the City of Toronto‘s Newcomer Office held a special launch gathering in Rotunda at Toronto City Hall to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the event. The city’s representatives shared just how important it is to support and look after new arrivals who contribute to building a better city for everyone.

Councillor Alejandra Bravo shared that like so many newcomers to Canada, came here seeking safety and security after her family was forced to flee Chile following a coup in her homeland. “I came to Canada as a refugee, I overcame struggles with my family learning the language, but we received support, we received help. Like so many of us here, we helped to build this city. I feel very connected and I feel very accountable to the work that you all do. We want you to know that immigrants, refugees, undocumented persons, whatever your immigration status, we are here to celebrate you, we are here to work for you,” she said.

“This place is ours, this place is yours. The Toronto Newcomer Strategy from the city strives to ensure that all of you who come to Toronto have a sense of belonging, wellbeing, a sense of connection, that you feel safe, supported, welcomed, and this is really important to me: that you know you have a vibrant role in shaping the future of our city,” Bravo added. 

Visitors to Nathan Phillips Square on May 23 can visit booths set up by more than 140 settlement and community organizations

Councillor Bravo explained that Toronto aims to be a leader in providing newcomers equitable access to programs and services such as recreation, childcare, financial assistance, starting a business, or even something as straightforward as having easy access to public transportation: a facility that is crucial for newcomers to the city. “I implore you to meet with the many city staff and community agencies present at the information fair to offer you information about their services,” she said.

Denise Andrea Campbell, the Executive Director of the City of Toronto’s Social Development, Finance & Administration Department, came with her family to Canada from Jamaica, when she was a little girl and knows full well the need to support newcomers.  “The wellbeing of newcomers only adds to the city’s social, economic and cultural vitality, add to that political vitality as well,” she said. 

Also read: What do you like about Canada? Newcomers share why they moved here

In 2015, the City of Toronto was one of the first municipalities in Canada to hold a newcomer day

Since then, more than 55,000 people have attended Toronto Newcomer Day, and more than 10,000 people were part of the event last year alone. 

Over this month, Toronto Public Library will also host newcomer events across the city to spread awareness of the various services provided by the city, in partnership with community agencies. 

Talking about the importance of Toronto Newcomer Day, Vera Dodic, project director of refugee response at the City of Toronto, shared: “It is a community building event, it is a powerful message to newcomers, it is also an event that builds the city internally. It connects all the divisions of the city, promotes newcomer and settlement issues, it connects the city with a multitude of stakeholders, other organs of government, and it connects us with newcomers as well.”

Rekha Ladva, who often volunteers at Toronto Newcomer Day, is a caseworker who has seen first-hand the value of services provided to newcomers. “Helping our clients and when they succeed and when we get positive feedback, that is when I feel my job is done because they are taking part in continuing education, they’re learning English as a Second Language (ESL), and then they’ve gotten jobs in their field because they come from other countries and they aim to get credentials,” she said. “When they succeed, I feel I succeed.”

The launch event also screened a lookback video reflecting on a decade of this vital event in the city.

Toronto Newcomer Day 2024

See you on Thursday, May 23; 10 am – 3 pm at Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2. This is an outdoor event.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SEASON 6 ADS-Leaderboard- 728 x 90
Send this to a friend