Welcome to Canada
Every year hundreds of thousands of immigrants arrive in Canada looking for a place to belong and a new start. Canada is known globally for welcoming people from many different communities who enrich our national identity. As a church we want to whole heartedly welcome you. This page is designed to provide you with resources, cultural tips and help you start to feel like you are
Video 1: University of Ottawa video for international students
Video 2: Advice from international students at Carleton University
Dressing for Winter in Ottawa
Cute winter wear may look nice, BUT it won’t keep you warm. See the video for some great tips on how to stay warm!
What is Winter like in Canada?
How do you get rid of snow on your car? How to keep your home warm, what tools do you need to remove snow in your driveway? More dressing tips.
What are Canadians saying?
Like any nation, Canadians use words (slang) that are hard to understand. Watch this helpful video that explains what they mean.
Other services you may need
Language Schools in Ottawa
These schools run a program called Linc which is free to newcomers
School, health, safety, homework click here
The idea of child protection may be foreign to newcomers who may use corporal punishment (spanking, hitting) to discipline children. In Canada spanking is allowed however there are specific rules surrounding it. If your child goes to school with any suspicious marks the Children’s Aid Society may make a house visit to determine if they consider it abuse. Click here for an explanation about how far is too far.
Grocery Stores & International Grocery Stores in Ottawa
For a list of international grocery stores click here
There are many grocery stores in Ottawa. Their pricing varies depending on the store. Sobeys, Loblaws Supercenters, and Metro all fall in the medium price category. No Frills, Food Basics, and Walmart are on the less expensive end. Farm Boy and Wholefoods tend to be more expensive.
Credit cards let you borrow money up to a limit. You make monthly payments and interest is charged on unpaid debts. While there’s no denying the convenience factor of credit cards, if you don’t use them responsibly, you could end up in debt. Understanding how credit cards work and what options are available to you will help you take control of your finances. Click here for details about what it means to have a credit card.
Finding a Hair Salon is best by word of mouth or internet search.
Finding a Doctor
It’s important to find a family doctor to take care of your medical needs. Until you do there are walk-in clinics all over the city, but for consistent care it’s best to find a family doctor. It’s not an easy process as many doctor’s offices are full and aren’t taking new patients. Word of mouth is the best way to find one and then call them and ask if they are taking new patients. If they say no, ask if they know a Doctor who is taking new patients. You can google Doctors in Ottawa and start calling and always ask if they know a Doctor who is taking new patients.
Here is a link that may help you find a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner.
Every hospital has an Emergency Room however unless it is an emergency it’s best to go to your walk in clinic or your family Doctor for colds, flu, etc. If the hospital decides your condition is not an emergency, the wait will be many hours because they treat emergencies first.
Medications – many medications in Canada require a visit to the doctor first. If you need medication the Doctor will write you a prescription which allows you to go to a pharmacy to get the medication. Many nations have medications that you can buy without a Doctor’s perscription but in Canada a lot of our medications can only be obtained after a Doctor’s visit. OHIP doesn’t cover the cost of medication.
There are 9 statutory holidays in Ontario. Many businesses/stores/offices are closed on these days. Click here for the list of holidays.