Goodbye 2016, Welcome 2017!


The past year has been a great one for Next Stop Canada, as we have had the pleasure of meeting and helping many pre-arrival newcomers from all over the world. Our team feels grateful to be able to see the results of months of hard work reflected in the satisfaction of our clients, and knowing they appreciate the work we are doing for them. It is a great sense of accomplishment to be part of a team that cares about the wellbeing of newcomers and strives to make the program better each day!

In addition, we would like to recognize how important it is to be able to refer clients to post arrival settlement services that can provide them with additional settlement guidance. With that said, we would like to thank the Newcomer Information Center and the Language Assessment and Referral Center for the excellent service provided to our clients post arrival. Our clients truly appreciated being connected to our post-arrival services and they expressed their gratitude by visiting our office, writing us an email
or calling us to let us know how much these services have helped them in their settlement process.

We also would like to emphasize that many of our achievements could not have been possible without the contributions of our partners, both in Canada and abroad, as well as our volunteers. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication!

All of us at Next Stop Canada would like to wish all our partners, volunteers and members a Prosperous New Year! We hope to make 2017 an even greater year!

Partners Working Together to Serve Pre-arrival Newcomers

On September 26 and 27 Candy Chow, Next Stop Canada’s Youth Program Coordinator, attended the Planning for Canada Conference in Ottawa. This consultative conference brought together a number of important Canadian pre-arrival service provider partners and collaborators around one table. Among those present were members of the provincial/territorial governments, regulatory and credential-assessment bodies, sector councils, umbrella organizations, educational institutions, immigrant-serving organizations, employer support agencies and employers, as well as representatives from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The conference provided an opportunity for those attending to reflect, analyze and discuss the new pre-arrival service landscape. Many service providers, including Next Stop Canada, shared their current experience assessing client needs, identifying gaps and areas of complementarity, and shared best practices in the continuum of pre-arrival support to newcomers.

Discussions also included identifying areas to foster new and existing partnership networks and the future course of the pre-arrival programs.

Members participating in the Planning for Canada Conference.

This was a very valuable conference as we were given the opportunity to meet with many representatives from other pre-arrival programs. This included meeting facilitators from the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) programs overseas and learning the specific work that they do. We look forward to strengthening the important partnerships and collaborative work with our partners to support the newcomers we serve.

Candy Chow – Next Stop Canada Youth Program Coordinator

Next Stop Canada Member

Success is Just One Click Away

Mahmood Nafisi was referred to Next Stop Canada through his friend, who informed him about our pre-arrival settlement services. Upon signing up for our services he was thrilled to learn that he had access to information in Farsi. After arriving to Canada and taking a few weeks to settle into his new home, he visited the Next Stop Canada team and thanked the staff who had helped him before coming to Canada. During his visit, he mentioned that he was impressed with all the information provided based on his needs such as housing, important documents, health, banking and finance.

Mentor's Story

Majid Asgari


Meet Majid, a Senior Quality Engineer. He moved with his family to Canada 4 years ago. Like many new immigrants one of the biggest challenges he faced when he arrived to Canada was learning and improving the English language. However, this did not stop him from pursuing his dream. After much hard work and determination to succeed, he found a job in the automotive manufacturing industry as a Senior Quality Engineer. As a mentor for Next Stop Canada, he encourages new immigrants to improve their English language skills, conduct research on the city where they will be staying, and to never underestimate the power of volunteering, as it can help build their network.

To read more about Majid’s successful career transition, please check out our blog.

Joshua Velasco

Joshua has been volunteering as a youth mentor for Next Stop Canada for the past year. Being involved in internship opportunities, events, and workshops, all with the purpose of better preparing newcomer youth before they arrive to Canada, has helped him gain various skills. Some of them include presentation skills, public speaking skills and time
management skills, which he states will be important when choosing a career path for the future.

Volunteering with Next Stop Canada has been one of the greatest experience I’ve had in my life.

– Joshua

Read more about Joshua’s story about mentoring pre-arrival teens.

Next Stop Canada in Action!

Next Stop Canada Attends LSP Week Celebrations

This past October marked the eighth anniversary of Library Settlement Partnerships (LSP) at the Toronto Public Library. Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), LSP works with several settlement agencies across Toronto to provide information, referrals, and activities for new immigrants. YMCA’s Newcomer Information Centre is proud to be part of this partnership.
This year Next Stop Canada was amongst several settlement agencies participating in the LSP Week celebrations. The theme for this year’s events was “Dance from Around the World.” Performances included traditional dances from China, India, Spain, the Middle East, and much more. Newcomers also shared stories of how important it is to have settlement workers present at the Toronto libraries. The event also coincided with Canadian Citizenship Week, which brought together Citizenship Judges who shared their knowledge and experience with the participants.
Next Stop Canada’s staff had the opportunity to attend the celebrations across various library branches. Each event saw dozens of members from the community come together to dance, chat, eat and learn about one another’s cultures. This also gave us the chance to inform newcomers, established or recently arrived, about Next Stop Canada’s pre-arrival services. Many people were pleased to know that IRCC has taken the initiative to fund programs like Next Stop Canada that assist new immigrants in their preparation for moving to Canada.

Sarita Bhatta- Information and Referral Specialist (far right) poses with flamenco dancers and other LSP partners at the Toronto Reference library.

The highlight of the LSP event for me was seeing how much respect the attendees gave when the Canadian national anthem played. You could tell how proud they were to be in this country and how they have embraced Canada as their new home.

– Jaskaran Gill, Information and Referral Specialist

Attending the LSP events is important for everyone, not just IRS’s or newcomers because they are a great way to meet the community, get involved with the community and eventually contribute to the community.

– Alexandra Popilian, Information and Referral Specialist

On Air with PINOY Dreams

In October 2016 Next Stop Canada had the opportunity to promote our services on PINOY Dreams, an online Filipino radio talk show based in Toronto. With an audience of over 53,000 listeners worldwide the show typically focuses on educating and advocating for the rights of Filipino immigrants in Canada.

During the interview, Next Stop Canada discussed how our services can help the Filipino community to make their journey to Canada a successful one. Listeners found the segment “informative” and expressed their enthusiasm for the service available to members of their community. Following the segment, Next Stop Canada had many inquiries about the program. This radio interview was very successful and raised more awareness about pre-arrival services.

To watch the recorded version of this radio interview, visit PINOY Dreams’ Facebook page at:

Rizza Solis, IRS at Next Stop Canada speaks with PINOY Dreams radio host.

Volunteering with Next Stop Canada

Shannon Hughes (姚诗韵)

Name: Shannon Hughes (姚诗韵)
Nationality: Singaporean
Date of Arrival: May 2016
Qualifications: Bachelors of Business (Marketing)
Family in Toronto: Husband

YMCA’s brand brought Shannon a sense of comfort and belonging as it reminded her of home. After doing some research, she discovered Next Stop Canada and learned about the services provided to prepare new immigrants for their move to Canada. She wishes she had known about Next Stop Canada before her own immigration journey. As a result, she became passionate about volunteering to help newcomers like herself. She sympathized with the needs of newcomers and wanted to help ease their transition.

Read Next Stop Canada blogs written by Shannon:

Winter Activities in Canada

Health Care for New Immigrants: The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

Featured Partner


Skilled Trades

Next Stop Canada is excited to be partnering with the Build ON Program, offered by the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region. Build ON is a new Pre-Arrival Program, funded by Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC), offering free information and orientation services to those preparing for work in Ontario Skilled Trades.

The program, made available to accepted permanent residents who are still living abroad, provides online services rendered through a personalized user dashboard; one which is tailored to user’s personal needs and objectives. Registered clients are able to meet with Build ON Employment Consultants (via Skype), while working through a custom curriculum comprised of online workshop and take-away materials.

Clients of the Build ON program can expect to learn about: Ontario Trade Certification, Ontario Trade Equivalency Assessment, Popular Trades, Canadian Workplace Culture, Resume Writing, Interview Preparation, and much more.

Words from the Build ON Program Employment Consultants:

What I enjoy most is working with a team of passionate individuals. Meeting clients from all walks of life and helping ensure their smooth transition into the Canadian workplace makes all of my work at Build ON worthwhile.

– Ornella

It is a very rewarding experience. We have an amazing team. We are experts on providing information and orientation to individuals interested in working in the skilled trades in Ontario.

– Robyn

The best thing about working for Build ON is being able to use our knowledge and creativity as a team to plan our program’s curriculum, make new partnerships and help people attain their employment goals!

– Jessica

I don’t see myself working with another team. Build ON is a great pre-arrival support for newcomers looking to work in the trades in Ontario and Build ON team is a fun and great team to work with.

– Raquel

Connect, Like and Follow Us on Social Media

Are you on social media? Join Next Stop Canada on our social media platforms! We launched our Facebook and Twitter pages in April 2016. These pages allow us to connect with community organizations, potential clients, and local residents of the Greater Toronto Area. Our posts include program updates, events in the GTA, and fun facts about Canada. We’re now also on Linked In! Followers can connect with Next Stop Canada for news and updates about employment, networking and educational opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area.

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Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada | Financé par Immigration, Réfugiés et Citoyenneté Canada