As a newcomer to Canada, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start in terms of getting all your personal documentation setup, who to ask for guidance, establishing the appropriate bank accounts, and learning about the area and neighbourhoods you’ll be living in.
At Synergy Lab, we want you to succeed in whatever’s next in your journey. With that in mind, we’ve put together an ever-growing list of resources you might find helpful during your transition. Our hope is to make your to-do list a little less stressful!
For general information about living in Canada, scroll through our robust library of resources below.
To access information more specific to your (new) local community, select the city you’ll be residing in below.
Federal Services Information & FAQ
Obtaining a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in Canada
Do I need a Canadian health card? Stay healthy while living in Canada by ensuring you have the proper documentation and health insurance in place needed to access health care.
Additional Requirements (At Least 1):
In Ontario on a valid work permit and are working full-time in Ontario, for an Ontario employer, for at least 6 months
You must apply for OHIP in person at a ServiceOntario centre.
You will need to bring these documents with you:
How to Obtain a Health Card in Ontario
To meet the minimum qualifications:
In addition to the above-mentioned document(s).
Only original documents will be accepted for:
Once you have the required documents ready, you need to book an appointment with Service Ontario through their website as all their offices don’t provide OHIP services.
Here’s the link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/book-serviceontario-appointment
Upon providing all the required documents and if you are eligible, you will be issued a temporary card on the spot while the physical card will get delivered to your home address.
Newcomer’s Guide to Obtaining a Network Connection in Canada
Before you begin, it’s essential to understand a few key concepts related to obtaining a SIM card in Canada:
Canada has several major service providers, each offering different plans, coverage areas, and features. Here’s a closer look at the service providers and their coverage:
Once you’ve selected a service provider, explore their available plans to find one that suits your needs. Consider factors such as data allowance, talk time, text messaging, international calling, and additional features.
You have two main options for getting a device:
You can obtain a SIM card or purchase a new device either by visiting a retail store or by ordering online through the service provider’s website. If you’re bringing your own device, let the provider know so they can assist you with the right SIM card.
As a newcomer, you will need to provide identification to purchase and activate a SIM card or a new device. Accepted forms of identification usually include a passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued ID. Additionally, since newcomers might not have a credit card right away, you might be asked to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN) for identification purposes.-add proof of address.
If you’re bringing your own device, insert the SIM card, power on your phone, and follow the activation prompts. If you’re buying a new device on contract, the provider will activate the phone for you.
After activation, your phone should connect to the network. If not, you might need to adjust your phone’s settings. Your service provider’s website or customer service can guide you through this process.
Keep an eye on your usage through the service provider’s app or website. If you’re on a postpaid plan or device contract, pay your bills on time to avoid service interruption.
Used Car Buying Guide
Generate a Carfax report prior to purchasing a vehicle to gain vehicle history.
Car insurance plans in Ontario are through private insurance companies. You cannot drive a car in Ontario without insurance.
There are 3 options when looking to purchase car insurance.
You can use online platforms like Sonnet or comparison sites like rates.ca to find the best rates for your budget.
You must register your car within 6 days of purchase at a Service Ontario.
To find a location visit https://www.ontario.ca/locations/serviceontario
To register a vehicle and get a permit and licence plate, you need:
To ensure your vehicle is fit for the road, you will need a:
Where can I find resources to improve my English?
Learning English as a Second Language (ESL) can have its challenges, but there are many resources in place to help you improve.
How do I connect with my community?
Living in a new place can be overwhelming. Meeting people in your community will help you feel more at home. Find more information on Settlement Services, local community centres, places of worship, your neighbourhood and more.
How do I get my Canadian driver’s license?
In order to legally drive a vehicle in Canada, you’re required to obtain a valid driver’s license issued by the government of your province or territory.
ServiceOntario is a government agency that offers a wide range of online and in-person services to residents and businesses in Ontario, Canada, including driver’s license renewals, health card applications, and birth certificate requests.
Service Canada is a government agency that provides a variety of federal services and benefits to Canadian citizens, including employment insurance, social insurance numbers, and pension information.
EarlyON Centres across Ontario offer free, inclusive spaces providing activities, professional advice on child development, information on community family services, and opportunities to connect with other families, available on various days and times.
Finding the right rental apartment involves exploring various options, such as online resources like Kijiji or Home Base Housing Apartment Listings, as well as reaching out to landlords or real estate agents. Additionally, consider seeking advice from friends and family who might know of vacancies.
Royal Bank of Canada(RBC)
A leading Canadian bank offering a wide range of financial services, including banking, investments, and insurance, both domestically and internationally.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank)
Known for its extensive branch network and digital banking services, TD Bank provides a diverse range of financial products and services to individuals and businesses.
Scotiabank(Bank of Nova Scotia)
A global bank with a significant presence in Canada, offering various banking solutions and international banking services, particularly in Latin America.
Bank of Montreal(BMO)
One of Canada’s oldest banks, BMO provides a comprehensive suite of financial services, including personal banking, wealth management, and commercial banking.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce(CIBC)
Offering a variety of financial products and services, CIBC is known for its strong retail and business banking divisions and customer-focused approach.
National Bank of Canada
As one of Canada’s largest banks, National Bank provides a broad range of banking services and financial solutions, with a significant presence in