(Updated September 12, 2016)

Here at OCRA, we’ve used the resources below to learn more about refugee resettlement in Ottawa and Canada. Use them to educate yourself and recruit your own networks.

All documents are in the public domain and are provided for information only. (Where documents are starred * an Arabic translation is listed below.) 

  • My Refugee Computers is volunteer group of Ottawa-based IT professionals who are collecting and refurbishing computers  to provide to refugee families free of charge.
  • The Ottawa Public Library has 33 branches and nearly 4,000 individual books, movies and tapes available in Arabic. Membership is free with proof of address and includes free wifi, use of computers and printers, video and audio equipment, loans of passes to museums, etc. For a full description of OPL offerings, see OPL overview
  • Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization –   webpage  on education, including document and immunization requirements, age requirements for attending school, links for the four local school boards, a description of public education system, list of adult high schools and English/French language schools and the postsecondary schools in the region.
  • School Supply List – grades 1 – 3 and 4 – 8        This is a complete list of requirements of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.  Other school boards may have different requirements.
Get up to date  information on how money works in Canada. Systems in other countries operate differently.
  • Hampers for Syrian Families  Now accept/supply clothing, kitchen kits, baby hampers and more. Contact Mauretta at 613 323 3361
  • Capital Welcomes  – Clothing drop box is beside security desk at 350 Sparks; check Facebook page for sorting events on Sundays.
  • Furniture Bank of Ottawa – Contact Andrea for an appointment date and time at  613.240.6680.
  • Helping with Furniture (HWF) – Volunteer-run charitable organization that delivers gently used furniture and household items to people restarting their lives in Ottawa after fleeing situations of hardship.
  • Salvation Army – Offers low-cost furnishings and clothing to all at low prices.
  • St. Vincent de Paul – Offers low-cost furnishings and clothing to all at low prices.
  • Value Village – A for-profit global thrift retailer.  Their prices are often equivalent to non-profit prices.
  • Free Dental Screening clinics, by Ottawa Public Health.
  • Refugee Health Toolkit (2015-2016)_v1
  • Information on the Interim Federal Health Program, including application forms and information for health care providers.
  • Various health service partners who have set up primary care hubs in Ottawa to serve the large influx of Syrian refugees. These hubs will serve as primary care locations for PSRs, as well as GARs, where initial medical assessments and screenings will take place. To obtain an appointment at one of the hubs, call Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre at 613-691-0192. The following information will be requested in order to schedule appointments:
    • –  Name and date of birth of all PSRs
    • –  Permanent address and phone number of PSRs (if available)
    • –  Language(s) of the PSRs
    • –  List of any health concerns
    • –  Whether or not an on-going primary health care provider has been arranged
      The PCHs will be responsible for initial assessments and screenings and starting the immunization process for all clients. Some PCHs will be able to accept PSRs as on-going clients of their centre. However, if hubs have reached capacity and cannot accept more new clients, refugees will need to arrange for on-going primary care provider elsewhere in the community. ONHC will support clients, sponsors, and service providers find on-going primary care providers for refugees. PCHs will maintain medical records and will arrange for file transfer, if and when appropriate.
  • Need someone to talk to?  The “Walk-In Counselling Clinic” offers services in Arabic Thursdays from 11:00 – 5:00, at OCISO,  959 Wellington Street West. The walk-in sessions are free to all members of the community, with no restrictions based on age or location/address and no need for an appointment.  For a description of services go to
  • OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan)  Health care options for Syrian Refugees
  • Overview by
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provides a Newcomer’s Guide to Housing.  See here   for both English and Arabic.
  • Information for Renters  Canada Mortgage and Housing’s website has good information for renters, including newcomers.  Especially useful for resource people. English     French     Arabic
  • Tenants’ Rights  Renters are protected under Ontario’s Human Rights Codes. Useful for Resource people regarding guarantors, credit and background checks, damage deposits, etc.
  •  Coop Housing    – low rent, lots of community participation, some large units, long waiting list.
  • Basic expressions in Syrian and English
  • Directory of Language Programs in Ottawa
  • English Conversation on Tuesday’s 5-7pm at Sunnyside Library.
  • In My Language – Provides multilingual information for newcomer(s) in Ontario, including information about immigration, housing, work, health, education, legal matters and daily life in 11 different languages. Arabic* is one of the languages used.
  • ELTOC provides ESL tutoring services to newcomers (permanent residents and refugees) who are unable to attend regular ESL classes offered in the community.  Click for more information
  • Learning English – Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada  (LINC). This ESL program provides basic English language instruction to eligible adult newcomers (immigrants and those to whom Canada intends to grant permanent resident status) to facilitate their social, cultural and economic integration into society. Language classes are also available in French.
  • Refugee 613 Interpretation and Translation services

The Refugee Sponsorship Support Program trains lawyers to assist groups seeking to privately sponsor refugees.