First Steps in Canada


The first 7 steps are a good start towards a settling into a new life in Ontario. There are many other steps you will want to take and we at the IWC centre can help you take them.

Visit us today with your list of settlement questions. You don’t have to wait until you’ve completed the first 7 settlement steps! You’ll find that our Centres offers many useful newcomer services

STEP 1 Find a Place to Stay

Plan where you will stay during your first days in Canada. Make arrangements to stay with family or friends or book a hotel in a central location.

STEP 2 Get a Social Insurance Number

You will need a Social Insurance Number for identification, and to work. You can apply for a Social Insurance card at any office of the Service Canada department of the federal government.

For more information, contact the Regional Call Centre for Employment Insurance and Social Insurance Numbers at 1-800-206-7218.

STEP 3 Get Medical Insurance

This insurance pays for emergency medical costs until you obtain government health insurance in Canada. Private health insurance is necessary because the time between when you apply and when you receive government health insurance card can be three months or longer.

STEP 4 Open a Bank Account

To open an account, you will need at least two pieces of identification, preferably with your photo. You can use your passport, permanent resident card and social insurance number card.

STEP 5 Plan for Your Children

Parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children. To assist parents, in Canada, provincial and territorial governments administer and regulate educational systems.

For more information contact Elementary and Secondary Education

STEP 6 Plan for English Language Training

Canada has two official languages: English and French. English is the most commonly spoken language in the majority of provinces and territories. Newcomers come to Canada with different levels of French or English. In Canada, most newcomers who are permanent residents are eligible for free taxpayer-funded language classes.

STEP 7 Decide How You Will Travel

You can travel around Hamilton by car, by bicycle, by public bus. For bus route and schedule information, click here.

If you need to travel outside of Hamilton, you can take Go-Train, a Greyhound bus, or rent a car. People often fly from one Canadian city to another Canadian city because there are big distances between them.

If you have an international driver’s license from another country, you can use it for up to 3 months after you arrive. After that, you must have an Ontario Driver’s License.

Source: Welcome to Canada by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Canada Government