Our Settlement Services’ team is here to help newcomers to Canada adjust to life in St. Thomas and Elgin County.
Information on important settlement issues to help newcomers make informed decisions about life in Canada.
Orientation to the St. Thomas-Elgin community and to Canadian life.
Referrals to programs and services in the region including employment, health care, language and skills training.
English language training for eligible adult learners.
Employment-related supports for newcomers looking to build their professional networks.
Community Connections’ activities to help adults and youth make friends and engage in the local community through our Newcomer Networking Circles and the Newcomer Youth Club.
Interpretation services in some languages to help newcomers navigate settlement-related issues.
English Language Classes
We offer free English as a second language training for adult immigrants who are Permanent Residents of Canada. Our instructors use settlement themes to teach reading, writing, listening and speaking skills within the framework of the Canadian Language Benchmarks. Learners also receive information about the local community, Canadian culture and the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. Classes are available during the daytime in St. Thomas and at Sommerfeld Mennonite Church and in the evenings in Aylmer.
Why Chose Us?
- Language for everyday life
- Small class sizes
- Computer activities
- Transportation support
- Make friends and have fun
Who Can Join?
To be eligible for our English language program, you must be 18 years or older and one of the following:
- a landed immigrant, Permanent Resident, Convention Refugee or other person permitted to remain in Canada
- able to show an original, valid immigration document such as a Permanent Resident card, Confirmation of Permanent Residence, Notice of Decision etc.
To participate in the program, individuals must complete a placement test by an assessment centre.
YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin
16 Mary Street West
St. Thomas, ON
Phone: (519) 631-9800
Aylmer Community Services
20 Talbot Street East
Aylmer, ON, N5H 1H4
Phone: 226-210-6800 *NEW
Fax: 226-210-6799 *NEW
Sommerfeld Mennonite Church
Aylmer West, ON
Newcomer Networking Circles
Our group information sessions help newcomers to Canada learn about important settlement topics and about life in St. Thomas-Elgin. The sessions also provide opportunities to meet new people and connect to services in the community.
Some of our past sessions have covered:
• Banking in Canada
• Getting ready for school
• Protecting yourself from fraud and scams
• Fire safety
• Voting in an election
Newcomer Youth Club
The Newcomer Youth Club provides newcomer youth between the ages of 10-17 with a safe and supportive space to build friendships, improve their English language skills and learn about life in Canada. The club helps youth to develop a sense of belonging to the local community and to build positive relationships with adults and peers. It also helps youth to strengthen the soft skills they need to succeed in school, work and life in Canada.
Some of our past activities include:
• Tree planting
• Robotics and coding
• Stained glass art
• Tours of local fire and police stations
Newcomer youth looking for help completing their high school volunteer hours are encouraged to speak with settlement staff.
Settlement Worker in Schools (SWIS) Program
As a member of the London, St. Thomas-Elgin SWIS Partnership, the YWCA offers school-based settlement services at several locations in the area. The SWIS program provides information, referrals and support to newcomer students and their families to help them adjust to the Ontario school system and the local community.
SWIS services are currently available at the following schools in English and Low German:
- East Elgin Secondary School
- McGregor Public School
- Monsignor Morrison Catholic School
- Port Burwell Public School
- Straffordville Public School
- Summers‘ Corners Public School
If you are a school principal and have newcomer families in your school who would benefit from SWIS services, please contact us.
How can we help?
If you have a question about the programs and services we offer in Settlement Services please call (519) 631-9800 or complete the form below.
Please note inquiries are reviewed within 2-3 business days.