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Immigrant Services

The support you need to help you feel at home.

Immigrant Services

The support you need to help you feel at home.

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka | Helping Newcomers Adjust to Life in Canada

YMCA Immigrant Services ensures eligible newcomers to Canada receive appropriate English language training and settlement services including assessment of needs, orientation, information and referral, and labour market information in order to feel welcomed in the community and to participate socially, culturally and economically. These services are supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Our settlement staff team assists newcomers to Canada to settle and adapt to life in Barrie and throughout Simcoe County through the following services:

  • Assistance in completing forms
  • Arrange for interpreters and translators
  • Information on social services, schools, health care, housing and recreational facilities
  • Referrals to education, government and community services
  • Employment counselling

Barrie: (705) 797-2020 ext. 25
Innisfil, Midland: (705) 797-2020 ext. 22
Bradford: (905) 775-3343

YMCA teachers are here to help you learn English

  • English as a Second language classes
  • Reading-Writing-Listening-Speaking
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Free of charge to eligible participants
  • Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment test required
  • Proof of permanent residence required
  • Free childcare for registered participants
  • Monday to Friday

Learn Speak Live English classes. Click here to learn how!


YMCA Newcomer Services
320 Bayfield St Unit 63A Bayfield Mall
Barrie, ON L4M 3C1
Phone: (705) 797-2020 ext 25
Fax: (705) 797-2022

This project is designed to ease the transition of newcomers that arrive in Ontario. Orientation to Ontario (O2O) provides access to information about settling in Ontario and connecting newcomers to community services after arrival.

This includes:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Working in Canada

YMCA Newcomer Services
320 Bayfield St Unit 63A Bayfield Mall
Barrie, ON L4M 3C1
phone: (705) 797-2020 ext 25
fax: (705) 797-2022

If you have applied to a college or university, or you are thinking about studying in Ontario, International Student Connect is just for you. This program includes both online and in-person support for international students in Ontario.

Use these tools to help you integrate into student life in Ontario:

  • Group workshops
  • One-on-one sessions
  • Handbooks
  • Fact sheets
  • Transition plans
  • Webinars

YMCA Newcomer Services
320 Bayfield St Unit 63A Bayfield Mall
Barrie, ON L4M 3C1
Phone: (705) 797-2020 ext 25
Fax: (705) 797-2022

Strengthsquest - self assessment

• Identify your top 5 talents
• Learn the power behind your talents and how to intentionally apply them daily
• The benefits and power of a strengths based approach
• The tools to begin your StrengthsQuest journey and establish a strengths based culture

Leadership Communication

• Identify your communication style
• Gain awareness about the impact you have on others based on how you communicate
• Learn techniques and the awareness needed to be a truly great communicator

Transformational Leadership

• Defining leadership throughout the ages
• Learn to differentiate between trending concepts on leadership to those that are proven, relevant and applicable today
• Learn to identify what leadership styles have influenced you and what leadership style and the characteristics you would most like to exemplify. What form of leadership is your team or organization led by? Which style would have the most impact?

Strategic Planning

• Why is it important?
• How does one get started?
• What makes a good strategic plan? – learn the essentials

Team Effectiveness - Stages of Development

• Be provided with the tools needed to assess at what level of performance your team is working at
• Learn to kick start and transition your team to one that is highly performing

Mindfulness - Group Approach

• Strategies, techniques & its importance towards attaining a work/life balance

Strengthsquest - Motivation and Engagement

• Learn to manage your talents and those of your team as an interactive process
• You will be able to assess if you are in the right role and determine if managing people is the right fit for you? Are you developing or damaging your teams?

Managing Performance

• Tried and true tools perfect for staff evaluations
• You will be able to differentiate between critical behaviour needing intervention versus behaviour that can be coached
• You will be provided with the tools on how to address staff behaviour & coach your teams


• Learn the science, physiological & psychological responses that impact decision making and personal interaction
• You will be able to look at the work environment through a different lens noting its impact on potential employee performance and learning the means to intervene and influence for better results

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Resiliency

• Provides additional insights on how you are perceived and how that awareness can lead to greater impact as a leader

Change Management

• Examines the impact change has throughout an organization and provides you with the tools and understanding of how to navigate through change with the least collateral & cultural damage

Conflict Resolution

• Learn the tools needed to be able to find the common ground needed to move beyond an impasse

The Art of Persuasion

• Realize the weight of your words and actions and how to put that knowledge to the best use
• Where do you fit within the political milieu?

Strengthsquest - followership and leadership

• Move beyond what your individual talents contribute to a team and start to learn to intentionally aim & maximize the talents of others
• With this understanding you will be able to address and provide what your team members need from you as their leader

Principled-Centre Leadership

• You will learn to appreciate and consider the weight of responsibility that comes as you evolve as a leader
• You will examine ethical dilemmas and the means to address them, as well as the consequences those decisions may have

Philanthropic Leadership

• Learn a strategic approach to philanthropic visioning for your organization. As the funding landscape changes so too must our approach to philanthropy
• You will examine your readiness to adapt to these changes and how to instill a framework and culture of philanthropy that can be sustained for the long term

Board Governance

• Learn the importance of Governance and the essential role it plays as part of any organization
• Learn to assess at what stage of Governance your board operates at and how to move their level of engagement should your organization be ready for the shift
• You will be given the tools to fully understand & implement best practices of governance into your organization

Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships

• You will be provided with the tools in order to assess the readiness of your organization and your board to collaborate or partner with another organization
• We will discuss and examine what governing practices need to be in place in order for collaboration to not only occur but also succeed

Unconscious Bias

• Everyone is biased. With that understanding and acceptance you will learn how to make decisions that acknowledges the role bias can often play within that process
• You will discuss best practices and be provided with the tools needed to implement them

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