The YMCA Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) is a first stop for all newcomers to Canada. The Newcomer Information Centres (NIC), located in Niagara Falls and St. Catharines, have friendly multilingual staff that provide up-to-date information and can refer you to various programs throughout the Niagara Region. Both sites offer a variety of workshops related to settlement and all visitors receive an orientation to YMCA services. Our team of trained information specialists are here to listen and provide you with information and opportunities. NIC staff members speak the following languages: English, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Urdu, Pashto and Punjabi. Whenever possible, the families may be served in their first language.
All services provided are FREE. The centres are equipped with computers, photocopiers, printers and telephones for customer use.
At each NIC you can receive information on many topics including:
St. Catharines Newcomer Information Site
YMCA Employment and Newcomer Services
285 Bunting Rd St. Catharines, Ontario L2M 7T9
905-684-3500 ext 450 or Email
Niagara Falls Newcomer Information Site
YMCA Newcomer Information Centre
8123 Lundys Lane, Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2H 1H3
289-296-7369 or Email
The YMCA Settlement Workers in Schools Programs (better known as SWIS Program) is funded through Citizenship and Immigration Canada and is delivered in partnership with the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board. Schools are one of the first services that newcomer families connect with in the community. With the cooperation of the school, the YMCA SWIS staff are able to connect with newcomer families to orient them to school, community resources and to refer them to specific services. SWIS workers are a link between newcomer families, the school and the community. The SWIS program serves all schools in the boards mentioned above. The role of the SWIS Worker is to create awareness and acceptance with both the newcomer and their new school community in Canada.
The SWIS worker will:
SWIS Coordinator can be contacted at 905-684-3500. Staff can communicate in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Urdu, Pashto and Punjabi.
YMCA Newcomer Services provide language assessment for adults who are Permanent Residents, Convention Refugees or Canadian Citizens. Individuals are assessed with the appropriate language assessment tool (CLBA, CLBLA, CLBPT, ELTPA). These tools were developed by the Canadian Language Benchmarks to help place learners in a class appropriate to their ability in four English language skills:
Learners are then referred to a language instruction class or program. Classes and assessments are offered throughout the Niagara Region and are free of charge for eligible adults. A language assessment may take up to four hours.
Language assessment appointments are available in the following cities:
To book an appointment for a language assessment in St. Catharines or Welland, please call 289-213-5311. To book an appointment in Fort Erie or Niagara Falls, please call 289-407-3682.