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Refugees + Sponsors


Welcome Refugees


Idea Exchange is happy to welcome refugees into their new community.

We have resources, collections, and programs for people of all ages. Library cards are free to anyone who lives in Waterloo Region.

Settlement Workers in the Library
Our settlement workers help newcomers learn about our culture, get health care, find a job, find housing, learn about our schools, apply for identification, and much more.

Learning English
Find ESL materials in the library as well as local English classes and Conversation Circles.

Computer Services
Computers and WiFi are free at all Idea Exchange locations. Printing, copying, scanning & faxing are also available.


Featured Titles

City of ThornsThe seeds of friendshipWhen the moon is lowBad Bye, Good Bye

Mango Languages
Mango Languages

Learn the world's most popular languages with these fun and easy online lessons. ESL, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, and many more. Go mobile with Mango's free apps for Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android.

Immigration Waterloo Region
Website for newcomers about living in Waterloo Region; provides helpful information, supports settling in, and referrals to many local programs.

Government of Canada #WelcomeRefugees
Information and updates about the Government of Canada's resettlement of Syrian refugees.

Immigration and Citizenship Canada
Apply to visit, study, work or immigrate to Canada, apply for citizenship, a permanent resident card or refugee protection, check the status of your application or find a form.

Welcome to Ontario
A guide to your first two weeks in Ontario. Available in Arabic.

After You Arrive - Ontario Immigration
Resources to help newcomers to settle in Ontario, including information on applying for OHIP coverage and starting a new business.

Egale Canada: Guide to LGBTQ+ Issues in Canada's Immigration and Refugee System
A guide answering common questions about matters related to LGBTQ+ identities in the Canadian immigration and refugee system.

City of Cambridge
Learn about all your new city has to offer including activities, events and fun places to visit.

Waterloo Region Welcomes Refugees
Help and resources for Syrian refugees and their sponsors in the Waterloo region.

Reception House Waterloo Region
A community-based organization providing welcome and support for government-assisted refugees during their first year in Canada.

Cambridge and North Dumfries Directory of Services for Immigrants and Refugees 2017 [PDF]
A complete guide to local services for refugees.

211 Ontario
211 is a three-digit phone number and website that provides access to more than 56,000 community, social, and health services in Ontario, including Cambridge and Waterloo Region. Calls are free, anonymous and confidential. The service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and in more than 150 languages. Info in Arabic [PDF]

Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre
The multicultural centre provides settlement services support, interpreters, workshops and social events for new Canadians.

YMCA Cambridge/KW Immigrant Services
The YMCA provides services to assist with employment, social and educational opportunities for new immigrants.

Carizon Counselling and Family Services
Carizon Counselling and Family Services offers programs to support the mental and emotional health of refugees and newcomers to Canada.

Your First Two Weeks in Canada (in Arabic)
From the Citizenship and Immigration Canada YouTube Channel.