Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about our employment and immigrant programs? We've got answers!

Can the YMCA help me find a job?

  • Absolutely! The YMCA offers a range of employment programs to help youth and adults learn about the career and employment opportunities available to them. We can provide you with training in important job-related skills, advise you about starting your own business, and help you search for available jobs. Learn more about how we can help you find a job.

How can I work for the YMCA?

  • If you are looking for a rewarding and meaningful job experience, the YMCA of Greater Toronto may be the place for you! We believe in member involvement, collaborating with other organizations, and building an inclusive workforce. Our management practices are focused on remaining ethical and accountable, and strongly encourage our staff to partner with one another and give back to our community. Learn more about working for the YMCA today.

How can I volunteer with the YMCA?

  • Volunteering is a great way to support your community and share your talents. To learn more about the wide range of volunteer opportunities available through the YMCA, get started today.

What can the YMCA of Greater Toronto do for me as a new immigrant?

  • The YMCA offers multiple programs specifically for new immigrants to support their settlement in Canada. We help newcomers by providing:
    • One-on-one settlement information and referral.
    • Language assessment and referrals to English and/or French language classes.
    • Programs and services for newcomer youth.
    • Information sessions on topics such as settlement, education, employment, finance, Canadian culture and special interest.
    • Support understanding essential documents such as for your health card, S.I.N. card, government benefits or citizenship.
    • Volunteer opportunities.
  • Newcomers can also access other programs offered through the YMCA in the areas of:
    • Child care
    • Health and fitness
    • Camps
    • Youth leadership
    • Education
    • Employment

What is the eligibility for your new immigrant programs and are there any fees for your services?

  • Some YMCA programs are funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
  • The YMCA offers programming for newcomers who are permanent residents (landed immigrants or convention refugees).
  • Services are free to all eligible participants.
  • Refugee claimants, Canadian citizens, and temporary residents (students, workers, and visitors) can receive basic information and referral and are provided with options accessible to them.

What is the difference between LINC and ESL? 

  • LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) and CLIC (Cours de Langue pour les Immigrants au Canada), are funded by the federal government, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, and are free for all participants.
    • This program and its curriculum are specifically designed for newcomers to Canada (permanent residents and convention refugees) who are 18 years of age or older and able to prove immigration status. For specific documents required and to learn more about YMCA Coordinated Language Assessment and Referral Services, click here.
    • Please note you must call to book a language assessment appointment. 416-925-5462 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • ESL (English as a Second Language) and FSL (French as a Second Language) are funded by the provincial government, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services(MCCSS).
    • These classes are open to immigrants as well as refugee claimants, Canadian citizens, and individuals with a valid Minister's Permit.
    • Temporary residents (workers, students and visitors) who wish to attend ESL classes are required to pay a course fee. ESL classes are run by local school boards and other organizations
  • Language assessments for LINC/CLIC and ESL/FSL classes are conducted by government-funded language assessment and referral centres. Eligible immigrants are assessed based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks and referred to the most appropriate language training program which includes both LINC/CLIC and ESL/FSL programs. Learn more about the YMCA Coordinated Language Assessment and Referral Services.

I have an appointment for an assessment at the Language Assessment and Referral Centre. What will happen that day? 

  • Your language assessment will last anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours, depending upon your language ability. Those who accompany you (family/friends/companions) should be prepared to wait a while.
  • A certified language assessor will assess you in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • Language assessment is essentially a snapshot of your overall language performance at a particular moment, and there is no need to study for your assessment. Paper/electronic dictionaries are not permitted during the test.
  • Once you have completed the assessment, you will be assigned the appropriate benchmarks and referred to a language school or other language training. Once you are enrolled in a language class, your language instructor will be able to promote you from one class to the next, depending on your language progress and readiness.
  • Learn more about YMCA Coordinated Language Assessment and Referral Services

What if I need to change my school?

  • Individuals who want to change their language school or class can come to the Language Assessment and Referral Service location in person during business hours or call and speak with an assessor. Changes may include school location, time of study and method of study.

Can the YMCA help me prepare for the citizenship test? 

  • Yes, there are a variety of ways that we can help you prepare. The Newcomer Information Centre’s Discovering Canada information sessions can provide you with a good understanding of Canadian culture and society, and covers many of the topics appearing on the citizenship test.
  • The North York Newcomer Information Centre also offers a weekly workshop called, Breaking Down Barriers, that is led by newcomer participants and explores Canadian identity.

If I join the NYLD (Newcomer Youth Leadership Development) program will I get volunteer hours for every meeting I attend? May I bring a friend?  

  • As a participant of the program you will benefit in many ways from your attendance at weekly meetings, such as:
    • Developing your leadership skills.
    • Taking part in group activities or special events.
    • Learning more about Canadian culture.
  • You will have opportunities to do volunteer work in the YMCA or with community partners and other organizations. Any time you participate in a volunteer activity, you will receive volunteer hours. You will not receive volunteer hours for regular program activities.
  • We always welcome new members. However, you must speak to a Newcomer Youth Advisor before bringing a new friend. The advisor will let you know if there is space. If there is, your friend can join immediately. But, if there isn’t, your friend will need to wait on a waiting list until space becomes available.
  • Learn more about the YMCA Newcomer Youth Leadership Development program.