Community Connections

The Community Connections Program helps to integrate newcomers into Canadian lifestyle, providing them with social supports to ease the transition.


Being in a new place is hard, especially when language is a barrier. The Community Connections Program helps to integrate Newcomers into Canadian lifestyle, providing them with social supports to ease the transition. Through a variety of group activities,

Newcomers can:

  • practice English Conversation
  • learn about their community
  • meet people from around the world
  • share stories and experiences
  • attend an informative workshop
  • participate in social events
  • develop networks and make new friends
  • join a walking group
  • connect with settled Canadians

Are you:

  • A Permanent Resident
  • A Protected Person: Convention Refugee
  • Caregiver

Click here to view the Discover Your Durham Newcomer Bus Tour video.





English Conversation Circles

The Conversation Circle gives Newcomers an opportunity to practice their English Conversation Skills in a comfortable, welcoming environment. They learn about Canadian culture with the help of Community Connections volunteers. Newcomers from all over the world and with a variety of language abilities come together to discuss a variety of topics, have questions answered, share stories, and so much more!

Conversation Circles take place all across Durham Region, allowing Newcomers the chance to access groups in their area.  Locations available across Durham:


Connecting Newcomers Seniors


Connecting Newcomer Seniors is held weekly at the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre. The group is geared to our Newcomer clients who are 55 years and older. The group provides a welcoming place for seniors to meet others and remain active participants in their community. Each week is different! Exposure to a wide variety of recreational programs, informational workshops, and community events are designed to bridge clients into the larger senior community based on common interests.

Women’s Group


The Women’s Group is a place for our female clients to bond while sharing and learning a variety of crafts. The group meets twice a month in The Ajax Welcome Centre kitchen. The women meet to practice their English, become involved in the creation of art, all the while helping each other through life’s obstacles.

Newcomer Community Kitchen



One thing that all cultures have in common and brings people together is food!

Most cultures pride themselves on their unique cuisine and are enthusiastic to share it with others. In the kitchen a sense of community is built by cooking and eating with one another.

The Newcomers Community Kitchen is a client-centred cooking group held at The Ajax Welcome Centre. Twice a month the group gets together to cook, learn, and share recipes from around the world. Participants work as a team to exchange recipes, make new friends, practice English, and most importantly, become part of their community.

If you are interested in being a part of this group, contact us to register.

Download Recipes from our kitchen


Community Garden

The Community Garden is located in CDCD’s backyard. The garden programming runs from May to October. It consists of raised garden beds, where Newcomers are welcome to plant a variety of vegetables and herbs, tend to them, and eventually enjoy the harvest!

Don’t have a green thumb? No problem. As a team, we learn together and get to enjoy the outdoors. We practice English and learn about different produce and agricultural techniques. The garden is a communal space for clients and volunteers.

For 2019 our Community Garden programming is starting on August 28th, 2019, contact Maria Abogado or 905 686 2661 ext. 109. 

Other Community Activities:

  • Field Trips
  • Walking Groups
  • Picnics
  • Informational Workshop

The Community Connections Program provides a variety of well-planned opportunities to keep newcomers active, engaged, and informed.

For more information contact 905-686-2661 ext. 109, 102, or 103.

Full monthly program (see calendar)





Interested in becoming a Community Connection Volunteer?

Volunteers participating in the program are as diverse as the newcomer clients. Volunteers are an essential part of the program. If you are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, who is established and knowledgeable about your community, you could be a volunteer! You should also be open to learn about diverse cultures and willing to share your own cultural background and experience with Canadian society.

* All our volunteers must undergo orientation, training, provide references, and obtain a police clearance.

Download the Volunteer Application Form