For Newcomers, Finding a Place to Rent in Canada is Only Part of the Immigrant Journey

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Finding rental accommodation in Canada is an important first task for newcomers and international students. But finding a place to live is just one of a newcomer's many needs. 

Settlement agencies are there to help. 

Arriving, living and working in Canada presents unique challenges for every new immigrant. 

RELATED STORY: Our latest Housing Newsletter for Newcomers to Canada and International Students

To provide help beyond just finding a rental, we've prepared a list of Rental for Newcomers and Prepare for Canada's trusted settlement agencies, companies and friends who are ready to help newcomers and international students find success in Canada. Many of these organizations participate twice yearly in our free Canadian Connections Online Summit

Finding your local settlement agencies is one of the first things you should do when you arrive in Canada (or before you get here).

Settlement agencies are community organizations that assist newcomers. 

There are hundreds of these settlement organizations across Canada, and their services are free and confidential.

Their invaluable services are usually available in many languages. 

Also, settlement organizations employ counsellors with expertise in all settlement areas. From them, you'll receive information tailored to your needs and your new city, including information about jobs, accommodation, filling out forms, language upgrades, education, and many other vital services for newcomers. 

The Government of Canada, through IRCC, funds hundreds of settlement groups that offer settlement services to immigrants.

A helpful list of settlement agencies 

We have compiled a helpful list (with links) of settlement agencies (and companies) across Canada that we have worked with. They can help you locate services in the province where you are landing.

We hope newcomers already here in Canada and those arriving in the future find this list useful:

Pre-Arrival Canada - The Pre-Arrival Canada Portal is a centralized registration portal that facilitates access to multiple government-funded pre-arrival programs and services. Clients can browse and register for free pre-arrival services to get help before arriving in Canada. These services support settlement and employment needs, connecting individuals with the appropriate information and resources to settle successfully in Canada. 

British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) - Before moving here, the BCCA-Integrating Newcomers program is a government-funded, free, nationwide employment coaching service for eligible skilled immigrants looking to transition careers to the construction industry in Canada.  Learn how to access free one-on-one coaching to support your career transition to Canada's construction industry. Get one-on-one support to build your career before you immigrate. We'll help you access the right tools, resources, job leads, and referrals to build your career faster. With connections to settlement services, construction associations and employers across Canada, you will be supported no matter where you are heading.

RELATED STORY: 3 Great Rental Options for Newcomers and International Students 

Build ON - Build ON offers online support to help you prepare for work in Ontario's Skilled Trades, Engineering, and Construction sectors before you arrive in Canada. Our services benefit people interested in working in the skilled trades, engineering and construction sectors in Ontario, Canada; however, our services are universally beneficial even if you do not have a skilled trades or engineering background.  Our employment consultants offer specialized information about the Skilled Trades and Engineering sectors. We help individuals understand what an alternative career is in Canada, gain better insight into these regulated industries and understand the process of getting their certifications to prepare for work in Ontario.

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Prepare for Canada - A sister company of Rentals For Newcomers, Prepare for Canada delivers quality seminars and information related to job preparedness and settlement, accommodation in Canada and first steps to help prospective immigrants achieve success in Canada.

Polycultural - Polycultural is a multicultural melting pot reflecting Canada’s diversity. Founded in 1993, Polycultural is dedicated to hosting an open and inclusive environment for all. Visit any of our seven locations around the GTA, and you’ll feel it: a culture filled with care and genuine connection. We believe in providing a holistic approach to serve the needs of our community by providing a diverse range of programs. We serve clients in over 20 different languages in our five locations, including Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Croatian, Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Mandarin, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Tamil, Ukrainian, Urdu and more.


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Aha Insurance - Aha Insurance is the broker of choice for Prepare for Canada to provide competitive rates on the insurance coverage you need in minutes. Looking for travel medical health or renters insurance? Connect with Aha and get a free quote here. 

ACCES Employment - Acces Employment provides re-arrival support and resources to job seekers and entrepreneurs who have been approved to move to Canada or have obtained legal status to work in Canada. Our Canadian Employment Connections program can help you prepare for your job search before you land. We can support you with our Entrepreneurship Connections Pre-Arrival program if you’d like to explore how to start your own business in Canada.


OCASI - OCASI was formed in 1978 to act as a collective voice for immigrant-serving agencies and to coordinate responses to shared needs and concerns. OCASI is a registered charity governed by a volunteer board of directors. Its membership comprises more than 200 community-based organizations in the province of Ontario.

Catholic Crosscultural Services - Catholic Crosscultural Services (CCS) is a national non-profit organization in Greater Toronto. CCS aims to empower immigrants and refugees of all religions, ethnicities, countries of origin, immigration statuses, sexual orientations, or political affiliations to develop the skills and acquire the necessary knowledge to settle, integrate and succeed in Canada.

ERIEC - Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) helps skilled immigrants integrate into the Edmonton regional labour market through mentorship and networking programs.

FAST - FAST (Facilitating Access to Skilled Talent) helps immigrants launch their careers in Canada by offering FREE, self-paced, online employment preparation and skills assessments in six key sectors: accounting, Biotech & Life Sciences, Culinary Arts, IT & Data Services, Skilled Trades, and Seniors Care. Through FAST, skilled immigrants can overcome common employment challenges such as navigating the Canadian workplace, getting ‘Canadian Work Experience’, and finding professional networks.


Planning for Canada - We help immigrants prepare for their move, settlement and employment in Canada. Planning for Canada offers FREE orientation services online (worldwide) and in-person (in India and the Philippines). Our live, interactive, personalized services provide the information you need to better prepare for life and work in Canada. Since 2007, we have served more than 63,000 clients from 111 countries.

Next Stop Canada - Next Stop Canada is an online, pre-arrival settlement service funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. We offer youth and adult immigrants (ages 12+) personalized information, one-on-one support and settlement resources to help you prepare for life in Canada.

Ignite - Ignite leads integrated economic development growth through diverse initiatives that create an environment for our communities and businesses to be successful. We create a climate for growth through the support of job creation, entrepreneur development, workforce attraction and community support in the Capital and Western New Brunswick Regions.

Skilled Immigrant iNFOcentre, Vancouver Public Library (SliC VPL) -The Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre is an online and in-person resource centre that helps newcomers to Canada find the information they need to get a job, explore careers or start a business. Our services and resources are free and created by staff at Vancouver Public Library.


The Immigrant Centre Manitoba - The Immigrant Centre has served newcomers in Manitoba for over seven decades. Our programs for newcomers include settlement and employment services, verification of translations, and rural settlement support. Newcomers can also register for English conversation circles, citizenship classes, and workshops to prepare for the driver's knowledge test. 

Saskatoon Open Door Society - The Saskatoon Open Door Society helps newcomers settle in Canada and Saskatoon. It offers programs in the following areas: settlement and employment services, language training and translation services, family, youth, and childcare services, community programs and events, local engagement, and volunteering.

Regina Open Door Society - Regina Open Door Society is a non-profit organization that provides settlement and integration services to refugees and immigrants in Regina.

YMCA-YWCA - YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region is a first stop for all newcomers to Canada. We provide free information and referral services to help you settle and thrive in your new life in Ottawa.

Trusted settlement agencies help newcomers and international students find success in Canada


YMCA Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) - The YMCA Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) is a welcoming place for immigrants to start their new lives in Canada. Our program ensures you receive the relevant information to make informed decisions and achieve your personal settlement goals. The services are available online.

Y Employment Access Centre - The Y Employment Access Centre can help you learn everything you need to have a successful job search and develop a personalized plan that works for you. We offer free workshops on resume and cover letter writing, effective job searching, interview preparedness, and more!

Peel Multicultural Council - Peel Multicultural Council provides settlement and integration services to newcomers to Canada. Our services include English classes (LINC, ESL-home-based business), Enhanced Language Training, Job Search Workshops, a Newcomer Settlement Program, Community Connections for adults and youth, Oath services, and more.

Immigrant Services Calgary - Immigrant Services Calgary offers many services to ensure families and individuals have the support needed to successfully begin a new chapter of their lives in Canada.  We can help you learn about daily life in Canada, prepare for the Calgary job market, assess your English language skills, and more

Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor (WEST) - Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor (WEST) works to improve the employability of visible minority women in Windsor. We are committed to meeting the employment skills development needs of visible minority and newcomer women. Our programs and services address individual and group needs to enhance employability and self-sufficiency.

Finding accommodation is only part of the Canadian journey for newcomers


Employment Newcomer Zonal Outreach - The Edmonton Settlement Sector Zonal Outreach initiative aims to connect higher numbers of newcomers in every zone to Anglophone/Francophone settlement services in Edmonton in a client-centred manner. Edmonton's Zonal Outreach Strategy is intended to guide the sector in understanding the trends in newcomers' access to settlement services locally. By capturing data on these trends, Zone Outreach SPOs can respond proactively to address barriers and work towards increasing newcomers' access to services.  Newcomers will be aware of settlement services available in their communities and are supported in their integration into Canadian society.

Mainstreet Equity Corp - Mainstreet Equity Corp. acquires, redevelops, repositions, and manages multi-family residential properties in Western Canada. The company owns properties in British Columbia, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg. Bob Dhillon, an immigrant to Canada, founded it. Check out their listings. 

Souqh -Souqh is Canada's real estate and home services marketplace. We're on a mission to simplify every step of your home buying and ownership journey. Search, connect, and transact with trusted service providers across your entire home journey as a buyer, owner, or seller, all in one digital platform. We've partnered with Prepare for Canada and Rentals for Newcomers to enable newcomers to work with a real estate agent to find their first rental. You can sign up here for free


Sparrow - We are a home-sharing platform and community that matches hosts with spare bedrooms with people seeking budget-friendly places to live. We see 12 million empty bedrooms as 12 million opportunities to reduce housing costs, build social connections, and increase the quality of life for Canadians. We've partnered with Prepare for Canada and Rentals for Newcomers to provide rooms for newcomers and to help newcomer owners become home-sharing hosts. You can sign up here for free. 

Scotiabank - Scotiabank is Canada's third-largest bank and a partner of Prepare for Canada and Rentals for Newcomers. Their StartRight™ program can help you start banking in Canada with access to credit, savings, no-fee international money transfers and help from Financial Advisors. It’s all part of why Scotiabank is the bank for newcomers.

Rentsync - Rentsync is a leader in multifamily marketing software & services, with 20000+ properties on the platform and over five million leads generated annually. Rentsync works closely with Rentals for Newcomers and Prepare for Canada to ensure a smooth rental search experience for newcomers. - is where newcomers to Ontario can find answers to common questions about their new home on

Sudbury - Are you looking for a new place to call home in Canada? A place where you can enjoy a high quality of life, a low cost of living, and a diverse and welcoming community? Discover why Greater Sudbury is one of the best destinations for newcomers to Canada and how you can take advantage of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program to settle there. Greater Sudbury is centrally located in Northeastern Ontario, with approximately 167,000 people. It is a multicultural and truly bilingual city with the third-largest French population outside Quebec. It also offers a variety of living options, from urban to rural, with 330 lakes within its boundaries. You’ll never run out of things to do and see in this beautiful city.

Borrowell - You can get your Equifax credit score and credit report for free with Borrowell! You can check your credit score or download your credit report whenever you'd like. You'll also receive weekly updates on how your score has changed, get personalized tips on improving your score, and find the best financial products that match your profile. Checking your credit score with Borrowell doesn't hurt it.

Windmill Microlending - Founded in 2005, Windmill Microlending is Canada’s only national charity offering affordable loans to skilled immigrants and refugees. Our microloans help our clients pay for accreditation, training and career development costs. Funded by the public and private sectors, Windmill has delivered more than 8,000+ microloans to new Canadians, helping convert their potential into prosperity.

Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) - SOPA provides guidance and customized pre-employment support to help newcomers find and retain employment in Canada. SOPA engages a network of six settlement agencies nationwide to deliver training to prepare immigrants for successful integration into the Canadian labour market. You will receive free tools, resources and courses designed to help you find a job in your field in Canada.

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. - We are a diverse, inclusive, and multi-service agency that assists people in all stages of their
lives in Canada. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. provides support on every step of your Canadian journey. Our 40 service locations across Canada and Asia offer programs and services for individuals and families preparing for Canada, temporary residents, permanent residents, or Canadian citizens.


Our latest housing newsletter for newcomers and international students

Scotiabank’s Rebekah Young on immigration, jobs, newcomers & the challenges facing Canada

Homesharing Can Help Canadian Homeowners Deal With Rising Expenses

Services in Canada to help newcomers settle

How to work with a realtor to find a rental in Canada

If you have a question, please email us at

Steve Tustin is the Content Editor for Rentals for Newcomers and a contributing editor for Prepare for Canada. He is also the former managing editor of and a former senior editor at the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

*No AI-generated content was used in the writing of this story, and all sources are cited and credited where possible.

© Rentals for Newcomers 2024

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