With the war in Ukraine it is anticipated tens of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing war will make their way to Canada.
The City of Hamilton is facilitating a local community response to support Ukrainian arrivals, along with a regional response with the six municipal governments that form the GTHA (The Cities of Toronto and Hamilton as well as Peel, York, Durham and Halton Regions)as part of a Greater Toronto Hamilton Area.
Proactive coordination between local Ukrainian community, the City, immigration/resettlement agencies, public health and health care agencies, social services (housing and income supports), child care and education is needed to safely support and warmly welcome the arrival of Ukrainian newcomers.
The information below will assist Ukrainian newcomers, host families, residents and service providers with information and service to support settlement in Hamilton.
Information and support for Ukrainian Newcomers
This guide is regularly updated and maintained.
- Learn more about Government of Canada Immigration measure for people affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine
- The Federal Government has created the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), that allows visitors to temporarily reside and work in Canada for up to three years.
Access healthcare and health benefits
Connecting to healthcare in Hamilton
To access general healthcare in Hamilton visit Hamilton Family Medicine and complete the online intake form. Once completed a team member will be in touch within 7 days. For help completing the intake form, please call:
- Compass Community Health 905-523-6611
- Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre 905-522-3233
- REFUGE Newcomer Health 905-526-0000
Apply for Health Benefits, Drug Benefits, Assistive devices
- Ukrainians in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) are eligible for coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). The province pays for medically-necessary health services covered by OHIP.
- Learn how to apply for OHIP, including what documents are needed, or call ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (TTY: 1-800-387-5559).
- The Ontario Drug Benefit Program helps cover the cost of about 5,000 prescription drugs. Learn how to get help paying for prescription drugs
- If you have a long-term physical disability, you can get help paying for equipment and supplies through the Assistive Devices Program.
See information on the offering a range of immigration and settlement supports offered by the Province of Ontario
Access dental, vaccination newborn, infant and prenatal care
Information about local dental, newborn, infant and prenatal care, and vaccination programs.
Public Health Programs Ukranian (PDF, 558 KB) | Russian (PDF, 578 KB)
Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO)
For children & youth 0-17 years old, HSO provides routine and emergency dental care. HSO coverage is from August 1st until July 31st, regardless of when you apply, and can be renewed annually if you remain eligible. An HSO card will be mailed to your address to use at a dentist in your community.
Eligibility: 17 years of age or younger, income eligibility criteria (or signature of a guarantor for those who are unable to show proof of income). You must apply to the program and have your application approved prior to seeking services. *If a child or youth is experiencing a dental emergency or has essential dental treatment needs, they may be eligible for immediate HSO enrolment in order to seek immediate dental care. A visual screening to assess the dental condition is required to determine eligibility for immediate enrolment. Call 905-546-2424 ext. 5369 or visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-dental-care
Emergency Assistance through Ontario Works Program
Adults 18-64 years old with dental treatment needs may qualify for Emergency Assistance through Ontario Works. If eligible for Emergency Assistance, a dental card can be provided for up to 48 days of dental benefit. Contact your Ontario Works case manager at 905-546-4800 for more information. Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) OSDCP provides free, routine dental services, including dentures, for low-income seniors 65 years and older. OSDCP coverage is from August 1st until July 31st, regardless of when you apply, and can be renewed annually if you remain eligible. An OSDCP card will be mailed to your address. Eligibility: 65 years of age or older, income eligibility criteria (or signature of a guarantor for those who are unable to show proof of income). You must apply to the program and have your application approved prior to seeking services. *If a senior is experiencing a dental emergency or has essential dental treatment needs, they may be eligible for immediate enrollment based on an emergency condition. Call us at 905-546-2424 ext. 3789 or email [email protected] for more information
Newborn Children and Parents
- Health Connections Line – 905-546-3550
- Provides information and community referrals for prenatal clients and families with children up to the age of 6 (we can use language line for non-English speaking families).
Healthy Babies Healthy Children
As part of the Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) program, all families are offered the chance to speak to a Public Health Nurse about how they are doing either during their pregnancy, after the birth of a baby, or up to when a child transitions to school. The HBHC program also offers free home visiting to families who need more support. We have cultural interpreting services available to support clients
The HBHC program can support families with:
- Having a healthy pregnancy
- Developing a positive relationship with their child
- Promoting their child's growth and development
- Answering any questions about their child
Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP)
Public Health Nurses partner with Public Health Dietitians to deliver weekly interactive prenatal education sessions virtually, or by phone, to pregnant women at no cost. They learn about healthy eating in pregnancy, birthing and related topics. Program incentives, including food gift certificates and bus tickets, are offered to program participants.
Call Health Connections 905-546-3550 for more information.
Online Prenatal Program
Free online classes to learn more about pregnancy, birth and newborn care. Call 905-546-3591 or visit http://www.hamilton.ca/public-health/classes/prenatal-classes
Eligibility: COVID-19 Vaccines are available for free. Everyone who is six months of age and older can receive 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Some people can also get 3rd and 4th doses.
- Types of vaccines available: Pfizer (ages five years and older), Moderna (six months to under 5, 30+)
Visit www.hamilton.ca/GetYourVaccine for vaccine clinic information and to learn more.
Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 905-974-9848, option 7 for vaccine clinic information, to learn more about vaccine eligibility and any questions. Translation is available.
Routine Vaccines Hamilton Public Health Services’ Vaccine Program is available to provide consultation to health care providers and families. Call 905-546-2424 x7556 to access our Vaccine Program Infoline or visit www.hamilton.ca/vaccines for more information.
Access housing & household items
Ukrainians seeking accommodations
- If you have arrived in Hamilton from Ukraine or are planning to arrive and are looking for housing, please fill out the Ukrainians Seeking Accommodations Form. This will help the YMCA Hamilton Burlington Brantford find appropriate home/housing options.
I can provide housing (billeting or volunteer support)
- The YMCA Hamilton Burlington Brantford is collecting offers of billeting or volunteer support to provide housing, please fill out the I Want to Help Form.
Clothing, shoes, toys & household items
- Stritcha offers ladies, men’s and children’s clothing, shoes, toys, and household items. The Self-Reliance Building (at back of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Cathedral) 855 Barton Street East, Hamilton
Wednesday 11 am to 3 pm
Friday 4 pm to 7 pm
Saturday 2 pm to 6 pm
Accessing income support and banking
Transitional Financial Assistance
The Government of Canada provides a Transitional Financial Assistance of $3,000 per adult (18 years and older) and $1,500 per child (17 years and under) for Ukrainians who have arrived in Canada or will be arriving on a Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) visa.
Ukrainians in Ontario under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel are eligible to apply for Emergency Assistance which provides temporary financial support for basic needs and shelter in crisis situations while you apply for the Federal Income Supports.
If you live in the City of Hamilton and do not have enough money for things like food, housing and prescription drugs etc you may qualify for Emergency Assistance.
- if you are a refugee claimant, have a Canadian social insurance number (SIN), and an email address you can apply online
- if you received a Canada- Ukraine authorization for emergency travel visa, you can contact your local Hamilton Ontario Works office or call 905-546-4800
Apply to open a bank account
Learn how to apply for a bank account in Canada. This Government of Canada resource page provides information about requirements including Identification requirements, eligibility, your rights and responsibilities. www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/banking/opening-bank-account.html
Child & Family Supports
Summer programs Translated Ukrainian (PDF 223 KB)
There are many licensed child care options available to families. Visit the Hamilton Child Care Registry to find a location that works for you.
For more information, visit www.hamilton.ca/childcareregistry
EarlyON Child and Family Centres
EarlyON Child and Family Centres offer free programs for families and children from prenatal to 6 years old. Offered at 30+ sites across Hamilton, programs are offered virtually, in person and outdoors, and vary by location. Some programs require advanced registration through our KEYON system. To create an account, go to www.keyon.ca/en/Account/Register.
To find a list of Early ON Child and Family Centres, view program calendars, or learn more, visit www.hamilton.ca/social-services/early-years-and-child-care-services/earlyon-child-and-family-centres-locations
Children’s camps run at various sites across Hamilton. Families approved for the City of Hamilton’s Child Care Subsidy qualify for camp subsidies, where spaces exist.
Camps with subsidies available through the City of Hamilton
- Camps offered at 5 locations across Hamilton for children ages 4-16 years
- General information: www.todaysfamily.ca/programs/summer-day-camps
- Register online: registration.todaysfamily.ca/Forms/CampEnrolment
- Email: [email protected]
YMCA Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford
Waitlist & Limited space
- Indoor and outdoor day camps offered for children ages 4 to 13 years
- Indoor camps (ages 4 -1 3 years)
- Camp Chippewa (ages 4 to 13 years)
- Specialty Camps (ages 8 to 13 years)
- General information: www.ymcahbb.ca/camp/day-camp
- Register online: www.ymcahbb.ca/camp/day-camp/registration-forms
- Contact: [email protected] or 905-317-4929
Waitlist + Limited space
- Camps offered across Hamilton for children and youth ages 4 – 21 years
- General Information: www.hamilton.ca/recreation/camp-kidaca
- Register online: rec.hamilton.ca/enterprise/account/login
- Email: [email protected]
Waitlist & Limited space
- Camps offered at 5 locations for school age children, ages 4 years and older
- General Information and registration: www.ywcahamilton.org/childrens-services/camps/
- Contact: 905-522-9922 ext. 140
Other Subsidized Camps
St. Matthew’s House
- Day and overnight camps offered to children ages 4-12 years
- General information: stmatthewshouse.ca/services-programs/childcare-services/
- Register by phone: 905-523-5546 ext. 222
Boys and Girls Club Hamilton-Halton
Waitlist & Available space
- Camps offered across Hamilton for children and youth ages 4 – 21 years
- Kinder and junior camps
- Youth camps
- General Information: www.bgchh.com/programs/school-age-programs/registered-programs/daycamp/
- Register online: bgchamilton.recdesk.com/Community/Home
- Contact: 905-549-2814
Contact directly for info
Parks, Recreation & Sports
Programs & Facilities
Supie Parks program
A free program for children aged 4 to 12, with staff providing activities and programming Monday-Friday. Park locations and hours can be found at www.hamilton.ca/supie
Registered Recreation Programs
Instructed swim lessons, fitness classes, or other programs for children and families. Programs offered can be found at www.hamilton.ca/recreation/registered-programs . Registration fees apply to registered programs. Application for subsidy available for newcomer families.
Parks, Trails and Playgrounds
Green spaces, trails and playgrounds, free and open for public use. Locations with amenities can be found at www.hamilton.ca/parks-recreation/parks-trails-and-beaches/parkfinder
Free shallow pool amenities on parks. Wading pool locations and hours can be found at www.hamilton.ca/recreation/outdoor-pools
Free water features on parks. Splash pad locations can be found at www.hamilton.ca/recreation/spray-pads
Indoor Pools* and Gyms
Open swim and gymnasium programs for all ages, admission fees apply. Pool/gym locations can be found at www.hamilton.ca/recreation/recreation-centres-indoor-pools
Open swim programs, admission fees apply. Pool locations can be found at www.hamilton.ca/recreation/outdoor-pools
*NOTE: Open swim programs at indoor and outdoor pools for children require direct parent supervision and/or minimum swimming ability, for more information www.hamilton.ca/recreation/swimming-policies-usage-guidelines
Free Fitness on the Park
Free fitness program for families and those of all ages, with fitness instructors providing classes Monday-Friday on neighbourhood parks. Park locations and times can be found at www.hamilton.ca/recreation/fitness-park
Senior Centres and Clubs
Programs for those aged 55 and older, admission fees and memberships apply. Locations and program schedules can be found at www.hamilton.ca/recreation/senior-centres-clubs
Programs and tee times for all ages, admission and membership fees apply. Locations can be found at www.hamilton.ca/golf-hamilton
For more information on any programs or amenities, including fees and contact information, visit www.hamilton.ca/recreation/customer-service, or contact Recreation by email at [email protected] or by phone at 905-546-2424 ext. 3747
Individual and Family Support for Specialized Services
For families who require extra support to access a variety of specialized services for themselves or their children. Detailed descriptions for each program provided.
Programs and Supports
CAP-C System Navigation Program
- A free service providing 1:1 support for families and children from cultural communities.
- General Information: capc.hamilton.on.ca/
- Contact: [email protected] or 905-512-3682
Home Management Program
- The Home Management Program offers programs to teach individuals, families and groups, through practical instruction and coaching, the skills necessary to be more successful and independent in their day to day living.
- General information: www.hamilton.ca/social-services/support-programs/home-management-program
- Contact: [email protected]
Boys and Girls Club Hamilton-Halton Family Engagement Program
- Support for families to collaboratively create opportunities to discover, develop and achieve.
- General Information: www.bgchh.com/family-engagement/
- Contact: [email protected] or 905-549-2814 ext. 2416
City of Hamilton Therapeutic Coordinators
- Support for families with concerns about their child’s development. Open to children ages 0 to 3.8 years. For more information, call or email.
- Contact: [email protected] or 905-546-2424 ext. 4872
Affordable Transit in Hamilton
- Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) is the local transit service.
- Children under 12 ride for free and 13 to 19 ride for half price.
- The Affordable Transit Pass is also available to assist with transit needs.
How to donate and get involved
Ukrainian Canadian Congress & UCC Hamilton
Volunteer to be a social host! YMCA Canada Connects Volunteer
The Canada Connects program creates meaningful connections between newcomers, long-time Canadians, and established immigrants. Newcomer participants gain a better understanding of Canadian customs, culture, social, political and economic life.
Program volunteers develop better cross-cultural awareness, communication and sensitivity, and a sense of fulfillment from helping newcomers settle more effectively in our communities. Canada Connects program includes:
- One-on-one social & cultural matches between newcomer participants and program volunteers
- Family matches between newcomer participants and program volunteers
English Conversation Groups to help newcomers improve their language skills, enhance social networks by making local connections, and cultivate a sense of belonging. Information, Orientation and Referrals to programs and support services in the community
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