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Making New Friends in Canada

Written by Rand Rubaye

Sponsored by CIBC

Starting somewhere new can feel scary, but things always get better once you have a circle of friends to walk your new journey with. Making connections in a new country can be hard, but we’ve found 6 ways for you to start making social connections right away. 

Start with your neighbours

Making friends with your neighbours is one of the best ways to quickly feel more settled in Canada. As you’re likely to spend most of your time in your new neighbourhood, make sure you introduce yourself to your neighbours, and start little conversations. Great ways to build relationships are also through attending neighbourhood events and parties, visiting local parks and playgrounds, and joining any social groups or committees your neighbourhood might have. 

Volunteer somewhere local

One of the best things about Canadian culture is the concept of volunteerism. Canadians believe in the importance of volunteerism and its benefits in building social connections. Volunteering is a great way for newcomers like you to meet new people, contribute to your new community, and build a sense of belonging to your new place. 

The good thing is that you can choose where to volunteer depending on your interests and availability. And don’t forget adding any volunteering experience to your resume! 

Join sports and social clubs

Joining organizations or groups that focus on particular interests or activities is a terrific way to meet people who share your interests and could end up becoming friends, especially if you already have a passion in common. You can explore a range of clubs depending on your specific interests, including fitness, sports, hiking, music, riding, and community involvement. You may find a list of clubs and societies in every Canadian city.

Attend networking events 

Not only that networking events can help you expand your professional circle, but you will also be able to meet like-minded people. This is a great way for you to develop relationships and get advice on your career at the same time!

You can find out about nearby networking events through websites like Eventbrite and Meetup. You can also ask around about other social events you can attend.  

Take a Language class 

Whether you are learning English or French in Canada, language classes are a great way to meet newcomers like you. Together, you can share your new journey in Canada and discuss things you are learning about the country. 

Visit religious and spiritual places 

Religious places are great places to meet others who share your beliefs and expand your social circle. Most places of worship have volunteering programs for the community that you can join as well. Being part of places of worship can help you overcome culture shocks especially if you recently moved to Canada. 

Meeting new people in your new home can be one of the most exciting experiences you go through in Canada. Before you know it, you may be surrounded by familiar, friendly faces. And thanks to CIBC, once you finally start to feel settled in, there’s actually a way for you to give back to those around you. That’s because through their refer a newcomer program you can help one of those new friends (or anyone else who’s new to Canada) by giving them access to great everyday banking and earning $50 for each of you! The more friends you make, the more you can earn, since you can refer up to 10 friends for a potential total of $500 every year!



Click here to learn more and start referring today

Brought to you by CIBC. General information not about CIBC Financial products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for, and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. CIBC does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.


† Earn $50 each time a person you refer qualifies and receives their reward, up to $500 each year this offer is available between January 1 to December 31, for the first 10 people you refer each year that qualified and got their cash reward. To learn more about eligibility for our newcomer banking offers, refer to the Referral Program Terms and Conditions (PDF, 100 KB).

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.