Today the City of London hosted its first-ever newcomers day to help those who have recently moved to the city and country connect with resources.
Tareq Al-Naamo is just one of the 3,000 permanent residents city staff say they welcome every year.
“When I came to Canada, I was shocked because it is completely different from our country,” said Al-Naamo, who moved with his family from Iraq four years ago. “In Iraq there is war… there are no human rights, so people there are suffering from everything.”
After he arrived, he said he knew Canada was the right place for him and his family. After getting settled, two of his six daughters started studying economics and engineering at college.
For others who have made the move more recently, like Jorge Duval, there is a lot to learn.
“Everything is new, so I get lost every day, but with the bus guide it’s really easy to find myself,” Duval said.
Originally from Mexico, Duval and his wife and daughter have only been in London for a month, but they are hoping to stay in the community long-term, he said.
Duval is an international student currently studying at Fanshawe College.
But for now, they are just trying to understand the different resources London offers and what job opportunities are out there, he said.
City staff estimated throughout the day they had more than 100 people take part in tours of city hall and connect with the different opportunities and programs available.
The hope for the day is to make newcomers feel welcome, city staff said.