Newcomers to Canada

The Library provides materials, information and programs for people who speak languages other than English or French, or who are new to Canada.

Multi-lingual Materials

Featured Languages
The library provides adult and children’s books, magazines and DVDs in many different languages in addition to English and French.   Currently we offer 16 languages in print and many more in DVDs, in addition to those listed in our Featured Languages.  Please ask about our Multi-lingual Collection!


Language Learning
Improve your English with ESL, TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC or access language learning resources in other languages.


ESL and Literacy Readers
The library provides a variety of book and CD kits, as well as high interest, low vocabulary readers.

Newcomer News & Programs

Newcomer Walking Group                 

Do you want to exercise, meet people, and practice your English during the summer?  Join CDCD's Community Connections program every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. from July 6th until August 10, 2017.  For more information please call Community Development Council Durham (CDCD) staff at 905 686-2661.  Please note the group does not walk in heavy rain.  Meet in the Central Library lobby.



Cultural Passport
The Ethno-cultural and Diversity Advisory Committee (EDAC) and Whitby Public Library are encouraging families to explore Whitby with our Cultural Passport. This program runs from June 1 to August 31.

Pick up your passport at one of the following locations:

  • Brooklin Community Centre and Library, 8 Vipond Road
  • Iroquois Park Sports Centre, 500 Victoria Street West
  • Whitby Civic Recreation Complex, 555 Rossland Road East
  • Whitby Public Library, 405 Dundas Street West

If participants answer 16 questions, they can return their passport to Iroquois Park Sports Centre or Whitby Civic Recreation Complex to redeem one free Swim/Skate pass.



Summer camps (FREE!) for newcomer children
The Ontario Camping Association is offering free camp spots to young immigrant refugees. Free spots are available for a variety of camps including specialty camps, religious or non-religious camps, all boy, all girl or co-ed camps and week-long or multi-week camps. There are also specific overnight camps that will be offering free spaces to families.

Applications for camp this summer are now open. Agencies, organizations, sponsors and families must first complete an application for the family. The two criteria for children to apply are: they are a refugee that has arrived in Canada in 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017 and they are between the ages of 4-15. For more information, visit If you have additional questions, email or call 1-844-485-0425.




Test Drive IELTS Online
Try out the British version of IELTS with Road to IELTS Test Drive for 30 free hours worth of practice General and Academic training modules.  Each of the speaking, writing, listening, and reading areas has advice and tutorials, practice zone, and test practice tabs.  And don’t forget to check out the library’s IELTS practice books!




Getting a Job in Canada – Welcome Centre Immigrant Services
Newcomers bring a wide variety of employment skills and experience to their search for employment in Canada; however many are unfamiliar with Canadian job search practices. Welcome Centres offer a wide range of supports to assist in developing the skills needed to find work, such as these job search workshops



New French Conversation Circle
Parlez-vous Francais? Join the French Conversation Circle for Newcomers to Canada.  This program is run in partnership with Community Development Council Durham (CDCD).  Participants, with the help of CDCD volunteers will learn about Canadian culture, connect with the community, share stories, learn about library resources, and so much more! This is a free drop-in program.  Please contact Maria Abogado at CDCD for more information at 905-686-2661 ext.109 or


NOTE: The weekly French Conversation Circle will resume in the fall on Tuesday September 12, 2017.
Central Library, Meeting room 2, unless indicated otherwise
Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.



English Conversation Circles
Drop by the Whitby Central Library to join the English conversation.  The Conversation Circle is run by Settlement Services of Community Development Council Durham. For more information call Maria 905 686-2661 or email:


NOTE:  The weekly English Conversation Circles will resume in the fall on Thursday September 14, 2017
Central Library, Meeting room 2
Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.



Refugee Information
Find information for and about refugees through and Canada Immigration and Citizenship.


Basic refugee information

Local assistance for refugees

Volunteer to help

Welcome Refugees