Skip to main content

Simcoe County's evolving approach to support newcomers unveiled in latest strategy


The County of Simcoe launched its latest Community Settlement Strategy on Monday to support newcomers to the region.

The County says it's made significant progress since the launch of its first strategy in 2016.

"I think one of the biggest learnings is when people realize how many new Canadians we have here in Simcoe County, and that number has doubled. As we move forward now, they have friends and family because that's the biggest shock to people when they move to a new country, is trying to get yourself grounded," said Simcoe County Warden Basil Clarke.

Simcoe County is home to more than 82,000 immigrants, an increase of over a third since 2016.

Last year alone, there were 1,830 permanent resident arrivals in the County.

"Sixty-three hundred international students studying at Georgian College last year, and that number has grown over the year and we're very proud of that. They come to us from over 85 countries speaking over 50 languages, so we know they are a source of immigration in our region," said Kevin Weaver, Georgian College president and CEO.

The new strategy is divided into three pillars:

  • Living - to increase equitable access to local housing
  • Working - to increase labour force recruitment and retention for immigrants and international students
  • Belonging - to introduce immigrants and international students to local communities

"Being a community that's not only welcoming but also organized to support through its local networks is absolutely the difference between having a longer road ahead of you or having one you can navigate much easier," said Mina Fayez-Bahgat, Simcoe County Social and Community Services general manager.

Fayez Bahgat said a few main goals include setting up a multicultural centre.

"A second one is directly tying newcomers into a labour force strategy. I think that would be an ultimate focus area of impact and finally becoming a formal resettlement community for newcomers through the federal and provincial programs," said Fayez Bahgat.

Another part of the settlement strategy is launching a new immigration website containing over 300 pages of information for newcomers in the region. Top Stories

Stay Connected