Tips for Establishing Good Friendships in Canada

Canada is filled with citizens and residents with diversified backgrounds. Establishing new relationships is critical to your success in adjusting and integrating into Canadian society! Just as you can never go wrong with initiating the first hello, you can never go wrong with these 3 tips for establishing a good relationship in your new home.

Tip 1: Get Connected through Canada Connects, where Newcomers and Canadians Meet!

In a country where there are over 250 ethnic origins, residents from 100+ nations, and 2 million+ aboriginal ancestries living together, what are the chances that you find a circle of friends of something in common? With Canada Connects, chances are 99% with 1% solely based on your decision to get acquainted.

Canada Connects is a program by the Canadian government which aims to connect newcomers with Canadian residents or long-time community members. Its purpose is to help the new PRs get settled in Canada.

Once you join, Canada connects will offer you assistance in:

Published on April 14, 2022

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Tips for Establishing Good Friendships in Canada
Canada Connect is a great program for starting new friendships in Canada instantly!
  • Building meaningful relationships with individuals in your community

  • Improving your ability to communicate with locals and increasing your knowledge of Canada.

Here are a few fun activities you and other members get to participate in:

  • Informing others about your community, such as events taking place nearby, transit, or schools
  • Preparing and sharing food or organizing a potluck together
  • Visiting or engaging in a cultural or sports event together, such as a festivals or a hockey game 
  • Participating in conversation to practice and improve English or French language skills
  • Establishing networks and meeting people who share similar interests

You can either volunteer to work at Canada Connect or be the receiving end, join the initiative.

  1. Find an organization near you that matches your interest. You can search at the official Canada Connects portal. Fill out the form that the organization you selected will give you. Do not forget to indicate how you would like to get connected with the community.

  2. Your selected organization will connect you to a newcomer or a volunteer.

  3. Your selected organization will connect you to a newcomer or a volunteer.

Of course, Canada Connects is not your only option. Wherever you go – recreation centers, schools, social clubs, local parks, and churches – is an opportunity to make friends.

Tip 2: Utilize the Most Commonly Used Social Media and Messaging Apps in Canada

In every country, there are predominant apps the community uses. In Canada, below are the most commonly used medium of communication:

Tips for Establishing Good Friendships in Canada
Social media is another way to connect with other newcomers in Canada just like yourself!

You don’t have to have all of the applications above, just select 2 to 3 which you think are best suited for you and the type of Canadian community you have chosen. It would also help you to keep an eye on the news and updates, the perks of being aware of critical government and community announcements never get old.

Tip 3: Get Familiar with the Canadian Slangs!

Now, this may not sound like a must-do tip but did you know that there are words and phrases that only Canadians understand? Like what was mentioned in tip 2, communication is an important aspect of any relationship. It entails hearing, understanding, and speaking. So how could getting familiar with Canadian slangs help? Well, imagine responding to “A Hickory Sticks cost about a loonie, not so bad eh?” or “Have you already had your double-double today?” – Although these sentences use English, a non-Canadian resident may not understand what it means and may not be able to respond correctly.

Here are some of the Canadian slang words and phrases to add to your dictionary:

Slang #1: “Eh”

In Canada, if you take any phrase or sentence and add “eh” at the end of the statement, you can turn it into a question that will require a friendly reply from the person you are talking to.

  • “Canada is known as the land of the maple leaf, eh?”
  • “The University of Toronto ranked 16th in the world’s best institution, eh?”
  • “Niagara Falls is one of the famous tourist attractions in Canada, eh?”

Slang #2: “Double-Double”

Tim Hortons is Canada’s largest food chain. Around 80% of Canadians visit Tims at least once a month. The organization was said to have become Canada’s fabric and symbol of the country’s values. Double-double, in Canada, means a large Timmy coffee cup with two creams and two sugars.

  • “I’ll go to Tims to buy a shake for you and a double double for me.”
  • “Many Canadians like double double than a regular Frappuccino.”

Slang #3: “Loonie”

If the United States has bucks and the United Kingdom has a quid, Canada has a “Loonie”. It is a slang word for a Canadian dollar. A Canadian dollar has a picture of a Loon on it, where the word was birthed.

  • “I want to buy a crisp! Do you have a loonie or two with you?”
  • “The Thrills Gum looks yummy! Could you help me ask mom for a loonie?”

These are just 3 out of hundreds of Canadian slang words and phrases out there! The list continues to grow, and dictionaries continue to evolve.

BONUS Tip! Be an Encourager and Promote a Hospitable Environment

This tip may seem to be too general, but it’s always one of the keys. It’s highly advised that you should be more open to new connections! Don’t be shy to meet new people and communicate more. You should also be open to respecting people from different backgrounds, religions and nationalities, since diversity is something you’ll definitely bump into in Canada.

Tips for Establishing Good Friendships in Canada
Make the first move and welcome others the same way Canadians did for you!

We all have the opportunity to be an encourager in some way, every day. Maybe it’s a simple smile or kind word when you pass someone on the street. Or, maybe it’s something more significant, like taking time to listen and offer support. What’s even better is if you can also strive to be more welcoming to immigrants who arrive after you and encourage them in their initial stages of settling in Canada. You can help newcomers in Canada by sharing what you’ve learned about living in Canada so far. Helping someone adjust to their new environment and making new acquaintances is an excellent approach to have a positive impact on their lives. 

No matter what form your encouragement takes, it has the power to brighten someone’s day and make them feel valued. And that’s why it’s so important to be an encourager – because we never know what someone is going through and how our words might impact them positively.

So, do you think you’re ready to take the first step towards building lasting connections in your new home? After reading these 3 useful tips on how to create meaningful friendships, we sure hope you do! Good luck meeting new friends and lifelong ones during your stay.

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