News and Articles

A Virtual Welcome for Newcomers in Montreal

Welcome Session Volunteers V2
Welcome Session Volunteers
July 9, 2020

Hi  • Bonjour • Hola • Ahlan • Namaste • As-salam Alaykom  • Olá

The elusive Montreal summer has finally arrived, and even though this year we must be more prudent in gatherings and outings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the spirit of community in this city is as strong as ever. 

At this time, under normal circumstances, a group of Welcome Session volunteers would be conversing with newly arrived refugee claimants at the Atwater Library or Royal Victoria Residence. They would be talking about the ins and outs of Montreal and discussing community resources in English, French, Spanish, Arbic, Hindi or Urdu. Or perhaps, they would be leading a walk up Mont Royal or towards Parc Jeanne Mance.

This year, unfortunately, we cannot host the same in-person activities. However, we are still here to give everyone who arrives in this city seeking safety and a new home a warm welcome. Since April, we have been offering phone Welcome Sessions to refugee claimants. These one-on-one calls with Welcome Session volunteers are a way to break social isolation in a time when regular routines have been disrupted and we are faced with new uncertainties and challenges. We cover similar themes as we did during our in-person sessions – from free language classes and food assistance to where to buy furniture and affordable phone plans.

Our multilingual and diverse Welcome Session volunteers have also come together to create videos to welcome recently arrived refugee claimants in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi/Urdu, and Portuguese! Each video is accompanied by a detailed resource guide, which you can access here. Our borders may be closed, but as a community we are still open to everyone whoever comes here to build a new home. Watch our Welcome Session videos below, share them, and spread the welcome:

Welcome to Montreal!

Bienvenue a Montreal!

Bienvenido a Montreal!

 !اهلا بك في مونتريال

Montreal mein aapka swagat hai!

Bem-vindo a Montreal!

If you have questions about this initiative or would like to become a Welcome Session volunteer, please sign up here or reach out to