Welcome To Hamilton!

The Jewish Federation of Hamilton is very interested in welcoming immigrants to Hamilton. There are opportunities for employment but these opportunities may vary depending on your profession, proficiency in English and first employment expectations. Housing prices are among the lowest in Canada.  Please be advised that if you come to Canada on a visitor's permit, it is almost impossible to attain landed immigrant status from within Canada. The process to obtain your landed immigrant status is regulated by the federal government. For more information about immigration, contact www.jias.org Federal immigration information is available at www.cic.gc.ca/english.  

For more information about coming to join our Jewish community, please contact Elaine Levine, Hamilton Jewish Federation at 905-648-0605 or email elevine@jewishhamilton.org  PLEASE NOTE: We do not process immigration documents. Email in English only, please. 

  • About Hamilton

    Hamilton is a thriving metropolis located in Ontario's Golden Horsehoe. To read more click on the link.

    Hamilton is a thriving metropolis located in Ontario's Golden Horsehoe. To read more click on the link.

    Hamilton is a thriving metropolis located in Ontario's Golden Horsehoe. To read more click on the link.

    Hamilton is a thriving metropolis located in Ontario's Golden Horsehoe. To read more click on the link.

    Hamilton is a thriving metropolis located in Ontario's Golden Horsehoe. To read more cl...

    Hamilton is a thriving metropolis located in Ontario's Go...

    Hamilton is a thriving metropoli...

    Hamilton is a thriving...

We hope the following Frequently Asked Questions will be helpful to you

Q. Can I send my application to the Jewish

A. No. We do not process immigration documents. Applications must be sent directly to the nearest Canadian Embassy. 


Q. Where will I live for the first few days after arriving? 

A. We can arrange temporary accommodation for you in a hotel, apartment/hotel or bed & breakfast, according to your budget. 


Q. Is it expensive to live in Hamilton? 

A. In general, taxes, utilities and household costs are similar across Canada. Average income in Hamilton is at the national mid-point. Here, more than 40% of families can afford to own their own home, compared with 29% in Toronto and 24% in Vancouver.  


Q. How much money will I spend on groceries? 

A. This depends on your taste and the number of people in your family, but generally, a family of 5 will spend $440-$540 U.S. per month (based on $1 U.S. = $1.50 Can) as of January 2000. Why are we giving the figure in US dollars at all?


Q. What is the average cost of a house?

A. An average house can be purchased for $150,000 (Canadian) in a variety of neighbourhoods. Realty taxes on a 1,000 square ft. house (92.9 m) can be $4,000 per year.  


Q. How much is the average rent for an apartment? 

A. A good size apartment (2 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room) can rent for $600-700 per month. This will often include heat, water and parking. Electricity, telephone and cable television hook up will usually be extra. A security deposit of up to one month's rent will be required. Rental information can be found at the following websites: http://www.city.hamilton.on.ca/housing/looking/default.asp or at http://efforttrust.ca/.  


Q. How much money do I need to have when I come? 

A. The standard formula is $10,000 for each principal applicant and $2,000 for every dependent. The amount you will need depends on what you are bringing with you. If you will need to buy beds, bedding, TV, microwave, dishes and other large items, you might spend an additional $2,000.  


Q. What is covered by Ontario medical insurance? 

A. Ontario provides universal medical care with a minimum insurance premium for all of its citizens. Coverage includes 24-hour on-call physician's services, standard ward care in hospitals and most medical and surgical procedures. Private insurance is available for dental services, physiotherapy, eye care, psychologists, drugs and other medical services not covered by the government. Please be advised that it takes three months for new immigrants to obtain Ontario medical insurance. We therefore recommend that you take out temporary private medical insurance. For more information about Ontario Health Insurance, click on http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/ohip/ohip_mn.html.  For more information on private insurance, click on https://www.useblue.com/asp/homepage.asp.   

 Q. Do we have to pay to study English? 

A. As a newcomer, you are entitled to free government-sponsored classes at a basic level. More advanced English as a Second Language Classes are available at Mohawk College for a fee. For more information click on http://www.mohawkcollege.ca. 


Q. Is special help in English available to my children at school?

A. Most schools have remedial programs to assist school-age children in learning English.  


Q. Is Daycare available? 

A. Public and private daycare is available and there are a limited number of subsidized spaces also available. Daycare is not free. Subsidized daycare is available for those with landed immigrant status only.  


Q. Where will my children go to school?

A. There are several options to choose from for Jewish education. They are outlined on the Education page on this site.  

Q. Do I have to pay for my children's education? 

A. Public school is available to all free of charge. While there are tuition costs for Jewish education, fees can be negotiated based on a family's ability to pay.  

Q. What other benefits do immigrants receive? 

A. All newcomers get a free one-year free membership to the Jewish Community Centre. They are also eligible for subsidies for children's programs and summer camps. Some synagogues offer immigrants a free or subsidized membership as well as free seats to attend services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  


Q. Can I drive a car right away? 

A. You can drive for 90 days with an international license. You will then have to take a written test and a driving test.  


Q. What does a used car cost? 

A. A used car that has passed an emissions and safety inspection (for example, a 1994 mid-size sedan such as a Chevrolet) can be purchased for $5,000-8,000. Provincial automobile insurance can cost $1,800 per year. Without a Canadian driver's license, you will not be able to purchase a used car.  

Q. Can I get a credit card? 

A. Some banks will give you a credit card before you have a job if you have enough money in the bank to cover the limit on the card. They might freeze up to $5,000 of your funds to cover a $2,500 limit. Once you have been employed in the same job for 6-12 months, and your credit history is good, the funds will be released.  


Q. How do I transfer funds to Canada? 

A. Most newcomers arrange for a wire transfer of funds into an account that they open once they have landed. You may bring a cashier's cheque with you.  


Q. Can I get a bank loan? 

A. This will depend on your credit history and how long you've been employed. Sometimes, financial institutions will arrange a loan if you have sufficient assets in the bank to cover the repayment.  


Q. What is needed to buy a home? 

A. The average down payment required for a first-time buyer is 5% of the total purchase price of the home. Most financial institutions will require a minimum of one-year employment history and a proven ability to service the loan. Sometimes, other arrangements can be made with a larger down payment. Currently, a one- or two-year mortgage is at 5%.  


Q. What is life like in the winter? 

A. Although temperatures can be very cold here in the winter, life never stops. Our roads and highways are well maintained. Homes are well heated and people dress for the weather. Spring and fall are beautiful and summers are almost always hot, humid and sunny.  


Q. Can we contact other immigrants from our home country to ask them about their experience in Hamilton? 

A. Yes. We can arrange this upon request.  


Q. Can we get listings of companies or institutions in our fields, to ask about employment opportunities?  A. Yes. The following websites provide information about employment opportunities: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/gateways/where_you_live/regions/on.shtml www.caghamilton.com www.careercruiser.com http://www.canadaimmigrants.com/Ontario.asp  


Q. How can I network with others who share my profession in order to obtain specific information on employment opportunities? 

A. Through a program called the Canadian Mentoring Program, you can speak with individuals who share your profession. Go to www.canadainfonet.org, click on "Mentoring Program" and follow the links. 


Q. How can I get my personal documents translated into English? 

A. Information about translation services can be obtained by emailing info@allianguages.com or by calling 1-800-567-8100.  


Q. What other services for new immigrants are provided by the City of Hamilton?

A. The following websites will provide you with information about a multitude of services offered in Hamilton: http://www.city.hamilton.on.ca http://www.siso-ham.org/ http://www.stjosephwomen.on.ca