Before you Arrive

Everything you need to know to make your move to Perth County, Stratford or St. Marys. The following checklist will help newcomers prepare for immigration to Canada, Perth County, Stratford or St. Marys. The Government of Canada also has a newcomer checklist.

Before You Arrive in Perth County, Stratford or St. Marys

Canadian Visa information

Ensure you have valid travel documents, a valid visa if required and confirmation of Permanent Residence for you and each family member traveling with you.

Canadian Visa information

Living Expenses

Ensure you have enough money to cover living expenses (rent, food, clothing, transportation) for up to six months.

Government of Canada immigration living expenses guidelines

Weather Information

Acquire adequate clothing for our varied weather conditions: Cold and snowy, hot and humid, cool and rainy.

Environment Canada weather information for Perth-Huron

Information on Housing

Before you come, arrange for a place to stay when you arrive.

Information on housing for newcomers to Ontario

Employment Options

Look at Employment options in your field, before you arrive.

Job Board

Job Seeker Resources

Credential Assessment

Look into having your Foreign Credentials for Canada or Employment Ontario.

Government of Ontario Credential Assessment Services


If possible, have the following work-related documents translated into English: a resume that includes your education, work and volunteer experience, skills and qualifications, diplomas, degrees, certificates and other proof of qualifications, school records or transcripts, letters of recommendation.

Government of Ontario resume resources

Your First Days in Perth County, Stratford and St. Marys

Multicultural Association of Perth-Huron

Contact or visit the Multicultural Association of Perth-Huron

Multicultural Association Perth-Huron, 32 Erie Street

Stratford, Ontario N5A 2M4

Phone: 519-271-7730 x 232

Fax: 519-273-9350




Find temporary housing for your first few nights in Perth County, Stratford or St. Marys

Information on housing in Ontario

Short term and hotel/motel accommodation in Perth County, Stratford and St. Marys

Currency Exchange

Exchange your money for Canadian currency at a bank or credit union.

Exchange rates

Canadian Banking information for newcomers

Credit Unions in Ontario

Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

Apply for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) a publicly funded program that covers basic health care services.

OHIP Information

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), a document you must have to work in Canada.

Canadian Government personal document information

Your Early Weeks in Perth County, Stratford and St. Marys

Real Estate & Housing

Information on housing in Ontario – Find permanent housing in Perth County, Stratford or St. Marys

Citizenship Canada – Extensive information on settling in Ontario, Canada.

Government of Canada – Newcomers Guide to Canadian Housing

Government of Canada – Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – Courtesy of The Canadian Real Estate Association, MLS provides users with an extensive, searchable database of commercial and residential real estate listings.

One Percent Realty – Click anywhere on the Perth County map to explore local properties for sale at attractive rates.

Comfree – Commission-free property sales listings. – This searchable database allows users to take a virtual tour through a rental unit. – Landlord listings and tenant-specific housing options.

Open a Bank Account

Perth County, Stratford and St. Marys are serviced by Canada’s five major chartered banks as well as local credit unions.

Canadian Banking information for newcomers

Credit Unions in Ontario

Apply for Child Tax Benefits

Canada’s Government offers a tax-free, monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18.

Acquire a Family Doctor

Acquire a family doctor or find a nurse practitioner – Residents who are currently without a doctor should call Health Care Connect at 1-800-445-1822 or visit the Government of Ontario’s Health and Long-Term Care Website. A valid health card and up-to-date address are necessary.

Perth District Health Unit

Have your children immunized – The Perth District Health Unit offers information on immunization.

Driver's License

Apply for an Ontario driver’s license – If you have an existing driver’s license, you may be able to exchange it for an Ontario License.


New Drivers

Volunteers in Perth

Volunteers in Perth – Consider some community volunteer experience to acquire work experience in Canada.

Language Skills

Consider upgrading your language skills – The Avon Maitland District School Board offers English as a Second Language programs for young people.


Explore English as a Second Language options for older newcomers.

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