One-On-One Settlement Assistance

Our settlement services are offered to newcomers, immigrants, citizens, and refugees; we also provide customized programming available for women, youth and seniors. LSP (Library Settlement Partnerships) and SWCS (Settlement Workers in Community Spaces) programs deliver settlement services to all newcomers regardless of their immigration status helping them fully engage in all aspects of Canadian life. We identify newcomer needs and support them with information and referrals about community and government services for healthcare, legal issues, housing, employment, education, language training; we also assist with applications, documentation and referral translation services. Our settlement workers offer these services in a variety of languages based on community needs. The Toronto Public Library and the City of Toronto provide us with the space and support to deliver our services in the different locations including Toronto City Hall, Housing Connections, Wellesley Community Centre, Wellesley Place Employment & Social Services for SWCS program and three Toronto Public Library branches for LSP program: Eatonville, Lillian H. Smith and Mimico Centennial Libraries.
If you need to contact one of our settlement worker for one-on-one appointment or group information sessions, feel free to call them at:

Shakira Quraishi (SWCS) 416-997-2175 Speaks Farsi
Claudia Montoya (LSP) 647-404-2235 Speaks Spanish
Celia Cruz-Hew (LSP) 416-931-6536 Speaks Tagalog
Stanley Teo (LSP) 647-404-8857 Speaks Mandarin


  • Dear Shakira Quraishi,
    We writing you this letter just to say thank you for all the work you helped us with. As newcomers we knew nothing. Myself, my husband and my two kids came to Canada looking for safety from a very dangerous place called *home*. We came to Canada in March 2019 and applied for refugee status. We got the refugee claimant, step by step and started getting work done. We ended up in the shelter because we had no place to go and we had no funds with us. We stayed in this emergency shelter for almost 4 months. We started looking around searching for any assistance that could help foreign people like us. Then we discovered CultureLink. We discovered Shakira. A great person. A motherly figure. She helped me and my family. She motivated us and she gave us the encouragement and hope of a better future for me and my family in Canada.
    We were basically like little babies that crawl and need some push ups to start walking on their own. Shakira was there for us. She was there during my pregnancy before I gave birth and she was there as a mother after I gave birth. We found out about the subsidized housing. Shakira encouraged us to not only apply for the Toronto area, but also to make sure to apply for subsidized housing in the other cities in Ontario and me and my husband decided to apply for subsidized housing in the areas of Sudbury, Niagara, Windsor, North Bay and the York region, and fortunately after a very short time just before the birth of our 3rd baby we got an approval from Sudbury for a three bedroom house.
    We are soo happy that we gonna start a new life there, me, my husband and our 3 kids. They gave us a semi detached house with 3 bedrooms. We are very excited to start living there and call this place our home, our own home, even our kids can’t wait anymore.
    There’s too much to say regarding our experience from day one to now here in Canada it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t impossible, lots of ups and downs we did meet in our way. It’s not over yet but at least we almost there. But thanks to you Shakira, thanks to all the people that look forward to help newcomers and try to reach out to them. You don’t know how it feels deep inside, we really really appreciate it. Thank you soo much for all the support. Unfortunately there’s is no words to express how thankful we are to you and your organizations and all the people that try their best to make it easy for us. Thank you again, Love you Lots! We will always be grateful to you, Shakira. May Allah bless you and your whole family. You are always in our payers.
    June 2019

  • Hello Shakira,
    I am writing this email because I want to tell you that I am glad that I met you because you save me at the most important moment in my life. I am a single mother living with my teenage daughter in Toronto on work visa only. In September last year I went to ask for help at Service Canada here in Etobicoke, they gave me your phone number and I called you that time and you were so helpful from the first moment we met at the Wellesley Place and you told me because I had no work permit it was difficult for you to help me to find me job; however you told me whenever I get my work permit I can call you back and then in February I called you again. I told you if I don’t find work within ten days I will have to leave Canada, you were so kind and you introduced me to a family restaurant the Shawarma Frenzy at Pape Avenue. They were exactly how you introduced them to me, they interviewed me and then hired me the next day. They are very kind people and I started to work with them right away.
    I am so happy with that job because not only I took care of my work permit but also I made my immigration documents to apply for PR. Also the most important they are so nice people as you told me. I appreciate you for all the help you gave me and also for the kindness you have as a person, whenever I called you answered me you were there for me, thank you thank you a lot !! Happy Mother’s Day!!
    May 2019
  • I have had the need over the last week to visit Eatonville Library. While there on two occasions, I was working for an extended time and happened to overhear one of the staff, Celia, working with new people/families to Canada, assisting them in preparing immigration-related paper work. I was incredibly struck by how great Celia is in this role – she is so kind, gentle, helpful, patient with them. It made me so grateful that they had someone like Celia to work with. I was unaware of this kind of service being offered through the libraries. Such an important work! And such special people, like Celia, working in the libraries. I suggest to find a way of thanking Celia for how great she is in her job. And find a way of telling more Canadians like me of all the special work libraries are doing in our communities (I had no idea!)
    April 2019