Services and Facilities in Ontario

May 8, 2018Immigration, News

Health

Ontario’s health care system is one of the best in the world. Ontarians who qualify can access a variety of health care services in their community. You need a health card to get healthcare services covered by OHIP, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. OHIP is Ontario’s health care plan. Through OHIP, the province pays for many of the health services you may need. You need to apply and, once you’re approved, you’ll get an Ontario health card. Your health card proves you’re covered by OHIP – that’s why you’ll need to show it every time you see your doctor, visit an emergency room, have a medical test or go for surgery.

OHIP covers many health services you may need, such as:

Walk-in clinics
You do not need an appointment to visit a walk-in clinic.

Family doctors
You must make an appointment to see a family doctor.

Public health offices and community health centers
These facilities are different from hospitals or clinics. They offer services such as immunization and support programs. They also offer information on many health-related topics.

Emergency medical services
If you can’t safely get to a hospital on your own, call 911, and an ambulance will arrive to take you to the nearest hospital. You may be charged a fee for using an ambulance if you do not have private health insurance that covers this service.

Mental health services
Many people will experience a mental health illness at some point in their lives. Free health services are available for mental health issues, addictions, crisis situations and more.                                                                               

Education

The school system in Ontario has 2 levels:

Following secondary school, many students choose to continue learning at colleges and universities. Although these programs are optional, they are a great way to gain more experience and knowledge, so you are better qualified before you enter the job market. Ontario law requires that children from age 6 to 17 attend school, but many children begin elementary school in a kindergarten program at age 4 or 5. To accommodate this, all children in Canada from ages 4 to 17 can attend school free of charge.

Elementary school system

Elementary schools provide kindergarten programs (for children aged 4 and 5) and programs for grades 1 to 8.

Starting in September 2014, all Peel elementary schools offer full-day kindergarten program. In some school families, there may be separate middle schools for students of grades 6 to 8.

High schools

Secondary schools, commonly called “high schools,” offer a variety of academic programs for grades 9 to 12 to meet the needs of every student. To earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), students must complete at least 30 credits (normally, 1 course = 1 credit).

Post-secondary

Post-secondary education in Canada is expensive.  Government of Canada and Government of Ontario have created ways to help you start saving early for your college or university tuition fees.

  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) – This special savings account for parents who want to save for their child’s post-secondary education.
  • Canada Learning Bond – The Canada Learning Bond is a government grant of up to $2,000. This Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is for your child’s post-secondary education.
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) – is a mix of grants and loans available for students to pay post-secondary education. There are two kinds of money available:
    • grants: money you don’t have to pay back
    • loan: you need to repay it back including the principal and interest

Transportation

Ontario is a large province, made up of larger cities and smaller towns. There are different ways to travel within Ontario, depending on your budget, time and needs. Buses, trains and airlines go to many places in Ontario. All cities are connected by paved highways. The Ontario government operates Travel Information Centers that provide tourist information, maps and directions.

Air Travel

If you need to take a flight between cities, contact an airline directly or ask a travel agent for information. You can find the names of airlines and travel agencies in the telephone book.

Bus Travel

Bus travel is often the cheapest way to travel between Ontario cities. Sometimes, it is the only way to travel between smaller towns and cities, other than driving.

Bus lines offering service throughout Ontario include:

  • Greyhound – servicing all Ontario.
  • Ontario Northland – servicing Toronto, central Ontario and northern Ontario.
  • Coach Canada – servicing the southern part of the province from Windsor to Montreal.
  • Megabus – Servicing parts of Ontario, Quebec and the United States.
  • GO Buses – servicing the area from Niagara Falls to Peterborough.

Train Travel

There is train service throughout Canada. Some train networks offer long-distance travel and other networks offer commuters a way to travel between cities for work.

Public Transportation

Most cities in Ontario have a public transit system of buses or streetcars. Most cities provide transit maps for free.

Find your local public transit system in the blue pages of your telephone book or look at this list of Public Transit Systems in Ontario.

Car Rental

Renting a car can be quite convenient. Read the rental contract carefully before you sign it. Make sure you have insurance coverage. Some credit cards cover car rental insurance, check with your provider.

Taxi

If there is no public transit or you need to go somewhere quickly, you can hire a taxi (cab).

To find a taxi cab or limousine service, look in the telephone book under “taxis.” You may be asked for the passenger’s name, pickup and destination addresses and the number of the telephone that you are calling from. In larger cities, you can also hail a taxi in the street. Stand on the sidewalk and wave at a taxi that has no passengers in it when it comes towards you.

The price appears on a meter in the front beside the driver. The meter will display a minimum charge when you get in the car. Airport taxis sometimes charge an agreed-upon rate instead of using a meter. If the ride is non-metered, ask the driver how much the trip will cost before you get in the car.

Working

Ontario is the province that has the highest population in Canada and everyone is committed to working to make a living. Ontario offers various kinds of job opportunities to many individuals based on their education and skills. With a diverse, thriving economy, job opportunities in Ontario span the full range of professions, from agriculture to information technology.

You have legal rights and responsibilities as a worker. Workers’ rights and responsibilities protect you in your workplace. Employment Standards are the rules about hours of work, pay, holidays and other benefits. Occupational Health and Safety laws help keep you safe at work. The minimum age for working in Ontario is 14 years for most types of work. However, 14-, 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds are not to be employed during school hours unless they have been excused from school attendance under provisions of Ontario’s Education Act.

Community & lifestyle

With communities that have come from all over the world to settle in Ontario, the province benefits from some of the greatest cultural diversity in the world. Yet even in larger cities like Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario is at its heart a community of communities. With thriving cultural communities, newcomers can feel right at home while they integrate into their surrounding neighbourhoods. The friendly atmosphere has earned Ontario a positive reputation worldwide.

Ontario’s cities take their rightful places on the world map for all major cultural, academic and sporting events. Toronto’s International Film Festival, for example, brings to town all the famous figures from the film community as the world’s top filmmakers debut their new works to Toronto’s audiences. While the world comes to Ontario, the province does not rely on imported culture. Quite the contrary, the locally produced arts, sporting, and entertainment sectors thrive in bustling communities.

English is Ontario’s official language, though there are several French-speaking communities across the province. Languages other than English often spoken at home in Ontario include Chinese, Italian, German, Polish, Spanish, Punjabi, Ukrainian and Portuguese.

Sports, Recreation, Arts & Culture

Sport and recreation are important sectors to the physical, emotional and economic well-being of Ontarians. The Ministry continues to champion participation in sport and recreation activities across the province. Participation in sport contributes to better health, provides role models for the pursuit of personal excellence, exemplifies the value of teamwork and builds community pride. The Ministry works collaboratively with the sport and recreation sector to promote, support, and increase opportunities for all Ontarians to participate in sport and recreation, from a playground to podium.

Some of the national sports teams in Ontario are:

NBA; Basketball – Toronto Raptors

NHL; Hockey –Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators

MLB; Baseball-  Toronto Blue Jays

 You can visit attractions throughout the province, from country fairs and museums to zoos, floral gardens, theme parks and special events. Niagara Falls is one of the world’s natural wonders.                                                                                         

 

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