COSTI’s over-arching goal is to create conditions that enable immigrants and vulnerable populations to become valuable and contributing members of society. COSTI’s leadership team works to promote public policies that facilitate the integration of  immigrants and support their communities to build internal leadership and capacity.

COSTI currently works with over 240 planning groups, community agencies, hospitals and school boards in the delivery of services.
COSTI is responsible for the resettlement of over 1,900 government-assisted Syrian refugees to Toronto.
COSTI’s programs and services make a difference in the lives of over 39,000 individuals each and every year.


COSTI provides educational, social, and employment services to help all immigrants in the Toronto area attain self-sufficiency in Canadian society. COSTI, founded by the Italian community to meet a shortage of services for immigrants in the post war era, is today a multicultural agency that works with  all immigrant communities having a shortage of established services.


Responding to the needs of


Imad El Hasan considers himself one of the lucky ones, coming from a nightmare, to experiencing a dream-like life here in Canada, unlike many of his Syrian friends in Turkey who tragically died while attempting to cross the sea. Many times during the day, he stops and thinks that someone is going to wake him up and tell him that everything has been a dream and that he is back in Turkey, experiencing hardship and a limited future with no opportunities. Imad, his wife Hanan and their four children call Mississauga their home now and are excited about their future in Canada.

“My family and I are adapting well to Canada and Mississauga. My children are going to school, learning English and making new friends, while my wife and I attend English classes and also volunteer in the community when time allows. As a professional who worked in real estate and construction in Syria, I understand that learning English is important for me in order to find employment in the same field here in Canada. It’s also important to be able to speak English to help with every day tasks, like going to the bank or shopping at the local grocery store.

We have had so much help from community groups and COSTI since we first arrived in the winter of 2016. Before we began studying English, Arabic-speaking employees at COSTI and community volunteers were able to help us settle in our new home and register our children for school and introduce us to different shops and activities in the community. Mirna El Sabbagh helped us with our day-to-day needs and connected us to community groups that we could turn to for help. She still continues to visit and help us, even when it is not part of her job.

We have made learning English a priority. Today, as we learn more and more English, we have become more independent and rely less on COSTI staff and community groups to help us with our day-to-day activities. We are adapting and integrating well. In fact, I am studying for my driver’s license and my wife Hanan already has her food handling certification, and works once a week at the Newcomer Kitchen in Toronto, sometimes taking public transit from our home in Mississauga to downtown Toronto all by herself.

A year from now, I hope to be fluent in English and working in a job that suits my profession, or where I can be productive, not just working in a ‘survival job.’ My wife hopes for the same. But my biggest hope for the future is to see my children happy and for my youngest daughter to sleep peacefully through the night because she feels safe in her new home in Canada, no longer experiencing nightmares that have her screaming and yelling in her sleep.”

Syrian newcomer Imad El Hasan, his wife Hanan and their four children. Attends English classes. Studying for his driver’s licence. Living a dream.

Last year COSTI helped over 4,700 newcomers integrate faster by exploring new learning models and program features that help newcomers to develop the English language skills necessary to secure employment and settle successfully in Canada. In York Region, the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program focused on specialized skills such as pronunciation, every day conversation, grammar and writing, and language for work.

Our Enhanced Language Training Program (ELT) continued to develop and standardize materials and procedures and developed stronger connections with employers in order to enhance placement opportunities for Internationally Trained Individuals.

Many newcomers understand that it is very important to speak English so they can effectively go about their daily activities and advocate on behalf of their children and themselves. Our goal is to offer programs and services that help newcomers feel engaged and part of the community.


Over 74% of clients who graduated from  the Enhanced Language Training  Program or studied English at COSTI  in 2015/16 have a college, university, or post-graduate degree.

statsThe Housing Program provides meaningful volunteer work experience, mentoring and workplace training to people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless in an effort to increase their housing and employment opportunities.


A Breakdown of our
Various Partners:

Partnership and collaboration amongst organizations is key to the successful integration of newcomers. We work in partnership with organizations and service providers across Ontario in the planning and delivery of services to the community.

  • Community Agencies and Organizations
  • Inter-agency Planning Groups, Advisory Groups & Local Service Planning Coordination Groups
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Hospitals
  • School Boards



Over 10,000 adults and youth came to  COSTI looking for employment,  retraining or advancement  in education.


Over 1,043 youth were given a new direction away from street life through our mentoring and youth-at-risk programs.


Over 9,350 immigrants came to COSTI for help with their settlement needs in Ontario.


A note of appreciation and thanks to the following donors and contributors for
their significant support of COSTI and its services.


Corporation of City of Vaughan
Johnson & Johnson Inc. Canada



Brands for Canada
Gedasa Investment Inc.
IC Savings (Italian Canadian Savings & Credit Union)
thinkCOMPASS Inc.



Bellissimo Law Group
Monica Chan
CV Romeo
Davies Spina Falquez LLP  
John Kelly
Pat McGoey
Rich Products of Canada Ltd.
The BLG Foundation
Villa Charities Columbus Centre   
Zodiac Developments Inc.



Vittoria Adhami
Liang Amei
Pino Correale
Convoy Logistics Providers
Direct Buy of Toronto North
Longley/Vickar LLP
Rocco Lotito
Lucky Strike Lanes
Lynn McQueen
Morris & Company Inc.
Diane O’Neill
Optimal Assesments & Consulting Inc.
Carmen Prinicipato
Royal LePage (Your Community Realty)
Trans I.D. Services
James Tulk
Carole Wheeler
Marziya Yasmine
Michael Yealland



June Abordo
Ivelyses Castellanos
Grace Deutsch
Dolce Publishing Inc.
Jaspal Gabria
Edward Mouldy
Marjut and Kari Tap Nousiainen
Frank Pontes
Jose Romero
Jason Vandyken
Margaret Van Every
Lydell & Ann Andree Wiebe



Rosalle Amergo
David E. Boyce
Cecile Campbell
Tom and Jane Catcher
CUPE 3902, University of Toronto Education Workers
Edgar D’ Souza
Chris Deir
Kenneth Dymock
Sandra Ferguson
Sarah Follett
Miuna Gedi
Carola Gilpin
Tulio Gomez
Rejeanne Hillier
HUB International Sinclair Cockburn
Michelle King
Michelle Loyola
Sandra Mahar
Wellehma Mania
Carroll Pearce
Francisco Sanchez
Sangmo Sangmo
Leo Sdao
Felecia Simpson
Francoise Thexton
Sean Trotman
WES – World Education Services
Veris Wilson



Helen Abogadil
Judy Abraham
Kennedy Acheampong
Racqual Adams
Cheryl Adoranti
Nancy Agtarad
Maripour Ahamad
Anees Ahmed
Asia Alli
Ava Anderson
Herman Austin
Vinnette Bailey
Janis Bannister
Gregorid Barone
Tara Barr
Carol Baruchel
Navinsuresh Basdeo
Andrew Baxter
Brenda Becker
Arlene Belen
Gavin Bevan
William Bonelli
Wellington Bryan
Annemarie Bryant
Cheang Bun
Julita Cabogoy
Canadian Tire
Maria Casale
Channy Chey
Man Chim
Annmarie Chin
Andrew Clement
Anne Marie Clune
Melba Copland-Baksh
James Corcoran
Dave Cormier
Anthony Coxall
Donna Curie
Joanne Dallaire
Satyajit Das
Michelle Davenport

Bolly Delasilagas
Maria De Fatima DeSousa
Sunita Dhiman
Tanya Dickie
Ilko Dossev
Desmond Drake
Charles Duckworth
Glenice Edwards
Walter Elliot
Ian February
Tracy L. Ferencz
Fieramosca Trattoria
Leisa Forde-Carvalho
Fraydoon Frever
Kevin Gallowa
Sylvia Gallowa
Ryann Galvez
Aiza Garcia
Tony Gentles
Alrcia George
Shahbaz Ghazi
GMCR Canada Holding Inc.
Adnan Gojnovc
Baljinder Gollee
Sheena Green
Rosie Gubatan
Poonam Gupta
Gusto International Foods Inc.
Hailmariam Habtemariam
Un-Suk Han
Lisa Hardeo
Shamis Hassan
Grant Hemmings
Delphena Henry
Jewel Henry
Trevor Hughes
Lydia James
Nadira Jasmin
Bing Jing
Michelle John
Salay Kabba
Lavanya Kalaichevli
Nimal Kanagarajah
Yogaranthan Kangthah
Irene Kerridge
Pearlina Kirwan
Jacek Ko
Sukhjeevan Kullar
Satkunam Kumarasamy
Raul Labal
Mumtaz Lakhi
Simone Lall
Susan Lamondie
Harry W.Laslop
John Lewis
Maria Lopez
Christine Lowe
Sandra Lyn-Ogilvie
James MacDonald
Chandra Manohar
Kostas Marmaras
Erika Martinez
Jason Monaghan
Neil Montgomery
Doreen Moore
Abdul Munir
Gangadaran Nagananthiny
Bonifacio Natividad
Ayan Nur
Oca Nera Ristorante
Lily Pejcic
Carolyn Pellettier
Lorna Perena
Keith Peters
Tuyet Pham
Justin Pouzar
Lawrence Quinlan

Dannel Rahamut
Syed Rahman
Sandra Ramsay
Larry Regan
Ana Rivera
Rene Roet
Lidia Rona
Gus Saad
Thanuja Sandrasegarah
Bhagmatie Sanichar
Maylene Saylon
Lisa Schiller
Sarrah Schwardz
David Sealy
Mark Sedore
Nanthakumar Selvaraja
Eddie Shillingford
Carina Sicurella
Norbina Silva Remedios Simbulan
Barb Skinner
Callis Smith
Vivienne Smith
Maria Sousa
Eric Spicer
Rajaratnam Sritharan
Christine Stibor
Jagessar Sukhraj
Elisa R. Suppa
Amarnath Taitram
Jason Taylor
Suganthini Thanarajah
Eugene Thomlinson
Jeremy Thompson
Maryam Toam
Gerry Vaillancourt
Punithwathy Vignarajah
Christina Vrecko
William Walton
Amanda Whitten
Zaida Wilson
Winsome Wilson
Rukiya Youssouf
Mansoureh Zargari
Jhonas Masagca
Greg McAllister
Kate McCabe
Maria Medeiros
Ana Melo