Hi Everyone,

Spring has finally sprung, COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, workplaces are reopening across the province, and leaders are keen to get people back into the office. But how will work look like in the post-pandemic future? Ready or not, hybrid working is in the horizon for many organizations.

According to PwC’s most recent Canadian Workforce Survey 2021, much of the Canadian talent base has fully embraced technology and there’s a growing feeling people can be productive from anywhere. Below are some of the survey’s results, which bring together insights from more than 2,000 Canadian office employees and employers:
  • 81% of employers and 78% of employees agree their organization has the necessary tools and technology for them to be successful in their jobs when working remotely.
  • the majority of Canadian employee respondents want a hybrid work environment (15% said they would prefer to work entirely remotely, 25% said they would prefer to work mostly remotely, and 25% said they would prefer working roughly half-time remotely and half-time at the office). 
  • 42% of male respondents, and 45% of respondents aged 55 and above, would prefer to be working entirely or mostly in-office.
At the same time, employees are reporting some work challenges: “Nearly half of respondents rank mental health and staying motivated as top challenges since the start of the pandemic (46% and 45%, respectively). Communication and connectivity with their team in a virtual work environment also ranks highly, at 30%”.

How can organizations build back-to-workplace plans that meet the needs of all their people and their business? The survey suggests a few key actions:
  • Using tools and technology to measure teams’ and individuals’ productivity and impact.
  • Improving leaders’ skills to lead in today’s new world of work by building a strong organizational culture that’s focused on outcomes. 
Setting clear expectations and protocols, trusting your team, and understanding the productivity paradox are also important since both employers and employees reported high levels of productivity to PwC while working remotely. In fact, 41% of the survey's employee respondents said their productivity has increased compared to before the pandemic.

Here at the O2O and ISC team we feel excited about this mix of in-person and remote work and the possibilities it provides to meet the needs of newcomers in Ontario. We are here to serve you as we all continue to navigate the new world of work.

The O2O and ISC Team

IRCC: Canada welcomed 621,600
international students in 2021

The number of international students in Canada has increased steadily since the mid-2000s, and reached 638,300 in 2019. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 528,200 international students in 2020, representing a 17% decrease from 2019 and the first annual decline in the international student population in 20 years. 
New data from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows that at the end of 2021 Canada saw a return to pre-pandemic numbers, with a total of 621,600 of international students at all levels of study. Out of those, 72.5 % plan to apply for a post-graduate work permit and 60% plan to apply for permanent residence in Canada, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE).
Recently, IRRC and Statistics Canada jointly released a series of six research articles examining the role of international students as a source of labour in Canada. Here's a summary of their findings:
  • About 3 in 10 international students who entered Canada in 2000 or later became a landed immigrant within 10 years
  • One in two international student graduates remained in their province of study one year after graduation
  • Despite growing in size, the international student population has become less diverse over the past two decades in many ways
  • The share of international students reporting earnings during their period of study has increased, with the largest gains occurring among those studying at the college level
  • International students provided a growing source of labour for the Canadian labour market that extended beyond their periods of study
  • For international students who become permanent residents, Canadian credentials take some time to translate into stronger economic outcomes
To learn more, click here.

O2O workbook is now available in Ukrainian

The O2O workbook provides newcomers with the information they need to succefully settle in Ontario. Clients that attend an in-person O2O workshop receive a free printed copy of the O2O workbook. This resource is also available online in PDF version on our website in more than 10 languages.

As part of the Government of Canada’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, IRCC has introduced new immigration streams for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada temporarily or permanently. Since January 1, 2022, over 6,100 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada. 

With this is in mind, O2O and ISC have made available the O2O workbook in Ukrainian and are working on translating more resources to meet the needs of Ukrainians who come to Ontario.

Click below to read the O2O workbook:
The O2O workbook is also offered it as an interactive eBook in the languages listed below:

Download the O2O factsheets in new languages

As newcomers settle in Ontario, they will need information on many different aspects of living here. The O2O factsheets provide detailed information on more than 30 different topics such as housing, employment, finances, education, health care, benefits and social assistances, and more! 

The O2O factsheets are available in PDF version on our website in English, French, Armenian, Arabic and Ukrainian.
Click here to download the O2O factsheets in new languages!

Get the ArriveON app today!

Watch a video about ArriveON!
Did you know that O2O and ISC recently launched the first bilingual app for newcomers to Ontario? ArriveON is a free, bilingual, mobile app that helps immigrants, refugees and international students in Ontario find reliable information and services to kickstart their settlement journey.

From finding a job or a place to live, to learning English or French or accessing health care, ArriveON has everything newcomers need to get started on their new community.
The information provided is based on the content of the O2O Workbook and grouped into six sections: Getting to Know Canada and Ontario, Living in your New Community, Education and Training, Working and Business, Money and Personal Finances, People and the Environment.

Designed by COSTI’s Orientation to Ontario (O2O) Program, and funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Province of Ontario, ArriveON also connects newcomers to the O2O Chatbot, relevant government websites and phone numbers, and the Welcome to Canada guide published by IRCC. It also allows users to call 911, 211, and ConnexOntario’s mental health services with just one click!


What is Orientation to Ontario (O2O)?

Orientation to Ontario (O2O) is a bilingual program designed to ease the transition of newcomers by providing access to standardized information about settling in Ontario. It is coordinated by COSTI, and funded by IRCC and the Government of Ontario.
Information is provided through customized workshops at over 30 Service Delivery Agencies (SDAs) across the province. O2O offers helpful online resources: a workbook, webinars, fact sheets on various settlement topics, and a chatbot.

Check out the O2O Workbook in English and French, and learn more about the program here.

What is International Student Connect (ISC)?

International Student Connect (ISC) is a bilingual project that provides settlement support and orientation to international students pursuing post-secondary education in Ontario. It is coordinated by COSTI and funded by the Government of Ontario.

Our goal is to help international students integrate successfully should they choose to settle in Ontario after graduation. Information is provided through one to two hours Let’s Connect sessions or One-on-One sessions at Colleges and Universities.

Check out the ISC Handbook and learn more about the project here.

We want to hear from you!


Your feedback is important to us. Send us an email to or and let us know what information you would like to receive in the next issue of the O2O & ISC Newsletter.
Copyright © 2021 Orientation to Ontario & International Student Connect. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

COSTI Immigrant Services
2301 Keele Street, Unit 102
Toronto, ON
M6N 3Z9

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International Student Connect · 2301 Keele Street · Unit 102 · Toronto, On M6N 3Z9 · Canada

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