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Newcomers – experience a great Canadian tradition

Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday of October. This year it will be October 10th. Canadian families typically get together for a meal including roasted turkey, and meals take place either in the afternoon or evening of Saturday the 8th, Sunday the 9th, or Monday the 10th.

If you’ve never had a chance to share a Thanksgiving Dinner with an established Canadian family, this service is for you.

We understand that you could feel a little nervous. It sounds like a great idea, but the first moments of sharing a dinner with people you don’t know can feel challenging.

We’re here to answer any questions you might have, and also to explain how to sign up.

[If you are a settlement agency, click here to learn more.]

Have other newcomers had these dinners?

Yes! We started in 2013, and we’ve matched hundreds families who have loved it.

Why would a Canadian family want to host you?

Many newcomers have asked this question, and it has many different answers! We had hundreds of Canadian families sign up last year to express interest in hosting newcomers. Some might have travelled to other countries and experienced the hospitality of other cultures, some might have done this before, and some might have heard from friends who enjoyed their hosting experience. Some are just generous, and want to share a Canadian tradition with people who may appreciate some new friends.

Is there a cost?

No, there’s no cost. A few volunteers and settlement agencies have put together this service as a way to help better conversations to happen, and for Canadians to celebrate together!

What about language?

We ask that at least one member of your family have conversational English. You will need to at least be able to ask for directions and share basic information about yourself to get the most out of your experience. That’s one of the reasons we only offer this website in English.

What food and alcohol are served?

Most families will be serving a glass of wine – but if you do not drink alcohol it is very polite to say no and ask for juice instead. Most of the dinners include turkey and a lot of fall vegetables; if you are vegetarian or halal you can let your hosts know.

Can I contact my settlement agency?

Yes! We’re working with settlement houses in all the cities where this operates. Do contact your settlement worker for more information!

Which settlement agencies are supporting this?

Information to Come



How it works

We’re run by volunteers who want to make connections and conversations easier. We’ve designed this service to be really simple.

1. Express your interest.

You can sign up using the link below. You’ll need to answer a few easy questions, and it wont take more than a few minutes.

You’ll be asked your name, email address, phone number, number of people in your family/group; any food restrictions; and the dates that you are available.

You can also ask your settlement worker to help you fill out the information if you have any questions.

This phase will close on Friday Oct 7th, but we’ll be matching people in the order in which they signed up, so the earlier the better.

After you sign up, you’ll get an email confirming that you are in the list of families looking for a match.

2. Get matched!

We’ll use the information that you provided to find the right match for you. When we make the match, we’ll send you and your new host family an email introducing you to one another.

We’ll try to match based on family size – if you have children in elementary school, we’ll match you with a family with children in elementary school.

Your host family will then email you.

3. Arrange the dinner details.

Once you are in contact by email, your host will email you with their address. You can talk with them about transportation, about food or alcohol restrictions.

On the day of the dinner, you’ll head over to your hosts house, and share a dinner to remember together.