Home > Settling > Getting Settled

Once you move to Peterborough, there is a lot of information that you will need to settle into the community. This section provides information about settling into the community. You will also find links to organizations that can help you.

Where do I find local information and available services?

The City of Peterborough is responsible for a wide range of municipal services for residents of Peterborough. Federal services are offered at the Service Canada Centre. Before you visit, find the service you need to confirm it is available.

The United Way of Peterborough and District includes more than 30 organizations that provide free social and community services to Peterborough City and County residents.

Lists of community organizations and private businesses can be found here. This includes non-profit organizations and self-help/support groups (made up of individuals who share common issues).

Man using public computer station surrounded by shelves full of books in the Peterborough Public Library

You can also search for local businesses in the Yellow Pages online.

The Peterborough Public Library offers free access to books, magazines, local newspapers and computers with Internet access.

Learning more about what’s happening in the community can also help with the settlement process. Find local news and events.

Helpful telephone numbers

211 – An operator can refer you to Peterborough’s community, social, health or government services. Interpreters are available in over 150 languages, 24 hours per day. 211 is a free service. You can also access this information online.

411 – An operator will look up a telephone number for you. There is usually a small fee for using this service. The cost will be added to your telephone bill. You can look up telephone numbers online free of charge at www.canada411.ca.

Emergency Services

In an emergency, you can dial 9-1-1 on any telephone. An operator will answer and connect you with the police departmentfire department, or paramedics.

Other Emergency Services include:

How Can I Get Involved in the Community?

Smiling woman holding a small dog while standing in front of a horse

Every day, thousands of people give their time and talent to hundreds of organizations in the Peterborough area with no expectation of monetary reward. Their hours of service ensure that many activities are accomplished, and many people are helped. Volunteers build houses for the homeless, care for the elderly, look after homeless pets and provide counselling and support services. They are youth group leaders, programme coordinators, coaches and fundraisers. They represent every walk of life - professional, homemaker, student, retiree - as well as every age and cultural group.

Volunteers offer their time, energy and skills to help make their community a better place. Volunteers usually have a formal, supported relationship with a not-for-profit organization, agency, or club. Their volunteer services range from office work to supporting individuals as they interact with their community to help build affordable housing.  Volunteers work to improve the lives of others, but they also enhance their own lives.

Man wearing white tee shirt with New Canadians Centre Volunteer written on its back

For newcomers to Peterborough, volunteering is a positive way to help others, become involved in the community and meet new friends. Volunteering can also be a fun way to practice English. Coming from another country, you may also bring new ideas, skills and perspectives to the organization and the community.  Volunteering can also help you with your job search by helping you build your resume, make contacts and gain Canadian work experience. The organization where you volunteer should give you a reference you can use in your job search.

Community Information Services at United Way of Peterborough and District assists residents looking for volunteer opportunities in the Peterborough area.  Community Information Services is a free service that manages a comprehensive online database of information about the Peterborough area. The database allows you to search for volunteer opportunities in many fields. Residents can also call 211 for information and referral to social-service organizations, agencies and clubs. Operators at 211 offer services in many languages and use information from the online database to assist callers in the Peterborough area.

Cultural Organizations and Groups

As a newcomer, staying connected with friends and family can be difficult. You may want to find people who speak your native language, to celebrate an upcoming holiday with others or to pass on traditional cultural teachings to younger generations. We encourage you to build a support network in your new community by connecting with Peterborough's increasingly diverse cultural organizations and groups. You may also learn how to start your own group or organization from these community leaders!