Finding friends in a new place can be tough and lonely at times, especially if you don’t know where to start. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll share a few tips on how to find friends in Canada.
Your reasons for relocation may vary. It could be because of a new job, studies, a spouse or simply seeking a lifestyle with new opportunities and adventure.
Although our reasons could be different, one thing we all have in common is a need to feel a sense of connection with others.
What elevates a country to become a special place in our hearts is often the unique personal connections and the experiences that we share with the people there.
Whether you’re new to the country or just looking for new friends, these tips will help you start making new friendships.
1. Find Social Activities in Your Area
Meet Up is an online platform that lists a wide variety of social groups for people who share common interests.
On Meet Up you can find social activities ranging from painting, yoga, hiking, learning a foreign language, meditation meetups, movie clubs, book clubs, foodie clubs, mastermind groups and more.
Not only will you make new friends, but you’ll also get to experience new things and learn more about your hobbies.
To browse social activities in your area, you can also check Eventbrite.
2. Join Facebook Groups for Expats
Different Facebook groups can help you source advice, information and to contact new people in your area.
You can check different expat FB groups or FB groups for international students in Canada.
You’ll find out that you’re not alone and that there are many others in the same boat, undergoing the same process as you.
I once posted a question about which neighborhoods are best to live in Halifax in a FB group – New to Nova Scotia.
Because of my Slovak surname, another Czech expat woman reached out to me. We agreed to meet for a stroll in the park and a coffee and have been friends ever since.
Sometimes all it takes is just one message.
3. Find Friends Through Shared Love of Food
Enjoying a delicious meal with friends, neighbors, and co-workers is a great way to form deeper connections.
It’s even more fun when you’re able to discover and enjoy different cuisines from all around the world together.
Eat With is a platform similar to Airbnb but instead of accommodation, it is aimed at sharing culinary experiences.
Canada with its mix of nationalities provides a wide pallet of cuisines to share and experience.
4. Volunteer with Workaway
Another great way to find friends in Canada is by volunteering.
There are many organizations that could use your help, and by volunteering you can make a difference while also meeting new people.
Not only will you feel good about giving back, but you might also end up making some lifelong friends.
Workaway is a wonderful platform to find volunteering activities that you can participate in.
These are usually with local families, organizations or small businesses that offer an exchange of your time and work for food and accommodation.
You’ll have a great opportunity to interact with locals and other volunteers.
Besides making friends, it’s also a great way to learn new skills and in some cases even get paid.
5. Hang Out With Your Work Colleagues
I know that after spending 8h a day at work, you might not always feel compelled to go out and engage in small talk. But sometimes it pays off to get out of your comfort zone and brush up on your social skills.
Having a drink or a cup of coffee with your colleagues could also be fun.
There’s a good chance that you’ll find something that you have in common with your colleagues.
You could join networking events and attend meetups, trade shows, and conferences related to your industry.
One of my best friends in Canada is my ex-work colleague and it all started by having a Christmas pizza party and a few laughs.
6. Say Hi To Your Neighbors
This might sound a little old-school but how about baking something and bringing it to your neighbours or inviting them over for dinner?
Nobody can say no to good food and good company.
You never know. You might end up having potential new friends right next door.
Building a relationship with neighbors can grow into a sense of community for you and them.
7. Find Friends in Canada Through Shared Love of Sports
If you’re into playing sports, you can join a sports team for just about any sport, from hockey to ultimate Frisbee.
Sports can be a wonderful way to meet new people. You don’t even have to worry about awkward silence or small talk because you’ll be fully immersed in the game.
After the match, you can simply discuss with your teammates how the game went and what you could improve next time.
Besides that, health clubs and gyms often host various sports events.
You might get lucky and find there your workout buddy.
To make it even easier for you, there’s an app called Atleto designed specifically for sports enthusiasts.
This app will match you with other people depending on your sports preferences, schedule and your skill level.
You can find there many sports events and various activities in your local area.
8. Find Friends in Canada Through Shared Love of Dogs
A pet is not only a great companion but can also help you find new friends.
It’s no secret that dog walkers are more likely to strike up a conversation with their neighbors, other pet owners or dog lovers roaming the streets.
Dogs are usually very eager to meet new people and you’ll have a perfect icebreaker to start a chat about your dog with strangers.
There is also an app called Wag Buddy which connects dog lovers. Setting up a dog parents’ play dates has never been easier.
Alternatively, check if there are any animal shelters in your area where you can become a volunteer.
9. Explore Canada and Hang Out with Locals
Couchsurfing is a website that connects locals with travelers.
It’s an incredible way to experience a country with locals and find unique and lasting connections.
With this platform, you can either arrange to be hosted at no cost or simply meet up with locals, travelers and expats alike.
The only downside to Couchsurfing is that you’re required to pay a small monthly fee or yearly subscription in order to use the platform.
If you’re into cycling, there is an interesting free alternative for hosting cyclists worldwide on their cycling trips.
You could sign up and find some local hosts, share great stories and have a drink.
10. Try Apps to Find Friends in Canada
Whether you’re looking to meet people your own age, find other Canadians who love hiking and skiing, or just want to chat with someone new, there’s an app for that.
You’re probably familiar with dating apps such as Tinder or Badoo but if you’re only interested in a new friendship, we’ve rounded up the best apps for finding friends in Canada.
The good news is that they’re all free to join.
- Patook – a friendship app that uses algorithms to find friends for you with similar interests and values. Patook is something like Tinder of the friendship world.
- Nextdoor – app to meet and socialize with your neighbors. This app seems to be popular mostly amongst parents and adults.
- We3 – a Canadian app designed to match a small group of people together. Instead of finding you a partner, it aims to find you a ‘tribe’ of like-minded people. The app will place you in a group of 3 people based on your specific interests.
- CitySocializer – a great app to spice up your social life especially if you live in a city. You can join or organize various events including house parties.
- Hey! Vina – an app designed specifically for women to find other female friends.
11.Find Pen Pals from Canada
One of the best sites to find Canadian pen pals is Global Penfriendship.
It’s a free website where you can connect with people from around the world and exchange letters.
Having pen pals is not only a great way to connect with people but also to practice your language skills.
Making friends in a new country doesn’t have to be difficult. Put yourself out there and get involved in the things that interest you to expand your social circles.
The great thing about Canada is that it’s a very cosmopolitan country full of different cultures and friendly people. This makes it much easier to fit in and find good friends.
And don’t forget to stay in touch with your old friends from back home too. A video chat or phone call can do wonders for morale and help you feel connected. Good luck!
If you’re new to Canada or plan on immigrating to Canada then be sure to discover more tips on how to make your transition easier, cheaper, and more convenient.