Newcomer Programs

Five Bengali women standing side-by-side and smiling brightly, most are in colorful traditional saris and most have a fist raised in an empowered pose

Building Bridges 2 Community

BBNC collaborates with community agencies, networks and newcomer leaders to support recent immigrant residents and ethno-racialized groups to fully navigate life in our communities.  Using a community development model, we strive to deliver quality programs that bridge service gaps while fostering social inclusion.  Activities have included inclusive wellness and recreation programming, physical literacy training, newcomer seniors programs, leadership development, civic engagement, volunteer placements, BBNC's SHARE365 anti-poverty program, and information and referral services.  Present and past Programs include:

  • Bengali-Tamil Seniors Recreation Program
  • Get Active in Your Neighbourhood (GAIN)
  • Bridges to Community Project
  • Creating Culture and Cuisine

Bengali-Tamil Seniors Recreation Program

This 4-agency partnership project, launched in the Fall of 2013, has provided over 220 Bengali and Tamil seniors in Scarborough with inclusive social and wellness programming weekly, at 4 agency sites.  Generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the project supported many seniors from these underserved groups to expand their physical activity, build vital community connections, reduce social isolation, and empower their civic voices, thereby improving their settlement outcomes.

Program Activities

Seniors enjoy:

  • An informal drop-in space
  • Healthy living workshops
  • Board and active games
  • Creative arts expression - music, drama, dance
  • Bengali and Canadian cultural celebrations
  • Civic Education and Activities
  • Community Outings

In 2016, its third and final year of Ontario Trillium Foundation funding, the program created Senior's advisory committees at partner sites as the Scarborough programs transitioned to a more peer-led model with seniors taking on greater governance duties with agency supports.  We are happy to say that the program continues at all partner sites with partial funding while longer term funding is pursued to sustain this high impact program at the south Scarborough area.

Project partners include BBNC, West Scarborough Neighbourhood Centre, Warden Woods Community Centre, and Harmony Hall Centre for Seniors.

Bengali Program Sites:

  • Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre
  • West Scarborough Neighbourhood Centre
  • Harmony Hall Centre for Seniors/Call-A-Service

Tamil Program Sites:

  • Warden Woods Community Centre
  • Harmony Hall Centre for Seniors/Call-A-Service

Bengali Seniors Recreation Program At BBNC

Bengali seniors in Scarborough with recreation barriers come together each Tuesday at BBNC for an afternoon of inclusive physical and social activities.  Supported by a seniors advisory group, members choose from healthy living activities, table games, arts activities, civic engagement, inter-cultural celebrations and trips.  Healthy refreshments are enjoyed at each visit.

Dates: Tuesdays (12 weeks)
Time: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Site: 93 Birchmount Road
Fee: No Cost ($15 Annual Program Membership fee required)

For program inquiries, please contact Afsana at 647-621-6546 or

This project was generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation from 2013 to 2016.  Our consortium partners thank the foundation for its invaluable support of this innovative new initiative.

Ontario Trillium Foundation logo