The Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture  (CCVT) is a non-profit organization that supports and aids survivors of torture to overcome the lasting effects of torture and war. CCVT offers several programs including settlement and mental health services, children and youth programs, and language and skills training programs.

The Child and Youth Program at CCVT  provides specialized settlement services, recreational and empowerment activities to meet the specific needs of refugee children and youth.

As part of the Youth Program, CCVT offered a series of five photography workshops  to empower youth, through photography, to experience their world in new ways and to make positive choices for their lives. The youth were given cameras to experiment with, taught various ways and angles to take pictures with, shown examples of creative photography by professionals, and asked to go out into the community and take pictures that reflect their individual interests or experiences. The goal of these workshops was to help youth find their creativity and gain confidence in their abilities.

CCVT youth took pictures to create their own blog called “Youth in Focus” to showcase a gallery of photos that allows youth:

  • An opportunity for self-expression
  • Self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Technical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Public recognition for their talent and creativity
  • Enthusiasm for learning
  • A sense of accomplishment
  • A broadening of their life experience
  • Professional aspirations
  • A sense of hope for self and community

Getting to know Toronto as a Newcomer (by Azam)

outside hearing room

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

inside hearing room

Room consists of 5 seats. Seat 1: Board member; Seat 2: Lawyer; Seat 3: Minister’s counsel; Seat 4: Refugee claimant; Seat 5: Interpreter


city hall 2


City Hall is the seat of the Municipal government in Toronto and is one of the city’s most distinctive landmarks. It was built in 1965 to replace the Old City Hall which was built in 1899. It is also one of the main hosts of different festivals and events in Toronto, such as New Year’s Celebration and the Annual Cavalcade of Lights.


CN TOWER is one of the world’s tallest tower from 1976 until 2010, and it is the symbol of Canada. The tower is used as a communications tower for a number of different media and by numerous companies.


inside library

Toronto Reference Library: offers free wireless Internet; its collection is mostly non-circulating although some materials can be borrowed; has computers that can be used free of charge; offers newcomer information services; free downloadable audio-books20160315_132436

YMCA: offers career planning and development services; health and fitness programs; youth programs; employment and immigrant services; it is also a good source for frequently asked questions

eaton cetnre 1

eaton ceentre 2

The Toronto Eaton Centre


City Adult Learning Centre (CALC): offers an academic program for adult students who wish to earn OSSD; supports all post-secondary destinations: college, university, apprenticeship and workplace; registration to CALC takes place each quad; quads begin in September, November, February and April

Photography (by Heran)


Harbourfront is a beautiful place to chill all year round. There are different festivals and events throughout the year but the best time to visit is during the summer because it is warm and sunny as you can see in this picture 🙂

queens park

Queens Park in downtown Toronto, which is the Ontario legislative building.

dundas sq

Near Yonge and Dundas  Square, the heart of downtown.

toronto sign

Nathan Philips Square, at the intersection of Queen Street east and Bay Street. It is the site of art displays to cavalcade of lights and a skating rink during winter.


A summer festival on Yonge Street.

eaton centre

One of my favorite places as a newcomer to Toronto is the Eaton Centre. It is situated on 220 Yonge Street and considered a top tourist attraction as a shopping mall. There are more than  200 stores in the mall and you can literally find anything you can ask for.


Canada is considered the birth place of ice hockey and is an official winter sport. The picture depicts a hockey game between the Maple Leafs and Sabres in the Air Canada Centre.


The Ethiopian association organizes an event in Christie Pits Park yearly on September 11 to celebrate Ethiopian New Year. It is a day of concerts, food and a bazaar. You can meet new people and hang out with family and friends on a day filled with fun.