Toronto Public Library Invites Syrian Newcomers to Explore Toronto’s Arts and Cultural Venues for Free

April 5, 2016 | Media Relations

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To help welcome Syrian newcomers and their families to Toronto, Toronto Public Library invites our newest residents to explore Toronto’s cultural attractions and museums for free. The initiative, created especially for Syrian newcomers, is an extension of the library’s popular program, the Sun Life Financial Museum + Arts Pass (MAP) which has been making arts and culture more accessible to Torontonians since 2007.

As part of the library’s outreach efforts, Syrian newcomers will receive a booklet, printed in both Arabic and English, that features information about participating MAP venues, including the Aga Khan Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Bata Shoe Museum, City of Toronto Historic Sites, the Gardiner Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Textile Museum of Canada and the Toronto Zoo. Included in the booklet is a voucher which recipients can redeem for a MAP pass to the venue of their choice when they register for a library card.

Booklets are not available in library branches. Interested community agencies working directly with newcomers may contact the library for information on outreach visits or for access to the library’s outreach packages.

The MAP Newcomer Welcome program will be launched at a special Syrian welcome event at North York Central Library on Tuesday, April 5 from 6 to 8pm. The program will be offered in English and Arabic and the evening will feature:

  • Musical performances (Maryem Tollar and Roula Said)
  • Toronto Public Library presentation and children’s storytime
  • Information fair to familiarize newcomers with the library and the City of Toronto’s services as well as various community agencies

Interested families can register to attend online or by calling 416-395-5674.

Toronto Public Library is pleased to work with the Aga Khan Museum in co-presenting the musical component of the program. The Museum aims to connect cultures by offering a window into the artistic, intellectual, and scientific heritage of Muslim civilizations across the centuries from the Iberian Peninsula to China.

Additional TPL Services to Welcome Syrian Newcomers

With the arrival of Syrian newcomers to Toronto, the Toronto Public Library has increased its Arabic and Armenian collections, including adult and children’s books, CDs and DVDs.

Other library programs and services available to newcomers include settlement services, youth hubs, Canadian citizenship preparation, career and job search help, cultural programs and informational workshops.

Toronto Public Library is one of the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what's happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.


Media Contact:

Michelle Leung,  

Community agencies interested in more newcomer services information can contact:

Elsa Ngan,