Welcome to Canada
Since the days of Confederation, Canadians from coast to coast to coast have been opening up their communities to welcome people displaced from their home countries by war, natural disaster, or persecution.
Between 2015 and 2017 Canada accepted more than 40,000 refugees from Syria, escaping the brutal civil war in that country. Canada resettled more than 28,000 refugees in 2018, from the Middle East and elsewhere.
The first family sponsored by Rideau Bridge to Canada, the Erhayels from Syria, arrived in June 2017 and continue to live and work in Merrickville. They have settled in very well (see the “First Family” page), but greatly miss their relatives. Rideau Bridge has now started the process to sponsor a second family, relatives of the Erhayels, and are beginning to raise money for their support.
Originally called Merrickville Bridge to Canada, this organization was made up of committed residents of Merrickville who wanted to help make a difference for refugees in need of a new home. The largest portion of money first raised was done in the small and very generous village of Merrickville! Recently, we have broadened our area to include Smiths Falls and other areas along the Rideau system. To reflect this, our name has changed to Rideau Bridge to Canada and while the first refugee family will come to Merrickville, we hope that we can continue to raise money to sponsor additional families who will make the Smiths Falls area home.
This website provides information on our organization, our plans, our needs, and how you can get involved. If you are a resident or friend of Merrickville, Smiths Falls or beyond, we hope you will join us and give this important cause your support. Our Area can offer more than a new home to a family in need. Together, we can offer a new way of life among caring people who will assist newcomers with both the essential elements of well-being and the wonderful luxuries of respect for pluralism, access to free education, availability of healthcare, and the celebration of newcomers.
Your involvement will help. Read on to learn how you can get involved!