In 1953 the Archdiocese of Ottawa began offering basic support to immigrants and refugees.
In 1976, as the demand for services increased, the Catholic Immigration Services – Ottawa (CIS) was formally established. A board of directors was appointed and CIS was staffed with a coordinator and volunteer staff.
In response to the 1978-1981 Southeast Asian refugee crisis, CIS expanded and added more staff.
In 1984 the Archdiocese of Ottawa and CIS mutually agreed that the agency should incorporate as an autonomous organization.
The Catholic Immigration Centre (CIC) came into existence as a community-based non-profit organization in 1985.
In 1989, in partnership with Les Filles de la Sagesse, Reception House (Maison Therese Dallaire) was opened at 204 Boteler Avenue, as a 94-bed temporary receiving facility for immigrants and refugees.
In 1991, CIC moved to its current location, then called “The Newcomer Centre”, at 219 Argyle Avenue.
In 1997, the Catholic Immigration Centre Foundation (CICF) was established as a fundraising vehicle to support the work of the CIC.
In 2000, through the generosity of Les Soeurs de la charité d’Ottawa, CIC was able to pay off all existing mortgages and debts. In honour of their contribution, the The Newcomer Centre was renamed The Bruyère Centre for Immigrants.
In 2006, CIC began to expand its programs and services, developing new partnerships and initiatives to meet the needs of newcomers and the Ottawa community.
In 2007, CIC’s budget and services saw significant growth, with the budget almost doubling from the previous fiscal year.
In 2011, CIC was renamed the Catholic Centre for Immigrants, Ottawa (CCI).
In 2018, with the generous support of the Ottawa Portuguese Community, CCI opened Welcome House, a transitional home for homeless immigrants who are in need of a temporary and welcoming home. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
CCI is optimistic about the future as it continues to expand its programs and services.
The Archdiocese’s Involvement With Immigrants:
50 Years of Growth
By Elizabeth Rapley
Myths, History and Stats
By the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership