Syrian refugees: Leamington welcomes first 24 newcomers

CBC News Windsor - The cultural mix in Leamington, better known for its migrant workers from Jamaica and Mexico, now includes three families of Syrian refugees. They are part of a major influx of 125 Syrian refugees expected within the year.

It's been a long journey for the Halil family, but they now have a place to call home, 9,400 km from Aleppo, Syria.

"We weren't expecting to come here but it was a nice, pleasant surprise to be in Canada, in Leamington specifically, because it's very beautiful," said Fatma Halil, mother of four.

Her husband, Abdulrazzak Halil, says safety is key.

"The kids are very happy. They are in school. They are making friends and being safe is a huge difference to us," he said.

They rely heavily on the New Canadians' Centre of Excellence's resettlement assistance program for support.

Unlike Windsor, and most Canadian cities, the agency says housing isn't an issue in Leamington.

"We haven't had a challenge, yet, so far, thank God," program lead Rima Nohra said. "We're very blessed that way. The landlords are very accommodating and they're welcoming. Even the large family will be OK, will be set, the family of 10 will have a house soon, too."

The family of 10 arrived earlier this month.