A heartfelt, if imperfect, rendition of O Canada rang out at a Ports Toronto facility on Sunday, as recently arrived Syrian refugees enjoyed a rare day of food, socializing and entertainment.
Hundreds of new arrivals — including the few dozen, flag-waving children who sang the national anthem — were at the gathering, which was organized by the not-for-profit group Friends of Syria.
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Organizer Michael Homsi said many refugees have been virtual shut-ins since their arrival months ago.
"It's an unusual day for them because they don't go out much. They're not yet adapted to the country," Homsi told reporters.
"This gathering is important for us to create awareness about Syrians, and especially Syrians left behind."