A real-time, crowdsourced platform that houses resources, tools and stories on how city builders and residents are responding to COVID-19.

This is a time when Canada must harness its community-driven resilience. We’re asking you to share examples of how Canadian communities are responding to the crisis with creativity and imagination. Collective problem-solving and collaboration will be instrumental in how Canada mitigates the local impacts of COVID-19 and creates on-the-ground solutions.

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Initiatives

Youth-focused blog covering COVID-19 responses in Calgary from youth perspective

Arts and Culture | Children and youth | General: Online communities and networks | General: Tools for engagement

Blog entry includes suggestions on how to cope by enjoying nature, participating in neighbourhood art, etc. The site, Youth Are Awesome, commonly referred to as YAA, is a blog written by youth for youth. YAA provides the youth of Calgary a place to amplify their voices and perspectives on what is happening around them

Long-term care facilities across Nova Scotia will be provided with iPads

General: Online communities and networks | General: Tools for engagement | Policy leadership | Seniors | Social isolation

Among other initiatives, the Department of Health and Wellness will distribute up to 800 iPads across the province to long-term care homes so residents can connect with family and friends; the tablets will begin arriving at facilities in April.

Website with resources, webinars, tips and peer exchange opportunities for those looking to help downtown districts through COVID19

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

Main Street America is a non-profit organization helping to revitalize commercial districts compiling existing resources, opportunities, and community response examples to help Main Street districts during this crisis.

Sharing Your Covid Stories – Citymaking in the Face of a Pandemic

General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

This site is inviting people to record up to three minute “stories” about how Covid19 has shaped people’s roles, priorities, strategies, or day-to-day life as a citymaker. These stories will be compiled and shared next week. The idea is to create ever-more resilient, livable, sustainable cities – for all!

Help Canadian manufacturers meet critical shortages in the fight against COVID-19

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Public health

NGen, an industry-led non-profit, will invest $50 million in Supercluster funding to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products, and therapeutics. Projects will be selected for funding according to critical needs identified by the Government of Canada and the ability of manufacturers to produce products that are safe for both patients and health care workers.

Guelph launches Supported Isolation Centre for homeless facing coronavirus

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness

A group of community and health-care organizations opened the Supported Isolation Centre (SIC) in downtown Guelph. This particular model is not a medical model, meaning that the people who are there are not being medically monitored; they’re being supported to self-isolate.

Le travail inquiétant des femmes dans la pandémie COVID-19

General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Policy leadership

Au Canada, les femmes sont nettement plus inquiètes que les hommes au sujet de la crise COVID-19. Par exemple, un récent sondage réalisé par Abacus Data a révélé que 49 % des femmes ont déclaré se sentir “très inquiètes” de l’épidémie, contre 33 % des hommes. Trente-sept pour cent des hommes ont déclaré qu’ils n’étaient “pas du tout inquiets” ou “peu inquiets” à propos de l’épidémie.

Gendered Impacts of Coronavirus

General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

Any emergency or disaster is experienced differently by different genders, and it’s not just a matter of biology, infection rates, and severity of illness. The gendered experience of coronavirus is grounded in gender inequalities that impact all of us, every single day. Here are some interrelated gendered impacts to think about and act on.

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS THROUGH CORONAVIRUS: IDEAS FROM EXPERTS AND LEADERS ACROSS NYC

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Two dozen small business owners and small business experts provide recommendations on how city and state policymakers can help them survive this crisis for small business.

First Vancouver community centre opens to protect homeless from COVID-19

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

All community centres in Vancouver were closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. City officials have opened some centres to be used for homeless people and others who can’t self-isolate such as tenants in hotels, where sharing a washroom and other facilities is common.

Community building stories and ideas sent in by Tamarack Institute members in response to COVID-19.

Arts and Culture | Children and youth | Social isolation

Stories include: How Cochrane AB is fostering community through technology; Virtual Storytimes in Woodstock, ON; Edmonton, Alberta is staying connected with community postcards; Waterloo ON’s window walks and Hamilton’s caremongering supports

Cambridge to pay restaurants to make meals for homeless people

Food | Local businesses | Policy leadership | Public health

The city is launching a program that will pay local restaurants to make and deliver boxed or bagged lunches to nearby homeless shelters. Working with Central Square Business Improvement District and Harvard Square Business Association, the goal is to deliver about 1,800 to 2,000 meals to nine different shelters in a week.

Connecting neighbours in Vancouver looking for help to those giving help during the COVID-19 pandemic

Food | Fundraising and volunteering | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Seniors | Social isolation

Coming Together Vancouver brings provides connections to share resources, extend a helping hand to our neighbours, show solidarity for healthcare workers and the vulnerable, and highlight social movements that are fighting for access to healthcare, housing, and workers’ rights.

Municipal World podcast sharing new city and community resources for responding to the COVID-19 crisis

General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Policy leadership

Mary W. Rowe is a leading urban advocate and civil society leader who has worked in cities across Canada and the United States – and she is certainly no stranger to working with communities in crisis. She is currently the CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, and joined this podcast to talk about these important new resources available for municipalities.

Webinar series on adapting personally and professionally to COVID-19

General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Local businesses

The University of Laval’s Faculty of Business Administration is hosting a three-part webinar series with advice on how individuals and organizations can adapt to the crisis.

Resources for employees and downtown local businesses impacted by COVID-19

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

Edmonton’s Downtown BIA has compiled a list of resources for businesses impacted by the pandemic, as well as one for employees.

Health association of African Canadians updates on COVID-19

General: Sector resources

Health Association of African Canadians, NS Health Professionals and the Black Cultural Centre is providing interactive updates on COVID-19 and people of African descent

B.C. farmers markets launching online store during COVID-19 pandemic

Food | General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

The B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets is helping its 145 members set up digital shop. As part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Buy BC program, the province is providing funds to cover fees for individual farmers markets to join. Each participating farmers market will create its own virtual store to best serve its communities.

Saving Canada’s Main Streets From COVID-19.

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Social distancing is devastating local small businesses and there’s not much time to save them. And the answer is not more debt.

COVID-19 EMERGENCY FUND FOR JOURNALISTS

Income support

National Geographic Society is launching an emergency fund for journalists all over the world who wish to cover COVID-19 within their own communities. This fund will place particular emphasis on delivering news to underserved populations, particularly where there is a dearth of evidence-based information getting to those who need it. They are interested in local and even hyper-local distribution models. This fund is designed to quickly deliver support so that both individual stories and longer series of content may be created.

Emergency food service delivers hot meals, food boxes across Mohawk community

Food | Frontline services | Indigenous | Policy leadership | Public health | Seniors | Social isolation

Kahnawake is located south of Montreal and has positive cases of the virus. They launched an emergency food service that is providing hot meals twice a day for elders and those with limited mobility or dietary restrictions. An expansion of an existing food bank service also started delivering a food box to those struggling financially but who are able to cook for themselves.

Tourism Vancouver makes improvements to its website during COVID-19

Food | General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

The website now provides information and maps on open restaurants offering takeout/delivery across Vancouver

Aid Local is a not-for-profit initiative started to help Canadian small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arts and Culture | Food | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

The website includes a map and directory of businesses that have gift cards for sale or are delivering during the COVID-19 pandemic, to give people a way to support them during this time. Supported by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the BBB of Southern Alberta

The Ramara Public Library is offering new services to help those who want to obtain services during the closure of the library due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

General: Tools for engagement | Policy leadership

Offerings include online resources — from learning new languages and computer skills, to learning new hobbies, gardening, health, business, ebooks and audiobooks, emagazines, and a poetry contest!

Libraries in Toronto, Kitchener and Stratford loan 3D printers to hospitals to make face shields for healthcare workers

Arts and Culture | Policy leadership

The Toronto Public Library just announced that they’re temporarily donating 10 of their Ultimaker 2+ 3D printers to a team at Toronto General Hospital making personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line healthcare workers. Other Ontario libraries, such as those in Kitchener and Stratford, have also agreed to loan their 3D printers to PPE production efforts.

While Halifax Public Libraries are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, their website continues to provide support

Arts and Culture | Children and youth | General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Mental health | Policy leadership

The Halifax public library site contains information on public health, links to e-books/audiobooks; resources for small business; tips on how to talk to children about COVID-19; and mental health tips and support

Toronto’s Largest Food Bank to Open Pop-Up Locations – in closed libraries & parking lots

Food

Since the COVID-19 outbreak took hold of Toronto there’s been 20 percent growth in the number of clients making use of Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank over a span of the last two weeks. The pressure to provide food to new clients coupled with required social distancing has forced the food bank to change its operations in a dramatic way. They’ve partnered with GlobalMedic and set up a medical hospital mobile field tent in the food bank’s parking lot. Now the food comes out on a conveyor belt from inside the tent.

Alberta musicians deliver online self-isolation orchestral performance

Arts and Culture | General: Online communities and networks | Social isolation

Members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and Edmonton Symphony have combined to create one of their most viewed performances.After 66 Calgary musicians and an 18 staff members were temporary laid off, the group decided to reconnect for a virtual performance while in self-isolation.

Love for Local – New Brunswick is a Facebook site to support local businesses in NB during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local businesses

Looking to build a community of people who are looking to support local businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic (@loveforlocal)

Smart buildings harnessed for pandemic response: AI supports infection detection, remote operations and ongoing resilience

Public health

Smart buildings will play an increasingly important role to help detect and control their spread, facilitate the remote operation of buildings in lock down situations and interact with the grid to increase energy resiliency. Advanced applications, smart buildings and smart grids that offer trans active modes of generation and usage have the potential to increase safety and resiliency and increase the sustainable production and consumption of electricity.

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Send in your initiative contributions here.

THE CANADIAN URBAN INSTITUTE
Connecting People, Place and Potential

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