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.
Making Edmonton Digital helps businesses get online
A partnership between the University of Alberta, City of Edmonton, and Digital Main Street, is helping local businesses create and maintain an engaging online presence. Funded by the City of Edmonton and Western Economic Diversification Canada, the free program connects business owners with a consultant who can work with them for a maximum of 12 hours. Services could include learning how to update Google listings, creating websites or accounts on social media channels, and work on branding. The program will run until September, or when they reach a total of 630 businesses. So far, approximately 400 businesses have signed up.
Edmonton’s Shared Streets and Mobility Lanes will be opening again this spring, for people who walk, bike and drive, regardless of how they choose to move around our city!
Vision Zero Street Labs combine the expertise and power of Edmontonians (YOU!) and City of Edmonton staff to quickly and creatively address neighbourhood safety and livability concerns
To learn more about these temporary traffic safety pop ups, visit https://edmonton.ca/safestreets.
The provincial and federal governments have put aside $7 million to allow Nova Scotia’s nearly 250 public elementary schools to create new outdoor learning spaces or enhance existing ones.
Public schools can use the money to build things such as a school garden, an outdoor seating area, outdoor shelters like tents for shade, and outdoor performance areas. To qualify for funding, schools will have to show that the spaces they want to build or improve meet specific criteria. The deadline for projects to be completed is Dec. 31, 2021. Ottawa is investing $5.6 million in the project through its COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The province is contributing $1.4 million.
New housing project in Winnipeg to benefit youth aging out of care
A burned down, abandoned apartment building in Winnipeg will soon be a new housing project that will house 18 apartment units for young people aging out of the child and family services system in Winnipeg. The Shawenim Abinoojii organization is part of the southeast tribal council in Manitoba. They received $2.83 million from the federal government’s rapid housing initiative to buy the building.
Chambers of commerce offer rapid COVID screening kits to businesses
The Cambridge and Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chambers of Commerce are rolling out a new pilot program that aims to put rapid COVID-19 antigen screening kits in the hands of our small and medium sized business – free of charge. Made possible with assistance from local innovation hub Communitech and the federal government, business owners can now place orders for screening kits through the chamber check website, to organize a pick-up of self screening kits at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.
POLICY AND PLANNING TOOLS FOR URBAN GREEN JUSTICE: Fighting displacement and gentrification and improving accessibility and inclusiveness to green amenities
This report provides a library of 50 tools and policies used in many different contexts in the Global North
(United States, Canada, and Western Europe) to promote housing stability and affordability, while increasing
the presence and accessibility of green public space in the urban fabric. Furthermore, this report
contributes a novel comparative analysis through place-based simulations that illuminate best practices and
implementation methods to achieve green equitable development in both the North American and
European context. In sum, we argue that the policy and planning path toward urban green justice lies in
finding the right mix of anti-displacement and equitable green development tools to respond to the
specific issues of displacement, gentrification, and inclusivity in each city.
The Edmonton Public Library is offering 3D printing workshops under their makerspace and making events
Province of Manitoba offers $25M in funding for ‘preservation, development’ of empty historic downtown Bay store
Hamilton man starts canoe-sharing program to connect community
Thompson loves his red canoe. He said he wants to share it with people to remove some of the barriers that come along with the sport, such as access to equipment. Users of the program say canoeing is a COVID-friendly escape. Anyone interested in the program can contact Thompson here.
Free street drug testing site opens in Victoria storefront: Strip tests for fentanyl and benzodiazepines can yield results in minutes
A free street drug testing site has opened in Victoria’s North Park neighbourhood to provide anonymous drug testing to anyone who needs it. The storefront is part of an innovative harm reduction approach operated by the Vancouver Island Drug Checking project, started by a group of scientists from the University of Victoria.
Calgary’s Empire Provisions created a bingo card as a means to get people out to support through takeout and outdoor dining. With two grand prizes of roughly $1000 to give away, participants eat well and show love to establishments.
See contest rules below:
1. To enter for the grand prizes support at least three of the participating restaurants by ordering takeout or visiting their outdoor patio.
2. Post your food/drink item while tagging both @empireprovisions and the restaurant. Use the tag #YYCRestoBingo. Each tag counts as one entry. BINGO (5 posts) will get an automatic $20 GC from Empire Provisions and count as ten entries into the grand prize draw.
3. Participants need to be following the restaurants they are tagging to qualify. The hashtag #YYCRestoBingo must be used to be entered as we are using it to track the entries.
4. Participants must be 18+ to play.
Vaccine Hunters Canada is helping people find locations with vaccine availability, as the vaccine rollout can be confusing for many residents who’ve had trouble figuring out who’s eligible and where to go to get inoculated.
The organization, created by a Toronto-based web developer, shares up-to-date information on Twitter and Discord about eligibility and vaccine clinic locations across the country, and many have been using it to navigate the confusing process of booking appointments and getting that first dose. Volunteers monitor public health portals, vaccine clinic websites and tips from the account’s followers.
Local charity in Guelph and surrounding counties raising funds to support community health and local restaurants
From April 14th to April 30th, buy a golden ticket to support community health & local restaurants! The goal is to raise $10,000 to support the ARCH programs, including our HIV, PrEP, and trans clinic, our support services for individuals living with HIV, and our community harm reduction program.
When you buy a golden ticket:
• You donate money to ARCH
• Receive a gift card for a partnering restaurant
• Get entered for a Taste for Life Draw!
How to participate?
• When you donate $40, you’ll get a $10 gift card for a partnering restaurant
• When you donate $100, you’ll get a $30 gift card for a partnering restaurant
• Every donation helps! For every $10 you donate, you’ll be entered in the TFL draw! Win great prizes!
Artist turns 3D scans of buildings in Toronto’s Chinatown East into a multi-player board game
Linda Zhang, professor at Ryerson’s School of Interior Design in the Faculty of Community & Design, created this board game to create dialogue about what’s worth preserving and what the city’s Chinatowns should look like in the future. It’s on display now, including a large-scale 3D printed installation of Chinatown East Gate, at Vancouver’s Griffin Art Project as part of an exhibit called Whose Chinatown?, a collection of projects by Chinese Canadian artists about Chinatowns throughout the continent.
Jubzi is a social enterprise providing cheaper delivery options in Windsor for local restaurants while also fundraising for Windsor’s Downtown mission
Under the Jubzi model, restaurants pay five per cent of an order to the mission and receive a tax receipt at year’s end. Customers pay a surcharge of 4.9 per cent to Jubzi and the cost of delivery. Delivery costs are $5 for trips up to six kilometres and one dollar per kilometre thereafter. A takeout option on the platform is also available. Jubzi has generated over $100,000 in sales in its first 40 days covering the cost of 1,500 meals for the Downtown Mission. See: https://www.jubzi.com/
Nighttime Recovery Resources
VibeLab, a nightlife purpose agency, empowering culture and night mayor advocacy globally has initiated a global dialogue among expert groups such as night mayors and commissioners, scholars and academics to exchange knowledge and support each other. VibeLab is collecting local strategies, global best practices, and development supports and is producing a Global Nighttime Recovery Plan.
A Detroit entrepreneur is fighting food insecurity by trying to bring healthy food to one Detroit neighborhood.
His grocery store will be the first Black-owned grocery store in the city since 2014 and he’s crowdfunding to help with raising funds to start.
City of Edmonton launches $1.5-million grant program to convert problem properties into affordable housing
Agencies with a background in affordable housing management will be eligible for up to 40 per cent of construction costs for the redevelopment of up to five residences as part of the new housing redevelopment grant program. Dubbed problem properties, homes that have been abandoned and used for drug labs or squatting have been a longstanding issue in Edmonton’s core. This grant program, approved by council last June, is one part of a 30-point plan to address these properties.
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Connect Grant: building sustainability for two businesses with one grant
Applicants will select a service area where they need to build capacity or adapt their business to help generate revenue or manage other challenges that COVID-19 has presented. Once approved, applicants will be connected with a member business expert who can provide the service they need. Some examples of services the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Connect Grant covers include business and strategy development, marketing, website support, online sales platform development, HR and staffing solutions, legal services and IT support.
The grant is designed to build sustainability for the recipient while also supporting the member business who provides the service. Simply put, it supports two downtown businesses with one grant.
The Coexistence toolkit contains working approaches to engage with the issues of homelessness in parks & public space
Developed by Gehl and SPUR, this document takes participants through exercises related to values, behaviours, design, programming, dialogue, maintenance, rights, accountability and more
The BlackBox is a selection of culinary delights featuring Black, Indigenous and People of Colour food producers and a beautiful mask from artisan makers in partnership with FoodShare, a poverty and food insecurity non-profit
Available for order and delivered in Toronto in February 2021
City program aims to increase digital equity and access to affordable high-speed internet in Toronto
The City of Toronto is introducing ConnectTO – a City-driven collaborative program that aims to leverage the use of municipal resources and assets to help bridge the increasing digital divide by expanding access to affordable, high-speed internet to underserved Toronto residents.
Teepees and tent erected by Thunderbird House to warm homeless in Winnipeg
Anishiative, a youth leadership program, set about putting up two teepees and a prospector tent next to Thunderbird House. The shelters are now called the Community Caring Camp. Both teepees will have fires inside and the prospector tent will have a woodstove, where people can warm up and grab some refreshments. As well as a warm place to go, the group will be handing out cold weather clothing for those who need it. Fontaine said they are also looking for donations of firewood, lights, coffee and volunteer time. He said people are needed to help keep the fires going and ensuring visitors are safe.
Parkdale FitPlay supports Black fitness leaders to help locals take care of their mental and physical health while exploring parks
The local business improvement area connected with Black people in the fitness industry (yoga instructor, baseball coach, track athlete and boxing coach). On the Parkdale FitPlay Instagram account, these instructors take turns demonstrating how to do exercises with proper form. Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/parkdalefitplay/
How it works: Community members are encouraged to visit designated public park locations and participate in self-led physical exercise and play, inspired by the FitPlay letter key. Each letter of the alphabet, A to Z, is associated with a simple exercise most can perform some variation of safely. E.g. A = 10 high knees on the spot.
Participants self-select a word or phrase and perform the exercises associated with each letter. E.g. P A R K D A L E = 10 squats, 10 high knees on the spot, etc. Mix up your FitPlay by choosing a new word, a new park or a new challenge each time and invite your Parkdale friends and neighbours to do the same.
The band, Neighbourhood Watch produces a pandemic music video by engaging with neighbours in a residential building
27 Toronto households — involving more than 60 people and two family dogs — took part in a new music video simply by standing in the windows of their homes and then doing a little dance.
Shop Old Town Toronto: A shop local campaign that splits prize money wins between individuals supporting local businesses & the local business
The St. Lawrence BIA and OLD Town have launched a support local campaign. Save & upload receipts of $25 or more (excluding delivery and tip) from local businesses February 8 – April 5, 2021, for multiple chances to win — $500 is for the shopper and $500 for a local business. In addition there is one grand prize of $2K to be split with local business. Prize money is donated by BMO bank
Delivery optimization solution pilot being offered to Toronto restaurants this winter
Through the pilot, Deliverect’s solution will connect UberEats, Doordash, SkipTheDishes, and other delivery companies directly to restaurants’ POS system in order to automate the online order process. Deliverect’s platform aims to alleviate the requirement to have staff maintain multiple tablets for delivery orders, reducing mistakes and wait times for customers. At least 100 independently-owned restaurants are expected to receive free access to the platform for 90 days through the pilot. The program seeks to pilot solutions that target challenges facing main street small businesses.
City of Toronto’s Black Community COVID-19 Response Plan to provide enhanced support for Black Torontonians
Developed as part of the TO Supports: Targeted Equity Action Plan and in response to data released in late 2020 that revealed the highest rates of COVID-19 cases in Toronto (26 per cent) and vaccine hesitancy experienced by Canadians (about 30 per cent) were among Black people of African and Caribbean descent.
To help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and effectively address the issues around vaccine trust and confidence within Black communities, the City has partnered with community agencies to provide COVID-19 health and safety awareness in Black communities and work with experts to prepare for and support immunization.
Toronto Market Co. is a curated artisanal food market that works with 100+ small vendors to offer a one stop shop & delivery (or pick up from a central depot)
The site is designed to feel like a well curated in-person market. You can see the items available online and they are available for purchase. There is no minimum order required. How It Works:
1. Shop from over 100 local vendors using one basket.
2. Select contactless pick-up or delivery at checkout
3. After order is placed, vendors are contacted with quantities ordered. Orders must be placed by 11:59PM on Sunday evening to receive pickup/delivery the following Thursday. 4. Thursday orders are delivered or picked up at a central depot. Pick up order or wait for delivery confirmation notice.
Delivery costs for Central Toronto is $15 flat & and surrounding area $25-30.