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.

Highlighted Initiatives

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Initiatives

Winnipeg’s goodlocal allows you stay home, stay safe, buy essentials AND support local – all on one platform!

Local businesses | Main Street

Shop All Local Vendors. Buy whatever you need, from local makers & merchants, online in a single cart purchase.

One Low Delivery Fee. Buy from as many vendors as you like. We bring it all to you for just $5.

Local good. When you shop local, your money stays nearby and your community thrives.

Ottawa’s ByWard has created a Holiday Box with curated food items found in a variety of local shops 

Local businesses | Main Street

Each box lets the purchaser support over a dozen local businesses and helping them and their family have a better holiday season as well. There are two options: pick up or local delivery.

Bag of Toronto – lets you order a curated assortment of specialty products from local vendors in five different Toronto neighbourhoods, delivered right to your doorstep

Local businesses | Main Street

There are five editions that you can purchase, each from a different neighbourhood. Each version will include between five to seven products from a random selection of different businesses in the neighbourhood. These products are subject to availability and may change week-to-week. A portion of profits and all tips made at checkout will be allocated to five different charities, one in each neighbourhood. Click on the links below to learn more about each edition of the Bag of Toronto.

Every bag is $60, tax included. Each one includes products from local businesses that total $55 in retail value. The remaining $5 is used to cover delivery, web-hosting, and a donation to a local charity in each neighbourhood. Any tips made during purchase will also be donated to each charity. There’s only a limited number of bags available each week, so don’t hesitate to get yours today! You can order a bag for yourself, your whole family, or as a gift for a friend. We are delivering on four Saturdays this winter: November 21, November 28, December 5, and December 12. Make sure to get your order in before Tuesday at 3pm each week. Any orders made after then will be delivered the following weekend. Deliveries will be contactless – you’ll simply be notified once your bag is dropped off. Goods are pre-packaged according to Food Safe guidelines. The delivery zone is limited, but you can request pickup from a central cafe.

The Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) is showing the public that downtown is #OpenwithCare by providing businesses with PPE and materials to demonstrate their commitment to safety.

Main Street | Public health

The #OpenwithCare toolkit includes:

  • Disposable masks that can be given to customers free-of-charge
  • Refillable hand sanitizer
  • Door decals outlining provincial health guidelines

Downtown businesses can also take the #OpenwithCare pledge online. Those who take the pledge will be listed on Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s website and featured on social media. The campaign is designed to show customers that businesses are making health and safety a top priority. The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hopes #OpenwithCare will encourage Winnipeggers to support local by shopping, eating and exploring downtown safely.

Love Yarmouth – A Nova Scotia Buy Local Campaign

Local businesses | Main Street

Love Yarmouth is about supporting neighbours, celebrating our community, and recognizing the people behind the businesses that make Yarmouth a vibrant place to live. This initiative calls on businesses, organizations, governments and citizens to show our love for Yarmouth and give the gift of local this holiday season.

Residents are encouraged to Take the “Love Yarmouth” Holiday pledge! After doing so, email is sent with exclusive local offers, and ideas on how to show love for Yarmouth. 

The Pledge:

This holiday season, I pledge to “give the gift of local” by shopping locally, and supporting local businesses within the Yarmouth area. I make this pledge since I know that our local economy depends on all of us coming together to support it. I also pledge to encourage others to do the same, so that we can all collectively show that we Love Yarmouth!

The City of Calgary is putting temporary fire pits and free wood in several parks around the city to encourage people to socialize safely over the winter

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYYC (Calgary) | Parks and public space | Policy leadership

The small, residential-sized fire pits have been set up in community parks across the city. They’re free to use from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. any day of the week. Priority will be given to people who book the pits with a permit; however, that’s not required. Free firewood is available. The city asks that people gather only with others in their bubble, stay two metres apart and respect the limit of 10 people in an outside social gathering and bring water to put out fires in case there’s not enough snow.

Ryerson University National Institute on Ageing (NIA) have created a tool to help people better understand the factors that affect the risk of visiting with others on both getting and dying from COVID-19.

General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Public health | Seniors

Using the best available scientific evidence and the input of leading experts in infectious diseases and epidemiology, this website has been designed to help people of different ages and states of health figure out how to more safely visit with others during the COVID-19 pandemic. By working through the questions of this online decision aid, the NIA’s aim is to prepare you and your loved ones to better discuss the potential risks and benefits of visiting with each other and in the end make a well-informed choice on how to make any necessary visits as safe as possible. After a 10 minute survey, a personalized report will be generated to help you understand the risks associated with your planned visit, as well as give you tips on how to try and make any proposed visits as safe as possible.

The information provided to access and use the COVID-19 Visit Risk Decision Aid (the “Tool”) is collected anonymously for the purpose of providing information about possible levels of risk from COVID-19 and to make improvements to the Tool.

City of Toronto launches ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program to support Toronto’s main street businesses by promoting events celebrating art, culture and community to encourage business during winter

Arts and Culture | Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Street activation

ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant. Business Improvement Associations (BIA), community groups, not-for-profits and charitable organizations are eligible to apply. The program will fund 50 per cent of eligible project costs such as winter lighting, additional marketing and advertising, and supplemental sidewalk snow clearing. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program is Monday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available online.

ShowLoveTO Partnership Program
The ShowLoveTO Partnership Program is intended for community activations in Toronto between January 1 and December 31, 2021. Registered not-for-profit organizations, community groups and charities that serve Toronto residents and promote opportunities for the community to give back are eligible to apply. Activations may be online or in person and may include performing arts, dance, drama, comedy, virtual-online events, music, visual arts, literary arts, interdisciplinary arts, photography, craft, design, as well as expressions of history and heritage. All activations must demonstrate the capacity to follow current provincial and municipal public health guidelines. Applicants can apply for one-time support of up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Partnership Program is Friday, December 11 at 5 p.m.

City of Toronto launches Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan

Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Street activation

To help people stay active this winter season, the City is highlighting its offering of new and enhanced exercise-based recreation activities in parks locations across Toronto. The Welcome T.O. Winter plan provides safe ways for people to get outside in Toronto’s parks, including at our 54 artificial ice rinks and five golf courses. This includes:

  • 23 toboggan hills in neighbourhoods across Toronto
  • 8 snow loops for walking and snowshoeing at the City’s five golf courses
  • Free, leisure skating at the City’s 54 outdoor ice rinks
  • Six disc-golf locations
  • New guided outdoor Walk Fit programs, including 45 sessions each week
  • High Park car-free weekends
  • City parks with additional 60 kilometres of paved recreational trails and pathways with snow maintenance
  • 100 parks with winter maintenance, including 60 with enhanced maintenance this year including cleared parking lots and paved pathways
  • Up to 30-plus natural ice rinks – the City is accepting applications until December 31 for community-built and maintained natural ice rinks in City parks
  • The City will more than double its supply of winter park washrooms from 64 to 143 as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19
  • ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant. The ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program will support Toronto’s main street businesses by promoting events celebrating art, culture and community to encourage business during the coldest months of the year. Business Improvement Associations (BIA), community groups, not-for-profits and charitable organizations are eligible to apply. The program will fund 50 per cent of eligible project costs such as winter lighting, additional marketing and advertising, and supplemental sidewalk snow clearing. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program is Monday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available online.

The City of Montreal is rolling out new winter activities for the pandemic for the entirety of the 2020-21 winter season.

Local businesses | Main Street | Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Public health | Recovery | Street activation

This includes:

  • implementation of 25 “winter stations” designed to allow Montrealers to enjoy the city’s outdoor public places — including squares, parks or vacant spaces near commercial hubs — during the winter. The winter stations were designed in collaboration with local architects and designers and are part of the city’s effort to encourage Montrealers to buy local, as the downtown stations will be situated near shops.
  • winter activities in Montreal parks and beyond. This will include winter markets, but also winter sporting activities in almost every major Montreal park beginning in December. Since sports-related activities are prohibited in COVID-19 red zones, the city is allowing for outdoor play by making cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, ice skating and fat biking available. Montrealers can borrow equipment for free.
  • heated areas and restrooms will be available to allow Montrealers to warm up after a day of activities.
  • parks will also offer an outdoor “ocean” expedition presented by the Biosphere, to allow Montrealers to observe the birds, flora and fauna of the area.

Activities can be booked online through the city’s website. More details will be made available in the coming weeks on the city of Montreal’s web portal.

A Toronto Neighbourhood unveiled the NOT FOR LEASE campaign to encourage those to shop local

Local businesses | Main Street

The campaign, created by ad agency The Local Collective, spans three blocks and features more than 50 storefronts along Roncesvalles Avenue papered up with signs that say “For Lease.”

Downtown Prince George’s Plaid Friday asks you to show local businesses some love

Local businesses | Main Street

Plaid Friday, the local alternative to ‘Black Friday’. The annual event to encourage people to spend their dollars locally, have some fun wearing plaid and to celebrate the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses is taking place this Friday in Prince George. The fifth annual Plaid Friday campaign for Prince George will look a little different in 2020 as organizers adhere to all COVID-19 public health restrictions. This year all you have to do is put on something plaid —pretty much the uniform of northern B.C. – and shop locally.

British Columbians have purchased over $439,000 in gift certificates from 1,430 businesses in the 109 communities on the Support Local BC website. 

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Main Street

TD Bank Group (TD) launched $25 million TD Community Resilience Initiative to help support organizations delivering front line and long-term programs and services that are critical during this time

Frontline services | Fundraising and volunteering | Public health

HireHeelsYYC is helping Calgary residents feel the fantasy of drag performance right from their front lawn

Arts and Culture

More than a dozen local acts are available for socially distant performances for birthdays, anniversaries or just to relieve your isolation boredom.

The Neighbourgood is a website that matches businesses that need marketing help with freelancers willing to donate time as well as selling gift cards on behalf of local businesses

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Main Street

Localhood.com is a website filled with visual stories about the experiences people can have in Toronto, created by the locals themselves.

General: Online communities and networks | General: Tools for engagement | Local businesses | Main Street

The City of Edmonton is using $11M from the police budget to reimagine community safety with the hope that this reallocation of funds will better serve folks made vulnerable by “cracks in the system”.

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | Policy leadership

The mandate of the Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force is to initiate an inclusive relationship-based process to create actionable recommendations for Council regarding the future of community safety and well-being in the city that are anti-racist.  (Bylaw 19407). Through an inclusive, relationship-based approach the Task Force will explore how services users and service providers can work together to create actionable funding suggestions and policy changes to achieve better outcomes.

Edmonton and Calgary have been using Community Revitalization Levies (tax increment financing) to fund large scale redevelopment, clean brownfield sites and improve city building

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | CUIxYYC (Calgary)

Planned redevelopment can also address socio-economic and environmental issues typically found in blighted areas. As the area is revitalized, the larger tax base benefits all taxpayers. The link provides an overview of CRLs in Alberta and lists some of the active ones.

A carbon budget for Edmonton was developed using a similar approach to that used for the C40 Cities

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

To meet the City’s ambitious climate targets, a carbon budget was developed to provide staff with the ability to:

● Estimate GHG emissions or reductions that will result from proposed projects, programs, initiatives or operating processes;
● Do so using consistent formulas, factors and assumptions that are aligned with international best practices; and
● Incorporate these estimates into initial proposals and ongoing status reporting, and project completion reports for projects in the city.

Edmonton’s total community GHG emissions have ranged from approximately 18 to 20 Mtonnes per year, with the current trend being just slightly down. If the trajectory is projected out, the city will still be emitting more than 18 Mtonnes per year in 2050. If Edmonton continues on this trajectory, the city will exhaust its carbon budget of 155 Mtonnes in 2028

Change for Climate is a call to all Edmontonians to take action and work together to reduce our city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 35% (below 2005 levels) by 2035.

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | General: Tools for engagement | Policy leadership

The City of Edmonton has embarked on an ambitious plan to reduce GHGs which includes setting targets, making plans and integrating actions across the organization. The Change for Climate website is a friendly, easy to navigate site for residents to engage, communicate actions, choose new actions to try and share commitments along with stories.

The City of Edmonton has using social innovation to improve Edmonton’s Urban Wellness

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | General: Tools for engagement | Indigenous | Mental health

The City has been working with residents, businesses, agencies and government to develop a ‘Recover’ approach to improve urban wellness. Urban wellness includes economy vitality, social capacity, physical and mental health, built and natural environments. Bringing all kinds of people together, from businesses to residents to talk about their lived experiences, is not easy;If we can ensure the right systems are in place, we can promote and sustain conditions for people and neighbourhoods to thrive.

We use a social innovation framework which allows for constant learning, testing and adapting ideas, while considering their cumulative impact.  This isn’t about replacing existing strategies, programs or services. It’s about testing small solutions to improve urban wellness and finding ways to align and collaborate across different orders of government, agencies, local businesses and the community.

Indigenous names recommended for Edmonton’s 12 new wards effective 2021 election

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | Indigenous | Policy leadership

Local Indigenous writer and researcher Rob Houle, who served as a co-chairman overseeing the committee, said the group made sure all of the Indigenous languages within Treaty 6 are represented in the new ward names. Many of the names were chosen to directly suit the area of Edmonton which they represent after a committee retreat to important sites within all of the wards.

Edmonton’s first Black-owned market opens

Arts and Culture | CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | Local businesses

The market will feature nearly 20 Black-owned vendors offering a variety of products and services including beauty, jewellery, art, children items and mental-health services. Black-owned businesses face numerous challenges to reach the broader public such as not having access to generational wealth and not being able to access additional funds such as loans because of systemic racism.

Sociavore, a tech venture based in Kitchener, Ont., is trying to make it a little easier for the thousands of small businesses navigating COVID times

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Main Street

Founded by Amina Gilani and her husband Thusenth Dhavaloganathan, Sociavore is an all in one e-commerce platform for food and beverage businesses with such features as online ordering, gift card sales, menu managers and reservations.

WinterCity Edmonton, a City of Edmonton initiative aims to draw Edmontonians together to make winter more vibrant and exciting, and to fully embrace the winter spirit.

Arts and Culture | CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | Local businesses | Policy leadership

In 2012, the City enlisted a diverse group of volunteers to help create the WinterCity Strategy, “For The Love of Winter.”  Working in the four areas of Winter LifeWinter DesignWinter Economy and Our Winter Story, this award-winning initiative has inspired a change in the way Edmontonians see our climate, our city and ourselves

COMIC: A Kids’ Guide To Coping With The Pandemic (And A Printable Zine)

Children | Learning and education | Mental health | Youth

You’ve been living through this pandemic for months, and you might be feeling sad, frustrated or upset. But there are lots of different ways to deal with your worries – and make yourself feel better. Here are some tips and advice to help you through. Print and fold a zine version of this comic here. Here are directions on how to fold it. This comic is based on interviews conducted by NPR’s Cory Turner with Tara Powell at the University of Illinois School of Social Work, Joy Osofsky at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Krystal Lewis at the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown’s School of Public Health, and Rosemarie Truglio, senior vice president of curriculum and content at Sesame Workshop.

The West End BIZ has put together locally sourced holiday gift boxes that include goods from 14 different West End businesses.

Food | Local businesses | Main Street

The gift boxes are a great way to support our local businesses and discover new businesses in Winnipeg’s West End neighbourhood.

OECD-gathered international examples of measures taken by cities to respond to COVID-19 and recover from the economic and social crisis

General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

The document provides analysis on issues related to the economic, social and environmental impacts, lessons learned in terms of digitalisation, mobility, density, urban design and collaborative governance, and action-oriented guidance to build back better cities, building on previous work on urban resilience. Short and medium term responses provided by cities are clustered around six categories: i) social distancing; ii) workplace and commuting; iii) vulnerable groups; iv) local service delivery; v) support to business; and vi) communication, awareness raising and digital tools. The note also includes:

  • updated information on how cities are progressively exiting the lockdown.
  • detailed information on long-term city recovery strategies.
  • more detailed information on the inventoried city initiatives during lockdown and exiting.
  • maps efforts from selected organisations and city networks to collect city responses and foster knowledge and experience sharing

Student-designed test project aims to improve safety and vibrancy downtown

CUIxUrban Residencies | CUIxYYC (Calgary) | Learning and education | Local businesses | Main Street

The City of Calgary, the University of Calgary, the Calgary Downtown Association, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and Bow Valley College have been working on the 9 Block program, a series of safety initiatives to improve vibrancy and safety in the nine blocks that surround City Hall. The program works collaboratively with neighbours and community partners to improve the area.

The centrepiece of these improvements is the installation of a canopy and lighting at the bus stop in front of the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) downtown campus. Mauricio Soto-Rubio, the research lead, and students from SAPL designed and fabricated the installation to improve the safety and vibrancy issues in their neighbourhood.

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