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

Victoria seniors volunteers platform

Mental health | Seniors | Social isolation

Wellandtrulygrey.com is the effort of a small group of like-minded, Victoria-based, volunteer seniors who recognize that many of their fellow isolated seniors are struggling to stay connected with their peers, their families and the community resources they require. For these isolated seniors, wellandtrulygrey.com is their source of vital links to information about COVID-19 and government and community resources generated to help fight the virus and combat its impacts. It is also their interactive bulletin board and sounding board to help them stay connected.

City of Victoria acquires 115 motel rooms to house homeless population

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

These rooms are meant for people who have not displayed any symptoms of COVID-19, and one person will occupy each room. The rooms will be available to vulnerable people living outside in order to make sure they can meet physical distancing protocols put in place by the provincial health officer. The new locations will be administered by BC Housing and social service providers will be identifying people in the community who would be suitable to move in. Temporary outdoor homeless shelters at Royal Athletic Park and Topaz Park are currently being set up as temporary stopgap measures before authorities are able to find suitable indoor shelter spaces.

City of Victoria closes streets near Beacon Hill Park, Dallas Road to encourage social distancing

Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Public health

In addition to these changes, the City of Victoria will also be sending out city staff to public spaces to engage with residents about playground and recreation facilities to remind them about physical distancing. CRD and City of Victoria parks are remaining open, though physical distancing is still encouraged.

Victoria Assigns Parks Staff To Start Growing Food For Residents

Food | Parks and public space | Policy leadership

The parks department is working on growing 50,000 to 75,000 seedlings to give to residents in May and June for food security measures. City staff are currently in discussions with farmers and seed libraries to come up with a shortlist of easy-to-grow edible plants that would be ideal for home gardening.

City of Victoria won’t enforce rules on camping in parks to support people experiencing homelessness in physical distancing

Housing and homelessness | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Public health

The city has chosen Topaz park and Royal Athletic park as designated sites where harm reduction services, food services and security will be set up. Both have running water so people can wash their hands. The long-term plan is to get homeless people inside but with limited city-owned facilities that can be used, B.C. Housing has had to help find places like vacant motels for homeless people to stay.

Development and building applications in Victoria can now be submitted online

General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

The applications that can be submitted online now include rezoning applications, development permits, heritage alteration permits, temporary use permits, variance applications, building plumbing and electrical applications.

City of Victoria launches interactive map showing where cherry blossom and plum trees are blooming in the region

Arts and Culture | Parks and public space | Policy leadership

The interactive map pinpoints different types of blossoming trees across the city. While provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is encouraging all residents to stay at home as much as possible, time outdoors is important for mental and physical health. With the weather improving in Victoria, now is a great time to explore some blooming flowers, as long as pedestrians follow physical distancing guidelines and stay at least two metres apart from one another.

PEI transitions to more accessible forms of support services

Mental health | Policy leadership | Seniors | Social isolation

To provide support for residents who are suffering in various ways due to COVID, the Province has organized online psychiatry services, call-in clinics to replace walk-in clinics, and addiction day programs that uphold social distancing protocols.

Text4Hope Mental Health Support

General: Online communities and networks | Mental health | Policy leadership

Alberta Health Services’s ext4Hope is a free service providing three months of daily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help residents cope with the stress and anxiety of isolation.

Library and museum staff helping in seniors’ homes during pandemic

Frontline services | Policy leadership | Public health

More than 50 people who used to work in Bruce County’s libraries and museums have been asked if they could work with seniors instead. To date, the former librarians and archivists have just been screening people as they enter the nursing homes, but they’ll soon be trained to take residents to meals, clean bed pans, organize rooms, and eventually, even answer some call bells.

How public libraries are helping Nova Scotians: bookmobile, loaning out tablets, etc.

General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership | Social isolation

“We’re more than just some reading material,” said Troy Myers, chief librarian of South Shore Public Libraries. “So we want to do what we can to make sure those social connections are maintained.”

Regina Public Library putting its servers to use crunching COVID-19 data

Policy leadership

Through a partnership with Folding@home, four of the RPL’s servers and five computers from its Digital Media Studio are hard at work crunching data that scientists around the world are using to research COVID-19.

Newfoundland libraries adapting to isolation world with move to digital

General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

Includes support in how residents can use virtual libraries to hold book clubs, learn things, go digital, etc.

Canada’s libraries step up to help vulnerable people during pandemic

Food | Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

In Toronto, nine TPL branches have been converted into food distribution centers in the past few weeks, in partnership with three local food banks. In Montreal the Grande Bibliothèque, the largest library in Quebec has been transformed into a daytime respite space for homeless people.

Kitchener Public Library has a Twitter thread of staffs’ pets enjoying some reading

Policy leadership

Regina Library offers a Twitter thread on hand washing

Policy leadership

It can be tough to teach proper hand washing to kids. So the library put together a thread of kids books as hand soaps.

Canadian Libraries Respond to COVID-19

General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

With public libraries across Canada suddenly shuttered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, library leaders and workers across the country are quickly adapting to still serve people, primarily online. This article describes some of the initiatives across the country of libraries or library staff.

Mississauga Library’s electronic collection to almost triple through sharing plan with Burlington and Hamilton: Over 151K total electronic titles available in agreement

Arts and Culture | General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

As part of the agreement, Mississauga library users could borrow up to 10 items in total from the Hamilton and Burlington electronic collections and place five more titles on hold. Mississauga library users would still be permitted to borrow 10 items from their local system, and place 20 titles on hold.

Toronto Public Library (TPL) providing brand new books for children, free of charge, in food hampers being distributing through its pop-up food banks

Food | Policy leadership

When clients visit a food bank at a TPL branch, library staff will add an age-appropriate book for each child in a family who is interested. TPL’s food banks have been set up in partnership with North York Harvest Food Bank, Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest in nine library branches across the city.

 

 

Saint John regional mayors leverage local network to set the stage for recovery through Rise Up SJ

Fundraising and volunteering | General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

This initiative sees a core group of local citizens, leaders, organizations and government representatives volunteering their time to ignite a community network to build advisory ecosystems for needs associated with health outcomes, food and housing security, business sustainability, and driving future demand for the region’s products and services.

COVID-19 resources for municipalities

General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) encourages members to review these resources regularly. The page will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.

Home but not alone: CBC launches Art Uncontained and $1 million artist fund with Canada Council

Arts and Culture | Fundraising and volunteering | General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

CBC’s Art Uncontained is a new initiative connecting Canadian artists and art lovers that includes original programming from CBC Arts and across the CBC network, as well as a new artist fund in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts.

Chefs in the University of Guelph’s kitchens will prepare 500 meals each day to help feed Guelph’s most vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic

Food | Fundraising and volunteering

The University is supporting a program by The SEED, a not-for-profit organization at the Guelph Community Health Centre. The SEED is dedicated to ending food insecurity in Guelph and to creating a community without barriers to healthy food. The Program is in direct response to circumstances brought on by the pandemic,

Virtual farmers’ markets: Nine ways to get local produce, grass-fed beef, sheep’s milk gelato and artisanal cheese delivered to Toronto

Food | Local businesses

Many of the Greater Toronto Area’s farmers’ markets and specialty food stores remain closed, a number of local farmers and companies are starting to offer home delivery of fresh-from-the-farm local produce, dairy and meat.

Edmonton Downtown Farmer’s Market is staying open and practicing safety during COVID19

Food | Policy leadership | Public health

Website and social media provides instructions on how to shop safely and outlines how they are keeping staff and products safe and what measures they have taken

City of Brampton implements interim bike lanes to promote safe active transportation opportunities

Policy leadership

These sections of road are a part of the planned East-West Cycling Corridor connection as proposed in the Active Transportation Master Plan. The City is working to implement permanent protected bike lanes on these streets in line with the Brampton 2040 Vision and the Streets for People Term of Council Priority.

Farmers Market in Guelph continues to operate safely and provides a sliding-scale cost

Food | Fundraising and volunteering

The Seed is program of the @GuelphCHC, deliver a Sliding-Scale Community Food Market in Downtown Guelph every Friday, 10-1. No one is turned away.

Edmonton restaurants open their pantries to survive COVID-19 pandemic

Food | Local businesses

Eateries now selling pantry staples and toilet paper as dining rooms remain shut

Ottawa’s National Capital Region piloting project to close roads to traffic to enable physical distancing

Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership

To enable physical distancing for residents who live in the dense surrounding areas, the City is closing the Queen Elizabeth Driveway to motor vehicle traffic, daily from 8am-8pm, from April 18 to 26, 2020.

BC Provincial Legistrative Assembly Members and health authority representatives to answer COVID-19 questions at virtual townhalls across B.C. between April 17 and April 23, 2020

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

The virtual townhalls will be live streamed on the B.C. government Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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