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 Assigns Parks Staff To Start Growing Food For Residents

Food | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Public health

City councillors in Victoria, B.C. passed a motion Thursday to expand an urban food production program by temporarily reassigning some parks department staff to grow 50,000 to 75,000 seedlings to give to residents in May and June.

Toronto co-op holds community sing-a-long

Arts and Culture | Social isolation

Fieldstone Co-op in Toronto held a community singalong, with members taking part from a safe distance apart on their balconies and in the garden.

COVID-19 resources for the disability community

General: Sector resources

A new website for the disability community includes ever-developing resources from disability organizations across Canada, a list of organizations providing support during COVID-19, and a “Rant, Rave and Recommend” section for stories from the front lines.

University Health Network’s OpenLab helping vulnerable seniors by mobilizing volunteers to deliver groceries and other household essentials

General: Online communities and networks | Seniors | Social isolation

The Friendly Neighbour Hotline connects seniors living in low-income housing in Toronto to a network of volunteers who can help with picking up groceries, household essentials and food bank items. The service gives priority to seniors living in low-income housing.

C40 transforms Knowledge Hub to better support city governments during COVID-19

General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

The Hub is curating collection of media and resources on topics such as waste, food, buildings, transportation, public engagement, and more.

Toronto restaurant giving free meals amid COVID-19 job cuts

Food | Local businesses

Little India, a longtime family restaurant in Toronto, is helping people who’ve lost their jobs by giving out free meals to anyone in need — no questions asked.

Crowdsourced google map showing Canadian bookstores that deliver

General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | Local businesses

Clickable map of Canadian with links to Canadian independent books stores that offer delivery

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

Food | Local businesses

Links & description of services for each farm-based company participating in delivery services in the Greater Toronto area

Canadian startups quickly pivoting to help combat #COVID19

Local businesses

MaRS-supported startups are banding together against the coronavirus — shifting their everyday business pursuits in hopes of bringing the crisis to a decisive end. This link provides a platform for partnering, procuring or learning more from these Canadian companies

All the ways the University of Windsor’s campus community is working alongside the broader community in response to #COVID-19

Fundraising and volunteering

University of Windsor’s COVID-19 Community Engagement page

Canadian Drug Policy Coalition releases COVID-19 harm reduction resources

Public health

The Coalition is collecting insights and guidance on best practices for people who use drugs and healthcare providers.

University of Alberta’s Universiade Pavilion (Butterdome) to house Alberta Health Services (AHS) secondary assessment and treatment centre

Policy leadership | Public health

The centre is being established to meet the needs of patients who may be referred to an emergency department but not urgently, and patients whose family doctors may not be seeing patients with symptoms at this time.

Canadian Urban Transit Association tracking COVID-19’s impacts on public transit industry

General: Sector resources | Mobility and transportation

CUTA is providing members with context and information on COVID-19 management, along with guidance on best practices for public transit operators during a pandemic.

Ryerson City Building Institute launches online discussion series on urban impacts of COVID-19

General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement

This discussion series brings together notable urbanists and Ryerson academics for insightful discussions of how the global pandemic will change the way we live.

City of Oshawa organizes COVID-19 Business Town Hall event

General: Tools for engagement | Local businesses | Policy leadership

The moderated Q&A with the Mayor and Chair of the Development Services Committee was delivered by the City in partnership with the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Oshawa BIA.

Montreal to provide more resources for the homeless, will open 5 outdoor day centres

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

The City of Montreal is opening five outdoor day centres, expanding shelter room for men and women, and adding temporary public toilets.

City of Mississauga holds Tele Town Hall amidst COVID-19 concerns

General: Tools for engagement | Policy leadership

City officials discussed city changes, recommendations issued, and precautionary hospital practices. Residents were also invited to participate in the Tele Town Hall by asking questions through a call-in hotline. The event was live streamed through the City’s website.

Residents in Belleville, Ontario encouraged to take part in #BellevilleCares initiative

Policy leadership

Each day over the next few weeks, the City will be sharing one good news story to its social media platforms to highlight some of the great things happening during such a challenging time. Residents can post to the City’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter accounts or submit by email

Mayor of Medicine Hat asks schoolkids to draw or paint their favourite part of the city

Arts and Culture | Children | Policy leadership

In a video posted to the City of Medicine Hat’s YouTube page, the Mayor asked schoolkids to draw or paint their favourite part of the city.

Business owners find creative ways to keep operations going despite storefront shutdowns

Employment | Food | General: Online communities and networks | Learning and education | Local businesses

Some of the adaptations include live streaming of fitness classes, online health consultations, preordered restaurant meals and home delivery of everything from beer to books. For many entrepreneurs, the changes aren’t just about business survival, but also keeping themselves and their employees busy and motivated during the coronavirus crisis.

First Book Canada launches campaign to deliver 1 million books to low-income families during COVID-19 pandemic

Arts and Culture | Fundraising and volunteering

Canadian publishers who have committed books to the program include Kids Can Press, Penguin Random House Canada, HarperCollins Canada, Breakwater Books, Simon & Schuster Canada and Inhabit Media. Donations are also being made by distributors like Raincoast Books and Publishers Group Canada and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

First Policy Response highlights best economic and social policy ideas in Canada

Policy leadership

First Policy Response is a project of the Ryerson Leadership Lab, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, and Matthew Mendelsohn. The goal is to bring the Canadian policy community together to highlight the best economic and social policy ideas to keep us afloat and together.

Canada’s largest Muslim youth group offering help for seniors and vulnerable residents during COVID-19 pandemic

Children | Food | General: Online communities and networks

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association announced a nationwide Neighbourhood Helper campaign, with Muslim youth offering services to Canadians who need assistance with picking up groceries and filling prescriptions. The group says volunteers will also be there to provide overall moral support.

Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation announces $300,000 to support COVID-19 assistance to Waterloo Region charities

Fundraising and volunteering

$200,000 will be directed immediately to support the health and safety of charitable sector employees and volunteers working with our most vulnerable citizens. $100,000 is being used to establish the COVID-19 Charitable Recovery Fund at KWCF.

National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health releases COVID-19 precautions for multi-unit residential buildings

General: Sector resources | Housing and homelessness

The document synthesizes available evidence and guidance regarding COVID-19 precautions for multi-unit residential housing.

Fundraising in the Time of COVID-19: A Guide for Non-Profits

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

Developed by VITREO, an organization that has helped in fundraising and communications during recessions, the Fort McMurray wildfires, Calgary flood and now COVID-19.

Vancouver-based university creates website with links and resources for COVID-19

General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Mental health | Social isolation

SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue’s WeGotchu contains information and resources relating to income/jobs, housing, school, food, health and mobility.

City staff, school workers proposing ways to keep themselves busy and services functioning

Frontline services | Policy leadership | Public health

In Winnipeg, library and recreation centre employees, whose jobs have become temporarily obsolete in an unexpected pandemic, are stocking shelves for Winnipeg Harvest, or filling sandbags to save homes prone to spring flooding.

Leadership Emergency Arts Network (LEAN) helping Canadian professional non-profit arts organizations

Arts and Culture | General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Income support

This national initiative has over 100 advisers signed on: sector leaders including board members, current and former arts Executive Directors, consultants, etc. from every province and territory. For those who need help with strategic decision-making, crisis response, financial analysis, board direction, relationship mediation, HR management, systems change or inspirational leadership, they should email leanartscanada@gmail.com

Montreal public health authority promotes flatten.ca/aplatir.ca website to help track spread of COVID-19

Policy leadership | Public health

Montreal’s public health authority is asking citizens to participate in a web-based data-gathering project called flatten.ca, or aplatir.ca, designed to track COVID-19 cases to better understand how it is spreading in the city.

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