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

Tiny Victoria Small Business Relief Fund

Fundraising and volunteering | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | Local businesses

Google form to apply for support for small 0% non-recourse loans to Victoria-based small businesses.

Downtown Kamloops webpage collects community & City COVID initiatives that support a vibrant and recovering downtown

Local businesses | Policy leadership
The colourful website communicates effectively tools and approaches on how community can help and how businesses can recover

City of Duncan moves forward with downtown projects during COVID-19 shut down

Local businesses | Policy leadership

To minimize disruption to businesses when many might reopen later, construction–including sidewalk widening and watermain replacement– is being fastracked to start now.

Coronavirus crisis leads Victoria to offer free hotel rooms to health workers to self-isolate

Policy leadership

The Victorian Government has committed $20 million to pay for hotel rooms for healthcare workers who test positive to coronavirus or need to self-isolate while revealing “some wonderful success” in its COVID-19 strategy.

Burnaby hotel offers rooms for front-line workers during COVID-19

Local businesses

Health-care, pharmacy and grocery store employees and other front-line workers can stay at the Accent Inn if they don’t want to put their families at risk during the pandemic.

Kelowna hotel provides 940 rooms to 118 healthcare workers thanks to community donations

Local businesses

Accent Inns announced that it would discount its rooms to $59 per night for those healthcare employees and the community stepped forward to cover the rest. Donations were made through the United Way Hotels for Frontline Workers Fund and so far $62,000 has been raised. That’s covered a total of 940 nights in Accent Inns hotels for 118 essential frontline workers in Kelowna, Kamloops, Victoria, Burnaby and Richmond

Niagara Falls hotels offering rooms to health-care workers to self-isolate

Frontline services | Local businesses

Several Niagara hotels — business has been decimated due to the coronavirus — are offering rooms to health-care workers who want to isolate themselves as the battle to curb the global pandemic continues. “Health-care workers who may, through their job, be exposed to COVID-19, don’t want to go back to their families and risk infection,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati, who has reached out to the hotel industry.

Calgary opens hotel rooms for homeless people with COVID-19 to self-isolate

Local businesses

Homeless people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are suspected of being positive will be able to go into isolation at a local Calgary hotel. The hotel is not being identified for privacy reasons and no longer accepts paying customers.

Older businesses in Toronto’s Kensington Market are going online

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

Kensington Market Business Improvement Area (KMBIA) says small businesses in Kensington are finding new ways to move their business online.

Local hotel providing free rooms to frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19

Frontline services | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

Comfort Inn and Suites in North Battleford will offer frontline healthcare workers free rooms to stay in for the next few weeks in order to help them protect their families.

Supporting Toronto’s Queen Street West local businesses through purchase of “goody bags”

Food | General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

Locals for Local TO is an initiatives to support Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood. People can buy “goody bags” for between $80 to $100 (plus delivery). Goody bags include items from local shops like fresh veggies, cookies, coffee and more, and are available for delivery or pick up. A portion of proceeds will go to food banks.

 

CBC launches Creative Relief Fund to provide support to Canadian creators

Arts and Culture | Children | Income support | Policy leadership

The new Fund will provide $2 million in development and production funding for a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries.

 

Montreal closing streets to cars, but increasing policing to enforce physical distancing

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

Montrealers need access to green space, but are encouraged to go to parks in their own neighbourhoods, not travelling across the city to visit other parks. Parking lots in Mount Royal Park were closed this week to limit traffic, and Île Notre-Dame has also been closed altogether. These types of measures will continue, and even more will be put in place in other, popular destinations like the Lachine Canal, which has been extremely crowded.

Manitoba First Nation enforcing community-wide curfew

Indigenous | Policy leadership

Beginning April 6 and ending on April 20, there will be a curfew in Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. It’s possible this curfew will be extended depending on whether COVID-19 cases in Manitoba and throughout the north continue to rise.

Sheridan Colleges create COVID-19 Emergency Financial Aid Bursary

Fundraising and volunteering | Income support

Sheridan students can now apply to a newly-launched COVID-19 Emergency Financial Aid Bursary, launched with $1 million provided by private donor support and funding from the Ontario provincial government. Canadian and international students can apply for up to $1,500 to help with immediate needs. The fund may also be used to offset expenses related to traveling home.

Interactive map and list of Vancouver businesses that are still open during the COVID-19 pandemic, with information on how these businesses are operating and how the public can support them

Food | General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

Information includes location, hours, physical distancing measures, and services provided. The list is based off of the City of Vancouver’s local area boundaries and are updating it with businesses that are open in each area.

How the Toronto Public Library is transforming branches into food banks

Food | Frontline services | Policy leadership | Public health

Libraries as community hubs and librarians as public servants… Almost right away, the library decided to redirect resources to help with this critical need. There are 100 library buildings in neighbourhoods all across the city.

1500 repas seront distribués quotidiennement aux itinérants à Montréal

Food | Frontline services | Fundraising and volunteering

Des organismes-membres de la Cantine pour tous (CPT) distribueront chaque jour quelque 1500 repas pour les itinérants dans les refuges d’urgence mis en place la semaine dernière par la Ville de Montréal, alors que les besoins en sécurité alimentaire se font «de plus en plus criants» dans la foulée de la pandémie de COVID-19.

ShelterSafe.ca is an online resource to help women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse

Frontline services

Sheltersafe.ca allows you to quickly identify a shelter in a specific geographic area along with its 24 hour emergency phone number. The clickable map serves as a fast resource to connect women with the nearest shelter that can offer safety, hope and support.

Online collaborative tool helps communities and city planners to improve public spaces

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space

In the era of COVID-19, this tool allows one to play with how streets are designed to allow for social distancing. Can be a way to experiment online with low cost initiatives.

Toronto Housing for Healthcare Workers

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Public health

A volunteer project designed to connect property owners with healthcare workers looking for short-term housing during the Covid-19 outbreak in Toronto. Specifically, the project is looking for property owners that have available furnished suites that can be provided to healthcare workers on a daily basis.

Hospitality union offers help as hotels considered as makeshift hospitals

Employment | Frontline services

As governments look to use hotels as makeshift hospitals for some COVID-19 patients, the union representing Canada’s hospitality workers says their members want to help. The union estimates up to 250,000 hotel workers will lose their jobs and 90 per cent of Canada’s hotels will close down amid the COVID-19 crisis. It also says the hospitality industry will be one of the last sectors to recover.

Halifax not laying off City staff amid pandemic

Employment | Policy leadership

Halifax Deputy Mayor says many employees are working from home during COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean work isn’t getting done. She notes that with the pandemic, Halifax has employees that are doing double duty, working twice as hard as they would if they were sitting at their desks

Windsor inside workers agree to redeployment, layoffs for idled city hall staff

Employment | Policy leadership

Hundreds of idled city hall staff are expected to be redeployed for needed community projects in the coming days, after CUPE Local 543 leadership off

Construction of supportive housing development that will provide critical supports to vulnerable people will continue (even on Sundays) during COVID-19

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

The City of New Westminster provided the land for the project, which is being funded by the province through its Rapid Response to Homelessness Program and will house women who have or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. Construction will take place 7 days a week because of a critical shortage of construction workers due to COVID-19

Providing meals to Toronto healthcare workers & supporting the restaurant industry during the coronavirus pandemic

Food | Local businesses

People can purchase a meal to fuel the extraordinary efforts of our city’s healthcare workers and support our local restaurants and their employees with a single donation

The Coquitlam-based producer of pillows and dog beds is poised to become the first manufacturer of N95 respirators in Canada. Production of medical-grade surgical masks starts on Tuesday, and he anticipates production of N95 respirators will begin within two weeks.

Local businesses

Starting Tuesday, 100,000 medical-grade surgical masks will be rolling off the assembly line daily. Once the second machine arrives, he will be able to produce 100,000 N95 respirators a day as well.

Toronto Public Library partners with local food banks to set up food bank distribution from library branches

Food | Frontline services | Policy leadership | Public health

Since the implementation of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 transmission, there has been a dramatic decrease in access to food banks, with over a third closing in recent weeks. TPL’s efforts are in support of the City’s broader work on food security for Toronto’s vulnerable residents.

Webinar Recording: Business Continuity and Crisis Recovery

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ offered a free webinar on Business Continuity and Crisis Recovery on March 30, 2020.

Calgary establishes isolation spaces for homeless affected by COVID-19 at hotel and Telus Convention Centre

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

Calgary health officials determined that 100 units would be needed for homeless people who need a place to self-quarantine but don’t require hospitalization.The assisted self-isolation site can also be used by homeless people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or are experiencing an unrelated illness that makes them too sick to stay in a shelter. In addition to the medical staff, mental health and addiction support is on hand. Units have been retrofitted to safely house the new residents, CHF says.

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