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

Link to open Toronto restaurants that continue to prepare food and deliver it safely

Food | General: Online communities and networks

Stepping up during COVID-19: How DMZ startups are finding tangible ways to support those affected by the pandemic

Local businesses

Despite the chaos this virus has created, several DMZ companies (current and alumni) are pushing their traditional boundaries and devoting additional time, money and resources to help those in need. Some startups are cutting platform subscription fees for small businesses, while some are forming charitable partnerships within the community. Others have staff working around the clock to build new functionality to save customers millions of dollars.

Yukon to provide free cellphones to women in vulnerable situations amid COVID-19 pandemic

Frontline services | Policy leadership

Government providing 325 cellphones with 4-month service plans for free. The women eligible for the phones include those who are homeless, experiencing or fleeing violence, or in a precarious situation in regards to accessing resources

Toronto charity helps health-care workers find temporary accommodation during COVID-19 crisis

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Local businesses | Social isolation

StayWell, a Toronto-based charity, has since last year helped patients who travel to Toronto for medical treatments find affordable places to stay. The charity partners with Sky View Suites to make hundreds of fully furnished units available for short-term rentals at a reduced price. With COVID-19 hitting all parts of the city and the province, the charity decided to expand this service to health-care providers.

Energy utility partners with Ontario charity to launch COVID-19 emergency food box program

Food | Fundraising and volunteering

Feed Ontario has developed its COVID-19 Emergency Food Box program, which will provide pre-packed food boxes to food banks across the province. By leveraging its buying power, Feed Ontario can provide $100 worth of food for just $30. And, by combining local, provincial and national efforts, this program will help to address labour shortages at local food banks, increase physical distancing measures, and address food shortages locally – while ensuring food is getting into the hands of those who need it most during this crisis. OPG has donated $500K to this initiative.

Social media challenge to bring back smiles and memories on what you love about Toronto

General: Online communities and networks | Social isolation

Urban Mind’s Instagram (@urbanmindsTO) and Ryerson’s Twitter (@RYSURP) have put up themes such as weird things about the city, things we miss about it while in isolation, and a challenge to build a DIY CN Tower. Go to either platform to catch up, and check the #10veyourcity hashtag

Edmonton transit seeing big numbers of vulnerable people & youth riding transit all day — now looking at options to help non-destination riders while ensuring essential workers can get to where they need

Housing and homelessness | Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership | Public health

The city has created a new task force to help support “non-destination riders.” the city is working working with the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team – a partnership with the city, Edmonton police, Family Centre, the United Way and REACH – to work with these non-destination riders to make sure they can get the appropriate supports.

COVID 19 & Main Street: Supporting Local Safely (Webinar)

General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Local businesses | Policy leadership

Webinar recording. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Main Street programs have been moving rapidly to offer support to local businesses and the community as a whole. This webinar provides updates from the National Federation of Independent Businesses on the impact to the business community and current resources and guidance, followed by a panel discussion of local program directors and the work their doing to #SupportLocalSafely.

Developing a Hand Sanitizer Supply Chain for Indigenous Communities

Indigenous | Public health

Together with Covidhealth.ca, a cooperative of small distilleries in southern Ontario is retooling to produce sanitizer, and with the help of Shared Value Solutions, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Grand Council Treaty #3, Global Medic, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Air Canada, FedEx, and Diageo, the first shipment of over 6,000 litres of hand-sanitizer will arrive in northern First Nations very soon.

Website organized by city shows businesses that are open/serving

Food | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

City resources are organized by sector and for each business approach to serving is indicated (e.g., pickup, delivery, online)

Agriculture and food jobs in Ontario during COVID-19

Employment | Food

One-stop-shop that highlights employment openings and training resources in Ontario’s agriculture, agri-food and food industry jobs supporting the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Chiefs of Ontario – COVID-19 Resources for Members in Urban Centres

General: Sector resources | Indigenous | Policy leadership

The Chiefs of Ontario has compiled a resource list that has many services that are available to Indigenous communities in our urban cities and small towns across Ontario.

Open source recipes to be used in quarantine during a global pandemic

Food | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks

Toronto chef Nick Chen-Yin has compiled a free open source cookbook with recipes from his colleagues across the city.

Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s website offers information and facts about the virus, steps taken, recommendations and requirements pertaining to the emergency

General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) also provides opportunities to submit and prioritize municipally-related pandemic questions

Beer company matching funds for contributions to http://rallyforrestaurants.ca

Food | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

The website rallyforrestaurants.ca is a platform to purchase gift cards to use at restaurants once they reopen.

Twitter thread by Toronto Councillor updating residents on provision of shelter for those experiencing homelessness

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

Includes information on hotels, motels, buildings acquired, shelters, overnight programs and funding to community partners to provide services

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.

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