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.
Window art strolling
People across Canada are creating art at home and putting it up on their “gallery wall” – their front window! In Edmonton, you can add your art to an online map so others can find your new gallery. Look for your own local art walk on Facebook.
Niagara Region municipalities launch COVID-19 business impact survey
Economic development departments from the Region of Niagara, the Cities of St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne and Welland, and the Towns of Lincoln and Fort Erie have jointly launched the Niagara Economic Rapid Response Team to assess and plan for the needs of the business community in the region, in light of COVID-19.
Toolkit for tenant organizing
“The Tenants Will Win” is a compendium of resources, templates and tools for tenants to use during the pandemic, many of which can be modified to be useful for renters in Canadian cities.
Minneapolis Offers People Experiencing Homelessness a Simple Gift: A Safe Place for Their Stuff
To support Minneapolis’ unhoused residents, the city has followed in the footsteps of other cities like San Diego and Los Angeles by partnering with a local organization to pilot a storage program for those experiencing homelessness. The pilot comes as a record number of people are experiencing homelessness across the state. The program allows people experiencing homelessness to store their belongings in bins located in a secure room. Belongings are checked in and out of bins by volunteers from Minneapolis’ Downtown Improvement District, the city’s partner in the venture.
Key considerations for water and wastewater utilities responding to the coronavirus
Moonshot Missions, a non-profit organization founded by George Hawkins, the former General Manager of DC Water in Washington DC, has put together a “living document” compendium of best practices being implemented by water utilities in the face of this unprecedented challenge. Staff has compiled this checklist by reviewing resources from water associations, list-serves and dozens of utility response and continuity of operations plans.
Ruckify partners with United Way to connect vulnerable people with technology during COVID-19 pandemic
The Ottawa-based company is calling on the public to donate or rent out unused items like tablets, smartphones, webcams and laptops, so they can get into the hands of those who need them. Ruckify will provide pickup and delivery of the items. The items will be sanitized when picked up and dropped off, and it will be insured for damages in case something happens.
Together Apart initiative directs community members to local businesses to support
With many businesses around the National Capital region temporarily shut down or re-imagining their offerings due to COVID-19, this site is a resource for residents to find local spots to order from and support.
Community Art in Calgary going online during COVID19
ART IN A PANDEMIC: Every Wednesday evening a crowd has gathered inside Rumble House in downtown Calgary to create art together. As the response to COVID-19 limits mass gatherings, the Rumble House community is going online by broadcasting art-making and hosting an online auction.
Online Dance Collective
Professional teachers from different Toronto-based studios are coming together to launch the Toronto Online Dance Collective: a shared platform for live online classes so that we can socially connect and dance together while we’re physically distant.
Unexpected solutions Twitter chat: The Role of Collaboration, Innovation and Smart Approaches
Future Cities Canada, with content partner Future of Good, is exploring how cities and communities across the country are adapting with innovation and how they are resilient to unprecedented change.
“Porchraits” — safely photographing familes in Calgary
Calgary Photographer Neil Zeller has been providing porch portrait sessions as a way to connect with people in self-isolation to create a happy moment for fellow Calgarians in perhaps an otherwise dreary time. Anyone can sign up for these portrait sessions and Neil promises to put every dollar earned back into the Calgary economy.
Calgary blocks traffic lanes to help pathway users maintain two-metre separation
Along certain Calgary sidewalks and pathways with larger volumes of pedestrian traffic, crews have placed pylons and other barricades onto a lane of adjacent roadway for people to step onto so they can safely maintain a two-metre separation from others.
Toronto Chef Danielle Bassett & The Depanneur providing meals to the overburdened shelter system
The Depanneur commissary kitchen, a social enterprise, is turning surplus bar & restaurant ingredients into meals to give back to the overburdened and short-staffed shelter system amid the COVID19 crisis.
Toronto-based rental company creates $500K COVID-19 relief fund
Greenrock Real Estate Advisors’ (GREA) has developed a series of initiatives to assist its residents and community members including: $300,000 towards local charitable organizations; a rent assistance program that allows residents to use their last month’s rent deposit as a credit towards their rent payments; the deferral of rent increase notices; $200,000 of grocery gift cards for all Greenrock managed residential units; and a specialized germ protection treatment program.
No Hungry Tummy initiative offers free meals to long haul truckers and healthcare workers in Calgary
The Dashmesh Cultural Center is providing free meals to long haul truckers and healthcare workers, who are having a hard time accessing food on the road due to restaurant closures and drive thrus not being able to accommodate trucks. They have free hot food available to any truckers and health care workers that require it. They also deliver to drivers who are in need.
Calgary YMCA launches Virtual YMCA for mind, body and spirit
The YMCA has created a webpage to keep Calgarians connected with the YMCA community. They are sharing stories, recipes, health and wellness tips, on-demand videos, activities for children, and more.
Group of volunteers in Nelson working together to help community during COVID-19
Nelson Helps is a way to connect individuals vulnerable to the virus that do not want to go out in public for prescriptions, groceries, or other essentials, with volunteers who are willing to help.
Nonprofit FLATTEN platform provides real time information regarding COVID-19 spread in Canada
Developed by a group of scientists, engineers and clinicians, this online screening tool is designed to help increase awareness and flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19 by informing Canadians and healthcare systems of relevant information.
Montreal declares local state of emergency over fears of COVID-19 outbreak among city’s homeless
The declaration of a local state of emergency gives the city the power to act quickly to take any measures it deems necessary. Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said the city now has the power to take over private properties to shelter people and to order needed supplies or food quickly, as needed. Plante said the city is planning new, temporary homeless shelters in the coming days, as well as more outdoor day centres to provide food and other essential services.
‘Isolation shelter’ in works for homeless people in Abbotsford with COVID-19 symptoms
The City is finalizing a COVID-19 response strategy for vulnerable individuals which will include the activation of an isolation site for individuals to rest, recover, or transition into further health and housing supports.
Ottawa opens COVID-19 isolation and treatment centre for homeless
A local recreation centre in Ottawa is becoming an isolation and treatment centre for homeless people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. Ottawa Inner City Health says homeless people can be tested for the virus by a mobile assessment van, paramedics, as well as the typical assessment centre and hospitals.
City of Lethbridge is putting resources in place to help the city’s homeless population, including new spaces for social distancing and self-isolation
The Fritz Sick gymnasium will transition into a temporary homeless shelter to provide more square footage than the current homeless shelter. Rooms have also been secured at a local motel as a self-isolation unit for the homeless population.
City of Peterborough to move men’s shelters to Sport and Wellness Centre temporarily to provide better social distancing
Peterborough city and county announced a plan for sheltering homeless people in gyms at the vacated Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre. People staying at the Brock Mission, or the city’s emergency shelter, will go stay in cots at the Sport and Wellness Centre starting Wednesday night. The idea is to allow homeless space for social distancing.
University of Ottawa building will house vulnerable families during the COVID-19
Around 65 people will move into the building located at 585 King Edward Ave. on Monday after a request was made by the City of Ottawa. Some of these new residents may have been exposed to people who carry the coronavirus, while others are exhibiting symptoms of the illness, hence the need to quickly house them so that they can self-isolate.
City of Toronto acquires hotels, rental buildings for homeless in response to coronavirus
Toronto Councillor Joe Cressy said five hotels have been acquired with another five in the process of being secured. Two vacant rental buildings are also in the process of being acquired and 50 permanent housing units have been identified. He added that 19 households have secured permanent housing. The latest acquisitions are in addition to the nine existing sites the city has already opened to facilitate social distancing within the shelter system. Cressy added that the city has provided funding to five community partners that run overnight programs to stay open all day to provide daytime spaces for those experiencing homelessness. Two sites are now open and three others will open shortly.
Youth-focused blog covering COVID-19 responses in Calgary
The site, Youth Are Awesome, commonly referred to as YAA, is a blog written by youth for youth. YAA provides the youth of Calgary a place to amplify their voices and perspectives on what is happening around them.
Long-term care facilities across Nova Scotia will be provided with iPads
Among other initiatives, the Department of Health and Wellness will distribute up to 800 iPads across the province to long-term care homes so residents can connect with family and friends; the tablets will begin arriving at facilities in April.
Website with resources, webinars, tips and peer exchange opportunities for those looking to help downtown districts through COVID19
Main Street America is a non-profit organization helping to revitalize commercial districts compiling existing resources, opportunities, and community response examples to help Main Street districts during this crisis.
Sharing Your COVID Stories – Citymaking in the Face of a Pandemic
This site is inviting people to record up to three minute “stories” about how Covid19 has shaped people’s roles, priorities, strategies, or day-to-day life as a citymaker. These stories will be compiled and shared next week. The idea is to create ever-more resilient, livable, sustainable cities – for all!
Help Canadian manufacturers meet critical shortages in the fight against COVID-19
NGen, an industry-led non-profit, will invest $50 million in Supercluster funding to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products, and therapeutics. Projects will be selected for funding according to critical needs identified by the Government of Canada and the ability of manufacturers to produce products that are safe for both patients and health care workers.