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



Reimagining the use of public space during pandemic in Montreal

Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership | Public health

The movement to take back Montreal’s streets for pedestrians during this time of social distancing is spreading rapidly across the city. From full-on car-free zones to family streets to superblocks, Montreal, like many cities around the world, is reimagining the use of public space during this pandemic at an unprecedented pace.

Radish is an online delivery cooperative based in Montreal that is looking to bring forth a more equitable relationship between restaurants, delivery drivers and consumers.

Food | Local businesses

Radish enables restaurants, drivers and consumers on the platform to have a say in how the platform is operated. This is made possible by the cooperative nature, which means that each member is entitled to a vote in the direction of the organization. Restaurant delivery is being performed in an ethical and socially conscious manner.

The City of Edmonton has developed simplified guidelines for temporary patios, sidewalk cafes and outdoor retail spaces for businesses, along with a simple, no-fee form to register

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Rules around temporary patios, sidewalk cafes and outdoor retail expansions are relaxed to create more space for customers in alignment with Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines. Until the end of 2020, businesses have the option to expand patio or retail space by following a set of guidelines and signing a declaration form.

An Edmonton musician is collecting donations for food banks and in return will create a piano/instrumental cover of a song request that will be posted online.

Arts and Culture | Fundraising and volunteering

Keys For Covid is a music project launched in May 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. This project aims to raise donations and provide relief to Canadians most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All proceeds will go towards supporting Canadian food banks (with a focus in Alberta and Ontario). Inspired by virtual music concerts like #CanadaTogether, Keys for Covid hopes to bring amateur artists & musicians together to create music, and make a positive impact.


A new initiative in Brampton is providing food and meals to those in need

Food | Fundraising and volunteering

S.H.I.N.E. (Support, Help in Nourishing Everyone) is a new food initiative started at the start of the COVID 19 Crisis in Brampton by a group of volunteers who wanted to help shine some light and help those struggling financially and physically during COVID 19

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is giving out PPE to member businesses to help keep staff & customers safe

Local businesses

Grimsby’s Downtown Improvement Area (DIA) board – with support from the Town of Grimsby –is helping frontline staff. Every business in the DIA area will receive two face shields – with an option to acquire more – to help with employee and customer safety. These shields were made by a local retooled business

Posters for businesses to clearly communicate how they are open — for pickup, delivery, online or in person

Local businesses

From Toronto’s Roncesvalles BIA, these signs can be put in the window of shops to clearly show their services

Friends’ Tab is a local wealth redistribution program aimed at helping Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbours in need. 

Food | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

If you need help, just say “put it on my Friends’ Tab” at participating locations. Each location has a sign up about what’s covered (e.g. up to $10 or $20 of your grocery bill, one coffee and one food item at a local coffee shop, essential repair expertise and materials, etc.). If you want to donate to help a neighbour you can donate by adding it on to your purchase at participating locations or donating at

#YEGTechCares is a tech industry campaign asking salaried employees to give up the equivalent of one hour of their monthly salary and donate it to the Edmonton Food Bank.

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

Where possible, the companies the employees work for will match those donations.

Think Local First is an easy, fun, free way to support locally owned businesses in Greater Victoria.

Local businesses | Main Street | Shop Local

Use the app to collect points, then redeem those points for discounts at locally-owned businesses. For instance, 50 points gets you $5 off your next purchase of $20 or more at the Dutch Bakery & Diner.

Volunteers in Toronto reach out by phone to the socially isolated

Children | Fundraising and volunteering | Seniors | Social isolation

Listening to people helps keep them #healthyathome

IT and e-commerce platform helps restaurants self-manage delivery and takeout

Food | General: Sector resources | Local businesses

By giving restaurants the tools to do it themselves, restaurants avoid the hefty commissions of current food delivery apps.

Downtown Moncton Centre-ville Inc. launches Covid-19 Re-Start Grant Program

Local businesses

This grant will support the purchase of required safety equipment which must be installed prior to re-opening. Businesses can apply to receive a maximum of $500. Under the program, only commercial property and business owners within the Business Improvement Area (BIA) will be considered.

ShopHERE provides Toronto businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses | Policy leadership

Leveraging Toronto’s technology community, the City of Toronto and Digital Main Street have brought together a range of partners to build and optimize online stores for Toronto’s independent businesses and artists at no-cost. Toronto’s independent small businesses and artists can access ShopHERE to get their online store built and launched with hands-on support throughout the entire process in just a matter of days.

Calgary to allow shops, restaurants to expand patios to allow for more social distancing during COVID-19 pandemic

Local businesses | Parks and public space | Policy leadership
Restaurants will be able to allow their seating to spill over to sidewalks and streets outside their doors, helping to make up for the fact they will only be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Toronto taxi company charges $10 flat fee for delivery within 3 km

Food | Local businesses

The company is presenting a viable option for restaurants while UberEats faces backlash for steep fees and commissions.

Affordable urban delivery service provided to merchants in Montreal

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Available to neighbourhood businesses such as bookstores, hardware stores, bakeries, fruit markets. Non-perishable products can be delivered using this new, safe and affordable home delivery service. Delivery people on bikes will pick up orders one to five times a day depending on volume, and deliver them directly to clients’ homes. Maximum cost per item is maximum $5+ tax. Items picked up before 1 p.m. are delivered that same afternoon, after 1 p.m. are delivered the following morning.

City of Barrie will help restaurants with distancing by converting parking spaces to patios

Food | Local businesses | Policy leadership

The Mayor suggests that temporary seating areas could become permanent, creating more animated spaces throughout the City. If this pilot program is successful, it can be part of building more people-oriented public spaces.

Slider device allows businesses and customers to interact safely during pandemic

Local businesses

The simple device from a small Coquitlam fabrication company enables two people to carry out a transaction two metres apart.

To Go Toronto platform links to restaurants offering takeout & delivery

Food | General: Online communities and networks

While dining areas are closed, the platforms has gathered a list of many Toronto restaurants that continue to prepare food with Toronto’s signature diversity.

Online directory shows local businesses open for business during pandemic

Food | General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses | Shop Local

Support Retail is a free online directory that helps GTA shoppers find local small businesses OPEN for walk-in, pickup or delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New crowdfunding platform to save small business in Ottawa

Local businesses

A pilot project in Ottawa hopes to boost their chances with community crowdfunding, which has emerged as a vital tool for the social impact sector. Could it provide a model for Main Streets across Canada?

Ottawa’s Love Local Delivery offers curated list of local restaurants offering responsible delivery

Food | Local businesses | Shop Local

The resource offers a curated network of Ottawa’s best independent locally owned and operated restaurants offering responsible delivery.

Grassroots volunteer initiative Zoomies offers volunteer dog walkers

Fundraising and volunteering

The Facebook group links to google forms for dog walkers and dog owners looking for help.

Charlottetown outreach facility relocates to allow increased capacity for vulnerable community members

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

The Community Outreach Centre has moved its operations to a local school’s gymnasium for the purpose of enhancing its capacity to provide vulnerable residents with services such as counselling, shower access and laundry facilities under the new health regulations of social distancing.

Local resident launches an online city-wide scavenger hunt to cater to community distress amid COVID-19

Children | General: Online communities and networks

A PEI resident has organized an online activity in the form of a teddy bear hunt for parents and their children to drive to various location sites around the province (e.g. residential windowsills, mailboxes, or lawns).

Charlottetown chef prepares weekly meels in support of children at home in more vulnerable living conditions

Children | Food | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

A local chef supplying lunches for five schools has committed to preparing 100 meals weekly for children who have switched to online classrooms and who come from more difficult living situations.

Tech companies in Newfoundland and Labrador have raised and donated funds to local charities

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

The “Closed Door, Open Heart” initiatve was launched by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology and Innovation to garner financial support from operating local businesses as well as those businesses whose operations have been halted.

Former Saugeen councillor launches company devoted to connecting Indigenous communities with greater access to industrial supplies

Indigenous | Local businesses | Public health

Former Saugeen councillor co-founded the company “eSupply Canada Ltd.” which aspires to support Indigenous community members with supplies that will better secure their health and safety.

Survive and Thrive combines group coaching, individualized support, peer support, webinars, and resources to help organizations understand and adapt financial models for COVID-19 realities

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

Survive and Thrive is piloted in community, with United Way Greater Victoria and Vancity covering program costs for over 20 organizations to participate in the program.

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