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

Group of volunteers in Nelson working together to help community during COVID-19

General: Online communities and networks | Public health | Social isolation

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

General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Public health

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

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

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

Arts and Culture | Children | General: Online communities and networks | General: Tools for engagement

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

General: Online communities and networks | General: Tools for engagement | Policy leadership | Seniors | Social isolation

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

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

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

General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

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

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Public health

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.

Guelph launches Supported Isolation Centre for homeless facing coronavirus

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness

A group of community and health-care organizations opened the Supported Isolation Centre (SIC) in downtown Guelph. This particular model is not a medical model, meaning that the people who are there are not being medically monitored; they’re being supported to self-isolate.

Le travail inquiétant des femmes dans la pandémie COVID-19

General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Policy leadership

Au Canada, les femmes sont nettement plus inquiètes que les hommes au sujet de la crise COVID-19. Par exemple, un récent sondage réalisé par Abacus Data a révélé que 49 % des femmes ont déclaré se sentir “très inquiètes” de l’épidémie, contre 33 % des hommes. Trente-sept pour cent des hommes ont déclaré qu’ils n’étaient “pas du tout inquiets” ou “peu inquiets” à propos de l’épidémie.

Gendered Impacts of Coronavirus

General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

Any emergency or disaster is experienced differently by different genders, and it’s not just a matter of biology, infection rates, and severity of illness. The gendered experience of coronavirus is grounded in gender inequalities that impact all of us, every single day. Here are some interrelated gendered impacts to think about and act on.

Supporting small business through coronavirus: ideas from experts and leaders across NYC

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Two dozen small business owners and small business experts provide recommendations on how city and state policymakers can help them survive this crisis for small business.

First Vancouver community centre opens to protect homeless from COVID-19

Frontline services | Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership | Public health

All community centres in Vancouver were closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. City officials have opened some centres to be used for homeless people and others who can’t self-isolate such as tenants in hotels, where sharing a washroom and other facilities is common.

Community building stories and ideas sent in by Tamarack Institute members

Arts and Culture | Children | Social isolation

Stories include: How Cochrane AB is fostering community through technology; Virtual Storytimes in Woodstock, ON; Edmonton, Alberta is staying connected with community postcards; Waterloo ON’s window walks; and Hamilton’s caremongering supports

Cambridge to pay restaurants to make meals for homeless people

Food | Local businesses | Policy leadership | Public health

The city is launching a program that will pay local restaurants to make and deliver boxed or bagged lunches to nearby homeless shelters. Working with Central Square Business Improvement District and Harvard Square Business Association, the goal is to deliver about 1,800 to 2,000 meals to nine different shelters in a week.

Connecting neighbours in Vancouver looking for help during the COVID-19 pandemic

Food | Fundraising and volunteering | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Seniors | Social isolation

Coming Together Vancouver brings provides connections to share resources, extend a helping hand to our neighbours, show solidarity for healthcare workers and the vulnerable, and highlight social movements that are fighting for access to healthcare, housing, and workers’ rights.

Municipal World podcast shares new city and community resources

General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Policy leadership

Mary W. Rowe is a leading urban advocate and civil society leader who has worked in cities across Canada and the United States – and she is certainly no stranger to working with communities in crisis. She is currently the CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, and joined this podcast to talk about important new resources available for municipalities.

Webinar series on adapting personally and professionally to COVID-19

General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Local businesses

The University of Laval’s Faculty of Business Administration is hosting a three-part webinar series with advice on how individuals and organizations can adapt to the crisis.

Resources for employees and downtown local businesses impacted by COVID-19

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

Edmonton’s Downtown BIA has compiled a list of resources for businesses impacted by the pandemic, as well as one for employees.

Health association of African Canadians updates on COVID-19

General: Sector resources

Health Association of African Canadians, NS Health Professionals and the Black Cultural Centre is providing interactive updates on COVID-19 and people of African descent

B.C. farmers markets launching online store during COVID-19 pandemic

Food | General: Online communities and networks | Policy leadership

The B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets is helping its 145 members set up digital shop. As part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Buy BC program, the province is providing funds to cover fees for individual farmers markets to join. Each participating farmers market will create its own virtual store to best serve its communities.

Saving Canada’s Main Streets From COVID-19.

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Social distancing is devastating local small businesses and there’s not much time to save them. And the answer is not more debt.

COVID-19 emergency fund for journalists

Income support

National Geographic Society is launching an emergency fund for journalists all over the world who wish to cover COVID-19 within their own communities. This fund will place particular emphasis on delivering news to underserved populations, particularly where there is a dearth of evidence-based information getting to those who need it. They are interested in local and even hyper-local distribution models. This fund is designed to quickly deliver support so that both individual stories and longer series of content may be created.

Emergency food service delivers hot meals, food boxes across Mohawk community

Food | Frontline services | Indigenous | Policy leadership | Public health | Seniors | Social isolation

Kahnawake is located south of Montreal and has positive cases of the virus. They launched an emergency food service that is providing hot meals twice a day for elders and those with limited mobility or dietary restrictions. An expansion of an existing food bank service also started delivering a food box to those struggling financially but who are able to cook for themselves.

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