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.
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.
Guelph launches Supported Isolation Centre for homeless facing coronavirus
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.