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



1500 repas seront distribués quotidiennement aux itinérants à Montréal

Food | Frontline services | Fundraising and volunteering

Des organismes-membres de la Cantine pour tous (CPT) distribueront chaque jour quelque 1500 repas pour les itinérants dans les refuges d’urgence mis en place la semaine dernière par la Ville de Montréal, alors que les besoins en sécurité alimentaire se font «de plus en plus criants» dans la foulée de la pandémie de COVID-19. is an online resource to help women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse

Frontline services allows you to quickly identify a shelter in a specific geographic area along with its 24 hour emergency phone number. The clickable map serves as a fast resource to connect women with the nearest shelter that can offer safety, hope and support.

Online collaborative tool helps communities and city planners to improve public spaces

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space

In the era of COVID-19, this tool allows one to play with how streets are designed to allow for social distancing. Can be a way to experiment online with low cost initiatives.

Toronto Housing for Healthcare Workers

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Public health

A volunteer project designed to connect property owners with healthcare workers looking for short-term housing during the Covid-19 outbreak in Toronto. Specifically, the project is looking for property owners that have available furnished suites that can be provided to healthcare workers on a daily basis.

Hospitality union offers help as hotels considered as makeshift hospitals

Employment | Frontline services

As governments look to use hotels as makeshift hospitals for some COVID-19 patients, the union representing Canada’s hospitality workers says their members want to help. The union estimates up to 250,000 hotel workers will lose their jobs and 90 per cent of Canada’s hotels will close down amid the COVID-19 crisis. It also says the hospitality industry will be one of the last sectors to recover.

Halifax not laying off City staff amid pandemic

Employment | Policy leadership

Halifax Deputy Mayor says many employees are working from home during COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean work isn’t getting done. She notes that with the pandemic, Halifax has employees that are doing double duty, working twice as hard as they would if they were sitting at their desks

Windsor inside workers agree to redeployment, layoffs for idled city hall staff

Employment | Policy leadership

Hundreds of idled city hall staff are expected to be redeployed for needed community projects in the coming days, after CUPE Local 543 leadership off

Construction of supportive housing development that will provide critical supports to vulnerable people will continue (even on Sundays) during COVID-19

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

The City of New Westminster provided the land for the project, which is being funded by the province through its Rapid Response to Homelessness Program and will house women who have or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. Construction will take place 7 days a week because of a critical shortage of construction workers due to COVID-19

Providing meals to Toronto healthcare workers & supporting the restaurant industry during the coronavirus pandemic

Food | Local businesses

People can purchase a meal to fuel the extraordinary efforts of our city’s healthcare workers and support our local restaurants and their employees with a single donation

The Coquitlam-based producer of pillows and dog beds is poised to become the first manufacturer of N95 respirators in Canada. Production of medical-grade surgical masks starts on Tuesday, and he anticipates production of N95 respirators will begin within two weeks.

Local businesses

Starting Tuesday, 100,000 medical-grade surgical masks will be rolling off the assembly line daily. Once the second machine arrives, he will be able to produce 100,000 N95 respirators a day as well.

Toronto Public Library partners with local food banks to set up food bank distribution from library branches

Food | Frontline services | Policy leadership | Public health

Since the implementation of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 transmission, there has been a dramatic decrease in access to food banks, with over a third closing in recent weeks. TPL’s efforts are in support of the City’s broader work on food security for Toronto’s vulnerable residents.

Webinar Recording: Business Continuity and Crisis Recovery

General: Sector resources | Local businesses

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ offered a free webinar on Business Continuity and Crisis Recovery on March 30, 2020.

Calgary establishes isolation spaces for homeless affected by COVID-19 at hotel and Telus Convention Centre

Housing and homelessness | Policy leadership

Calgary health officials determined that 100 units would be needed for homeless people who need a place to self-quarantine but don’t require hospitalization.The assisted self-isolation site can also be used by homeless people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or are experiencing an unrelated illness that makes them too sick to stay in a shelter. In addition to the medical staff, mental health and addiction support is on hand. Units have been retrofitted to safely house the new residents, CHF says.

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, 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

Food | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

The website 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.

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