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



While Halifax Public Libraries are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, their website continues to provide support

Arts and Culture | Children | General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Mental health | Policy leadership

The Halifax public library site contains information on public health, links to e-books/audiobooks; resources for small business; tips on how to talk to children about COVID-19; and mental health tips and support

Toronto’s Largest Food Bank to Open Pop-Up Locations – in closed libraries & parking lots


Since the COVID-19 outbreak took hold of Toronto there’s been 20 percent growth in the number of clients making use of Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank over a span of the last two weeks. The pressure to provide food to new clients coupled with required social distancing has forced the food bank to change its operations in a dramatic way. They’ve partnered with GlobalMedic and set up a medical hospital mobile field tent in the food bank’s parking lot. Now the food comes out on a conveyor belt from inside the tent.

Alberta musicians deliver online self-isolation orchestral performance

Arts and Culture | General: Online communities and networks | Social isolation

Members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and Edmonton Symphony have combined to create one of their most viewed performances.After 66 Calgary musicians and an 18 staff members were temporary laid off, the group decided to reconnect for a virtual performance while in self-isolation.

Love for Local – New Brunswick is a Facebook site to support local businesses in NB during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local businesses

Looking to build a community of people who are looking to support local businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic (@loveforlocal)

Smart buildings harnessed for pandemic response: AI supports infection detection, remote operations and ongoing resilience

Public health

Smart buildings will play an increasingly important role to help detect and control their spread, facilitate the remote operation of buildings in lock down situations and interact with the grid to increase energy resiliency. Advanced applications, smart buildings and smart grids that offer trans active modes of generation and usage have the potential to increase safety and resiliency and increase the sustainable production and consumption of electricity.

Ten measures to support culture in the city in the face of COVID-19

Arts and Culture | Policy leadership

The crisis generated by COVID-19 also affects the city’s cultural network. In Barcelona, ten city measures are being implemented to mitigate the effects and keep culture alive, with the Catalan and Spanish governments also being urged to implement others.

Health Association of African Canadians updates on COVID-19

General: Online communities and networks | Learning and education

Health Association of African Canadians, NS Health Professionals and the Black Cultural Centre will lead a 2nd interactive update on COVID-19 and people of African descent.

COVID-19 – Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources

General: Sector resources

COVID-19 Racial Equity & Social Justice has put together information to help communities and activists as they work to understand and respond to the moment and for the long term.

The Assembly of First Nations declares a state of emergency

Indigenous | Policy leadership | Public health

Calling for increased resources for First Nations on a “needs and equity basis,” with specific consideration for northern, remote and isolated communities.

Campaign against increased Asian racism amid pandemic

A campaign by the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice is calling attention to the spike in racism that Asian businesses and individuals have faced since the outbreak.

Volunteers help people in Toronto by bike

Fundraising and volunteering | Mobility and transportation | Social isolation

The Toronto Bike Brigade calls for volunteer bicycle riders in Toronto to help deliver goods to people unable to leave their homes

Emergency Bike Network in a Week: Quick response to rapidly changing mobility patterns

Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership | Public health

Emergency bike networks are proving integral for getting essential staff to get to their workplace safely, creating additional space on strained or non-existent networks for people maintain physical distancing. They also present an opportunity to trial future bike lane roll-out. Under normal conditions, it can take several months – and sometimes years – to develop a bike network, but these times call for quick measures.

PACE Society — a peer-driven organization located in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is providing support for current and former sex workers of all genders

Income support

Funding is prioritized to people of colour, Indigenous people, transgender individuals, and members of other marginalized communities.

Indigenous doctors on strength, resilience in the face of pandemics

Indigenous | Mental health | Public health

Indigenous communities have a shared history of colonialism and inter-generational trauma that can make COVID-19 more stressful.

Canadian Legion initiatives going strong in the midst of the pandemic

Mental health | Public health | Seniors | Social isolation

Highlighting how veterans are connecting to socialize, provide for those in need and support service needs

Twitter page run by veterans through the Royal Canadian Legion OSI Special Section where veterans can gather at a place and time to enjoy peer support over coffee

General: Online communities and networks | General: Tools for engagement | Mental health | Social isolation

The initiative gives Veterans a chance to meet for coffee in a supportive setting, to socialize. With the new restrictions in place across the country, locations have moved their meetings online. Recently an online “Buddy Check Coffee” involved veterans serving from all over the globe calling in

Prince Edward County-based website updates residents on businesses offering products and services to the community.

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

Prepared by Dale Mugford, who works at Yeeboo Digital in Prince Edward County, the website is updated daily, directly from the business community and with partnership between local organizations

Webinar: New models of community-led housing in the EU

Housing and homelessness | Learning and education

Urban Innovative Actions and URBACT are hosting an interactive web event on alternative community-led housing models and governance structures. While these organizations focus on fostering sustainable, integrated urban development in cities across Europe, the event will showcase collaborative approaches that could potentially apply in a Canadian context. The event promises to provide practical insights to inspire urban leaders and practitioners in taking action to meet residents’ rights to safe, adequate, and affordable housing.

Camp Tech digital marketing webinars for main street businesses

Employment | General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Local businesses

Camp Tech is running a series of free digital marketing webinars as part of the Ontario Digital Main Street Initiative, which helps businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and a digital service squad, who help main street businesses grow and manage their business through the adoption of digital tools and technology.

Canadian policy response group launched to get through pandemic

Policy leadership

Based out of Ryerson University, First Policy Response was launched in March 2020 to bring together the Canadian policy community and highlight the best economic and social policy ideas to get through the immediate crisis and prepare for the uncertain future. Contributions and suggestions are welcome.

Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks’ Farmer’s market goes virtual with “Farm in a Box”

Food | Local businesses

Helping local food system stay strong in this time of social distancing. Pre-order to pick up a weekly $50 box filled with local produce, cheese and bread from local farmers and producers.

Downtown Vancouver businesses move online

Arts and Culture | General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

Dance, laugh, learn, work out, meditate and play with the Downtown Vancouver BIA’s new virtual events forum. Weekly listings!

Pandemic best practices exchange from Europe

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

EUROCITIES has activated a Twitter feed to consolidate and exchange information among its membership network, comprised of elected representatives of major European cities.

Montrealers united to sing a Leonard Cohen song Sunday night

Arts and Culture | Social isolation

Martha Wainwright led a citywide “So Long, Marianne” sing-along.

SmartCentres, one of the largest real estate companies in Canada, offers government and health authorities free space to support COVID-19 efforts

Local businesses | Public health

SmartCentres properties are located in every province across the country, accessible to a large percentage of the Canadian population. They are offering rent-free use of a total of up to 1-million square feet of space in 200 shopping centres across the country, as well as its land, parking lots and signage, to all Canadian governments and health care authorities, effective immediately, to assist in their COVID-19 support efforts

City of Belleville, ON Transit to Temporarily Transition to On-Demand Services Only during COVID19

Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership

Ridership has decreased by 80% so customers can now book trips by: App – “On-Demand Transit – Rider App” is available for download and can be used to book rides any time of day for any time of service. Online – can be used to book rides any time of day for any time of service Phone – Passengers can contact us at 613-962-1925 and book rides for any time of service. Email – Passengers can email [email protected] for service.

Maximum City has adapted its Kidscore/Youthscore for COVID19 to measure kid/youth friendly urban areas

Children | General: Tools for engagement | Parks and public space

Here is how they are adjusting their survey through social distancing: A) If walking outside is allowed where you are: Go for a short walk, but remember to stay at least two metres away from others. When you do the survey (step two), answer the questions based on what you saw on the walk and what your location is like now, not how it usually is. Scores may be lower than normal – but that is ok, we know this is a unique time! B) If you cannot go outside: think about a walk you normally take to school or a friend’s house, and complete the survey based on memory, or by looking at the route through online maps.

Together Project connects refugee newcomers and Canadians to build stronger, more integrated communities. How to maintain connections in this time of physical distancing?

General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Social isolation

Together Project is currently conducting a needs assessment with refugee households to determine what would be most helpful in terms of remote Welcome Group support and we will be sharing these findings shortly. This is challenging as there are different levels of comfort of newcomer households with technology such as WhatsApp video, Facetime, Zoom or other platforms to facilitate remote social connection. Also newcomers may not have access to WiFi or computers and may wish to save data use for calls over seas.

Dalhousie research team prepares for clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine.Phase 1 of human clinical trials could begin in the next 3 weeks

Public health

Dalhousie’s COVID-19 rapid response team is moving forward with testing a vaccine that uses a genome of DNA from SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Calgary to reduce lanes on some roads to help walkers, cyclists keep their distance during COVID-19 pandemic

Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Public health

Calgary’s roads department, in coordination with CEMA, have identified roads where lanes will be reduced with the hope this can give walkers, bikers and other modes more space to be outside, while maintaining social distance. Sections of Elbow Drive and Crowchild Trail will be part of this measure, among other popular walking spots in Calgary

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