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.
Social distancing-friendly scavenger hunt in Regina
Stay’n’Play Parenting in Regina has started a “A City Wide Heart Hunt,” with homemade hearts displayed in windows across the city. It was designed as a way for families to get moving outside while still social distancing. Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/StaynPlayParenting/
International competition for ventilators backed by Montreal-based foundations and health centre
The Code Life Ventilator Challenge, a newly announced joint venture by the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, in collaboration with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), is “calling for teams to design a simple, low-cost, easy-to-manufacture and easy-to-maintain ventilator which could be deployed anywhere needed to save lives.” The deadline is March 31, 2020 and the challenge is backed by a prize of CAD$200,000. The top three designs will be made free to download immediately.
Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area solicits support for locally owned businesses during COVID-19
By purchasing gift cards and certificates, the community can help independent businesses cover their critical expenses and gives them a boost during this difficult time.
Canadian companies that are hiring during this time
A crowd-sourced list of employers who are hiring across Canada, organized by Unbounce, a Vancouver-based software company.
Community program paying off during COVID-19 crisis
Abundant Community Edmonton is a grassroots initiative fostering neighbour to neighbour relationships. The goal is to cultivate a culture of care and connection, increased sense of belonging and inclusion, and create a more healthy and livable city – one block at a time. Set up pre-COVID, these groups are now mobilizing to provide support to vulnerable residents.
Schulich Medical students are offering free childcare, errands and other volunteer services to health care practitioners across the London region
Student volunteers will be matched with a single family to minimize their contact, and only those with childcare experience can provide childcare.
Schulich Medicine and Dentistry students helping a local effort to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to primary care teams across the London region
Co-ordinated by the London Middlesex Primary Care Alliance, a group of primary care providers, the grassroots initiative works with individuals and businesses, such as veterinary clinics, podiatrists and spas, to collect and donate unused supplies. As many businesses are closed or offering limited services during the pandemic, organizers say this is a practical way to address the shortage for frontline workers. Third-year medical students are part of the organizing team, collecting PPE equipment from community donors, creating an inventory of the supplies and helping to deliver them based on the need among local primary care teams.
University of Ottawa medical students are mobilizing to help solicit personal protective equipment to keep front-line workers safe
Students are reaching out to businesses, vendors, and industry partners who may have PPE available to donate to our hospitals and front-line healthcare professionals.
Edmonton-based non-profit creating new safe space in Expo Centre for those experiencing homelessness
In response to the public health need created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Edmonton, Alberta Health Services, Homeward Trust and community partners are creating a temporary facility in the Edmonton EXPO Centre. The facility will serve as a day drop-in service and as a 24/7 isolation shelter for those experiencing homelessness who have been exposed to COVID-19, or have cold or flu symptoms, to recover and protect others by self-isolating.
Bike shop in Windsor Ontario encouraging locals to go on bike rides during COVID-19
Bike repair shops are considered essential under Ontario’s State of Emergency. One bike shop is reducing cost of bike maintenance and suggesting routes and trails to keep healthy and fit.
Barrie automated manufacturing company retooling to manufacture personal protective equipment and other needed equipment
Innovative Automation has put its projects on pause to work on prototypes for medical face shields and ventilators.
United Way Winnipeg launches the COVID-19 Community Response Fund
All funds will go directly to front line community agencies who are supporting populations particularly vulnerable for the virus, allocated based on the priorities identified by Winnipeg’s COVID-19 Community Response Team, made up of health officials and front-line workers.
Canada Goose making medical gear in Winnipeg and Toronto to fight COVID-19
Canada Goose announced it will be using its manufacturing facilities to make scrubs and patient gowns for frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.
City of Winnipeg sets up business task force, looking at tax deferrals during COVID-19
City of Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced a Mayor’s COVID-19 Business Task Force to help city businesses weather COVID-19, including the possibility of deferring property and business taxes.
In Winnipeg, neighbourhood quarantine choir led by local senior
30 neighbours on Canora Street serenaded passersby with a social-distancing singalong, singing and playing instruments to the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine from their porches.
Kelowna farm Unearthed Organics to offer online delivery
Unearthed Organics, a small-scale mixed organic farm in Central Kelowna will be offering a produce delivery service for a small fee once growing season begins in 3-6 weeks.
Surrey Hospital Foundation creates COVID-19 response fund
The Surrey Hospital Foundation has created a donor-funded $50,000 Response Fund to help purchase equipment for COVID-19 care, as well as health and wellness initiatives for frontline workers.
Volunteers on bikes deliver supplies and friendship to vulnerable people during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Toronto
The group has joined forces with a few community organizations, including a local kitchen and the University Health Network’s Friendly Neighbour Hotline.
London’s deputy mayor offers online civics class for kids stuck at home due to COVID-19
London’s deputy mayor hosted a civics class for children as the province’s publicly funded schools face two more weeks of closures amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. The lesson was provided in a Facebook Live entitled “At-Home Civics Class with Deputy Mayor Jesse Helmer.”
Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
This comic is based on reporting from NPR’s Cory Turner, who asked experts what kids might want to know about COVID-19. The illustrators used his interviews with Tara Powell at the University of Illinois School of Social Work, Joy Osofsky at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and Krystal Lewis at the National Institute of Mental Health. Print and fold a zine version of this comic here. Here are directions on how to fold it. To read this comic in Chinese, click here.
Democracy in a time of Social Distancing
Andrea Reimer and guests deliver a webinar to explore the opportunities for engaging communities and democratic decision-making in a time of social distancing.
COVID-19: Local Action Tracker features a sortable grid detailing the policy decisions
Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the National League of Cities launched a new initiative that collects and shares actions taken by local U.S. leaders in response to the pandemic. The COVID-19: Local Action Tracker features a sortable grid detailing the policy decisions and bold actions that city leaders are making to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Guelph-based Facebook Group for fostering community, offering support and resources, sharing opportunities/events that may be helpful to support community members, and organizing and staying connected to ensure vulnerable community members have access to food, housing, healthcare, and other necessities. The space is also for the redistribution of resources, and for people to post about any needs for support (emotional or physical or otherwise).
Toronto Society of Architects shares resources for members during COVID-19
Toronto Society of Architects creates space to share resources that might be helpful for members during COVID-19
Poverty advocacy group publishes poster with financial supports for workers and parents
Victoria (Canada)-based TAPS (Together Against Poverty Society) has a friendly poster with a list of financial supports available for workers and parents during #COVID19
Virtual creativity hour offers space for shared silent creative time
Facebook event for sharing silent creative time via Zoom conference. People join remotely to write, read, knit, work on photography, paint, do calligraphy, etc.
Local Toronto gyms offering free online classes
BlogTO compiled a list of local Toronto gyms that have moved classes online, after gyms were shut down due to COVID-19, as a way to leverage their platforms for social good, and connect with their local community.
Calgary Chamber of Commerce issues policy recommendations for economy during COVID-19
Policy recommendations cover short term (next three months), medium term (2020-2021), and long-term (2021+)
Toronto’s Greenest City and FoodShare offer Emergency Food Assistance to residents of Parkdale neighbourhood
For those in the Parkdale neighbourhood facing food insecurity, Greenest City and FoodShare are offering to deliver food to your door during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community Foundation of Calgary providing charities with platform to share emerging needs
Through a survey form, the Community Foundation of Calgary is providing charities with a place to share some of their most pressing and emerging needs with donors, fund holders and the larger community. The Calgary Foundation will then help spread the word to the broader community.