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

Independent movie theatre in Toronto “sells” seats to raise needed funds to survive COVID19-related closure.

Arts and Culture | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Main Street

To help keep the community engaged and to ensure the Fox Theatre in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood will still be in business once the virus restrictions are lifted, a fundraising campaign was started by the theatre. For $150, plus taxes, community could purchase a plaque with their name on it to be put on seats at the historic theatre. The Fox posted information about the sale on their website and within a short amount of time all 251 seats were “sold”. The theatre later sold naming rights for other parts of the building.

City of Quebec launched a currency to encourage purchases from local merchants

Local businesses | Main Street

Quebec City residents can buy “packages” of the local currency in various denominations that can be redeemed for 20-60% more than their purchased cost. Within a few hours the entire packages on offer had been sold out raising over  $ 130,000 for local businesses.

Ma Zone Québec is a transactional platform for discovering Quebec-based local entrepreneurs and local products and services.

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

There is recognition that even if you want to buy local, sometimes it’s difficult to find products and services. The objective of this platform is to favor local purchases in a simple, practical and friendly way to really allow a change in consumption habits. The mission of Ma Zone Québec is also to participate in the influence of our local entrepreneurs. Ma Zone Québec is a showcase that challenges itself to make the people behind the products and services known. Craftsmen, entrepreneurs, creators, founders, they are the ones who must be highlighted and made discover their inspiring stories.

The South Island Prosperity Index provides a snapshot of the Victoria region’s monthly economic recovery during and following COVID19

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses | Policy leadership

The 2020 Prosperity Index features comparative data on 33 indicators which provide a picture of economic health across three themes: Economic Vibrancy, Equity & Inclusion, Environmental Prosperity.

Policy Recommendations: Race, Risk, and Workforce Equity in the Coronavirus Economy

Policy leadership

To address the inequities highlighted in this analysis and lay the foundation for an equitable recovery, policymakers must protect workers by ensuring safe conditions and adequate protections and improving the pay and quality of low-wage jobs; supporting dislocated workers through direct supports and targeted job training and placement programs; and plan for a changed economic landscape in the wake of the pandemic downturn. Policy recommendations included here.

The All-In Cities Toolkit part of “All-In Cities initiative” of PolicyLink to accelerate the work of government leaders and community advocates to advance racial economic inclusion and equitable growth

General: Sector resources | Policy leadership

The All-In Cities Toolkit offers actionable strategies that advocates and policymakers can use to advance racial equity. Each tool contains information on important policy considerations, who can implement it, and examples of where it is working.

Transforming a Restaurant into an Outdoor Market using simple furniture designs

Food | Local businesses | Main Street | Street activation | physical distancing

A restaurant in Dallas is coping with the pandemic by leveraging Better Block’s approach to adaptive urbanism. The Better Block crew had constructed several wooden market stalls that were going to be used for a pop-up outdoor market in the Allen project. Now, they’ve used them to turn Oddfellows into an actual outdoor market, stocking the shelves with the restaurant’s stock and selling neighbors staples that may be difficult to find at the stores that remain open.

The City of Vancouver launches its Temporary Expedited Patio Program

Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Street activation | physical distancing

This free program will allow restaurants and liquor-serving establishments to create temporary patios on streets, on-street parking spaces, or sidewalks either in front of or adjacent to their venues.To hasten the process, template patio drawings are being offered and a staff team has been dedicated to reviewing the applications. Permits will be issued within two business days for applications that meet requirements.

Toronto’s ‘rescue operation’ for restaurants includes fast-tracked approvals, more space for patio dining

Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Re-opening | physical distancing

Called “CafeTO”, the city program is identifying sidewalk and right-of-way space, including “parklets,” adjacent to bars and restaurants that can be made available for outdoor dining with physical distancing to ensure minimal chance of virus infection. The normal patio approval process will be dramatically streamlined, city council will be asked to waive fees, and the Ontario government is agreeing to help quickly address any liquor licensing issues

Montréal is creating a pool of Montreal designers and architects to design and implement temporary urban development projects for commercial streets.

Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Street activation | physical distancing

Selecting a group of qualified and competent bidders will thus allow the city to be more agile in awarding professional service contracts by mutual agreement. In this way, boroughs and city departments as well as the Sociétés de développement commercial will be able to call on pre-qualified teams to design and implement measures that address their issues, such as modified routes and user mobility, safe boarding and disembarking of public transit users, waiting lines for businesses, outdoor sales and consumption areas, functional and technical pickup and delivery spaces, rest areas and street furniture (e.g., washrooms, benches, no-contact garbage receptacles). Given the experimental nature of the temporary development projects both currently underway and to come, it is important to make good use of a range or high-performance solutions that can be deployed throughout the city

Architecture Without Borders Québec providing technical support to Montréal businesses to adapt to physical distancing/health measures

Local businesses | Re-opening | physical distancing

With funding from the City, the organization will assist more than one hundred merchants in need with help adapting their establishments to comply with social distancing and health measures issued by public health authorities. The ASFQ will also produce a commercial adaptation guide, slated for release in June. Until October, a team of professionals will lend a hand by carrying out health audits and adaptations for small independent businesses in order to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19.

Restaurants Canada holding a series of “Rapid Recovery Series Sessions”

Food | General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Re-opening

10 sessions designed to help operators reopen, reinvent, and rebuild their businesses. All sessions will be recorded and sent out to registrants post-series. Sign up to secure your spot and ensure on list to be sent a recording.

Restarting Restaurants, Food Services & Retail webinars for Downtown Victoria businesses

Food | General: Sector resources | Main Street | Public health | Re-opening

Run a restaurant or food service business? Have questions about reopening and operating safely during COVID-19? Join us Wednesday, June 10th 10AM – 11:30AM for a FREE Q&A session. The expert panel includes the Chief Medical Officer for Island Health and the BC Restaurant and Food Association. These sessions are co-hosted by the Downtown Victoria Business Association and Community Micro Lending. As we adjust to living and working with COVID-19, we’re offering two sessions to help businesses reopen and operate safely: Two webinars planned:
Restarting Restaurants & Food Services on Wednesday, June 10th 10AM – 11:30AM
Restarting Retail on Thursday, June 11th 11AM – 12:30PM

Ottawa opening public washrooms at five beaches, public parks

Local businesses | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Public health

The City of Ottawa has announced the seasonal washrooms at Andrew Haydon Park, Britannia Park, Westboro Beach, Mooney’s Bay Beach and Petrie Island beaches. Water fountains at the five parks and beaches will also be turned on.

Patios Everywhere program will help local restaurants reopen safely in Barrie

Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Re-opening | physical distancing

This program is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will support local restaurants by providing flexibility to restaurant owners while at the same time ensuring safety standards and measures remain in place. The Patios Everywhere Program is intended to address patios that are outside of the downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA).

Toolkit for Reopening Canada’s Economy

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Re-opening

Toolkit prepared by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network is designed to provide guidance, or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing their operations while ensuring the health and safety of operators, staff, customers and the general public is at the forefront.

Mississauga Made is an online initiative inspired to support and promote local businesses across the City.

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses | Policy leadership

Platform for supporting local businesses includes:

Buy from Local Businesses

Join the Conversation & Support the Movement

Order from Local Restaurants

Share & Promote Local Businesses on Social Media

The City of Portland is launching innovative and transformative street-related policies to use street space for people — and less for drivers and their cars —to help businesses survive.

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Street activation | physical distancing

The Portland Bureau of Transportation will allow local business owners to apply for permits so they can offer food and other services in the public right-of-way. This goes far beyond a simple sidewalk dining permit and is expected to fast-track a host of new possibilities like customer queuing zones in what used to be parking spaces and dining tables and barber chairs in streets and parking lots.

Commercial District Recovery Guide, developed by Streetsense, a collective marketing agency

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Main Street | Re-opening

Streetsense partnered with @LISC_HQ and @USBank  to create a Commercial District Recovery Guide, a roadmap to support #COVID19 recovery efforts in downtowns and commercial districts. Download now go.streetsense.com/recoveryguide

 

The National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health collects COVID resources related to health equity and the social determinants of health that are of relevance to Canadian public health.

General: Sector resources | Public health

Updated regularly, this site includes links to webinars, organizations, publications and tools.

The Quebec government has developed a toolkit for reopening businesses safely

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Re-opening

A generic prevention guide and interactive and printable quick references are offered for all work environments. A poster serving as a reminder of the preventive measures for workers’ health in the context of COVID‑19 is also available. The proposed measures must be adapted by the different sectors to their specific conditions to guarantee that operations can resume or continue under the safest and healthiest possible conditions. Special tools for certain economic sectors are also available.

‘Safe Return to Business: A Public Health Toolkit for the Windsor-Essex Business Community’ provides guidelines, best practices, and resources for businesses and workplaces in the WindsorEssex community

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Public health | Re-opening

This toolkit will help businesses and workplaces incorporate pandemic planning and preparedness into reopening in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety of business owners, employees, customers, and the community. The six wmain guidelines were developed from reviewing several key federal and provincial resources, and are applicable to the various Windsor-Essex County businesses and workplaces across all sectors that remain open or are preparing to reopen.https://www.wechu.org/sites/default/files/edit-resource/em-safe-return-business/covid-19-toolkit-small-businesses-safely-reopen.pdf

City of Cornwall: Business Reopening Toolkit

General: Sector resources | Main Street | Policy leadership | Public health | Re-opening

Cornwall Economic Development has developed an online Business Reopening Toolkit to help in this process.The Toolkit is a collection of resources that include a 6-page guidebook, and a number of posters, fact sheets and guidelines – including an easy to use calculator for determining the maximum number of people allowed in a store under current social distancing guidelines.

Toolkit prepared by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network is designed to provide guidance, or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing operations

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Main Street | Re-opening

Oliver receives COVID-19 funds for portable toilets, signage

Policy leadership | Public health

Funding to the Town’s Emergency Operations Centre will go towards portable toilets for domestic farm workers (and vulnerable people). These porta-potties with hand washing stations will be installed on the Town-owned lot on Main Street, at the Oliver Visitor Centre, and the empty lot on Station Street (adjacent to the food bank). Bilingual signage promoting social distancing will be installed in parks, ball fields, beaches and the hike and bike trail. Funds will also go towards bylaw enforcement (via park ambassadors) in May. The ambassadors will patrol local parks seven days a week providing education on social distancing.

The City of Toronto is rolling out a phased reopening all park washrooms over the next several weeks beginning with Trinity Bellwoods. Toronto Public Health also will create guidelines for the safe opening of washrooms and other amenities.

Policy leadership | Public health

The lack of public toilets in Toronto has long been a glaring public health issue, but the issue of access to restroom facilities has grown more urgent as the public is encouraged to wash hands frequently in order to curb spread of COVID-19.Earlier this month, the city opened eight portable washrooms and hand-washing stations and six locations with showers and access to drinking water for people who are experiencing homelessness.

Province of BC adds 35 portable toilets along routes for truck drivers

Policy leadership | Public health

A newly released map details the various rest locations where portable toilets have been installed at select commercial vehicle brake-checks, inspection stations and chain-ups.The B.C. Trucking Association has pitched in with a food truck project, offering free meals for truckers at cardlock fuel stations in Chilliwack, Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George.

Nanaimo approves on-street patios, sidewalk seating

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Nanaimo councillors agreed to reallocate $25,000 from the city’s downtown event grants budget toward the program.

Vancouver City Council has directed city staff to reallocate at least 11% of existing road space (220 km)

Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership

All of this is in addition to the 50 km of temporary “slow streets” that will be created by July that benefit pedestrians and cyclists. A number of cities around the world have also made ambitious road reallocation changes that either create “slow streets” or establish new bike lanes.

Halifax Mobility Response – Streets and Spaces

Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Policy leadership

The first phase of the Halifax Mobility Response plan began with the widening of sidewalks in high traffic areas, traffic signal modification and the implementation of temporary loading spaces for businesses in downtown Halifax and Dartmouth. Slow Street Implementation: Approximately 20 streets will be designated as ‘slow streets’. They will be open to local traffic only, to reduce vehicle volumes and to create a space for residents to walk, roll and cycle while adhering to physical distancing guidelines. Shape Your City Halifax project page has been created to provide residents with an opportunity to share suggestions

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