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

Kitchener proposes $110M plan to stimulate economic recovery

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

The $110-million fund would help with job growth, business recovery and affordable housing because of cancellations, closures and job losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A staff report shows they plan to get the money by taking $10 million from the Economic Development Reserve, borrowing $20 million and selling surplus city-owned to get around $80 million. The fund is expected to last about a decade, until 2030. The money will be used for various projects to help residents and businesses get back on their feet. The city said its number one priority is affordable housing.

The City of Kitchener has extended its patio program to support local bar and restaurant operators to at least January 1, 2021.

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership

Should the Province permit temporary patios beyond January 1, the City will also permit the continuation of patios. The now extended patio program allows bar and restaurant operators the opportunity to offer food services on temporary outdoor patios city-wide and expanded sidewalks patios downtown Kitchener.  Since the launch of the patio program over 60 local operators have extended or added temporary outdoor patios to their establishments.

How She Hustles has partnered with Shopify (#startupandslay) to help more diverse women & non-binary entrepreneurs build & grow businesses across Canada. Nov 5 online marketing webinar includes a 90-day free trial!

General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Main Street

A Toronto restaurant is hiring cosplay delivery drivers

Local businesses

All drivers will be required to take the same strict COVID precautions, and will be masked while doing deliveries.

Toronto’s outdoor dining guidelines

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Re-opening | physical distancing

The CaféTO program aims to provide more outdoor dining areas to help some restaurants and bars create physical distancing for patrons on patios during the summer months. A CaféTO Placement Guidebook has been created to better understand program requirements and other details necessary. Link provides details on requirements for curb lane patios, patios on private property, use of portable heaters & tents/enclosures.

Social Enterprise UK: Choose Communities, Buy Social campaign

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Main Street

Social enterprises are so important – reducing inequalities, keeping wealth in their communities and empowering the people they support. Polling has shown that people want to support a different and better way of doing business – 76% said they’d prefer to buy products from businesses which have a positive impact on the wider community and 77% stated that they’d like to see more businesses set up which use their profits and businesses operations to have a positive impact on the community. With the social investment market having grown and developed extensively since its creation, there’s now more opportunity for newly set up social enterprises to find investment that is relevant to them, be that start-up capital, blended finance or working capital so that they can grow their products and services enabling more consumers to #buysocial

https://www.goodfinance.org.uk/latest/post/blog/choose-communities-buy-social

Twenty Black female chefs from across Toronto have teamed up to cook thousands of Thanksgiving meals this weekend for local shelters.

Food | Fundraising and volunteering

The inaugural Thanksgiving campaign dubbed “The Feast” is organized by the community organization BLACQ (Black Leading African Canadian Queens), a group of African Canadian business women who have raised money for scholarships and business grants in the past.

Canadian Federation of Canadian Business Small Business Recovery Dashboard

Local businesses | Main Street | Recovery

CFIB is undertaking monthly surveys and collating results showing the recovery of Canadian small businesses by province, recovery timelines by sector & why they are experiencing difficulty

Métro Media offers free advertising space to restaurateurs in Quebec and Montreal, who have recently moved into Red zone.

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Main Street

Establishments whose dining rooms will remain closed during the 28 days of efforts to counter the second wave of the pandemic will benefit from assistance in promoting their take-out meals and deliveries. On the side of the management of Métro Média, the hope is that the initiative will help support several local players in the restaurant sector through this difficult period.

Artists paint 25 murals to demonstrate their ‘Neighbourhood Love’ in support of resident whose garage garnered hate mail

Arts and Culture | Fundraising and volunteering

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, 20 artists took part in what they called a “street-level demonstration of love” by painting 25 murals on garage doors, utility boxes, front doors, garden walls and mailboxes of homes in Toronto’s west end.

Winter city design: 3 ways to save our small businesses this COVID-19 winter

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership

There’s a lot to consider when designing for winter, but the philosophy is basic: Create places where people want to be, give them a way to get there, and create ‘sticky’ events—events that draw attendees in and give them reasons to stick around—to help people discover new places.

Edmonton’s Downtown Recovery Task Force launches a Downtown Clean-up Event.

Local businesses | Main Street | Re-opening

Join the Downtown Business Association, Downtown Edmonton Community League, and partners on the Downtown Recovery Task Force for a huge Downtown Clean-up Event.

On October 23rd between 3-5 pm, Edmontonians will take to the streets to help keep our city clean to the Core. Once complete, help us celebrate the kick-off of winter patio season Downtown! The first 200 registrants will receive a $5 voucher from the DBA redeemable at select Downtown patios that evening. All registrants will receive an e-notice within two days of the event noting their street clean-up assignment and where to pick-up their appropriate clean-up gear courtesy of the City of Edmonton Capital City Clean Up team.

Vancouver-based survey to solicit ideas to help make streets for people during COVID-19 recovery.

Local businesses | Main Street | Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership

We are making temporary changes to our streets to help residents physically distance and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 to our communities by:

  • Room to Move. Repurposing street space for more walking, rolling, and cycling along Beach Ave.
  • Pop-up Plazas. Creating pop-up plazas so people can gather outside
  • Temporary Patios. Approving temporary patios so people can dine out and businesses can continue to serve customers
  • Sidewalk Widening. Making more room for walking and queuing along busy streets
  • Room to Queue. Making more room to line up and board buses at some key bus stops
  • Slow Streets. Calming traffic to make ‘slow streets’ more comfortable for people walking, rolling, and cycling

These measures also support our ongoing effort to create safer streets, limit the effects of climate change, and increase social connection between residents. We are monitoring the impacts of these initiatives and getting feedback from the public to understand what could become longer term.

Digital toolkit featuring designs, guidelines, and strategies to aid safe reopening and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Each tool you find here was created by neighborhood-specific coalitions of community organizations, architects, engineers, lawyers, and planners. They came together as part of Neighborhoods Now, a rapid-response initiative launched by New York-based nonprofits Urban Design Forum and Van Alen Institute. This site will continue to be updated with additional designs and strategies from the Neighborhoods Now working groups over time. Detailed reports from each group, posted on the Urban Design Forum and Van Alen Institute websites, provide full context for each resource and greater insight into this collaborative, community-led process.

The Back Pack Project support people experiencing homelessness throughout The Greater Victoria Region this fall and winter.

Housing and homelessness

Contributions will help bring warmth and hope and dignity to marginalized people

A community bulletin board in Nanaimo features stories and artwork by homeless creatives, along with news, announcements and a map of local services, the bulletin board is a point of information and connection for those without internet access.

Housing and homelessness

The Word On The Street bulletin board is also a place for important news and community announcements, accessible 24-7 in the bookstore window. People without access to the internet can find weekly headlines, jokes and a map of local services. Community agencies can submit program updates or information on events and opportunities, to be added to the display. Send your announcements to streetword@literacycentralvi.org, tell your clients about this resource and stop by to check out the board! Literacy Central Vancouver Island, 19 Commercial Street, downtown Nanaimo.

Moving Hope is a not-for-profit to help people experiencing homelessness

Fundraising and volunteering | Housing and homelessness | Public health

A team of some 50 volunteers have been putting together hygiene kits and distributing them every night to the growing number of people sleeping in encampments and on Toronto’s streets

Edmonton Entrepreneurs Making a Difference

Food | Local businesses | Main Street

Independently owned restaurants, service businesses, retailers, tour operators and experience providers have continued to make Edmonton a place to be proud of, even when business could no longer operate as usual. In fact, many of Edmonton’s trailblazing entrepreneurs have found a way to give back to the community while working to keep their local businesses afloat during these uncertain times. Read on to learn more about the inspiring Edmontonians behind local businesses, and how they are stepping up through creative thinking and a spirit of community. Click here for even more entrepreneurs who are making a difference.

More than a Pub is a program providing business development support to enable the community control of pubs in both rural and urban communities across England.

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Main Street

Want to take ownership of your local pub and run it for the benefit of the community? Need help getting it into community hands? Funded by Power to Change and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and led by the Plunkett Foundation, the More than a Pub programme has taken over 800 enquiries and supported 58 pubs in to community control. During the covid-19 lockdown the MTAP programme provided small grants to around half of the community pubs in England.

A new collective is helping to make Nova Scotia’s brewing industry more diverse and inclusive.

Food | Local businesses | Main Street

The Change is Brewing Collective aims to give people who are underrepresented in the sector a voice, and help those interested in making beer enter the industry. Half of the proceeds from the Blackberry Freedom beer will be donated to the Blxckhouse, a North Preston-based youth program, and the YMCA on Gottingen Street in Halifax.

In BC, the Province is temporarily allowing restaurants and pubs to purchase beer, wine and spirits at wholesale cost instead of liquor store retail prices

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership

The temporary authorization will remain in effect until March 31, 2021. A provincial review of the program during this temporary reform will help government determine the financial costs and benefits of the change.

Results from surveys of Montreal’s pedestrian streets and “pandemic tracks” show that residents are in favour

Local businesses | Main Street | Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership | Street activation

The City conducted a web survey & also randomly interviewed people in the street. The “pandemic tracks”, these protected cycle paths installed on major arteries in the city, have garnered a very high level of support to the tune of 80%+, despite demonstrations by businesses in some spots. The pedestrianization of certain commercial arteries for the summer period was also greatly appreciated, shows the same survey – between 74 to 83%.This includes the allowances made so that restaurant owners could enlarge their terraces to enable more outdoor seating. 

The City of Chicago’s 2020 Winter Dining Challenge: the 60 Innovative Designs

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership

A jury evaluated the submissions based on feasibility, accessibility, health considerations, material and installation costs, inclusivity, climate comfort, sustainability, and flexibility. A key design principle is making sure the finalists are not only scalable for large and small establishments, but also cost effective for businesses already struggling from the impact of the pandemic. Running a restaurant in the time of COVID requires creativity and consistency to keep everyone healthy. Still, a willingness to pivot and try new off-premise options will help operators execute these restaurant innovations for COVID and stay afloat.

City of Chicago’s Fall & Winter COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Guidance

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | physical distancing

The City of Chicago has prepared a one page guidance document for restaurants and bars to continue operating outdoors safely and responsibly.

Toronto After the First Wave: Measuring Urban Vibrancy in a Pandemic is a student research project looking to document the urban experience in Toronto beyond the first wave of the pandemic in Fall 2020.

General: Sector resources | Recovery

Over the next 2 months, Toronto After the First Wave: Measuring Urban Vibrancy in a Pandemic will track the continuing impacts of COVID-19 on the city and Toronto’s road to recovery with respect to public health, prosperity and public life.

Jersey City Parklet Program includes a downloadable parklet guide with detailed specifications that can be used in other locales

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Public health

Jersey City has worked with the business and residential communities to install temporary parklets throughout the City. To aid local businesses during COVID-19, Jersey City has expanded its Parklet Program by allowing restaurants to apply for parklets to expand outdoor seating. If you are interested in installing a parklet in the parking space in front of your business, please review the Jersey City Parklet Guide and submit an application.  To view the parklets installed in 2020, please refer to our online map. To learn more about the City’s efforts to help local businesses, please visit www.jcnj.org/reopens.

PlaceMakers Pandemic Response Compendium

General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Main Street | Public health | Street activation | physical distancing

A crowdsourced google document that compiles policy, zoning, design, toolkits, & other interventions to support public health & economic recovery. Managed by Hazel Borys hazel@placemakers.com, Scott Bernstein scottbernsteintoo@gmail.com & Jason Syvixay syvixayjason@gmail.com

The Power of Place Covid City Stories

General: Online communities and networks | Public health

A page dedicated to our collective response to Covid’s impact on the public realm and public life, including writings and a “podcast” – #CovidCityStories – a curated collection of audio stories from citymakers all over the world. Find out more about our initiative and record your audio stories of life in the trenches of this pandemic from the lens of a citymaker.

Montreal setting aside $400,000 for urban design and cultural activities in a bid to lure visitors downtown

Arts and Culture | Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Recovery | Street activation | physical distancing

Measures include:

  • Several public spaces will be redesigned in keeping with health guidelines, with 1,000 low-cost parking spaces made available at Complexe Desjardins and Palais des congrès to entice drivers.
  • Seven large terrasses and public squares will be set up at locations such as Jardins du Centre St-Jax, Place d’Youville and the corner of St-Laurent and René-Lévesque Blvds.
  • Pop-up performances — from live music to circus acts and mobile cabaret — will take place on weekends in various locations from Thursday through Oct. 15. More than 150 artists will be involved in giving roughly 200 surprise performances.
  • Discounts on various attractions, hotels and restaurants will be offered via the mtl.org website.

A restaurant in St. Jacobs, ON is using domes on their outdoor patio to keep patrons warm and physically distanced for colder weather

Local businesses | Main Street | physical distancing

Patrons are confined within a social bubble inside of the dome. Each dome can hold up to eight people and no mixing of social bubbles are allowed.

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