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

St. John Ambulance medical first responder volunteers are among those supporting the COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Fort St. John.

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

Volunteers have also been giving their time at clinics in Quesnel and Terrace. St. John Ambulance says it will continue to volunteer at clinics over the coming weeks.

Volunteers from PinkCars.ca are helping seniors book and get to their COVID-19 vaccinations

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

PinkCars.ca mobilizes volunteers with cars to help take the guesswork out of the vaccination process for seniors, helping them not only book their appointments online or over the phone but shuttle them to and from vaccination clinics throughout the year. Rides are available to seniors 70+.

Given the current rate of vaccines in York Region, the need for drivers is expected to surge come June as second dose appointments arrive.

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit uses retired nurses, paramedics, administrative professionals, and other community members as volunteers at vaccine clinics

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

Approximately 239 volunteers are working at mass immunization clinics across the region, who health officials say have put in more than 2,000 hours since the first site opened in Niagara Falls on March 18.

The tourism & hospitality industry is supporting B.C. immunization efforts with staff

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

A new partnership will employ more than 1,400 tourism and hospitality workers in mass vaccination clinics — creating hundreds of jobs for B.C.’s hard-hit tourism, hospitality and sport sectors. Municipal venue owners are also helping operate some clinics with contributions of staff, furniture and supplies.

Guelph and Wellington Volunteers is organizing opportunities related to volunteers needed to support vaccination clinics

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

The Rotary Club of Haliburton is looking for volunteers to help vaccination clinics operate smoothly and efficiently.

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

Beginning Monday, April 12 the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit [HKPRDHU] will run clinics three times per week in Haliburton – on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. These clinics have been scheduled until mid-June and will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While the on-site medical staff will be provided and scheduled by public health, there is still a “great need” for community volunteers to assist with tasks such as screening patients, escorting patients to their seats, cleaning and dismissing people after they have been given their vaccination.

The Montréal West Island IUHSSC is recruiting volunteers to help the vaccination team at the Dollard-St-Laurent Sports Centre in LaSalle

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

We need your help to make sure that this unprecedented undertaking runs as smoothly as possible!

Rotary Club are looking for volunteers needed to help in the COVID vaccination clinics throughout Stratford/Huron/Perth

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

Volunteers must be residents of Huron-Perth.  Volunteers should be in good health, able to stand for a 3.5 hour shift, and able to wear a face mask. They will be provided with face masks, shields or goggles and given instructions before every shift. Please click on the city tab on your left in order to register as a volunteer. Do not forget to leave an email address so we can stay in touch. For more details on the volunteer roles and responsibilities  click here

Niagara Region Public Health thanks the 293 volunteers who have signed up to assist with COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives | Public health

The ability to run all of our mass immunization clinics across the region would not be possible without the help of all of our incredible volunteers, between the ages of 18 and 72, who have already put in over 2,000 hours at the clinics.

Since the first Public Health clinic opened in Niagara Falls on Mar. 18, volunteers have been greeting clients, helping them navigate through the clinic space, and going above and beyond to help ensure the clinics are run as smoothly as possible.

Peel Region is looking for volunteers to help with vaccination clinics, telephone companion programs and other initiatives

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives | Seniors | Social isolation

Mass vaccination clinic support: Volunteers can play a part in ending the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting vaccination clinics for the public. Volunteers provide non-clinical support at various clinic locations in Peel. If you’re a people person and are ready to work in a fast-paced clinic environment, this may be the role for you.

Telephone companion programs. As part of the Peel Region’s COVID-19 response efforts we’re seeking volunteers to assist our seniors in the community to ensure they receive the support they need. Show your passion for helping your community during this difficult time by volunteering as a telephone companion.

 

The Waterloo Region Vaccine Distribution Task Force has recruited COVID-19 Immunization Clinic volunteers.

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

The response from the community has been truly inspiring. Due to the level of interest, they are no longer accepting applications at this time. If you would like to be contacted about volunteer opportunities that may become available at a later date, please complete the interest form. For other volunteer opportunities available in our community, check out the Volunteer Action Centre Waterloo Region.

City of Toronto awards $5.5 million in COVID-19 Vaccine Engagement Teams Grants to local agencies for vaccine outreach in vulnerable communities

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

A key part of the Vaccine Engagement Teams’ work is recruiting 280 resident ambassadors – local and trusted leaders in communities across the city, who have on-the-ground relationships and networks in the neighbourhoods where they work and live. These multi-lingual ambassadors will work with community agencies to reach out and make connections in their areas, and provide information about and connections to vaccination options. They will be trained by behavioural scientists on information about COVID-19 vaccines, common vaccine concerns and other COVID-19 risk reduction strategies, and will act as local contacts for residents.

In Toronto, Rexdale Community Health Centre, Black Creek Community Health Centre and the United Way are partnering for a resident ambassador program to help with vaccine rollout.

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives | Fundraising and volunteering

This pilot combines trusted community ambassadors with local, accessible testing and on-site vaccination to get the word out, improve vaccine confidence and get people vaccinated. In fact, the City of Toronto’s newly announced COVID-19 Vaccine Engagement Teams Grants will build on this model. They will also be coordinating the vaccination efforts by leveraging the strength of our co-led community coordination tables that convene regional and municipal partners, and local community agencies, to understand needs on the ground and deliver a coordinated response.

Volunteers staff mass asymptomatic COVID-19 testing events for newcomers in Halifax

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

A unique COVID-19 testing site took place in Halifax with the regular swabs and materials — plus interpretive services for more than 200 languages. The first asymptomatic testing event for newcomers to Canada took place, hosted by Nova Scotia Health and the province alongside groups like the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, YMCA and Halifax Refugee Clinic.

Nova Scotia Health asymptomatic COVID-19 rapid-testing clinics have counted on massive numbers of volunteers

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

Almost everyone working at the sites is a volunteer, including the greeters, people at the registration desk, swabbers, and those who test the swabs and text out results are all volunteers. The rapid pop-up testing, relying on the help of non-experts, is the idea of Dr. Lisa Barrett, a Dalhousie University infectious disease specialist, physician, and researcher. There are about 1,500 volunteers on the list to help just at the downtown Halifax site, and these are happening all over NS.

 

Volunteer Toronto initiatives help Torontonians Get Vaccinated and Support Isolated Seniors

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives | Seniors

Volunteer Toronto is committed to enabling COVID-19 vaccinations with the support of volunteers in a safe, ethical and efficient manner. The safety of volunteers, and the clients they assist, is our number one priority. This news item will be updated as more information becomes available.

Are you an organization interested in engaging volunteers for vaccination support? Email [email protected]

Are you interested in supporting vaccination related efforts as a volunteer? Do you have healthcare experience? Sign up for our mailing list and be the first to hear about opportunities as they arise:

The City of Toronto has partnered with service providers to offer transportation services for people who need support to get to vaccination appointments.

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

Transportation options are available to people with disabilities, those 55 years old and older, and others who are frail or have underlying conditions which make them at greater risk from COVID-19 and/or render them unable to safely access other modes of transportation.

This program is intended for those who have no other options for transportation to vaccination appointments.

COMMUNITY -DRIVEN TESTING STRATEGIES FOR COVID -19 Informing an integrated approach for the hardest hit communities

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives | Public health

Health Commons has been working with partners in Toronto and Central Region communities hardest hit by COVID-19 to better understand the role of local response strategies as part of the recovery effort

Interviews with over 100 residents and community organizations offer insights about what’s driving the high rates of transmission in ‘hotspot’ communities and how healthcare partners can help This proposal outlines a proposed model for community-based COVID-19 response, including an integrated approach to testing that could be piloted in hotspot communities Core elements of the model were designed with the community.

Art Hives Network is a Montreal-based initiative that connects small and  regenerative  community art studios together to build solidarity across geographic distances. This effort seeks to strengthen and promote the benefits of these  inclusive, welcoming spaces across Canada, and throughout the world.

Arts and Culture | General: Online communities and networks

Also known as  ”public homeplaces,” these third spaces, create  multiple  opportunities for dialogue, skill-sharing, and art-making between  people of different socio-economic backgrounds, ages, cultures and abilities. Prior to COVID, Concordia was home to three buzzing Art Hives — spaces that facilitate connectivity and creative expression. The concept has now been taken online

Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program has launched a new website full of tools, case studies and other resources to assist municipalities meet climate goals.

General: Sector resources

PCP is a network consisting of 400 municipalities nationally that strive to take climate action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Build Back Victoria Supports Local Business and has been extended until October 2021

CUI x Victoria | Economic Recovery Plans | Local businesses | Main Street | Shop Local | Street activation

The spring and summer program will launch in early June and include new streetscape features and a pedestrian-priority zone. The timed daily closure will create inviting public space for pedestrians, cyclists and pedicabs in the afternoon and evening while still allowing for vehicle circulation, commercial pick-up and delivery functions. New loading zones and accessible parking stalls will also be installed on and adjacent to the corridor. Accessibility in flex spaces will also be a priority. New features include picnic tables and benches, planters and flowers, gateway improvements, signage and playable street elements like public seating that doubles as performance platforms. These treatments advance Council’s strategic objective for creating a pedestrian-priority Government Street and will inform the longer-term streetscape design. Learn more victoria.ca/bizresources

The Local is keeping a weekly progress updates on vaccination efforts in the Greater Toronto-Area’s highest-risk neighbourhoods.

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives

If the intention is to vaccinate the highest risk neighbourhoods first, then there is a need for more real-time, dynamic prioritization. This requires some understanding of a neighbourhood’s propensity for COVID infections (based on cumulative cases per capita), as well the degree of protection it has from the virus (percent of residents vaccinated). Scatterplots are included. The best use of an incremental dose of available vaccine is in moving postal codes in the upper left to the right as quickly as possible. That will avoid the most infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. As new data are released by ICES each week, the blog will be updated to help track these moving targets.

Black on the Prairies: A CBC project

Arts and Culture | Learning and education

What does it mean to be Black in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba? The Prairies, like the rest of the country, were gripped by the rallying cry of “Black Lives Matter.” That conversation revealed a mutual desire to share the fullness of Black life on the Prairies. These stories are vital and urgent, especially during what the United Nations has labelled the International Decade for People of African Descent.This project does not position the Prairies as Black ancestral territory or homelands. To be Black on the Prairies is to be part of a colonial legacy that begins on the ancestral lands of the First Nations and Métis people of this region. We aim to recognize Black and Indigenous peoples’ shared histories and affirm our ongoing relationships. Through five themes — MigrationPutting in WorkBlack and Indigenous RelationsPolitics and Resistance, and Black to the Future — this project places Black people’s experiences at the centre of the Prairie narrative.

AfterCovid.City is an event and platform to bring together a city with broad experience in leading urban transformation and a pan-European network of urbanists. Will explore the night-time economy and safe nightlife

Arts and Culture | Local businesses | Main Street

A festival that celebrates social proximity in times of physical distance and reclaims the role of cities, places and people to shape a post-covid world for the better. AfterCovid.City is a hybrid distributed festival from Barcelona to Europe and beyond. A co-created charter on public space for recovery, powered by Barcelona and the other partner cities and institutions.

A place for discussion, collaboration and learning where we can shape possible futures together.

50+ roundtables, webinars and conferences.

A global research about public space and cities during covid.

New pop up park in downtown Edmonton in a former parking lot

Local businesses | Street activation

A new pop-up park is taking root downtown! Enjoy the fresh spring air at Root 107 – an inclusive public space filled with colourful mural art, greenery, and unique seating areas made from recycled materials. Grab some takeout at one of the neighbouring restaurants or food trucks and enjoy in the sunshine!

Affordable housing secured by the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust Community-driven acquisition of at-risk property made possible with innovative financing solution

Housing and homelessness

The Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT) and the Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB) today announced the acquisition of an at-risk low-rent residential building containing 36 apartments in Parkdale, Toronto in an effort to help protect the area’s affordable rental stock. With this acquisition the land trust has grown its community ownership in the area from 15 to 51 units of affordable rental housing – equivalent to a 240% increase.

UK accelerator Connected Places Catapult has launched a guide to jumpstart the UK’s economic recovery

Local businesses

Hubs of Innovation: A playbook for place leaders was created in collaboration with the UK Innovation Districts Group, with research led by The Business of Cities and is designed for place-leaders, anchor institutions and larger stakeholders who play key roles in the innovation sector. The report provides guidance to those at different stages of maturity in developing innovation hubs and draws on best practices from existing hubs such as MediaCityUK in Salford, the Belfast Innovation District, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London and the Knowledge Quarter in Liverpool.

The City of Toronto has approved the development of non-police crisis response teams

Indigenous | Mental health | Policy leadership

The City will introduce pilot projects that will pave the way for responding to the thousands of mental health-related crisis calls in Toronto. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/04/25/toronto-approved-non-police-crisis-response-teams-this-woman-is-trying-to-build-them.html

The City of Calgary has approved an initial $200 million for a new downtown plan

CUIxYYC (Calgary) | Downtown | Economic Recovery Plans | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Shop Local | Street activation

Downtown must transform towards a more balanced mix of residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism, and culture. The City and its downtown partners must make the bold moves required to shift from vacancy to vibrancy. An initial investment of $200 million is focused on areas that will start to lower office vacancy, improve downtown vibrancy, and support the development of thriving neighbourhoods that attract residents, visitors, and talent for downtown’s businesses

City of Toronto partners with Vaccine Hunters Canada to help residents quickly find available vaccine appointments at City-run clinics

COVID testing/vaccination initiatives | Policy leadership

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