As Canada makes progress in the fight against COVID-19, Canadians are looking forward to returning to community spaces. To keep residents safe and healthy, support economic recovery, create jobs, and build vibrant, resilient communities, local governments and community partners across the country are adapting their spaces and services..

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, joined Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Melanie Thomas, Vice President of Community Foundations of Canada, Mary W. Rowe, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, to announce projects from the first round of funding and launch a second round of funding under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. Also in attendance were Will Amos, Member of Parliament for Pontiac, John McDonnell, Executive Director at Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Ottawa Valley Chapter, and Kolade Kolawole-Boboye, Founding Member and Director of Alumni Youth at Hope Blooms. 

The two projects being announced today are part of the over 250 projects receiving funding in the first round of the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. Federal funding of almost $24,000 will support the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society project will help build a 30 km trail linking Grande Chute on the Dumoine River to the Ottawa River to create a lasting community infrastructure and space for hiking. The Hope Blooms project will create a playground and accessible seating area in Murray Warrington Park for youth, families, and seniors to enjoy. Federal funding of $40,000 will support this project through the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative.

The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31-million investment to build safer spaces and ensure a higher quality of life for people across the country, by helping communities adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19. 

The second round of funding for the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative opens today. Applicants can apply for funding ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 for eligible projects, within an overall envelope of $31 million in federal government funding. Local governments and a variety of community-led organizations are eligible to apply, including charities, Indigenous communities, and registered non-profit organizations. Organizations interested in submitting an application are encouraged to visit healthycommunitiesinitiative.ca to learn more about the program, eligibility criteria and how to apply. Organizations can also register to attend information sessions on the program. 

The application period for the second round of funding will close on June 25, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Quotes

“Local communities are on the front lines of the pandemic and best understand their needs. I’m excited to announce federal funding for community-driven projects across the country, like the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society project to build a 30 km trail linking Grande Chute to the Ottawa River that residents can hike and enjoy. Today we’re launching a second intake and we’re inviting organizations to submit innovative community-based projects that will help adapt during COVID-19 and into the future — from outdoor art installations to pop-up farmers markets. The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting local projects across the country that that create jobs and build more inclusive communities.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The staggering number of applications received during the first in-take of the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative demonstrates how excited local communities are to bring joy back to our streets in safe and creative ways. Projects like the Hope Blooms Murray Warrington Park Playground here in Halifax. With the application period for the second round now open, I encourage community leaders from across municipalities, local governments, grassroots organizations, Indigenous communities, and the not-for-profit sector to submit their innovative projects that keep residents safe and build prosperous, vibrant, and pandemic-resilient communities.”

Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“I am pleased that the Government of Canada, through the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative, is a partner in the creation of a trail linking Grande Chute on the Dumoine River to the Ottawa River. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much people enjoy nature, and the need for public spaces that provide connections to the outdoors. This community infrastructure will benefit current and future generations, as well as adding another tourist attraction in the Pontiac region and western Quebec.”

Will Amos, Member of Parliament for Pontiac

“The Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting community-led organizations across Canada to bring people together in our communities both in person and digitally, while respecting public health measures. These projects show us the creativity and resourcefulness of communities as they create temporary and longer-lasting solutions that enable people to connect and access public spaces safely.” 

Andrea Dicks, President, Community Foundations of Canada

“The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is broadening our understanding of what infrastructure truly is and can be: better and more equitable ways for people to connect, problem-solve, and create community-led places for everyone. Congratulations to all who were funded in Round One! The incredible response to the program from across Canada demonstrates how willing Canadians are to partner and work together for the benefit of their communities. Round Two presents another opportunity for organizations to submit projects that will help communities emerge from the pandemic more resilient, more accessible and more vibrant.”

Mary W. Rowe, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute 

Quick facts

  • The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative was created to help communities adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and create safe ways for residents to access services and enjoy the outdoors. The Initiative is designed to fund eligible projects that fall under three main themes: creating safe and vibrant public spaces, improving mobility options, and digital solutions.
  • Community Foundations of Canada was selected through an open call for applications to implement a national project. Together with its partners, including the Canadian Urban Institute, it is working with pan-Canadian networks to manage the funding process and serve the distinct needs of communities across Canada, including equity-seeking groups interested in applying.
  • The first intake for projects was launched on February 9, 2021 and closed on March 9, 2021. Successful projects from the first intake will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • The second intake will open on May 14, 2021, and close on June 25, 2021. Applicants wishing to apply for the second round can access further details on the Community Foundations of Canada website.

Media contacts

Chantalle Aubertin, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Jacqueline Reid, Communications Manager, Community Foundations of Canada

  • 647-901-5225
  • jreid@communityfoundations.ca

Media Relations, Infrastructure Canada