COVID-19 is changing the way we feed ourselves and how food reaches our table.

While we are all trying to avoid in-store shopping, the vulnerable may not feel they can safely leave their home, for any reason.

Online ordering demand has exploded, but the major chain stores' systems have not been able to meet demand and will not be able to in the next several months - for technical, supply chain and staffing reasons.

The Food "Supply Chains", which have different chains for retail grocers and restaurants/hotels, have seen the restaurant/hotel demand collapse - and have been struggling to get their food to consumers vs. throwing it out. An example is Dairy Farms throwing out milk as reported 2 weeks ago.

This is also hitting local Farmers hard, particularly with the uncertainty of if or when the City of Ottawa and private Farmers Markets will open in 2020. The Easter markets were cancelled

Food Option - online resources

How and where we source our food has is changing on an almost daily basis.

Online ordering from the major grocery outlets has quickly become unreliable. This is being realized by the Major Grocery chains and they are in the process of providing priority online and phone ordering for Seniors and those who are vulnerable

Based on how the food supply chain currently works and the state of online ordering design, this is not "fixable" in the next couple of months. What you can order varies from day-to-day. What is actually in your order when you pick up or have it delivered is unpredictable. In some cases, your order will be delayed without notice or even cancelled.

We suggest you consider leaving online ordering and delivery to those who need it most.

In-store shopping was chaotic in the days after "stay at home" was declared, but has been improving steadily.

If you take appropriate sanitation precautions and pick your day/time, in many cases, there are short line ups and few customers in-store. There are also tools to help you with wait times: COVID-19 - Supermarket Waiting Times

While store shelves are relatively full today, there are coming disruptions, such as meatpacking plants suspending operations due to COVID-19 infections in their workforce.

So be prepared.

There are increasing  options for food sources that should be considered, including direct from individual farms, food distributors, restaurant supply distributors and even restaurants - [coming article "Food Source Options in Kanata"]

Ordering Food Online or by Phone - new priority services for the vulnerable and seniors

Farmboy and Metro are rolling out (in next several days) online/phone ordering priority for those over 60 and for anyone who is vulnerable. Expect to see the other major grocers (Loblaws, Costco, Walmart, Sobeys) following in coming days

Metro, other grocers give priority e-commerce access to seniors, other vulnerable shoppers | Globe & Mail

Ordering Food Online for the rest of us - not ready for prime time

My family has been an occasional user of online food ordering in the last 2 years for pick-up from local grocery stores. In mid-March, we decided to become more regular users, ordering/pick-up from the online Loblaws website (which is PC-Express "under the hood"). The goal for our family was to minimize in-store shopping.

Booking pick-up/delivery time slots - not enough capacity

While it was easy to book a time slot in mid-March for pick-up 3 days later, by the following week, that had changed to 12+ days. Recently, Loblaws/PC Express has capped the number of days in advance that are available for booking time slots to 14 days, and new free slots disappear faster than online ticket sales for a rock concert.

It's clear that online food shopping from the major chains and from independent delivery (Instacart, inabuggy...) and the in-store capacity to fill online or phone orders are overwhelmed, as confirmed in recent articles:

 What you can order vs what is in stock - not easy to use and unreliable

Using PC Express as an example:

  • What is offered online is a fraction of what is available in-store. Finding specific items is difficult and time-consuming
  • What you can buy when ordering online appears to be limited what is in-stock at that time. For our order over the Easter weekend, they had no whole fresh chickens available, but several sizes of fresh and frozen turkeys, which I had not seen in prior weeks
  • Selecting an item shown in your online order does guarantee it on pick-up/delivery day
  • Independent Delivery organizations like Instacard, Inabuggy & HireMyHusband are all putting their own food pickers in-store, competing with in-store shoppers and the store's pickers
  • Items in your order available on the day of pick-up/delivery appear to be lower priority vs.stocking store shelves for in-store customers

As an example, with our latest order (April 17, 2020), we had several items dropped as unavailable. As a test, after pick-up in the store parking lot, I went immediately into the store:

  • I found 3 of the "unavailable" items on the shelf
  • Loblaws item substitution is limited on online orders, particularly on meat, fish and poultry
    • No substitute was offered for the "unavailable" fresh turkey I ordered. However, in-store they had a variety of fresh chickens.
    • They offered no substitute for the "unavailable" pork tenderloins, yet they had multiple pork loin roasts in-store available at $1.99/lb


If you are not "vulnerable" to infection, consider leaving online grocery shopping in the major grocery stores to the vulnerable who need home delivery and do in-store shopping once a week or more

Beware the potentially higher costs and no better order/delivery reliability than the store service for the independent delivery services

If you are buying for more than just your immediate family, explore other online/phone food sources. There are increasing options for pick-up and delivery for large orders for comparable cost and higher reliability [coming article "Food Source Options in Kanata"].

In-Store Shopping - Improving each Week

The first week or so after the official "Stay Home" message, in-store shopping was crowded, plus grocery stores and shoppers were not practicing safe distancing or sanitation.

For most of the major grocery chains, that has improved substantially. This includes:

  • Limiting the number of consumers in the store at the same time, with lines with distance markings of 2 m
  • In-store distancing marks when lining up for checkout
  • Wipe down of self-serve checkout regularly
  • Disinfecting carts for you or providing do-it-yourself disinfecting
  • One way arrows, particularly in narrow sections
  • Shields between you and the cashier

We've also tried different times of the day/week. It's relatively easy to find times where there are short wait times and responsible consumers in the store. Some recent examples:

  • Sunday about 3 pm
  • Monday through Wednesday, particularly from 6:30 pm to 8 pm

Then there are times which will be predictably busy, such as:

  • 11:20 am any day
  • 4 pm this past Friday, where the line went from 20 to 50 people in minutes

While there appeared to be "non-vulnerable" people using the "seniors and vulnerable" hour before general opening initially, we're hearing that has improved substantially.


  • Go when you know the store will be relatively empty. There are now store wait time tools such as COVID-19 - Supermarket Waiting Times, which does cover Ottawa & Kanata
  • Stay away from the largest stores. for example:
    • On April 21, 2020, @ 3 pm, the Walmart on Fernbank in Kanata/Stittsville had a 35-minute wait, while Loblaws Centrum had a 10-minute wait time
  • If you are uncomfortable with relying on physical distancing and washing hands, use a face mask, gloves and disinfectant wipes (take in a ziplock) and know how to use them
  • If you find the store or the consumer behaviour in-store is not safe for you, then leave your basket/cart and walk out

Other useful links

<online order/pickup/delivery options>

<stores and hours page>

This page has been created to be a resource for Facebook Groups or any other Social Media to provide a single location for daily updates, key web links and files on COVID-19 that doesn't get lost in the deluge of postings.

This resource has been created for the Beaverbrook Community, but as we live in Kanata North, within Ottawa, it covers information relevant across Ottawa.

If you see something that is incorrect, or missing, please let us know - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Mar 30
    • Neighbours Helping Neighbours - reaching those who need help

Daily Updates

Web Links

- Government of Canada

> Travel Advisories

> COVID-19 - Being prepared

> Self Assessment

- Ontario Government Public Health

- Ottawa Public Health

- Jenna Sudds (Kanata North Councillor)

> Daily Updates

> Key Contacts

> Volunteer/Need Help

 - COVID-19 Information

> WHO (World Health Organization) LINK

* Use of drugs to control fever (e.g. Ibuprofin)

> Medical Journals with COVID-19 content (no paywalls)

* The Lancet

* Journal of the American Medical Association

* New England Journal of Medicine

* British Medical Journal

* Annuls of Internal Medicine

* Canadian Medical Association Journal

> Other Resource pages

UK Coronavirus Handbook - Open Data/Source UK Resource page

 - Financial Information

> Personal

* Fed/Prov Personal Financial Support 27 Mar 2020

* Income cut off? Here's how to access the aid you need

* Summary of EI Changes due to COVID-19

* EI Application Quick Reference Guide

* Canada - Economic Response Plan

> Business

Canada Business App - smartphone app with detailed info for small business owners

 - COVID-19 Data and Analytics

> Maps and Visuals

* Univ of Minnesota - Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

* Financial Times (UK) - COVID-19 Analysis

* COVID-19 Canadian Outbreak Tracker

File Resources

  • COVID-19 Notices you can post on your door LINK
  • Door Hanger/Postcard to ask Neighbours if they need help LINK
  • Guidelines for how you can stop COVID-19 Transmission in your community LINK
  • Food and Pharmacy Online Ordering, Pickup and Delivery options - Kanata/Ottawa LINK
  • Champlain Health list of local grocery stores that deliver LINK

How You Can Help

Organizations looking for Volunteers


  • Food Banks - the immediate need is high and will only increase in coming weeks. Donating money is preferred as the Food Banks deal with Food Wholesalers at a substantial discount and the Banks can order exactly what they need.

Give Blood

Unfortunately, despite Blood Services Canada being VERY aware of COVID-19 and sanitation procedures, many regular blood donors are cancelling appointments. This is creating blood shortages which are becoming critical. So sign and give blood.

To donate immediately, sign up to donate at the Canadian Blood Services Donor Centre - 1575 Carling as they have daily appointments available.

Help Local Businesses & Employees

The impact on local business, particularly hotels, restaurants, pubs - anywhere where groups of people go - complete shutdown. If we don't support them, they won't be here after the crisis is over.

How can I help?

  • Buy local
  • Order online from grocers for pick up - avoids crowded food stores and ensures the store "pickers" are fully employed. This is the future of grocery shopping - so now is the time to get with the program. Food and Pharmacy Online Ordering, Pickup and Delivery options - Kanata/Ottawa
  • Invest in your favorite local business - If you don't need to buy now, buy a gift card for future use.The Kanata North BIA has set up a Shopify Site, which is open to local Kanata North Businesses to provide gift cards

Kanata North Buy Local Shopify Site

Help connect with our vulnerable community members who may need help and don't know where to turn.

  There may be 20%+ of our local community who are vulnerable to covid-19 and may need help

Many of them may not be well connected (or are new) to the community, may not have family near by and may not be tech-savvy, or if they are, it's only to email family and friends - so are missing the updates and ways they can get help.

While the City, Province and Federal Governments are doing their part, sometimes the most vital assistance has to be in-community - Neighbour to Neighbour.

Along with many other great ideas such as phoning or emailing your immediate neighbours, the idea of a postcard/door hanger you can leave on your Neighbour's door, in their mailbox or on their front step, provides a way for you to connect, without requiring a face to face discussion.

So in the spirit of creative swiping, we've created our own version of


Referenced by a number of particles, including:

Coronavirus: campaign launched offering help to those self-isolating

Here is the idea:

  1. Either edit the template (see below) to add your personal information (optional) and then print off copies OR print copies and fill in by hand
  2. Using the suggested technique either hang a copy on your neighbour's door handle or stuff a copy in their mailbox or under the door (apartment/condo), door jam and then (optional) politely knock or ring the doorbell and leave
  3. To avoid advertising that no-one is home at your neighbour's home, 2 or so days later retrace your steps and remove the any of the notices that are still visible (whether you have received a response or not)

Editable template:

We've created Microsoft Word editable file templates, which provides 4 per sheet door hangers/post cards per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, which you can cut into individual notes and either punch them with a hole punch and use a rubber band as a door hanger, as a hand out or as a postcard wedged under the door, into the door jamb or in the mail box

Files for download (Microsoft Word format):

The file can be edited, including adding your name, address, phone number (can add your email). Note we have given the recipient an alternate option of signing up with the volunteer/I need help registration page directly by email (with the help of their friends) or an email to the KBCA at our info@ email


The ideal paper would be business card stock thickness, but thicker paper or even "what ever you have" computer paper will do. A standard leather hole punch or 3 hole paper punch also works well. A rubber band looped through the hole makes a simple door hanger.


The lands at 1131 Teron Road have been sold and the new owner is proceeding with development with changes to the zoning, building details and land use. A development application was made on 6 Dec 2019.

The deadline for in initial comments is 20 Jan 2019.

There will be a Public Meeting, most likely in early February.

For more details see New Development Application for 1131 Teron

Call for Adults and Teens to maintain outdoor ice rinks in Beaverbrook.

There are volunteer and paid positions.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The City of Ottawa, through the KBCA, sponsors outdoor ice rinks at Stephen Leacock school (boarded rink for hockey, frozen “pond” for skaters) which are maintained by 1st Kanata Scouts.

The Scouts are looking for Adults, or Teens accompanied by an Adult, to be part of the rink maintenance team. Work includes helping with the setup of the rinks, removing snow (snow blower, shovels) and flooding the rink.

Work is done in teams of two. You need to commit to one shift per week, from 9PM to 10:30PM from December to March.

As a Maintainer, you have the option of doing this on a paid basis, or donating your time, in which case the funds go to 1st Kanata Scouts to sponsor families for membership and Scouting activities (e.g. camping).

Pay is based on the number of hours (shifts) you do at approx. $15/hour. Teens have the option of getting volunteer hours in exchange for donate their pay to 1st Kanata Scouts