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Rural / Remote

Use community buildings, such as town halls and legions, to host activities involving eating meals together. Many parks and beaches have picnic tables and barbecue pits that can be used.

Residences (Dwellings)

Use common spaces in apartment buildings to host activities. Use the hallways on each floor to set up a table and chairs for all to join or have an apartment “open house” where people can pop into a different apartment for different food options.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

Ask neighbours from different countries to host a cooking lesson. Many community/recreation centres have kitchens and multi-purpose rooms for low-cost rentals.  Invite food trucks with multicultural food offerings. Create a free food pantry near a library, bus stop or other well attended space.


If hosting an outdoor event, make sure picnic tables, for example, extend at one or both ends for wheelchairs to fit. Be sure that portable food pantries have handles that can open easily. Be sure that, if needed, food tours are on paved or flat surfaces free of hazards and loose gravel.


Encourage the youngest and the oldest members of the neighbourhood to participate. Younger children can operate a lemonade stand while adults teach other generations about different ways of preparing popular foods from scratch.


Outdoor eating can apply any time of the year. Use trees or umbrellas for shade, or portable, propane firepits to combat cold. Obey fire regulations and fire ban orders.

Falling Fruit Map

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Don’t let nature’s bounty go to waste! A falling-fruit map can point people toward fruit-bearing trees and where you can find them. Then organize a neighbourhood walk to collect what’s in season! Or organize a group to collect fruit (fallen or low hanging) in your community. The produce can be donated to a local food bank. Some groups make and sell or donate jams and spreads from the fruit they collect. Or pick with your children and grandchildren and make jams to give as gifts.

Lemonade Stand or Bake Sale

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It seems like a simple idea, but setting up a lemonade stand or baked goods table that people can walk/wheel/cycle to can help people in places where stores are very far away. It’s also a great learning experience for kids and a fun way to meet your neighbours! Lloydminster, Alberta participates in National Lemonade Day, which features a toolkit that helps kids become lemonade-stand entrepreneurs. Through Startup Canada, they bought lemonade stands that kids could borrow to start their business! Home-made dog biscuits are also great sellers!

Make it more active – At the lemonade stand, consider putting out some lawn games that people can try. If the stand is near a driveway, leave out some chalk to create hopscotches (or have them pre-drawn for use) or put up a portable pickleball net. Put out brochures or flyers promoting local physical activity opportunities, such as the recreation guide or a local walking or outdoor group.

Picnic in the Park / Cookout With Your Neighbours


Gathering with friends and neighbours in your local park is a fun way to enjoy the space. Take advantage of picnic shelters and on-site BBQs where available, or bring the equipment you need to enjoy cooking and dining al fresco! Establish a bring-your-own-dishes policy to cut down on paper and plastic plates and utensils.

Make it more active – Organize some retro games, such as three-legged or potato-sack races; bring some scoop ball sets, giant yard games (e.g., giant Jenga, checkers), Twister: organize a scavenger hunt.

Driveway Dinner (Breakfast, Lunch, Celebrations)


Organize a driveway gathering, in any season, that brings neighbours, their chairs (but they walked to get there), and some food together to socialize. Check out Front Yard Friday, Back Lane Barbeque and Pancake Party for other ideas.

Make it more active – Put some high tables out that people can stand around (but have chairs for when they get tired), designate and decorate an area for bike parking (and invite people to cycle over).

Spaghetti Wednesday or Souper Sunday


In Burlington, Ontario, it is now a tradition to gather one Wednesday a month for a spaghetti dinner. One of the neighbours cooks a big pot of spaghetti, neighbours walk or cycle over and people eat and run or stay and chat. In Lloydminster, Alberta, neighbours serve soup on Sunday.

Make it more active – As with Driveway Dinner, invite people to walk, wheel, rollerblade or cycle to the event and welcome them with a decorated spot for their equipment. If you have time (or kids), decorate the route that many will walk with chalk foot prints and active instructions (e.g., do 10 jumping jacks here) and/or draw differently themed hopscotches along the way.

Coffee (Bike)Truck

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Have you ever considered operating a coffee truck from your bicycle? A camp stove, kettle and some coffee can make you the neighbourhood barista! Get creative with your setup and invite your neighbours to walk over for a cup. Check out Coffee Bike Canada for information to give you some ideas’.

Partake in or Start a Historical Tour With Food

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Historical tours can take many forms and feature unique or mundane areas where you live. Investigate food tours in your area or think about starting your own tour of the places and perhaps the food that you love in your neighbourhood, like those that appear on TripAdvisor.

Vancouver’s Chinatown is the epicentre of many cultural tours which showcase the historic neighbourhood design, culture, marchitecture, and food.

Neighbourhood Free Pantry

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Little Free Pantry sites are focused on keeping our neighbours—and neighbourhoods—nourished by both giving and receiving food. Add a variety of recipe cards and coupons to make the project more useful and welcoming.

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Make it more active – Add some physical activity ideas to the recipe cards. Use ideas from this Tactical Guide or check out Exercise and Physical Activity Ideas and Canada’s 24-hour Movement Guidelines. Put out physical activity resources and/or brochures of local groups promoting physical activity and sport.

Food Truck Frenzy


Consider hiring food trucks for an event or following your favourite food trucks on social media and organizing a gathering near their location. Here is more information on starting your own food truck.

Make it more active – After meeting at and enjoying the offerings of the food trucks, lead a group walk or bike ride around the area.

Mobile Produce Market


A mobile produce market can provide access to fresh food without a whole grocery store of costs, while encouraging urban farming, accessibility, and equity.

Make it more active – Ask people to donate gently used physical activity equipment, active toys, or clothing and deliver an item along with the food parcel.

Republic of Super Neighbours / République des Hyper Voisins


Join the revolution of neighbours coming together to dine on the streets in a display of community and sociability. Set up foldable tables and chairs and enjoy a community potluck meal. Check out the Paris example to learn more about the benefits of gathering as neighbours and how this can be done.

Make it more active – Add a healthy serving of physically active games for kids of all ages and use sidewalk chalk to create some of the ideas found in the Gamify section of this Tactical Guide.

Quick Tips and Ideas

  • A number of resources exist that can help you identify healthier food choices such as Canada’s Food Guide and the Healthier Food and Beverage Guidelines for Public Events.
  • Organize a pick-your-own day to bring people together in rural areas.
  • Host a multi-cultural shared meals (outdoor or indoor) week.
  • Host a herb walk/wheel (individual leads a walk through the trail to identify edible plants) or plant a front-yard herb patch with a “pick some for dinner” sign.
  • Host healthy Halloween for adults.
  • Organize a community food shopping day.
  • Host a potluck or bring-your-own picnic.
  • Coordinate community cooking classes — share the creations.
  • Create a healing garden and quiet spots to help those dealing with anxiety and stress, including traditional Indigenous plants such as sage.
  • Teach neighbours how to freeze and preserve food and leftovers.
  • Collect food that may otherwise be thrown away by restaurants and grocery stores for food banks, homeless shelters, and neighbourhood free pantries.
  • Host Lunch ‘n Learn sessions with food and refreshments provided.
  • Share your garden’s bounty with neighbours; organize a veggie swap.
  • Host a picnic, snack, or meal before or after physical activity programs. This benefits those participating in the program and may also encourage those coming for the picnic to watch, consider participating, or at the very least, stay socially connected.