The leaders of the two provinces hit hardest by COVID-19 are due to meet during a two-day summit next week to discuss how they can work together to rebuild their economies while preparing for a possible second wave of the coronavirus.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford will host Quebec's Francois Legault on Sept. 8 and 9 in Mississauga, just west of Toronto.

Ford says that as Canada's two largest provinces -- and the "economic heart" of the country -- it's important that Ontario and Quebec collaborate.

"While the path to economic recovery won't be easy, we don't have to go it alone," Ford said in a statement announcing the summit. "Our provinces must now work together at this critical juncture to help drive the country forward."

Legault noted that the provinces must also prepare for the spread of COVID-19 to pick back up in the fall and winter -- cold and flu season.

"We have a lot to learn from each other and collaboration between our governments will remain critical as we strive to recover our economies safely while preparing ourselves for a potential second wave," he said in the statement.

Prominent cabinet ministers from both governments, including health, economy and finance ministers, will also take part in multiple meetings during the event.

Together, Ontario and Quebec account for more than 80 per cent of Canada's roughly 130,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, compared to representing 61 per cent of the country's population.

On Thursday, Quebec reported 187 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total in that province to 62,933, including 5,767 deaths and 55,615 patients who had recovered.

Ontario reported another 132 cases, for a total of 42,686 confirmed cases, with a death toll of 2,812. It had marked 38,625 cases as resolved.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2020.