Facade grant program

Suburbs

Our downtown is always a hub of activity. Workers, shoppers and visitors fill our streets daily, rushing to and from meetings; enjoying time with family and friends at our many restaurants; or looking for unique gifts for the special people in their lives.

With that much traffic in our core, downtown businesses want to make a positive first - and lasting - impression. Our façade-improvement grant program can help.

We provide financing to eligible downtown property owners and tenants who want to make street-oriented building façade improvements. Grants are only considered for proposals that offer:

  • High-quality storefront and façade design.
  • High quality signage.
  • Preservation and enhancement of upper-storey facades.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a grant, a property must be located within the Downtown Community Improvement Area, with commercial uses on the ground floor.

Each grant application must:

If the total value of all grant applications exceeds the amount of funding available, the applications will be rated based on predetermined criteria. The applications that receive the highest scores will be eligible to receive a grant.

Our criteria includes, but is not limited to:

  • Quality of design,
  • Quality of materials used, and
  • Improved exterior lighting.

All successful grant applications will also be subject to the terms and conditions of our Downtown Community Improvement Plan.

Eligible work

There are a number of permitted ways you can use your façade-improvement grant, including:

  • Repainting, cleaning or re-facing of façades.
  • Repair or restoration of façade masonry, brickwork or wood.
  • Replacement, repair or restoration of cornices, eaves, parapets and other architectural features.
  • Replacement or repair of windows.
  • Entrance modifications that improve the appearance and/or access to the commercial units.
  • Redesign and reconstruction of the store front.
  • Installation of appropriate new signage or improvements to existing signage.
  • Installation or repair of canopies and awnings.
  • Installation or repair of exterior lighting.
  • Restoration of historic features.

Financial details

Our façade-improvement grants are subject to funding availability, and issued upon the completion of the proposed work.

The value of a grant cannot exceed 50 per cent of the total cost of the eligible work. In other words, if your grant application is approved, we may pay up to half of the total cost of your project.

Eligible downtown property owners and merchants/business owners are eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000 per street address or storefront. A property or storefront cannot receive more than $10,000 under this program within a five-year period.

Buildings with multiple storefronts or street addresses are eligible for grants of up to $30,000; while buildings on corner lots, where façade improvements are proposed on both frontages, are eligible for grants of up to $20,000.

A maximum of 10 per cent of the façade grant may be used toward soft costs, such as design fees.

Pre-application meeting

Before applying for a façade-improvement grant, we highly recommended you meet with us to ensure your application:

  • Meets our related policies and guidelines, and
  • Will receive a high evaluation score.

To arrange a meeting, please contact us

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