Downtown Kitchener is a hub of activity, and downtown businesses want to make a lasting impression on visitors. Our façade grant program can help.

Apply online

On this page:

  1. About the grant program
  2. Application
  3. Eligibility
  4. Eligible work
  5. Funding

About the grant program

We offer grants to eligible downtown property owners and tenants who want to make street-facing building façade improvements.

We only consider proposals that offer:

  • high-quality storefront and façade design
  • high quality signage
  • preservation and enhancement of upper-storey façades

Application

Before applying for a façade-improvement grant, we recommend that you review the information on this page and the application to ensure your application:

  • meets our related policies and guidelines
  • includes all necessary documentation
  • will receive a high evaluation score

Apply online

If you have any questions, send us an email or call 519-741-2200, ext. 7197.


Eligibility

To be eligible for a grant, a property must be located within the Downtown Community Improvement Area, with commercial (retail, restaurant or dining, services) 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
  • improved exterior lighting

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


Eligible work

You can use your façade improvement grant in these ways:

  • 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 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

Funding

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

If your grant application is approved, we may pay up to half (50%) 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. 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% of the façade grant may be used toward soft costs, such as design fees.