Commercial Improvement Grants – 3 Available

The City of Toronto adopted By-law 836-2021 on October 4, 2021, with respect to the Toronto Community Improvement Plan for the city-wide Community Improvement Plan for the Renovation and Rehabilitation of Commercial and Industrial Properties. The purpose of the plan is to implement the following three matched-grant funding programs: 

  1. The Commercial Façade Improvement Program (for exterior facades) – Available Soon
  2. The Commercial Rehabilitation Grant Program (for internal renovations) – Now Available
  3. Commercial and Industrial Property Improvement Program (for improvements to exterior spaces associated with the property, such as CafeTO patios) – Now Available

See details below. Reach out to us if you have any questions

1. COMMERCIAL FAÇADE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM – Up to $17,000 in grant funding

Provides grants to commercial property owners and tenants for façade improvements. 

Eligible Improvements: 

To qualify for funding, eligible improvements must be visible from a public street, public laneway or publicly-accessed private laneway. Eligible improvements include the following exterior façade improvements:

  • Brick cleaning and restoration treatments
  • Re-pointing of brick masonry
  • Replacement of doors or windows
  • Replacement or repair of cornice, parapets and other architectural features
  • Installation or replacement of awnings or canopies
  • Installation and improvement of wall-mounted signage Installation or upgrading of exterior decorative or security lighting
  • Accessibility improvements which meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) design standards
  • Other facade improvements as agreed to by the General Manager of Economic Development and Culture or their designate.

Exterior painting costs (not including the painting of brick) may be covered as part of the eligible improvements listed above

Grant Amount

  • Commercial property owners and business tenants are eligible for a grant covering a maximum of 50% of the cost of eligible façade improvements.
  • The grant awarded will be based upon the lowest contractor estimate submitted with the application.
  • Applicants are eligible for a maximum base grant of up to $12,500 for eligible improvements.
  • Additional grant funding of up to $2,500 is available for exterior accessibility improvements which meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) design standards.
  • Multi-unit properties are eligible for additional grant funding of up to $2,500 per unit for each additional unit for which improvements are proposed to a maximum of $12,500.
  • Architectural, engineering, certified Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) specialist, and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) registered designer fees many be covered to a maximum of $2,000 per application as part of the base grant.
  • The minimum base grant amount is $2,500

This is a first-come, first-serve grant. Applications will likely open in February or March 2022. 

2. The Commercial Rehabilitation Grant Program – Up to $26,000 in grant funding

With the rise in commercial vacancies, diminished revenues, and the already high cost of operating a business, the Program would support rehabilitation and renovation of interior spaces, including leasehold improvements. Interior renovations to commercial main street properties can be complex and costly. The program provides matching grants of up to $20,000 for a range of improvements, including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, structural upgrades, and permanent enhancements to business premises visible to clients or customers. 

Eligible example projects;

  • Structural upgrades, interior light fixtures, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), plumbing, electrical, interior painting, flooring/ceiling/walls, permanently-affixed counters, merchandise displays, and accessibility improvements.
  • Architectural, engineering, certified Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) specialist and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) registered designer fees may be covered to a maximum of $2,000 per application as part of the base grant.
  • Multi-unit properties are eligible for additional grant funding of up to $4,000 per unit for each additional unit for which improvements are proposed, to a maximum of $20,000.
  • Additional grant funding of up to $4,000 is available for interior accessibility improvements which meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) design standards.
  • A minimum of three eligible improvements must be made to each unit.

Ineligible example projects;

  • Maintenance to fix broken windows, interior lighting or security systems, clean clogged plumbing, or replace ceiling panels.
  • Only one application for a business chain or any franchise organization is permitted.
  • Applications for work totalling less than $5,000 are ineligible.
  • The Program is not to cover maintenance costs of existing interior property elements.
  • Places of worship, institutional buildings, not-for-profit commercial buildings and residential buildings are ineligible for the Program.
  • Moveable furniture, window coverings, equipment, appliances, computers, IT expenses or elements such as tiling outside the front door are ineligible.
  • The grant is not retroactive; it has to be for upcoming work.

This is a first-come, first-serve grant. 

Deadline to apply: February 28, 2022, but all the funding will likely be expended long before the deadline.

Click here for more information and to apply. 

Note: There has been confusion with whether many of our businesses are eligible for this program – namely because the summary of the Program states that it is for “owners and tenants of vacant properties or properties at risk of becoming vacant.” The eligibility criteria require business and property owners to show proof of having “received funding from the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy program” as the indicator that you are “at risk of becoming vacant.” Therefore, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements, including being a recipient of the rent support subsidy (proof to be attached to the application), you should be able to apply.

3. The Commercial and Industrial Property Improvement Program – Up to $8,500 in grant funding

The program is available to owners and tenants of commercial and industrial properties in Toronto to improve the appearance and function of exterior spaces associated with the property – inc. patios. 

Grants cover one-half of the costs of eligible property or site improvements up to a maximum amount of $5,000 (based on a minimum of $10,000 of improvements). Funding can include patio improvements on private property and spaces on public property for which a valid permit has been issued – such as CafeTO patios. 

Eligible Improvements: 
To qualify for funding, eligible improvements must be visible from a public street, public laneway or publicly-accessed private laneway. Eligible improvements include the following exterior property and site improvements:

  • Permanent improvements to patio or cafe spaces on private property that serve a business use (excluding furnishings)
  • Café spaces on City property for which a valid permit has been issued
  • Installation and improvement of ground-mounted signage
  • Installation of lighting for on-site parking areas
  • Permanent on-site boulevard landscaping features (excluding plant material)
  • Fencing
  • Accessibility improvements which meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) design standards
  • Other property improvements as agreed to by the General Manager of Economic Development and Culture or their designate

Grant Amount

  • Commercial and industrial property owners and business tenants are eligible for a grant covering a maximum of 50% of the cost of eligible façade and property improvements. T
  • The grant awarded will be based upon the lowest contractor estimate submitted with the application.
  • Applicants are eligible for a maximum base grant of up to $5,000 for eligible improvements.
  • Additional grant funding of up to $2,500 is available for exterior accessibility improvements which meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) design standards.
  • Architectural, engineering, certified Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) specialist, and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) registered designer fees many be covered to a maximum of $1,000 per application as part of the base grant.
  • The minimum base grant amount is $1,000.

This is a first-come, first-serve grant. 

Deadline to apply: June 30, 2022, but all the funding will likely be expended long before the deadline.

Click here for more information and to apply. 

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