The Commercial Façade and Property Improvement Grant Program is now accepting applications. The Commercial – Industrial Façade and Property Improvement Program provides funding to commercial and industrial property owners to redesign, renovate or restore commercial or industrial building façades.
Deadline: May 6.
The program helps to improve the appearance of a building’s façade, enhancing neighbourhood streetscapes and providing a more welcoming environment in which to work, shop and live.
Some FAQs by the City:
Q1. Will the City consider grant applications for improvements to curb lane patios?
A1. While we did consider, we decided that improvements to curb-side patios or any patios on any public lands will not be considered as they are temporary in nature and would not fall within the intent of the Community improvement Plan (CIP) provisions of the Planning Act.
Q2. Will the City consider grant applications for interior improvements to buildings?
A2. The City is currently considering this as a way of property owners and businesses to meet improved public health standards and as a way to encourage the leasing of vacant space as we begin to emerge from COVID. However, this would require amendments to the CIP by-law relating to the program and would need to pass a “public interest test” as required under the Planning Act. We expect to report out on this later this year. There has to be a compelling public interest case to consider this as municipalities are not allowed to offer tax dollars to private business outside of the CIP provisions in the Planning Act. EDC believes there is a public interest to at least consider this but require advice from City Planning and City Legal.
Q3. Will the City consider permanent patio improvements on private property?
A3. The current guidelines were amended a few years ago to address this issue. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 sets out eligible improvements. The last bullet refers to:
• Other site and exterior building improvements as agreed to by the General Manager of Economic Development and Culture
The City will therefore allow permanent patio improvements on private property (already established or not) provided they are visible from the street i.e., not rear patios to be eligible. All other program eligibility requirements apply.