Community Improvement Incentive Programs
Planning and Design
A one-time grant of 50% to a maximum of $1,000.00 will be available toward the
cost of the preparation of architectural plans for building façade improvements.
The grant would be conditional on the architect being approved by the City to
ensure that the Façade Study and Design Guidelines are implemented.
In addition, a one-time grant of 50% (to a maximum of $1,000.00) will be
available toward the cost of the preparation of a site plan suitable for approval by
the City, in accordance with the Design Guidelines and the City’s standard site
These grants would be paid at 50% (to a maximum of $500.00) upon design
completion and the remaining funds shall be paid after completion of the project.
Building Façade Improvements
The City will provide a one-time grant of 50% (to a maximum of $5,000.00) of the
costs to assist commercial property owners to improve the building façade in
accordance with the Façade Improvement Study and the Urban Design
Guidelines. The grant would include building material, labour and professional
Improvements to each exterior side and rear of buildings, where the building
fronts onto a street, river or public area, will be eligible for a grant provided at
50% (to a maximum of $5,000.00) of the costs per exterior side or rear building
façade.Grants are payable upon completion of the work to the satisfaction of the City
based on the Façade Improvement Study and Design Guidelines.
A grant of 50% (up to a maximum of $1,000.00) will be available towards the cost
of replacing an existing sign that does not comply with the Urban Design criteria,
with a new sign that complies with the Façade Improvement Study and Design
Guidelines, including sign lighting.
Grants will be paid in equal installments over three years. The second and third
installments will only be available should the business/sign remain in the
Community Improvement Area.
Landscaping and Property Improvement
A grant of 50% (up to a maximum of $1,000.00) of the costs will be available for
improving the landscape between parking areas and the roadway; including
landscape materials, labour, and fencing. The grant will be payable upon
completion of the work to the satisfaction of the City.
Associated Assistance Programs
Where a property owner or business is undertaking improvements to lands and
buildings in accordance with the Façade Improvement Study and/or Design
Guidelines, the City will provide a grant equivalent to the cost of the normal
application fees for approved projects in accordance with the provisions of
Section 69 of the Planning Act and the City’s Tariff of Fees by-law.
- Site Plan Approval
- Minor Variance
- Building/Demolition Permit
The grant payment will only be issued once the City has inspected and approved
the completed work. The City will only approve work that has been completed in
keeping with the program guidelines, approved plans and by-laws. The Applicant
will be responsible for all mapping and registration costs where applicable.
Where a property owner or business is undertaking improvements to lands
and/or buildings in accordance with the Façade Improvement Study and Design
Guidelines, the City may provide a grant equivalent to the amount of the
applicable Development Charge for approved projects in accordance with the
City’s Development Charges by-law. The grant payment will only be issued once
the City has inspected and approved the completed work. The City will only
approve work that has been completed in keeping with the program guidelines,
approved plans and by-laws.
Property Tax Increment Assistance
Where property improvements are undertaken in a manner that implements the
Façade Improvement Study and/or the Urban Design Guidelines-where such
improvements have been approved by the City-result in an increased assessed
value of the property and therefore increased taxes, the City will provide a grant
equal to the amount of the property tax increases, as a result from the
development, for up to a maximum of three years from the date of the increase in
It is noted that the grant will be equal to the municipal portion of the increased
taxes that have resulted only from the property improvements that have been
undertaken in accordance with this Plan.
Participation in the Property Tax Increment Assistance program does not exempt
property owners from an increase/decrease in municipal taxes due to a general
tax rate increase/decrease or a change in assessment for any other reason. The
Property Tax Increment Assistance Program does not exempt property owners
from paying the education portion of the property tax.
The City will assist property owners seeking Provincial financial assistance to
rehabilitate buildings in the identified Community Improvement Project Area that
have been designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. A municipal grant
provided in accordance with this incentive program will be considered as a
portion of the owners contribution to the costs as part of any Provincial funding
with respect to the rehabilitation of designate heritage buildings and sites.
Building Retrofit Program
To assist property owners in the Community Improvement Project Area, the City
will provide a 50% -no interest- matching loan (to a maximum of $5,000.00) to
eligible properties for the purpose of bringing buildings up to the minimum
standards of the Building Code and Fire Codes including such improvements as:
- Barrier Free Access
- Fire Protection
- Roof Repair/Replacement
- Window/Door Repair or Replacement
- Structural Repairs
- Health and Safety Related Improvements
The loan shall be repayable over a five-year period. The payment structure of the
loan shall be based on a fixed rate per year with a balloon payment at the end of
the term of the loan. The rate of payment shall be identified in a separate loan
agreement entered into between the property owner and the City.
Grant and Loan Eligibility Requirements
- City Council shall appoint a Community Improvement Committee to review
applications for financial incentives. The Committee shall review all
applications based on these eligibility requirements and the degree to which
the project implements the City’s Strategic Plan, Façade Improvement Study
and Urban Design Guidelines and will be responsible for allocation funds
based on area priorities identified in this Plan.
- No improvements carried out prior to the approval of the application will be
eligible for funding. Only pre-approved projects will be eligible for grants.
- Grants or loans would be available to a property owner or tenant occupying
an assessed building in the Community Improvement Project Area upon
satisfactory completion, as deemed by the City, of the project. Assistance
granted under any of the financial incentive programs and/or associated
programs, to a particular property are not transferable to any other property.
- Building façade grants will be granted based on a preliminary grant for the
building façade that forms the primary entrance to the building and a
secondary grant for a building side or the rear of the building that faces the
street, Trent River or any other public areas. Where the primary building entrance is deemed by the Committee to comply
with the objectives of the Community Improvement Plan, and no previous
Façade Improvement grants have been given, the primary grant may be
approved for improvements to the exterior side or rear of the building facing a
street, the Trent River or a public area. Where a building has more than two building facades abutting a street, river,
or public area, the City may consider a further secondary grant based on
- The property owner or tenant and the City will be required to enter in to an
agreement specifying the amount to be paid and the payment period. Where
the agreement is between a tenant and the City, the property owner must
consent to the agreement.
- Properties and buildings shall not have any tax arrears, outstanding utility
charges, work orders or any other legal claim, or lien that may affect the title
of the land. A letter from the City Finance Department is required to ensure
the property is up to date and in good standing.
- The grant programs outlined may be combined in a manner that will permit
more than one grant per property. Where this is done, the total grant amount shall be based on the amounts listed, however, the expenditure on each
element of the grant shall be flexible and subject to the approval of the City. In
no instance shall the total grant payment exceed the cost of rehabilitation.
- Grants will be available to tenants or property owners on the basis of one
grant or combined grant (i.e. Planning and Design, Improved Signage and
Façade Improvement) per assessed building.
- Partial façade improvements are permitted only where the unimproved portion
meets the design guidelines and upholds the aesthetic quality of the improved
- The Property Tax Increment Grant will only be available where the property
and building improvements undertaken result in an increase in the municipal
share of the increased portion of the taxes and exceeds $200.00 per year.
The actual costs associated with an individual application may be subject to
an independent audit at the request of the City and at the expense of the
- Have Read, Understood and Met All Eligibility Requirements
- Fully Completed Application with Signature of Owner
- Copy of Deed Provided
- Proposed Improvements Adhere to Community Improvement Plan Guidelines
- Designs/Drawing Included (if necessary)
- Copies of two Quotes Included
- Copy of Most Recent Tax Receipt