Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation and Technology (IMIT) Program
The new IMIT By-law 1207-2018 that was approved by Council on June 30, 2018 has been appealed to the LPAT (PL180753). The 2012 IMIT By-laws remain in force until these appeals are resolved.
Toronto’s Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation and Technology (IMIT) business incentive helps to reduce business costs. The IMIT Program was approved unanimously by Toronto City Council and supports new building construction and/or building expansion in targeted sectors and areas across the city.
Eligible developments will benefit from a grant of 60 per cent of the increase in the municipal taxes attributable to the eligible development over a 10-year period.
The incentive level for construction of new buildings or substantial renovation of existing buildings in Employment Districts and other designated Employment Areas (shown on Map 2 and Maps 13–23, Areas A-K of the Toronto Official Plan) has been increased to 70 per cent of the increase in the municipal taxes attributable to eligible commercial and industrial construction over a 10-year period. When part of a combined Brownfield Remediation Tax Assistance (BRTA) application the incentive increases to 77 per cent.
IMIT Local Employment Requirement
The Community Improvement Plans (1323-2012, 1324-2012, 1325-2012) that enable the IMIT Property Tax Incentive Program state the following:
Local Employment: The applicant or user of the property must agree to collaborate with the City to promote local employment. This will include a local employment plan that will identify opportunities for local hiring and/or training and document how the applicant or property user will utilize City endorsed or sponsored employment programs. It is expected that the employment plan will span the term of the incentive and that outcomes will be tracked and documented.
Starting October 1, 2019, a Council-approved points-based system will be implemented as a pilot program to provide greater clarity and increased ease of use for IMIT recipients and property users.
The system provides IMIT recipients and property users with a menu of options of City-endorsed local hiring and training activities from which to build their Local Employment Plan. Each option has a corresponding point value and tracking indicator.
Grant recipients are provided with an expected points value proportionate to the grant amount, which is to be achieved over the grant period and/or during building construction.
Local hiring and training outcomes will be reported through an online form by the recipient and made public through the City’s Open Data platform.
For more information, view the full background file.
Eligible Sectors and Uses
The program generally targets the following sectors and uses:
- Biomedical Operations
- Creative Industries
- Financial Services
- Information and Communications Technology
- Tourism Attractions
- Call Centres
- Computer Systems Design and Services
- Convergence Centres
- Corporate Office
- Corporate Headquarters
- Film Studio Complex
- Food and Beverage Wholesaling
- Office Building
- Information Services and Data Processing
- Scientific Research and Development
- Software Development
- Transformative Project
Definitions of Eligible Sectors and Uses
Biomedical: pharmaceutical, bio-technology product, or medical device manufacturing and/or scientific research and development related to the creation of products, processes and services designed to improve health. Does not include activities related to patient health care such as doctor’s offices, clinics, diagnostic labs or hospitals.
Creative Industries: industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property, including:
- Arts and Crafts;
- Film, Video and Photography;
- Music and the Visual and Performing Arts;
- Software, Computer Games and Electronic Publishing;
- Film Studio.
Live/work units are excluded.
Financial Services: services primarily engaged in financial transactions involving the creation, liquidation, or change in ownership of financial assets, or in facilitating financial transactions, including establishments providing for financial intermediation, risk pooling through underwriting annuities and insurance, and other specialized services that facilitate or support financial intermediation, insurance and employee benefit programs;
Information, Communications & Technology (ICT) and Services: telecommunications; communications equipment design and manufacturing; software development and computer systems design and service.
Manufacturing: fabricating, processing, assembling, packaging, producing or making goods or commodities including ancillary repair, storage, wholesaling or office uses.
Tourism Attractions: a facility or complex, excluding a stadium, an arena, or a Retail Use, that must demonstrate by way of a business plan:
- its long term financial viability without the need for ongoing municipal subsidy for its operations; and
- its need for financial incentives in order for its capital development to be viable; and either its potential to draw a minimum of 100,000 visitors annually and its potential to draw a minimum of 50,000 visitors from beyond 40 km; or
- its ability to support attracting incremental major events, conventions or meetings to Toronto and economic development priorities.
Broadcasting: radio, television and Internet broadcasting undertaken within studios and associated facilities but not including Major Film Studios.
Call Centre: an establishment primarily engaged in receiving and/or making telephone calls for others generally for the purpose of soliciting or providing information, product and service promotion, taking orders, and raising funds.
Computer Systems Design and Services: provision of expertise in the planning and design of computer systems and of other technical computer-related services.
Convergence Centres: a facility that must demonstrate by way of a business plan that it includes an intentional focus/mandate on cluster or sector development; provides programming for tenants focusing on business development, collaboration and networking; uses the majority of its space for companies within the specific cluster or sector; provides external stakeholder and/or public access to programming and/or space; and provides security of tenure for a cluster/sector development organization.
Corporate Headquarters: office space that serves as the operational and administrative centre for a company and which must demonstrate the following characteristics:
- a declaration in corporate statements that it is a Global Headquarters, or Canadian Headquarters;
- represents the Command & Control Centre for corporate activities within a prescribed national or international geography;
- represents the Strategic Planning Centre for corporate activities within a prescribed national or international geography;
- represents the principal office location for the Chief Executive Officer and senior executive team;
- occupies a minimum floor space of 10,000 m2
- maintains a minimum employment of 300 persons.
Corporate Office: office space used by a single user or firm for the purpose of corporate management and administration.
Corporate Office Building: an Office Building with a GFA greater than 5,000 square metres, of which the greater of 2,500 square metres or 25 per cent of the building’s GFA is used for a Corporate Office.
Film Studio Complex: premises used for producing motion pictures with a minimum GFA of 7,500 square metres; and in addition may include: uses accessory to the film studio(s); facilities and services for employees and users of the Film Studio Complex; and other uses associated with the operation of the film studio(s).
Food and Beverage Wholesaling: premises used for the sale of food and beverages to retailers or other businesses, but not including the sale of food and beverages directly to the public. No retail operations or warehouse clubs will be eligible for incentives, even if ancillary to the main use.
Incubators: a facility that must demonstrate by way of a business plan that it:
- has a mandate for entrepreneurship development and job creation;
- provides start-up companies with a combination of a business address and physical space dedicated to business incubation;
- offers regular start-up business and professional development training;
- provides comprehensive value-added programs and services that support entrepreneurial / small business growth including strategic partnerships and a service provider network.
Information Services and Data Processing: gathering, preparation, transformation, processing and dissemination of data, excluding call centre operations.
Office Building: a building in which at least 80 per cent of the GFA is used for offices.
Performing Arts: the organization, promotion, operation and presentation of live theatre and music and other performing arts within theatres and other arts facilities. Concert halls and theatres are not considered a retail use.
Scientific Research and Development: the conduct of original investigation, undertaken on a systematic basis to gain new knowledge (research) and the application of research findings or other scientific knowledge for the creation of new or significantly improved products or processes (experimental development), including use of laboratory facilities used exclusively for these purposes.
Software Development: designing, writing, modifying and testing software.
Transformative Project: a large development that must demonstrate the following attributes by way of a business plan:
- a minimum investment of $250 million
- a minimum of 750,000 square feet of new space that will be constructed and occupied within a 5-year period;
- the creation of over 2,500 jobs;
- will occupy a minimum of 4 hectares;
- the ability to link the project to regional transit initiatives;
- the provision of amenities that will be accessible to the public;
- its ability to act as an anchor within its district and stimulate collateral new investment;
- the co-location of activities that will have a regional (GTA) impact creating new wealth in the community; and,
- the need for financial incentives in order for the development to be economically viable.
- Applications must be submitted prior to issuance of the main building permit
- The property must not be in tax arrears
- The owner must develop an employment plan to support local hiring and/or training
- If the construction value exceeds $150,000,000 application will require City Council approval
- Construction must:
- conform to all City processes and permits. Status to be confirmed annually.
- value at least $1 million as evidenced on application and the main building permit
- meet minimum Toronto Green Standard
- not be demolished over the term of the incentive
- The development must increase the amount of GFA for Eligible Uses by at least 500 square metres
- New building, expansion or substantial rehabilitation of existing building
- Eligible Location
- Eligible sector or use
- Applicant must be the owner of property or their designated agent
- Agree to meet annual reporting requirement
Designated Areas of the City
Program Administration Fee
A program administration fee of thirty cents per square metre of IMIT eligible gross floor area will be charged starting with the 2019 payment year for all existing and new IMIT properties. The fee will be based on the eligible gross floor area of each approved development. This fee will apply to every year of the grant period. The fee is only applicable to eligible projects receiving a Development Grant or a Development Grant in combination with Brownfield Remediation Tax Assistance. Projects receiving Brownfield Remediation Tax Assistance only will not be subject to the fee. This administrative fee was approved by Council in 2018 and will enable the IMIT program administration to operate in a more efficient and responsive manner.