Applications are now being accepted for the Main Street Innovation Fund until December 15, 2022. Subscribe to the BusinessTO newsletter to stay informed of business resources and supports.

Overview

The City of Toronto’s Main Street Innovation Fund provides grant funding for innovative and creative solutions to Toronto’s main street business challenges. The mandate is to support local business communities’ recovery and rebuild through innovative activations, creative place makings, and community capacity building initiatives.

As Winter approaches, the Main Street Innovation Fund aims to support the local economy through the celebration of art, culture and community by helping drive business to our main streets during the coldest months of the year.   This program is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Objective

Winter has always been a traditionally slow time for retail and tourism within the City of Toronto. The Main Street Innovation Fund provides funding to Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and not-for-profit organizations to animate their main streets with winter activity. The program goals are to:

  • Encourage innovation within the main street business model
  • Support new projects within Toronto’s main street business community
  • Expand the range of community improvement strategies that are available to Toronto’s main street business community
  • Showcase innovative, scalable solutions to challenges faced by Toronto’s main street business community
  • Pilot highly creative and exceptional projects in the city of Toronto

Funding Available

This program offers $25,000 and $50,000 grants for projects that meet the eligibility requirements. Funding of up to $100,000 is available for projects that meet Legacy Project criteria.

Eligibility

Applicants must have working relations with their local business community and propose projects that will increase main street vibrancy during the winter months.  Applicants are required to submit their Final Report Packages by February 15, 2023. No extensions will be granted. Projects that are unable to meet this deadline are ineligible. Activations can continue to stay in place after the final report package is submitted.  

The Main Street Innovation Fund is available to the following organizations: 

  • Toronto BIAs
  • Not-for-profit organizations including Business Associations and Registered Charities with strong local business involvement

Please note: For profit businesses including sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations are not eligible to apply.

Eligible Projects

The Main Street Innovation Fund encourages projects within a wide scope of parameters such as:

  • Main street activations
  • Community placemaking
  • Community planning and policy making
  • Technology improvements

In addition to the program eligibility requirements, applications for Legacy Project funding must exhibit all the following criteria:

  • New, never tested main street innovation
  • Applicant organizations must demonstrate an ability to contribute a minimum of $100,000 towards total project cost (combination of financial and in-kind contributions)
  • Demonstrate a significant contribution to the main street business recovery of the proposed location

Please Note: While project-related services completed prior to grant application approval are eligible, the majority of the project must be executed after the application is approved.  

Ineligible Projects

The following types of projects do not qualify for funding under this program:

How to Apply

Applicants must attend one online information session on either November 22, November 24, November 30 or December 5 or schedule a meeting with the program manager at mif@toronto.ca.

Complete the Main Street Innovation Fund application and submit your application to mif@toronto.ca.  

Applications are considered on a first in, first reviewed basis.  

Subject to funding availability, applications will be accepted until Thursday, December 15, 2022 or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first. 

For updates on future rounds of funding, subscribe to the Business TO newsletter  or the Main Street Innovation Fund project manager at mif@toronto.ca. 

 


 

Text funded by Federal Economic Development Agency for Ontario and logo of Government of Canada