Main Street Innovation Fund is now accepting applications. Apply below by December 14, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.


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. Applicants must have working relations with their local business community and propose projects that will increase main street vibrancy. The fund encourages innovation and allows for unique projects to be piloted in various neighbourhoods throughout the city of Toronto. This program is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario .


The Main Street Innovation Fund is a grant that provides funding to Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and not-for-profit organizations with ties to the business community to test innovative and creative solutions to local challenges and share their findings/results with others in the city of Toronto. 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

Success Stories of Past Recipients

Uma Nota Culture transformed a simple shipping container parked on the street into Art Vessel – a colourful, new studio and exhibition space where local artists can take part in residencies and be paid to show their creative work.

Two people smiling and holding restaurant food towards the camera
Photograph by Cameron Bartlett.

Scarborough Arts and Eat More Scarborough worked with many partners to develop the Culinary Everywhere! Tour Guide Training which brought five unique tours to Toronto’s East End and supported 20 local restaurants.​ Read more.

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.


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 the total project cost through a combination of financial and in-kind contributions. In-kind contributions (up to a maximum of $27 per hour for in-kind volunteering) are limited to 50 per cent of the matching contributions, or 25 per cent of total project budget.
  • Demonstrate a significant contribution to the main street business recovery of the proposed location

Ineligible Projects

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

How to Apply

Eligible applicants may apply by completing the online application below. The deadline to apply is December 14 at 4:30 p.m.

Apply Online

Register for a one-hour webinar to learn more information about the Main Street Innovation Fund:

For any further questions or help completing the application, please email the Main Street Innovation Fund project manager at 

Logo of Government of Canada and words in English and repeated in French Funded by Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario