News Release
November 29, 2021

In support of the recovery and long-term success of local small businesses, the City of Toronto’s Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program will begin accepting applications. The program offers matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts (or, in certain limited circumstances, storefronts at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements, assisting businesses to re-lease space impacted by COVID-19.

Small retail businesses are essential to the vitality and success of Toronto’s main streets and neighbourhoods, and are key drivers of economic prosperity for residents, families, communities and the city as a whole. To assist small businesses in Toronto to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, the Government of Canada, through Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is providing up to $18 million for six programs comprising the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (MRRI).

The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program is the first MRRI program to open for applications. Expenses eligible for funding support through this program include structural upgrades, interior light fixtures, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), plumbing, electrical, interior painting, flooring/ceiling/walls, permanently-affixed counters, merchandise displays and accessibility improvements, among others. Improvements to meet health regulations and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act  (AODA) compliance are also included. Learn more about AODA.

The maximum grant available is $20,000. Further funding of up to $4,000 is available for upgrades to meet accessibility standards, for a total maximum grant of $24,000. Additional funding of $20,000 ($4,000 per additional unit, for up to five units) is available for multi-unit properties.

The initial application period for the Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant program runs from Monday, November 22, 2021 until Monday, February 28, 2022, or until the grant funds are expended, whichever comes first. Additional applications will be accepted in the second half of 2022 and again in 2023. Read more information about the Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program.

Other MRRI programs, including the Retail Accelerator Program, Main Street Innovation Fund and Café TO Commercial and Industrial Property Improvement Program – will open for applications soon.

The City continues to support small business with other Council-approved programs, including:

  • CaféTO: Conceived as a quick-start pandemic-response program that was recently made permanent by Council, CaféTO has helped hundreds of restaurant and bar operators with expanded outdoor dining opportunities in curb lanes and on sidewalks.
  • Creating a small business subclass within the commercial tax class, which will offer tax relief for many of Toronto’s main street shops and businesses. On November 9, City Council approved a 15 per cent reduction in the tax rate for small businesses who meet the eligibility criteria for the new subclass.

Learn more about Toronto MRRI programs.

Grants, training and resources provided through Toronto MRRI programs are available until March 31, 2024 and aim to support small business operators, community business associations, streetscape animation and retail innovation.

For nearly 12 years, FedDev Ontario has actively worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region.


“Small businesses are critical to Toronto’s prosperity and the vitality of our main streets and neighbourhoods. Through the Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program, eligible businesses can receive support to make improvements to the space they operate in, including accessibility upgrades. This is one more example of how our City government – in partnership with the other governments – is working to help businesses and all the jobs they support recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and make sure Toronto comes back stronger than ever.

– Mayor John Tory

“The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program brings together the City of Toronto, the Government of Canada and businesses to co-invest in the spaces and places that support commerce, workers and entrepreneurship across our city. I encourage Toronto small business operators, storefront owners, BIAs and business and community associations to learn how they can access funding support from the various Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative programs.”

– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations