Applications are now closed. Successful applicants will be notified in late-April.

 

The Youth Climate Action Grants provides funding to support Toronto District School Board (TDSB) student-led projects, activities and events that directly or indirectly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Grants of up to $1,000 are available for each eligible project.

The purpose of the grants is to:

  • help TDSB students take and/or advocate for climate action in their schools and communities
  • educate students, families and/or community members about actions they can take to reduce GHG emissions
  • foster collaboration and cooperation between students and parents/guardians, teachers, and the community
  • help accelerate the reduction of community-wide GHG emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040, in support of the City’s TransformTO Net Zero climate action strategy

This funding initiative is a partnership between TransformTO and TDSB. In the coming years, we hope to include other Toronto school boards.

Student-led groups consisting of two or more TDSB students from grades JK to 12 are eligible to apply. A TDSB staff member must serve as the project supervisor. Student-led group can include:

  • class project groups
  • school clubs and teams
  • student councils
  • student groups that partner with parent councils
  • student-teacher collaborations

Ineligible applicants include:

  • individual students
  • principals and vice-principals
  • teachers (without student collaboration)
  • TDSB Facility Services, Administration and Trustees
  • for-profit businesses
  • grant making organizations
  • TDSB approved vendors
  • community organizations
  • registered charitable organizations and/or non-profit environmental organizations
  • school groups allied with political parties

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the TDSB Youth Climate Action Guide, which provides important information on how to develop an eligible climate action project.  

Proposed projects must:

  • be created and delivered by TDSB students;
  • satisfy the objectives of the grant program:
    • directly contribute to GHG emissions reduction in Toronto.
    • educate students, families and/or community members about actions they can take to reduce GHG emissions.
  • take place only in the city of Toronto;
  • have all necessary approvals, including permission from the school Principal; and
  • adhere to current Toronto Public Health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • workshops, demonstrations and group activities
  • education campaigns (e.g., waste reduction, energy conservation, active transportation) 
  • repair events (e.g., bikes, clothing, electronics) 
  • exchange or swap events (e.g., clothing, books, toys, sports equipment)
  • activities that enhance the existing school curriculum 
  • educational videos
  • guest speakers
  • field trips 
  • virtual learning
  • community climate events
  • social media campaigns
  • sustainable transportation events (e.g., bike rodeos, idle-free vehicle blitz)
  • school ground revitalizations (e.g., teaching/pollinator gardens, urban farms, food gardens, outdoor classroom). School ground revitalization projects must first undergo a Viability Review by the TDSB. We will not consider any applications for school ground projects or activities that do not have final TDSB approval.

Examples of eligible costs include:

  • project supplies (e.g., paper, pens, poster boards, markers, paint)
  • raw materials (e.g., wood, soil, screws) 
  • workshop expenses (e.g., speaker fees, training supplies)
  • space rental or permit fees for event/activity space
  • project communications (e.g., flyers, posters, printing)
  • rentals or small equipment purchases

The following project costs are also eligible but cannot exceed 25 per cent of your total grant request:

  • skilled labour (e.g., hiring a contractor to build a garden box);
  • professional consultant fees (e.g., web design, translation, communications);
  • volunteer and participant expenses (e.g., food, transit, personal protective equipment); and
  • honouraria for voluntary services (e.g., guest speakers or ceremonial duties). 

For example, if your grant request is $1,000, the maximum you can request for skilled labour is $250 ($1,000 x 0.25 = $250). 

 

The following items cannot be funded:

  • paid advertising campaigns in newspapers, etc.
  • beautification or landscaping repairs (e.g., ornamental gardens, pathways, etc.)
  • costs associated with the regular operation of your group, such as computer equipment, software, phones, internet, accounting services, insurance, etc. 
  • deliverables that will result in a significant increase in school or TDSB operating or capital costs (e.g., air conditioners, HEPA air filters or HVAC-related items)
  • use of City grant funds to provide grants to other parties
  • disposable items (e.g., single-use plastics, bottled water)
  • fees and expenses for memberships, conferences, travel, personal vehicle use and parking
  • alcohol or cannabis
  • fundraising drives
  • thank you gifts
  • activities related to religious and/or political purposes
  • playgrounds, furnishings, fencing, armour stone, water-bottle refilling stations
  • pre-existing school projects and/or events  (e.g., annual fun fairs)
  • projects already approved for funding from other City of Toronto grant programs
  • promotional items that could contribute to waste (e.g., swag, buttons)
  • rental/purchase of combustion engine vehicles or any other gas-powered equipment (e.g., generators), and gasoline or any other fuels
  • research or scientific studies
  • routine maintenance, emergency repairs or major capital improvements (e.g., cricket pitches, artificial turf, solar installations, playground renovations)
  • salaries, hourly wages and income-generating activities for staff/group members
  • tree or shrub planting
  • litter cleanup events
  • composting projects
  • March 1, 2022: application period opens
  • April 1, 2022: application period deadline
  • Late-April 2022: funding decisions announced
  • May 2022: start projects
  • June 2022: complete projects (preferred)

 

Priority will be given to projects completed before the last day of the current (2021-22) school year; however we will consider applications for projects that will be completed within one year. 

Key dates are subject to change.

Students are encouraged to submit their own applications with support and guidance from their TDSB project supervisor.

How to apply:

  1. Read the Application Guide. It provides a detailed overview of the grant program and tips for completing the application form.
  2. Apply through the online application form or by email. If you don’t have adequate access to the internet or technology, we will accept paper application forms. To apply by mail, please contact us.
  3. Your application must be received on or before the deadline. The next grant round is planned for fall 2022.

 

Please note:

  • Applications submitted online will receive an immediate acknowledgment.
  • Applications submitted by email will receive an acknowledgment by email within five days of its receipt, sent to the email addresses provided in your application.
  • Please complete the application in full. We will not process incomplete applications.
  • Submit only one application per group. If more than one project is submitted by the same group, the City will review the submission that was received first. 
  • There is no limit to the number of grant applications that can be submitted from a school as long as the applications are for different groups/projects.
  • You cannot receive more than one City of Toronto grant for the same project. 
  • Applications will undergo a technical review by staff in the City’s Environment & Energy Division.
  • Eligible applications will then be assessed by a Grant Review Committee comprised of staff from the City’s Environment and Energy division and TDSB
  • The Review Committee may ask for additional information to assist in the review, assessment and monitoring of your application.
  • Successful grant recipients will be notified of the approved grant funding amounts. 
  • Applicants that accept the funding offer will enter into an agreement with the TDSB. Additional information about the funding award process and the agreement will be provided at that time.