The 2023 grant application round is now closed. The next grant round will open in September 2024.

 

The Youth Climate Action Grants provides funding to student-led projects, activities and events that:

  • educate and engage students, families and/or community members on climate change and climate actions
  • help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto
  • advance the principles, priorities and actions of the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy

Grant funding up to $1,000 is available. This program is a partnership between the City and the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board (our new partner starting in 2024).

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

Student-led group can include:

  • classroom projects
  • school clubs and teams
  • student councils
  • student groups that partner with parent councils
  • student-teacher collaborations

Ineligible applicants include:

  • individual students
  • teachers (without student collaboration)
  • multiple groups from the same classroom
  • principals and vice-principals
  • TDSB or TCDSB Facility Services, Administration and Trustees
  • for-profit businesses
  • grant making organizations
  • TDSB or TCDSB 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 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 or TCDSB students;
  • satisfy an objective of the grant program:
    • educate and engage students, families and/or community members on climate change and climate actions; and/or
    • reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto.
  • take place only in the city of Toronto;
  • satisfy TDSB or TCDSB rules, including approved educational programming partners; and
  • have all necessary TDSB or TCDSB approvals and permission from the school Principal.

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • workshops, demonstrations and group activities provided by school board approved partners. Learn more about TDSB approved environmental partners
  • 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
  • educational field trips specific to the grant objectives (must be a shared cost)
  • virtual learning
  • community climate events
  • social media campaigns
  • sustainable transportation events (e.g., bike rodeos, idle-free vehicle blitz)
  • school ground revitalizations (e.g., food gardens, outdoor classrooms).

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., 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:

  • educational programming (e.g., workshops, seminars, presentations) provided by organizations that have not been approved by the TDSB or TCDSB. Please review the TDSB’s list of approved partners, if applicable.
  • paid advertising campaigns in newspapers, etc.
  • beautification, maintenance 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 board operating or capital costs (e.g., air conditioners, HEPA air filters or HVAC-related items)
  • use of City grant funds to provide grants, rebates and/or incentives to other parties
  • disposable items (e.g., single-use plastics, bottled water)
  • fees and expenses for memberships, conferences, travel, personal vehicle use and parking
  • catering, 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
  • pollinator gardens (e.g. plants, garden materials and supplies). Please see PollinateTO Grants for eligibility.
  • pre-existing school projects and/or events  (e.g., annual fun fairs)
  • projects already approved for funding, including those funded by 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
  • outdoor composting projects

2024 Grant Round

  • September, 2024: grant round opens
  • December 2024: applications close
  • January 2025: funding decisions announced
  • June 2025: completion of approved project (preferred)

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

Key dates are subject to change.

City of Toronto, TDSB and TCDSB staff members are here to help!

Before you apply:

  • tell us about your project idea;
  • check if the project idea is eligible; and
  • ask for feedback.

For more information, please contact climateactiongrants@toronto.ca.

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

How to Apply

  1. 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.
  2. Your application must be received on or before the deadline.

Apply Online

The online application form is the preferred method of submission. To view all the questions before you begin your online application, download the Application Form Preview. You can use this document to help prepare, organize, and draft your responses.

Apply by Email

Applications will also be accepted by email. Download the Application Form and send your completed application as a MS Word document to climateactiongrants@toronto.ca. Scanned copies and PDF versions will not be accepted.

Important:

  • 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 or classroom. If more than one project is submitted by the same group or classroom, 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 from different groups or classrooms.
  • You cannot receive more than one City of Toronto grant for the same project. 
  • Applications will undergo a technical review by City staff.
  • Eligible applications will then be assessed by a Grant Review Committee comprised of staff from the City’s Environment and Climate Division and TDSB or TCDSB
  • 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 or TCDSB. Additional information about the funding award process and the agreement will be provided at that time.