Façade Improvement Grant

The Façade Improvement Grant provides a financial incentive to make improvements to the exteriors or ‘façades’ of existing commercial, institutional and mixed-use buildings.

Improvements may include new cladding or architectural features, reconfigured entrances, new window and doors, lighting, signage, weather protection and upgrades to improve accessibility. Improvements are focused on façades that face towards the street; however, other façades may be eligible.

Improvements are not just routine maintenance but are meant to make a significant visual improvement that will have an impact.

Why façade grants?

Façade grants can be used to:

  • Enhance the appearance of commercial areas and build civic pride.
  • Contribute to a livelier pedestrian experience and make streets more attractive, safe and interesting places to walk.
  • Promote local business and help building owners attract and retain tenants.

Façade programs in other municipalities found that improvements may:

  • Increase the number of first-time customers.
  • Increase sales revenues.
  • Have positive impacts on surrounding businesses.
  • Yield significant returns through small investments (Ryan et. al., 2014).

Grant value

Grants are provided as a 50 per cent reimbursement grant to a maximum of:

  • $75,000 per building for mid-block buildings.
  • $100,000 per building for corner buildings.

Applicants may also be eligible for further bonus if they submit a coordinated design with the applicant of a neighbouring building. Please state on your application if you are collaborating with another applicant.

Footnote:
Ryan, B., Greil, A., Sarver, D., Lawniczak, J. and E. Welty (2014). An Analysis of Downtown Storefront Improvements: A Selection of Wisconsin Case Studies. Madison: University of Wisconsin Extension.

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