Commercial Façade Improvement Program

BIA members are eligible for the City of Toronto’s Commercial Façade Improvement Program.

This annual grant provides financial assistance to property owners and business tenants to improve their business façades. Improving the appearance of a building’s façade improves neighbourhood streetscapes and provides a more welcoming environment for the public to work, shop and live.

You can get up to $15,000 for 50% of the cost of renovating your façade and adding AODA design standard features.

The 2023 Commercial Façade Improvement Program is expected to open early 2023, click here to learn more!

Remember: it’s a first-come-first-serve grant, so don’t hesitate in contacting us if you’re interested in applying for it! Lais Fabricio from the BIA at 416-262-9692 if you have any questions. 

Am I Eligible?

  • Applicant must be the property owner or have the permission of the property owner;
  • Building and property must be located in a Business Improvement Area (BIA);
  • Applicant must not owe outstanding taxes to the City;
  • Applicant must not start your improvement project before the funding application is approved;
  • Applicant must not have received the maximum façade improvement funding for your property in previous 10 years.
Commercial Facade Improvement Program
Façade Improvement Program

How Does it Work?

Half of the cost of eligible improvements to commercial or industrial building façades is covered and will be based on the lowest contractor estimate submitted with the application.
The minimum grant funding is $2,500 (for $5,000 worth of improvements), with a maximum of $12,500 (for $25,000 worth of improvements).

Bonus funding up to $2,500 is available for $5,000 worth of accessibility improvements that meet AODA design standards.

Eligible improvements include, but are not limited to: brick cleaning, restoration, wheelchair accessibility, doors, signage, windows, lighting and masonry.

Eligible Work

The Following are examples of improvements that the Façade Improvement Program will cover:

  • Brick cleaning treatments such as power washing
  • Re-pointing of brick masonry
  • Exterior painting (not including the painting of brick) as part of other façade improvements
  • Replacement of doors or windows (on any level on the front façade of the building)
  • Replacement or repair of cornice, parapets and other architectural features
  • Installation or replacement of awnings or canopies
  • Installation and improvement of signage
  • Installation or upgrading of exterior lighting features
  • Professional redesign of storefront
  • Installation of wheelchair ramps and accessible entrances
  • Other improvements as agreed to by the Manager at the City BIA Office

The program does not cover the following improvements:

  • Brick painting
  • Stucco work
  • Window Decals / Clings
  • Interior renovations
  • Same-as replacement of existing features
  • Cafe Patios

All work considered must result in a physical improvement of the building façade, not just a simple replacement due to wear.

How to Apply

Attention! This funding is based on a first-come-first-served basis and the money usually runs out before the deadline!

  • You need to select at least 3 façade improvements that you wish to implement.
  • Get two quotes for each improvement.
  • Proof of ownership (If tenant, “No-Objection” letter from the property owner.)
  • High-resolution photo of the current façade
  • Sketch or marked photo of the proposed façade.
  • Fill out the form and email it to Michael Saunders at the City Office BIA.
Download the Form here

Need Help? 

Local Assistance and forms, contact: Lais Fabricio at 416-262-9692 or 

Full Program Details, contact Michael Saunders at 416-392-1005 or

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Will the City consider grant applications for improvements to curb lane patios?

As they are considered public lands, this is not eligible for the grant as they are temporary in nature and does not fall within the intent of the Community improvement Plan (CIP) provisions of the Planning Act.

Q2. Will the City consider grant applications for interior improvements to buildings?

The City is studying this possibility, but this would require amendments to the CIP by-law relating to the program and would need to pass a “public interest test” as required under the Planning Act.

The City expects to report out on this later this year. There has to be a compelling public interest case to consider this as municipalities are not allowed to offer tax dollars to private business outside of the CIP provisions in the Planning Act. EDC believes there is a public interest to at least consider this but require advice from City Planning and City Legal.

Q3. Will the City consider permanent patio improvements on private property?

The City will therefore allow permanent patio improvements on private property (already established or not) provided they are visible from the street i.e., not rear patios to be eligible. All other program eligibility requirements apply. (