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Uptown Community Improvement Plan

City of Waterloo

The City of Waterloo is inviting interested organizations, property owners and/or commercial tenants in the Uptown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) Boundary to participate in this year's round of Uptown CIP Programs. Below are the 2017 program release dates.

Program and application schedule

The Fall 2017 CIP application round closed on Oct. 6, 2017.

Stay tuned for the Spring 2018 round of applications. Details to be announced soon.

For information on Tax Increment Grants (TIGS) and parking exceptions, which are available year round, please contact our office.

There are several ways uptown businesses, developers and investors can participate in this program.

Matching grants

Façade improvement grant

  • Improve the appearance of the streetscape and buildings, and conserve heritage properties in the CIP boundary.
  • A maximum matching grant of $10,000 per street-facing façade or $15,000 for both facades on a corner lot is available.
  • An additional matching grant of up to $5,000 per building is available where a property is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Study grant 

  • This program is intended to encourage interested parties to prepare and submit high quality professional urban design studies and drawings, as well as heritage feasibility studies and assessments to the City of Waterloo.
  • There is a matching grant of up to $3,000 per project/property.

 Fee grant

  • This grant is intended to facilitate renovations and small expansions through the provision of an additional financial incentive to offset planning and development fees. The maximum grant available is $10,000 per property/project. 

Major activity grant

  • Large re-urbanization projects (over 5,000 square feet) that create new floor space for affordable housing uses and/or non-residential uses that include an office employment component are eligible for this grant.
  • Additional incentives will be provided for developments that include heritage conservation and/or sustainable building design.

Minor activity grant 

  • This grant is intended to facilitate small expansions and new construction that create spaces of up to 464.5 square metres (5,000 square feet) for affordable housing uses and/or office employment uses.
  • The program provides additional incentive for development that includes heritage conservation and/or sustainable building design. There is a maximum grant of $50,000 per project/property.
  • Additionally, an interior grant includes specific criteria for small office conversions that will lead to greater employment in the uptown core.


Commercial building improvement loan

  • This loan will help fund interior renovations and maintenance that improve the usability and/or accessibility of non-residential buildings within the uptown core.
  • There is a maximum interest-free loan of $30,000 with a five-year term and potential partial loan forgiveness.


Parking exemption program

  • This program will facilitate small non-residential (with emphasis on office) expansions or changes in use where the developer is unable to provide the on-site parking as required by the city's zoning by-law.


More information

For more information on these programs and the Major Activity Grant Program and Parking Exemption Program (available year-round), please contact economic development staff. 

For applicants with projects that require site plan approval, please contact economic development staff to discuss timelines and award process. All projects must be awarded a grant first before any work is started.


Sandy Little
Senior Economic Development Officer
P: 519-747-6064