Uptown community improvement plan

Uptown property owners and commercial tenants can participate in community improvement programs (CIP) that offer grants up to $50,000.

Applications for CIP grants are accepted in the spring and fall. Dates for the first 2019 round will be posted shortly.

Program requirements

To qualify, your organization or property has to be within the uptown community improvement project area (map). Download the program requirements (PDF) for full eligibility details.

Year-round grants and program

Major activity grant

  • intended for large re-urbanization projects over 5,000 sq. ft. that create new floor space for affordable housing units and/or non-residential uses that include an office employment component
  • provides a tax increment grant equal to a portion or full amount of the estimated property tax increase after the property is redeveloped and reassessed
  • additional incentives will be provided for developments that include heritage conservation and/or sustainable building design and construction

Parking exemption program 

  • program will facilitate small scale non-residential building conversions and expansions
  • 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 bylaw 


Grants offered during specific periods of the year, up to a maximum of $50,000.

Facade improvement grant

  • intended to improve the appearance of the streetscape and buildings, while conserving heritage properties
  • additional grant of up to $5,000 is available per building if the property is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act

Study grant 

  • intended to encourage interested organizations 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
  • matching grant of up to $3,000 per project/property

Fee grant

  • intended to facilitate renovations and small expansion by offsetting municipal planning and development fees. 
  • maximum grant available is $10,000 per property/project 

Minor activity grant 

  • intended to facilitate small expansions and new construction that creates spaces up to 5,000 sq. ft. for affordable housing units and/or office employment component
  • maximum grant of $50,000 per project/property that includes a designated heritage resource or sustainable bulding design
  • program provides additional incentives for development that are heritage conservation and/or sustainable building design

Application process

Applications for CIP grants are accepted in the spring and fall.

  1. Book a pre-application meeting with us. Contact Sandy Little, senior economic development officer at 519-747-6064 or sandy.little@waterloo.ca.
  2. Submit a complete application form (2019 version will be posted here when available).

Payment requirements

After work is complete you are required to provide documentation (find regulations below). Staff will review it and issue payment for complete submissions within two to three weeks.

Documentation requirements

  • digital photos of all completed work 
  • invoice(s) that include:
    • itemized costs associated with each work
    • invoice(s) should match work that was submitted on your application
    • invoice that identify they are paid in full so there is no balance remaining
    • if invoice includes work for another grant, ensure each grant work is clearly identified
  • written confirmation from the owner allowing payment of the grant(s) to the tenant if the owner is not to receive payment, otherwise cheque will be made payable to to owner identified on application

For payment of the study grant, one digital and one hard copy of the study must be provided. For fee grants, copies of receipts for fees paid must be provided.