Uptown community improvement plan

Eligible property owners and tenants in the uptown area can receive grants for various renovation projects. Download the program requirements (PDF) for details.

We have year-round and seasonal programs. The first seasonal application period of 2019 is from April 22 to May 27.


On this page


Seasonal grants

Facade improvement grant

  • to improve appearance of streetscape and buildings, and conserve heritage features
  • city and UpTown BIA grants are matched to funding from the applicant
  • heritage designation grant does not require matching funds
Grant type Regular property Corner property
Matching grant from city Up to $10,000 Up to $15,000
Matching grant from UpTown BIA (for members only) Up to $10,000 Up to $15,000
Additional grant for designated heritage properties $5,000 $5,000

Study grant 

  • to encourage high quality professional urban design studies and drawings, heritage feasibility studies and assessments
  • matching grant up to $3,000/project

Fee grant

  • to facilitate renovations by offsetting municipal planning and development fees
  • maximum grant of $10,000/project 

Minor activity grant 

  • 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 that includes a designated heritage resource or sustainable building design
  • program provides additional incentives for development that are heritage conservation and/or sustainable building design

Applying for a seasonal grant

  1. Book a pre-application meeting with economic development coordintaor Rachel Martin, by phone at 519-886-1550 x 78004 or email to cip@waterloo.ca
  2. Following the meeting, download and complete an application form (PDF).
  3. Submit your application form by May 27, via: 
    • email to cip@waterloo.ca (a scanned copy of the application form is accepted)
    • by mail or in person to:

      City of Waterloo Economic Development 
      100 Regina Street South 
      PO Box 337, Station Waterloo 
      Waterloo, ON, N2J 4A8

Year-round grants

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 

Payment and documentation requirements

After work is complete you are required to provide documentation. Staff will review it and issue payment for complete submissions within two to three weeks. Requirements include:

  • 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.