Apply for a matching grant, mini grant, find neighbourhood associations, and find out more about our neighbourhood strategy.

On this page

  1. Neighbourhood asset mapping
  2. Hey Neighbour
  3. Matching grants
  4. Pandemic mini grant
  5. Mini grants
  6. Neighbourhood associations
  7. Neighbourhood leadership teams
  8. Neighbourhood strategies

Neighbourhood asset mapping

Neighbourhood asset mapping is a community-focused way of sharing information about local resources and plotting it on a map.

The City of Waterloo neighbourhoods team is currently developing an asset map focusing on gathering spaces. This tool will help enable COVID-19 community recovery by supporting the return to in-person gatherings when it is safe to do so.

Neighbourhood groups and associations will be able to browse locations across the community, see details about the spaces (capacity, size, amenities), and access contact information to book spaces. To give residents a better sense of each space, photos will be included where possible. Categories of spaces will include:

  • indoor gathering spaces within recreational facilities, religious spaces, businesses, and community buildings
  • outdoor gathering spaces within parks and green spaces

Your input through the Gathering Spaces Asset Mapping project page on EngageWaterloo until January 22 or email our project coordinator Halie Gilmore or call at 519-514-0228

The interactive gathering spaces asset map is planned to be available Spring 2021. For more information view our workshop session from our Neighbourhood Summit.

Hey Neighbour!

The City of Waterloo is recruiting residents to become neighbourhood leaders for a Block Connectors program called “Hey Neighbour!” This program aims to build relationships between neighbours by sparking neighbourhood community-building that connects neighbours residing in close proximity to each other to through:

  • sharing information
  • supporting one another
  • building a sense of community in good times and challenging ones
Block Connectors are people who:
  • reside in any neighbourhood blocks or areas in the City of Waterloo
    • includes multi-residential housing such as apartment buildings, condos or other clustered homes
    • areas can be inside and outside of existing neighbourhood and homes associations
  • self-identify as individuals that want to develop connections with neighbours in a set area surrounding their residence
  • be involved about 3 - 4 hours per month to contribute
  • value diversity and relationship building
  • participate in a virtual orientation session to discuss the program limitations under the pandemic
  • work with staff to coordinate connection opportunities that are appropriate for their area
Residents can get involved by:
  • volunteering to be a Block Connectors
  • joining a Block Connectors group in their area
  • helping get the word out about this program

Apply to be a Block Connectors today.

Apply to be a Block Connectors

During the pandemic the limitations for in person social gatherings apply, but connecting with neighbours virtually and via social media are great options.

Applicants are welcome from all areas of the city.

Matching grants

Due to COVID-19, temporary changes to grant guidelines have been approved by council.
Grant applications that meet current public health guidelines are encouraged to apply. Examples include: park projects, physically distanced activities, community art, or virtual events. Applicants should show how the community is involved in the project, but the grant match does not need to equal the funding request. This will help support safe projects with the understanding that volunteer contributions may be different during the pandemic. 

Contact to discuss your unique plans.

The Neighbourhood Matching Fund (NMF) is funded by the City of Waterloo, Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation and the United Way Waterloo Region Communities. Groups can apply for up to $7,500 in matched funds.

The funding request must be matched. This means for every $1 you request you must contribute $1 in volunteer labour, donated services/materials or cash. 

Application guidelines
  1. Reach out to NMF staff if you have questions about the application process. We want your application to be successful, so please contact us anytime.
  2. The 2021 grant deadlines are the below dates before 2:00 p.m.:
    • February 22
    • June 2
    • October 20
  3. Late applicants will not be considered
Eligibility requirements:
  • any two or more neighbours can apply
  • focus on place-making: spaces and events that are inclusive and bring neighbours together 
  • neighbourhood based (not city-wide), within Waterloo city limits
  • must be completed in one year of application the funding
  • at least 25% of the funds matched must come from the applicant group, such as volunteer work
  • food expenses are limited to 50% of the total budget
  • capital projects (one time expense) must be open, inclusive, and place limited restrictions on community use
Projects and groups that are not eligible:
Groups Project or items

an individual

ongoing operating funding

groups previously awarded a NMF grant that have not completed the project or have not submitted their project summary report conflict with existing City of Waterloo, Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation or United Way Water Region Communities policy
political organizations items already purchased
government organizations  
for-profit businesses  
educational institutions  
religious organizations that have not demonstrated
support from the surrounding neighbourhood and/or the initiative is religious in nature
not-for-profits and registered charities not neighbourhood-based  
Before you apply

You will need to address the topics below in the NMF application. Your answers can be saved if you need to exit and go back at a later time.

  1. What you plan to do, when your project will happen, where your project will take place, who will be involved in your project and what their roles will be, what tasks need to be completed and when.
  2. How is this project supported by the neighbourhood?
  3. The background work you have already done in terms of getting work quoted, permits needed for events and connecting with partners.
  4. How will you know if this project is a success?
  5. Identify potential risks of the project and how you will minimize them.
  6. Submit a budget with your costs and matched contribution. We recommend submitting our NMF sample budget which outlines volunteer work, in-kind contributions, cash donations, additional grants and other items. 

You can download the apply for a neighbourhood matching fund grant (PDF) here.

Are you ready to apply for an NMF grant?

Apply for the NMF

Pandemic mini grant

The pandemic focused mini grant funds will provide support to initiatives in neighbourhoods that: 

  • respond to emergent needs and opportunities at the neighbourhood level
  • contribute to community building
  • encourage neighbourhood interactions
  • empower neighbours to lead
  • are in compliance with all Covid-19 public health directives

Community members, working independently or collaboratively, who are Waterloo residents may request fund between February 1-28, 2021 for project use by May 31, 2021. Applicants:

  • are encouraged to contact staff to discuss ideas for their initiatives
  • can receive funding from this program even if a regular mini grant or pandemic focused mini grant has been received in the past 12-month period
  • can request up to $500 cash and/or in-kind to support eligible expenses for initiatives in neighbourhoods in the City of Waterloo

This temporary fund supports emergent and one-time activities that:

  • are new initiatives that have not received support through another funding program, including the first round of the pandemic focused mini grant, service agreements, cash grants or the Neighbourhood Matching Fund
  • demonstrate how the initiative will be welcoming to all populations
  • provide clear goals and objectives on how the funds will be used
  • occur within four months of the application for funds being approved (funds cannot be used to support activities that take place prior to the request)
  • comply with all Public Health directives

Ordinarily, if a project is unable to be completed for unusual circumstances staff would work with the applicant to attempt a new project. Should that also not work out, funds would be returned. This would also apply to these pandemic focused funds. 

To request funds, neighbours should contact:

Mini grants

If you have an idea for your neighbourhood that would benefit from support money consider applying for the mini grant.

The City of Waterloo mini grants for neighbours program is open year round from January 1 to December 31. Eligible applicants are Waterloo residents working independently or collaboratively on a project that benefits neighbourhood cohesion.

Applicants may receive funds twice in a 12 month period, the maximum funding per project is $300 cash and/or in kind support for eligible expenses. Applications will be reviewed and a response will be received within two weeks.

Neighbourhood associations


Neighbourhood association boundaries are available as an open data set or a downloadable map (14.3MB PDF).

Neighbourhood associations

These groups work collaboratively with the City of Waterloo in a formal partnership as an association to foster neighbourhood connections and create opportunities for recreation. 

Home associations

These groups also work to foster neighbourhood connections and create opportunities for recreation.  Many associations were initiated based on covenants formed by land developers, with these groups often gathering around pools and tennis courts in their area.

Neighbourhood groups

These groups are another example of residents working as a neighbourhood to foster connections and create opportunities for recreation.

Neighbourhood leaders team

The city recruited for a neighbourhood leaders team to bring together representatives to enhance connections between neighbours over the next five years to support the implementation of the neighbourhood strategy.

Stay tuned for the work that neighbourhood leaders will do for your community.

Subscribe to our neighbourhoods e-newsletter 

Waterloo Neighbourhoods – What’s Happening? is our e-newsletter about all things neighbourhoods. It shares good news stories, grant opportunities and different happenings in neighbourhoods across Waterloo. It also highlights key information from different city departments and community partners.

Subscribe today and you could win one of three $50 Mastercard gift cards! Winners will be announced in December 2020.

Neighbourhood strategy

Council approved Waterloo's first neighbourhood strategy in 2018. It will be put into action over the next five years. It encourages neighbour interaction, empowers residents to lead and commits the city to an enabling corporate culture. 

If you would like to receive notifications about the implementation of the neighbourhood strategy, sign up to receive email updates