Central Area Community Improvement Plan

The Central Area Community Improvement Plan (CIP) was approved by Council in November 2007, came into force in January 2008 and was amended in June 2010. The CIP establishes a toolbox of programs designed to support specific planning objectives by aligning financial incentives with the identified planning goals. Individual incentive programs are established when needed by way of approval of Implementation Guidelines and corresponding budget.

Yearly update reports are provided giving a status on the CIP and its programs and new program development.

Individual incentive programs are established by way of approval of Implementation Guidelines and corresponding budget.

Facade Improvement Program

Application Window Open

Facade Improvement Program 2014The aim of the Facade Improvement Program is to support the ongoing revitalization of the historic downtown core, by way of providing supporting grants to offset costs related to façade improvements undertaken by landowners and businesses. Improved building appearances enhance the overall attractiveness of the area for new business, for shoppers and for people wishing to live work and/or conduct business in the area.

The following are the program objectives:

  • To improve overall quality of building facades in the program area and support the ongoing revitalization efforts of the historic downtown area, by helping to create an attractive place for people to work, live, be entertained, shop and undertake business.  
  • To improve the visual appearance of building facades along downtown laneways and public spaces and support long-term objectives towards activating laneway space in the historic core.  
  • To support property owners in their efforts to upgrade their properties and improving the viability of the buildings for new quality businesses to locate in the downtown.
  • To support business owners in their efforts to improve their tenant space and storefronts, provide a high-quality appearance for their establishments and improve their attractiveness to potential customers. 
  • To encourage and support the restoration and reinstatement of historic building facades within the program area.

Building Improvement Program

Application Window Open

The aim of the Building Improvement Program is to support the ongoing revitalization of the historic downtown core, by way of providing supporting grants to offset costs related to improvements to building systems and tenant space and encouraging reinvestment and improvements to buildings in the program area.

The following are the program objectives:

  • To improve overall the quality of commercial/mixed use building stock and space in the historic downtown core
  • To support property owners in their efforts to upgrade their properties and improving the viability of the buildings for new businesses to locate in the downtown core
  • To support business owners in their efforts to improve their tenant space
  • To encourage and support the ongoing active reuse of heritage buildings

Development Charges Incentive Program

The Development Charges Incentive Program seeks to support intensification and mixed use development in targeted areas within the Central Area, by providing relief from City Development Charges. The level of DC reduction is established by way of a scoring system. The higher the project scores against the set of criteria (location, preferred type of development, high quality physical environment, community benefit and sustainability) the greater the discount. There is also support for smaller scale adaptive reuse along Queen Street West in the Main Street North area, as well as support for reuse of upper floor space in the historic commercial core. The Implementation Guidelines for the DCIP were approved on November 28, 2007 and came into effect the day the CIP came into force. The guidelines set out the rules, eligibility criteria, process requirements, monitoring and other matters related to the governance of the program.

  • The full DCIP Implementation Guidelines are found here.
  • A program guide is provided here.
  • An application form for the DCIP is available here.

Sign Permit Fee Subsidy Program

The Sign Permit Fee Subsidy Program (SFS) is implemented to support small business owners establishing commercial uses and those wishing to make aesthetic improvements to their businesses in the historic commercial core of the downtown and along Queen Street West and Main Street North. It also seeks to support a general improvement in the quality of signage in the program area. Under the program the permit fee for signs is subsidized for applicants within the program area, provided the signage conforms to the sign by-law and is satisfactory to the City from a design perspective. The rules for the program are found in the Implementation Guidelines.

  • The SFS Implementation Guidelines are available here.
  • The application form is available here.