The My Main Street Community Activator provides support for community projects in southern Ontario designed to draw visitors and increase local vibrancy.

As communities continue to adapt to COVID-19, this program provides support for projects that seek to revitalize neighborhoods and reimagine public spaces including main streets, downtown strips and plazas as vibrant and inclusive places that work for everyone.

My Main Street supports placemaking, an approach that asks people to collectively reimagine and reshape public space to maximize its shared value. Placemaking can take the form of events that draw people into a community, murals that brighten neglected streetscapes and celebrate local artists, seating and temporary patios that allow people to gather safely outdoors, new uses for neglected or empty spaces, and more.

Funding will be prioritized for projects that support sustainable placemaking strategies for their geographic area and that are designed to support economic and social benefits for equity seeking groups, including Francophone, women, Indigenous, racialized groups, Black communities, newcomers, youth (39 and under), people living with disabilities, the unhoused, low-income people, Trans or non-binary people, and or LGBQ+.

Funding between $25,000 and $250,000 will be available, and provided as reimbursements against completed work.

Placemaking can be:


Goal 1

Events and Activations

Community events of a short, limited or repeating duration intended to draw visitors or create a new local offering, helping position a specific geographic area as a hub of community and economic activity.

Global network 2

Community improvements

Above grade improvements to a specific geographic area that will enhance its physical and visual appeal, draw people in and increase feelings of safety, connection and community enjoyment.

Recommended 1

Policy and capacity building

The development of strategies and capacities that will facilitate a focused, deliberate path to revitalizing or strengthening a downtown or commercial district’s economy through intentional and creative placemaking.

For more information about the program, please download the Applicant Guide

Eligibility

We’re looking to support local placemaking projects that make a meaningful difference in local communities, drawing people out, strengthening feelings of connection and inclusion, and spurring economic activity.

Our program will provide support for 140 projects, with 25 per cent supporting communities with populations of 100,000 or less. Support will be provided in the form of reimbursements against incurred costs.

  • Year one applications are now closed.

Funding for placemaking projects that are planned, completed or underway in 2021, with reimbursements offered for work completed between June 8, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

  • Year Two: (2022): Applications open December 1, 2021 to February 1, 2022.

Funding for placemaking projects that are planned, completed or underway in 2022, with reimbursements offered for work completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.

You’re eligible for a Placemaking Grant if:

  • Your project will take place in southern Ontario, excluding Toronto (find out more about Toronto’s main street recovery programs)
  • Your project is focused on placemaking in a defined geographic area, not a whole municipality.
  • The project is being led by a municipality, BIA, indigenous government or corporation, registered not-for-profit.
  • Your project has all the necessary local approvals.
  • You’re willing to tell the story of your event, and participate in announcements and events.

    Applicants will also be asked:
  • To describe the project’s intended impact.
  • To identify how their project will support the inclusion, safety and prosperity of equity seeking groups.
  • To identify how they will measure the impact of their work and how it will contribute to sustainable economic and social vibrancy.
  • To describe which groups or organizations are working collaboratively to deliver the project.

How to Apply

We are accepting applications for Year Two from December 1, 2021 to February 1, 2022, for projects that are eligible for reimbursements against costs incurred between January 1 to December 31, 2022.

You can apply with a project that is planned or underway.

Applications will be open between December 1, 2021 and February 1, 2022, as part of our efforts to quickly and efficiently provide support to local communities struggling with the ongoing realities of COVID-19.

A list of example projects can be found at www.mymainstreet.ca/activator-project-ideas. Questions about the program can be sent to [email protected].

View the entire Applicant Guide, including assessment criteria.

Please download and complete the application and budget template. You will be prompted to upload both documents when you apply, along with any supporting documents such as partnership letters and letters of support and one piece of documentation confirming your organizational status as an eligible organization. This can include but is not limited to Articles of Incorporation, Business Number Registration, Charitable Status, etc.

Year Two (2022) applications are open between
December 1, 2021 to February 1, 2022.

PARTNERS

My Main Street is a partnership between the Economic Development Council of Ontario and the Canadian Urban Institute.

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My Main Street funded by
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario:
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