Members of the Riverside BIA may be eligible for grants through the City of Toronto’s annual Commercial Facade Improvement Program. These grants provide financial assistance to property owners and business tenants to improve their commercial and industrial buildings and properties, and in doing so enhance their appearance, functionality, safety and competitiveness in a rapidly changing economic environment.

What is the Commercial Façade Improvement Program?

The Commercial Façade Improvement Program provides funding to commercial and private property owners to redesign, renovate or restore commercial or industrial building façades (exterior). The grant pays for up to 50% of the total cost of the storefront improvements, up to $12,500. There is also an extra $2,500 to help your business comply with AODA standards.

The eligible improvements include, but are not limited to, brick cleaning, restoration, wheelchair accessibility, doors, signage, windows, lighting, masonry, permanent accessibility ramps, automatic doors and etc.

Visit the City of Toronto’s Commercial Facade Improvement Webpage for UPDATES

What are the benefits?

Improving the appearance of your building’s façade shows that you care about your property. In addition, your neighbourhood streetscape is improved. This provides a more welcoming environment to work, shop and live and complements the overall BIA improvements being put in place within the streetscape.

How is funding calculated?

Half of the cost of eligible improvements to commercial or industrial building façades is covered and will be based on the lowest contractor estimate submitted with the application. Please visit the City of Toronto’s website for updates on grant amounts.

Who is eligible?

  • You must be the property owner or have the permission of the property owner
  • Your building must be located in a Business Improvement Area (BIA)
  • You must not owe outstanding taxes to the City
  • You must not start your improvement project before the funding application is approved
  • You must have not received the maximum façade improvement funding for your property in previous years.

How do I apply?

  • Contact the City’s BIA Office to determine eligibility: 416-392-1005,
  • Complete and submit the application form (available from the City’s webpage), complete applications include (not extensive):
    • 2 contractor estimates for EACH of your improvements
    • Sketch, marked photo and/or architectural drawing of the proposed façade. It does not need to be professionally done, but the changes must be clearly shown.
    • High-resolution digital photography of the current façade
    • Proof of ownership, if the tenant is applying for the grant, please provide a ‘no-objection’ letter from the property owner, stating the contact person for the file and who is to receive the grant if the application is approved and the work is satisfactorily completed.
    • Confirmation of the heritage status of the property
    • Sign “Declaration of a Non-Discrimination Policy”
    • Sign “Letter of Application”
  • Submit your application to:
    Michael Saunders
    Economic Partnership Advisor
    Economic Development & Culture
    Business Growth Services – BIA Office
    77 Elizabeth Street, 2nd Floor
    Toronto, ON M5G 1P4
    Tel: (416) 392-1005

What’s next?

  • City reviews the application, and if approved you can start the work
  • After the work is finished, the City issues funding cheques to the successful applicants.

IMPORTANT! No work should start before the written confirmation of the grant!

Note: The Riverside BIA maintains a list of contractors to help assist in your application – please contact 


Click here for answers to commonly asked questions. Many of these and other questions are answered in the application package.  Please contact the program administrator – Michael Saunders for more specific & detailed answers to these questions.


“We are excited about making this investment in our building, and appreciate the contribution that the City of Toronto has made through its Façade Improvement Program. Baird MacGregor is committed to the Riverside community.” ~ Philomena Comerford, CEO of Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP