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Downtown Tomorrow CIP

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 Downtown Tomorrow CIP Logo

The Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) launched on January 1, 2017.  This program seeks to encourage growth in Downtown Orillia, and in 2018 includes the provision of $200,000 in grants to offset costs of development in the downtown core for projects such as façade improvements, signage, feasibility studies, building improvements and the creation of residential units.

Over time, the DTCIP is expected to increase tax assessment, employment opportunities and housing options in the City's core as part of a longer term plan to revitalize the downtown and link it more closely to Orillia's waterfront.

A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is a tool authorized by the Planning Act and Municipal Act which allows municipalities to offer financial incentives such as grants and loans to property owners and business tenants in order to encourage downtown, neighbourhood and community revitalization.

A Community Workshop will be held on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 6-8 p.m. at the Orillia City Centre in the Tudhope Boardroom. For those who attend the full workshop, attendance will qualify as a DTCIP pre-consultation, which is a mandatory requirement for all DTCIP applicants. Click here  to RSVP to the workshop. 

Lorne VanSinclair attends the DTCIP Community Workshop

For further information on the DTCIP Program, please contact Laura Thompson, Manager of Real Estate and Commercial Development at 705-325-4900.

Intake Deadlines

After meeting with the Economic Development Department for your mandatory pre-consultation, applications can be submitted in person or through 2big4email to Rhonda Lees, Administrative Assistant.


February 28, 2018

April 30, 2018

October 31, 2018

Past Winners

 2017 - 1st Intake

Congratulations to the first five recipients of the Downtown Tomorrow CIP Grant Program!

Photo of grant recipients


Mayor Steve Clarke pictured with the recipients of the first intake of the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan Grant Program in the Economic Development Office at Orillia City Centre on March 20, 2017. Grant recipients include the new micro brewery opening at 162 Mississaga St. E. ($24,050), Mariano Tulipano at 27 Mississaga St. E. ($20,570), Enertest Corporation at 53 Andrew St. S. ($9,600), Impression House at 42 Mississaga St. W. ($4,245), and Crossroads Staffing at 17 Mississaga St. W. ($601).

Read full details in the News Release regarding the DTCIP Grant Announcement.

 2017 - 2nd Intake 

 2nd Intake Grant Recipients













From left, Jeff Pitcher, grant recipient, Susan Willsey, grant recipient, and Coun. Ralph Cipolla, are pictured at the announcement of the second round of grants as part of the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan Grant Program on May 24, 2017. Grant reciepients include Apple Annie's Café and Bake Shop at 101 Mississaga St. E. ($7,773), Jeff Pitcher at 75 Mississaga St. E. ($7,500), and Bob Robinson at 132 Mississaga St. E. ($2,210).

Read full details in the News Release regarding the DTCIP Grant Announcement. 

 2017 - 3rd Intake 

3rd Intake Grant Recipient














Councillors Ralph Cipolla, Ted Emond and Pat Hehn pictured with grant recipient Kathleen Philip. Philip was awarded $30,000 to transform vacant space behind and above the existing dental practice into new apartments.

Read full details in the News Release regarding the DTCIP Grant Announcement.

2018 - 1st Intake


2018 First Intake Award Recipients













Mayor Steve Clarke and Coun. Ted Emond pictured with the recipients of the first 2018 intake of the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan Grant Program at the Economic Development Office at Orillia City Centre on March 22, 2018.  

Read full details in the News Release regarding the DTCIP Grant Announcement.

 DTCIP Program Guides and Application Package

All applicants are required to review the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan AND participate in a mandatory pre-consultation meeting with City of Orillia program staff. 

Mandatory pre-consultations may be scheduled up to one week prior to the intake deadline and are subject to the availability of staff. 

Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan

DTCIP Brochure (Includes an overview of the DTCIP Program)

DTCIP Program Guide (Includes Frequently Asked Questions, information related to grant values per program type)

DTCIP Application Form

DTCIP Project Area 

DTCIP Evaluation Criteria

DTCIP Priority Properties

Information on Sign Permits, Applications, By-laws and Fees

* Note: Feasibility/Design Study Grants and Fees Grants may be awarded once per property within a two year period (from date of grant approval).

Facade Improvement Program, Building Improvement Program and Residential Improvement Program Grants may be awarded once per property per year (from date of grant approval) to a maximum of two grant applications (which may include stacked grants) for any five year period.

Be Prepared!

WSIB Clearance and Insurance Requirements

When applying for the program, applicants must ensure that potential contractors have Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Certification as well as proof of insurance.


Tip: When collecting quotations from contractors, request that they provide you with a copy of their WSIB certificate and proof of insurance to ensure that all potential contractors are eligible. Upon approval, the applicant will be required to submit a WSIB certificate and proof of insurance for the successful contractor to the Economic Development Department.


Project Timing

The intent of the DTCIP is to stimulate developments and improve the visitor experience; as such it is important that improvements take place in a timely manner. The grant agreement will have an approved project timeline indicating the date at which the project must be completed to be awarded the grant funds.


Tip: When collecting quotations from contractors, communicate the timeline of the project to ensure that all factors are considered (weather, workload, etc.) in order to meet the projected deadline.


Receipt Submission

Applicants must submit proof of payment for all eligible expenses. Eligible invoices will only be accepted from qualified contractors, firms, and/or businesses.


Tip: Submit one receipt from each of your contractor(s) showing proof of payment for eligible expenses. Receipts from various retailers and/or building supply outlets will not be accepted. 


 2018 Status of Grant Funding

A total of $200,000 has been allocated to the Downtown Tomorrow CIP Grant Program for 2018. 


Funds remaining for each grant program are as follows:

Facade Improvement Program - $43,975

Feasibility/Design Study Grant Program- $5,000

Building Improvement Grant Program- $30,000

Residential Grant Program- $30,000



 Media Coverage

Media Coverage - Downtown property owners can cash in on grants (August 2018)

Media Coverage - CTV Barrie - Improving Orillia

Media Coverage - City investments in downtown Orillia 'fantastic'

News Release - Mayor Announces Recipients of DTCIP Grants

News Release- City of Orillia Grant stimulates creation of new apartments

News Release - City of Orillia announces second round of Downtown Tomorrow Grants

Media Coverage - Community improvement plan helping unlock Orillia's potential

Media Coverage - Approximately $125,000 in Downtown Orillia Grant funds still available in 2017

Media Coverage - Downtown Orillia incentive program well worth the money

Media Coverage - Downtown Orillia Improvement Grants

Media Coverage - $60K in grants announced for downtown Orillia projects

News Release -  DTCIP Grant Announcement

Media Coverage - City of Orillia helps downtown business and property owners

News Release - Stimulating development in Downtown Orillia with new grants

News Release - announcing Council adoption of DTCIP

Municipal Monthly Column: Keeping downtown Orillia open for business

News Release - introducing the Downtown Tomorrow CIP Project

 Additional Resources

Local Consultant Resource List

Report to Council Re: DTCIP Adoption and 2017 Implementation Plan (includes presentation)

DTCIP Community Workshop Presentation 

Development of the Downtown Tomorrow CIP

The Downtown Tomorrow CIP project began in June 2015 with a review and inventory of the project area.

On July 14, 2015, the community was invited to learn more about the Downtown Tomorrow CIP and how it could benefit downtown Orillia at a public information session. RCI Consulting, a leader in the development of CIP's, was on-hand to facilitate a group workshop where challenges and opportunities were captured for consideration in the next phase of the project.

These ideas were captured in the Downtown Tomorrow Consultation Summary.

DTCIP Public Information Session

The project team brought forward  the first draft of incentive programs and associated documents to Council Committee on September 21, 2015, for consideration. A second Public Information Session took place on Tuesday, October 27, where the community provided input on the draft incentives and draft design principles. 

A Special Council Committee meeting was held on November 12, 2015, where Council made additional changes and revisions to the CIP programs in order to increase the flexibility of the programs.

The draft Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan package was sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for comment in February 2016.

Between February and May 2016, the staff project team worked with community stakeholders developing recommendations related to implementation for 2017, including details related to proposed budget allocations and potential evaluation criteria for awarding grants.

The final DTCIP Plan and 2017 Implementation Plan were presented to, and adopted by, Council at the Public Planning Meeting on June 27, 2016. Implementation of the following five grant programs began on January 1, 2017;

  • Feasibility/Design Study Grant Program
  • Façade Improvement Grant Program
  • Building Improvement Grant Program
  • Residential Grant Program
  • Fees Grant Program


Report to Council Re: DTCIP Official Plan Amendment - April 25, 2016

Report to Special Council Committee - November 12, 2015 (includes revised draft incentive package)

Report to Council Committee Sept. 21, 2015 - includes draft incentive package and consultant presentation

 Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan Mailing List
 Stay in the loop by signing up here to receive updates on the DTCIP Grant Program!

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