Downtown Tomorrow CIP Grant Program

Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (CIP) Logo

The Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) launched on January 1, 2017.  This program seeks to encourage growth in Downtown Orillia by providing grants designed to stimulate development.  Council approved $200,000 for the 2024 grant program to  offset costs of development in the downtown core for DTCIP 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 that 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.

In order to be eligible, applicants must have taken part in a mandatory pre-consultation or attended a DTCIP Community Workshop with the Business Development Division or Downtown Orillia Management Board staff (see details in "How do I Apply?" section).  If you did not attend, or have not completed your mandatory pre-consultation, email the Business Development Division to discuss.

Apply NowDownload the DTCIP Application

If you are contemplating a future application, please subscribe to Business Development News & Information to receive updates and information on future intake opportunities.

For further information, please contact:

Business Development Division

2024 Intake Deadlines

Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. on the respective intake deadline date. 

  • Early Bird Intake Deadline: Thursday, February 29, 2024
    • Please note, this intake deadline is for applicants who have already completed their mandatory pre-consultation.
  • Thursday, May 9, 2024 
  • Thursday, August 1, 2024
  • Thursday, November 7, 2024 


How do I Apply?
  1. Complete your mandatory pre-consultation.
    • Before applying, applicants must take part in a mandatory pre-consultation with City staff.
    • These pre-consultations may be scheduled up to two weeks prior to the intake deadline, however, pre-consultations are subject to staff availability and cannot be guaranteed.
    • Since a pre-consultation is mandatory to apply, applicants are encouraged to attend or send a staff member, family member, advisor or consultant to represent their application on their behalf.  
  2. Review all DTCIP Program Information Materials in section below, and reach out to us.
    • Reviewing all relevant DTCIP Program Information Materials and working with our team will ensure that you and your proposed project meet all eligibility requirements, and that your application is strong. Our team will work with you one-on-one through every step of the process.
  3. Apply by 4 p.m. on the respective intake deadline date.
    • Ensure that you are prepared with all required and supplemental information to submit with your application. Submit your application and relevant attachments through the DTCIP Application Portal.


 DTCIP Program Information Materials

All applicants are required to review the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan and participate in a mandatory pre-consultation meeting/attend a DTCIP Community Workshop with the City's Business Development staff. Please note that a Community Workshop qualifies as a mandatory pre-consultation meeting. 

Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan

2024 DTCIP Brochure (Includes an overview of the DTCIP Program)

2024 Funding Allocations (Includes available funds for each grant program)

2024 DTCIP Application

2024 DTCIP Application Guide 

DTCIP Project Area

DTCIP Evaluation Criteria

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

*Note: DTCIP grants may be awarded once per property per year (from the date of grant approval) to a maximum of two grants for any five year period. This includes grants awarded in 2020 and 2021 for the COVID-19 Patio and Public Realm Project.

 Tips from our Team

Tip #1: Reach out to us!

Our team is here to help you through the entire application process. Working with us one-on-one will help to strengthen your application to optimize your chances of being approved for the grant(s) in which you're applying for. Email the Business Development Division to get started.

Tip #2: 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. 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 Business Development Division.


Tip #3: 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. 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.


Tip #4: 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. 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. 

What is the DTCIP Grant Program Application process, from start to finish?

Each application/project is unique, and the process can slightly vary on a case by case basis. However, the chart below outlines the general DTCIP grant program process:

 DTCIP Application Process Chart

Media Coverage

News Release - Orillia Launches 2023 Downtown Tomorrow Grant Program

News Release - City Grants $29,500 through Downtown Tomorrow Program

News Release - Downtown Tomorrow CIP grant provides facelifts for two new business store fronts

News Release - Orillia launches 2022 Downtown Tomorrow grant program

News Release - Last chance to apply for City’s Downtown Tomorrow grant program in 2021

News Release - Orillia kicks off the 2021 Downtown Tomorrow program with grants for two exciting developments

News Release - Orillia launches 2021 Downtown Tomorrow grant program

News Release - Orillia grants more than $20,000 to local businesses through DTCIP

News Release - Phase 1 of Orillia’s patio and public realm initiative receives a green light

News Release - Orillia’s downtown grant program is breaking barriers to upper-storey development

Media Coverage - CTV Barrie - Orillia awards grants to downtown projects

Media Coverage - Four downtown projects awarded city grants totalling over $45,000

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 - Stimulating development in Downtown Orillia with new grants 

News Release - Announcing Council adoption of DTCIP

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)

 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

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Photo Gallery: DTCIP Grant Recipients will appear here on the public site.

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