Heart of the City Program: Facade Improvement/ Sign Grant

By mmuise

The Facade Improvement/ Sign Grant assists with improvements to a building facade or for new signage. Funding is based on 50% of the costs to a maximum of $10,000 for facade work and $2,000 for new signage.

Comments on Funding:

1. The Facade grant component is equivalent to a proportion of work value on a matching funds basis to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs up to $10,000.00/property. A minimum grant of $2,000/per property is required (i.e. a minimum of $4,000 worth of project work is needed to meet the 50% allocation minimum of $2,000.00). This grant is in the form of a 5 year forgivable loan (0% interest) at an annual forgiveness rate of 20% / year.
2. The Sign Grant component funding is over and above the maximum grant limitations, as
identified in the Façade Improvement component. It is a 50% matching funds for eligible costs
up to a maximum grant amount of $2,000/property.

Deadline: Continuous Intake

Applicants must be land owners that undertake façade improvements to buildings in the central core, or “Heart of the City”. These areas include the downtown business district (Pitt Street and adjacent roadways) along with the Le Village shopping district.

Application Steps:

Application steps:

1. Consultation Meeting

a) Call or email to set up an initial meeting with Dana McLean, development Coordinator to discuss applicant's property and building renovations, the application process, timelines and identify any additional requirements, such as building permits.

b) If applicant's plans for renovation require architectural plans for a building permit, he can submit a request for funding for the design fees.

c) A list of qualified professionals will be provided to help applicants choose a designer/architect/ engineer depending on their needs.

2. Concept Plans and estimates

a) Once applicants have their concept design plans, they can contact contractors to ask them to provide estimates for each of the areas of work based on the finalized plans, such as windows, store front and interior renovations which may include electrical and plumbing.

b) Staff will help applicants meet with other city departments for any additional requirements, such as permits.

c) Once you have the estimates you may apply for funding for the renovation work.

3. Submit application

a)The application is reviewed by the Cornwall Planning Programs evaluation group (CPPEG), at the beginning of the month.

b) CPPEG then makes a recommendation for your application and it is presented to the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) mid-month for approval.

c) The recommended approval then proceeds to City Council for final approval for the funding request.

4. Funding approval

a) Any work started prior to the final approval by City Council is not eligible for funding.

b) Grant funding may be dispersed through a request for progress payments or when work is completed and a final inspection has been received.

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must submit with their application:
1. the concept/design plans;
2. at least two written estimates from qualified independent contractors/supplies (as per Bill 124 standards), if applying for the Façade Improvement Grant Component. The low estimate does not necessarily have to be selected.
3. “before” pictures of façade, if applying for the Façade Improvement Grant Component;
4. 2 comprehensive estimates from qualified signage companies detailing the above-noted type of proposed signage, if applying for the Sign Grant Component;
5. copy of their most current tax receipt;
6. a Letter of Authorization from the Registered Owner(s) MUST accompany this request indicating support for the subject Applicant(s) to proceed accordingly, if the Applicant(s) is not the Registered Owner(s) of the Property subject;
7. A Statement of Commitment by Proponent to seek advice on proposed façade design/materials, as it relates to the linkage with Historic Architectural fabric of the specific structures. This is typically evidenced in a combination of archival photo analyses (i.e. sources include S.D.&G. Historic Society Archive Collections, Heritage Cornwall information and any other appropriate information sources, if applying for the Façade Improvement Grant Component;

Other Things to Note:


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