Places to Grow Implementation Fund Application Guidelines


The Places to Grow Implementation Fund supports innovative projects that promote and help achieve the policies or goals of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, or the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario by:

  • increasing knowledge and understanding of growth planning in Ontario through research and data collection and/or;
  • fostering greater public knowledge, awareness and understanding of the merits of growth planning in Ontario through training and education.

The Fund has an annual budget of $200,000. Each year, the Fund supports a limited number of projects with grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

The application deadline for 2017-18 is August 10, 2017 at 12:00 noon.

Eligibility requirements:

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

Proposed projects should take innovative approaches to build awareness of and advance growth planning in Ontario to benefit a range of Ontario municipalities. Activities can include:

  • Research to support Growth Plan implementation (e.g., data collection and analysis, success stories or case studies, innovative practices).
  • Activities, tools, and/or outreach materials that communicate the benefits of growth planning principles to stakeholders and/or the general public.

All proposed projects should include a clear outreach strategy to disseminate project information and results to a range of municipalities and/or different target audiences.

Project topics could include:

  • Building healthy, complete communities in urban, suburban and/or rural contexts.
  • Increasing intensification and addressing barriers to it.
  • Achieving transit-supportive densities.
  • Designing high quality compact built form and public open spaces.
  • Achieving a range and mix of housing options, including affordable housing, to serve all sizes, incomes, and ages of households.
  • Aligning land use planning with economic development strategies and emerging trends.
  • Integrating land use planning with investment in infrastructure and public service facilities.
  • Mitigating and adapting to climate change and creating low-carbon or net-zero communities.

Types of projects that are not eligible include:

  • Projects that do not include a public outreach/education component.
  • Projects that are unrelated to the implementation of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe or Northern Growth Plan.
  • Projects that are not relevant to other Ontario municipalities.

For examples of past fund recipients and projects, please see the Places to Grow Implementation Fund webpage.

Which organizations are eligible for funding?

The following organizations are eligible to apply for funding:

  • incorporated academic institutions
  • incorporated non-profit organizations
  • municipalities

The following organizations are not eligible and may not apply for or receive funding:

  • for-profit organizations and agencies of for-profit entities
  • federal or provincial departments and ministries, departmental corporations, agencies, Crown corporations, or wholly owned subsidiaries of parent Crown corporations (except for universities, colleges, or other educational institutions)

What are eligible costs?

Eligible costs are those that are directly associated with the project and incurred within its timelines. These are subject to the Transfer Payment Agreement and subject to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs’ approval and may include:

  • Costs associated with the collection or acquisition of data
  • Travel costs
  • Marketing and outreach materials
  • Equipment rentals or purchases
  • Materials and supplies
  • Salaries of staff
  • Up to 15% of eligible grant funds for administrative and other overhead costs.
  • Costs must be directly associated with the project.

Project funding

Funds are limited. Applicants may request from $5,000 to $50,000. Funding is available for use in the Province’s 2017-18 fiscal year only. Work must be completed by March 16, 2018.

The Ministry will enter into an agreement with the recipient once an application has been approved. Costs may only be claimed for work carried out after the effective date of the executed agreement. If an activity is commenced before the execution of an agreement, only the additional funding required to expand the scope of the existing project will be provided.

An applicant may submit more than one application. If approved, an applicant may only receive funding for one application and project during a fiscal year.

A funded project may be part of a larger project that spans more than one fiscal year. However, the funded portion must be completed in the year for which funding is offered. If additional funding is desired, separate applications would be required for the portions in each subsequent fiscal year and funding is not guaranteed.

Application process

The deadline to apply for 2017-18 funding is 12:00 noon on Thursday, August 10, 2017. Applications will be evaluated as they are received.

Eligible organizations may apply for Places to Grow Implementation Fund support by completing the online application form. The project proposal including detailed budget, two letters of reference, and articles of incorporation or similar documents may be attached to the online form.

A completed package should include:

Completed online application form 
Project proposal that includes the following:

  1. Project team information: For each project member, please include name and contact information as well as their role and relevant experience.
  2. Project Objectives: What does your project aim to achieve?
  3. Rationale: Why would an investment in the project make a significant contribution to the advancement of growth planning in Ontario? Describe any new or innovative elements of your proposed project.
  4. Key Activities, Deliverables & Anticipated Outcomes: What are your key activities and anticipated outcomes? List and describe the project deliverables that will be submitted at the completion of this project in March 2018.
  5. Outreach Plan: Describe what outreach you will undertake, including how the information and results will be disseminated, the proposed target audience, and any other relevant outreach information. How will you track and report on your outreach? How will you sustain outreach beyond the conclusion of the project?
  6. Your Organization: What knowledge, understanding and experience with growth planning in Ontario does your organization have? What demonstrated capacity do you have to undertake and manage project activities? Include a demonstrated history of undertaking similar types of work and an ability to complete the project by the project deadline.
  7. Project Governance and Accountability Processes: Describe your project management structure, governance and control structures, financial accounting and reporting processes.
  8. Work Plan: Outline your project timelines and clear, specific and measurable milestones that will lead to the deliverables/project results.
  9. Risks: What are potential risks to successful completion of the project deliverables? How will you mitigate them?
  10. Project Budget: Outline your eligible costs within the Fund’s timeline. Include contributions you will receive from other sources (including private sector, institutional, government, charity, etc.)

Two letters of reference that support the application (either in support of the applicant or in support of the proposed project).
Articles of incorporation or business registration letter, or other documentation to confirm that the organization is an existing legal entity with full power to engage in the activity and fulfill its obligations under a transfer payment program agreement.

How to submit

Please complete the online application form or submit by mail or courier to:

Attention: Places to Grow Implementation Fund
Ontario Growth Secretariat
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
777 Bay Street, 4th Floor, Suite 428
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2E5

Faxed applications will not be accepted.

Please Note: All materials and other information submitted as part of this application will remain confidential and the property of the Ministry and will not be returned to the applicant. The Province is bound by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Any information provided to the Province in connection with the application or otherwise in connection with the Places to Grow Implementation Fund may be subject to disclosure in accordance with that Act.

Selection Process

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs will review each application to the Places to Grow Implementation Fund for accuracy, completeness and relevance to program objectives and assessment criteria.

The following assessment criteria will be applied: 

  • Does the project strongly align with the strategic priorities of the Fund as outlined in the Eligibility Requirements?
  • Does the application provide a strong rationale as to why an investment in the project is important to the advancement of growth planning in Ontario?
  • Does the project explore a specific problem, incorporate new/innovative elements, or propose an innovative solution to growth planning in Ontario?
  • Does the project/outcome have the potential to benefit a range of Ontario municipalities?
  • Does the project demonstrate a clear outreach strategy to disseminate project information and results to a range of municipalities and/or different target audiences?
  • Does the project team have knowledge and experience related to growth planning in Ontario, and of the policies and goals of the Province’s Growth Plans?
  • Does the application identify potential risks and include a strategy to mitigate risks?
  • Does the applicant have a strong project proposal including a clear work plan and project budget?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate the ability to successfully implement the project, as described in the application?
  • Can the project be completed by March 16, 2018?

The Ministry will review all applications. Only completed applications will be considered.

Post Application Review

Organizations will be advised by email of the status of their application.

Approved applicants will enter into a transfer payment agreement with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The agreement stipulates terms and conditions governing the payment of the Places to Grow Implementation Fund grant, including, but not limited to:

  • project description and timelines;
  • project budget;
  • mode and schedule of payments;
  • reporting requirements, including audits and financial reports and other reports as stipulated;
  • corrective action in the event recipients do not follow Ministry requirements.

The information and conditions regarding the program are subject to change.

The Places to Grow Implementation Fund is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with a limited budget. In some instances a project that meets all program criteria may not be approved for funding as other projects may more effectively meet the criteria.

Grant disbursements are subject to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs having an appropriation approved by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the fiscal year in which the disbursement is to be made.

For more information, contact:

Ontario Growth Secretariat
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
777 Bay Street, 4th Floor, Suite 428
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E5

Telephone: (416) 325-1210
Toll free: 1-866-479-9781
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Attention: Places to Grow Implementation Fund

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