The City of Cambridge has many programs and incentives that support the vibrant and successful business community, both City wide and Core Areas. These programs and incentives include Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), support for local entrepreneurs, streetscape renewal programs, and other development programs.

Core areas financial incentives

Do you own a building in one of the Core Areas? Does it need some exterior maintenance?

Did you know the City operates a funding program called the Building Revitalization Program (BRP) by which qualifying improvements can be reimbursed up to 50% through a grant, or loan and grant?  

 Building Improvement 1

Qualifying maintenance/projects typically involve maintenance/replacement of features in view from the street such as windows, doors, eaves, fascia, brick repointing and masonry repairs.
Building Improvement 2 Sample

 

When improvements to any of the above items are made then funding may also be extended to items such as roofs, landscaping, including paving/hard surfaces work and fire code updating.

Please note that only work that has been pre-approved for the program by the city can be funded.
Building Improvement Sample 3

 

Please call 519-621-0740 and mention you'd like to speak with someone about the Building Revitalization Program.

Design Guide Program

The Design Guide Program provides funds for property owners to hire a professional design consultant to prepare a design plan for façade improvements of buildings located in core areas.

Complete the Design Guide Application to apply for this program.

Building Revitalization Program (BRP)

The BRP provides municipal financial assistance for physical improvements to the exterior of existing buildings. The City can provide interest-free and forgivable assistance towards eligible costs.                                                                                             

Complete the BRP Loan Application Form to apply for an exemption.

Fee Exemptions

Application Fee Exemptions allow property owners in Cambridge's three core areas to apply for exemption of fees related to development applications, building permits and sign permits.

Contaminated Sites Grant Program
The Contaminated Sites Grant Program assists property owners with the financial costs to clean up contaminated properties. Development Charge Exemptions provide financial assistance by waiving fees usually related to proposed changes of existing buildings and new developments.
City-wide financial incentives

The City of Cambridge also offers citywide financial incentive programs.

Tax Increment Grant Program (TIG)

The TIG Program provides tax grants to help property owners with the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites. This program provides a grant equal to the full amount, or a portion of the amount, of the property tax increase after a property is redeveloped and reassessed. The City uses the difference in taxes between the pre-remediated and redeveloped site to provide a grant to the applicant for some costs related to environmental remediation.

Complete the TIG Application Form to apply for this program.

Contact the Senior Planner, Reurbanization for more information.

Heritage Grant Program

The Heritage Grant Program provides financial assistance to owners of designated heritage structures for conservation and restoration. Property owners may qualify for a grant of up to half the cost of the work completed to conserve the heritage elements of the building, up to a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year.

Contact the Planner - Heritage at (519) 621-0740 ext. 4788 for more information about the Heritage Grant Program.

Employment Land Development Charge Reduction

The Economic Development Division provides an Employment Land Development Charge Reduction for new buildings or additions on properties within specific designated employment lands, such as the Boxwood Business Campus.

Contact the Economic Development Division for more information about this program.

Development Charge Exemptions

The City of Cambridge Development Charge By-law also provides Development Charge Exemptions for various types of properties located citywide, including:

  • Industrial buildings, as defined, located within specific areas may receive a reduction of up to 50 per cent of the development charges payable for additions
  • Contaminated sites, which require remediation, may credit an amount against the development charge otherwise payable equal to the amount of the costs to clean-up the site
  • Designated sites, under the Ontario Heritage Act, may be exempt from development charges payable for redevelopment or additions provided the designated building is retained and is an integral part of the development
  • Land subject to development charges with existing well and/or septic services may receive a development charge credit for water and/or waste water
  • Proposed new buildings for the purposes of farming may not require development charges

Call the Development Charges Coordinator at (519) 621-0740 ext. 4271 for more information.

View our Financial Incentives Brochure to learn more.

Back to the Rivers

Cambridge City Council approved a multi-year plan called Back to the Rivers. The plan involves a number of infrastructure efforts designed to enhance the city's waterfront areas in all three core areas to make them more enjoyable for businesses and residents.

Some of the Back to the Rivers projects include:

  • Historic Galt Post Office conversion to Idea Exchange (Galt)
  • Redesign of Water Street parking lot 2 and community space (Galt)
  • Core area transportation study, to assist in future developments (Galt)
  • Dickson Street reconstruction (Galt)
  • Pedestrian bridge across the Grand (Galt)
  • Connect pedestrian walkway along the Grand River to the platform at the School of Architecture (Galt)
  • Enhancements to the east walkway along the Grand, such as new railings, benches, trees and ground cover (Galt)
  • Streetscaping improvements in central core (Hespeler)
  • Community dock repairs (Hespeler) (complete 2014)
  • Trail construction along the Speed (Hespeler)
  • River access improvements (Hespeler)
  • Streetscaping improvements in central core (Preston)
  • Riverside Park community trail (Preston)
  • Reconstruction or alteration of Riverside Park dam (Preston)
Canvas for Success

Looking for the right property to own or lease within Cambridge's core areas? The City of Cambridge Canvas for Success is an available property inventory that helps you find the perfect location for your business.

Learn more about available sites and buildings in Cambridge.