Facade Improvement & Sidewalk Patio Grant

Downtown buildings and establishments define the street and are a major contributor to the character of the community.

The 2017 Grants are now closed. Thank you to all applicants for another successful Spruce the Bruce and Explore the Bruce grant year!

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Clean, interesting, and well-maintained building facades communicate a sense of pride and commitment to the community and encourage passersby to stop and shop. The Façade Improvement & Sidewalk Patio Grant encourages businesses to restore, upgrade, or otherwise improve their building facades. This grant matches local cash contributions up to $3,000.00 for projects under $10,000.00 with an additional $1000.00 given to projects over $10,000.00. Applications from South Bruce Peninsula and Township of Huron Kinloss communities are eligible to receive up to an additional $3,000.00 matched cash contribution for projects under $10,000 and an additional matching $1,000 for projects over $10,000 provided by South Bruce Peninsula Council.

These grants may be used towards the restoration of an existing storefront or the design and installation of a new façade. Alternatively, these grants may be used for the addition of a sidewalk patio. Façade Improvements projects must include a minimum of 3 items from the following list as part of their grant application in order for their project to be considered for funding. Projects that include perpendicular signage or awnings may apply for additional funds through the Perpendicular Signage & Awning Grant. Preference will be given to buildings with operating commercial businesses.

Eligible items for Façade Improvement Application (min of 3)
Exterior building painting
Architectural feature improvements/ amendments/ additions
Exterior lighting/ front illumination for signage
Replacement/ Removal of siding
Re-pointing of brick/stone
Storefront redesign
Installation of new masonry/ stone work
Brick restoration/ cleaning
Sidewalk patio additions
Other renovations/ improvements could be eligible if they meet the objectives of the program/ design guidelines

To be eligible for additional $1000.00 funding from Spruce the Bruce, application project must total over $10,000.00 utilizing at least 3 items from the list above and implement any additional items from the list below.
Replacement of windows & doors
Fascia signage improvements
Permanent outdoor planters/ accessories (shutters, trim, glass repair)
Permanent exterior accessibility ramps
Other renovations/ improvements could be eligible if they meet the objectives of the program/ design guidelines

Items that are ineligible for any Façade Improvement Funding
Roof Repairs
Interior Improvements
New Building Construction
Backlit signage / Read o graph signage * Please see exceptions for Sauble Beach - Guideline #11

2017 Eligible Communities for Façade Improvement Grant include:
Ripley, Lucknow, Walkerton, Mildmay, Lion’s Head, Wiarton, Southampton, Port Elgin, Kincardine.
In order to qualify for a Facade Improvement Grant:

  • Applicants must be a merchant or storefront property owner with an operating business within a CIP designated area with downtown commercial zoning.
  • Applicants may be eligible for one facade grant per storefront. Applicants may additionally apply for the storefront sign and awning grant
  • Projects must not have commenced prior to the awarding of the requested grant.
  • Projects must be completed by October 31st, 2017. Extensions are not granted. If money is not spent it will be deemed an incomplete project and you will need to reapply next year.
  • Applicants must provide a minimum 50% cash contribution (except in situations where there are multiple funding sources) towards the total cost of the project for which they are applying for a grant.
  • Applicants receiving additional funding sources, including applications within the Town of South Bruce Peninsula and Township of Huron-Kinloss, are required to provide a minimum 33% cash contribution..
  • With the generosity and support of Township of Huron Kinloss and South Bruce Peninsula council, applications from Wiarton, Lucknow and Ripley are eligible to receive up to an additional $3000 matched cash contribution from Township of Huron Kinloss or South Bruce Peninsula for their project, (total equals $6000 when combined with STB grant) and are only responsible for 33% of the total cost. No additional application is required.
  • Taxes are the full responsibility of the applicants.
  • Eligible Project costs must be actual cash outlay to third parties acting at arms length and which can be documented through original invoices or proofs of payment
  • Projects must demonstrate a contribution to the overall quality of the streetscape of the community (for help see the attached guidelines and the community design toolkit for your community)
  • Grant recipients are encouraged to become members of their local Chamber of Commerce, where one exists

The Economic Development Grant Committee will review applications against the following criteria:

  • date/timing of the application
  • balance of funding available and any previous applications made at the time of application
  • project's potential to provide long term economic benefit to the County.
  • evidence of the applicant's ability to fulfill responsibilities related to the project installation and maintenance
  • project's "fit" with the objectives of Spruce the Bruce and/or the local municipal direction
  • The proposed project's "fit" with the Community Design Toolkit & / or other local municipal direction

Incomplete applications cannot be accepted. Applications require the following:

  • Lead Applicant Name: (Municipality / Group) / Street Address (Location) / Tel / email
  • Contact (if different from applicant) / Mailing Address (if different) / Tel / email
  • Detailed project description
  • Attach any sketches and include a before picture of the project. (upload digital files)
  • The extent to which this project reflects the mission of the Spruce the Bruce Program
  • Who will be doing the work (Please list any contractors involved):
  • Description of the business and its location in the downtown area: (e.g. list neighbouring businesses, key features of the building, points of interest, etc.):
  • Description / samples of colours / materials that will be used (note that backlit signs typically are not supported for funding). (Attach files to support this description)
  • If your project includes sign text, please show the text to be included:
  • The proposed timeline for the work (start date, completion date) – must be completed by October 31st, 2017
  • Quote(s) of the project cost
  • Budget Details (taxes not included):
    • Proposed Total Cost of Project
    • Applicant Contribution
    • Other Contributions (ie. Funding from other organizations)
    • Other Grant Contributions: (ie. Provincial, municipal, or NGO)
    • Grant Request
    • Grant % of Total Cost:%

The following guidelines focus on design, character, suitability and compatibility issues affecting Façade Improvement Grant Applications in “Spruce the Bruce” designated downtowns. Keep these guidelines in mind when completing a Façade Improvement Grant Application:

  1. Only applications that are submitted prior to purchase, fabrication and/or installation of the sign, awning or façade work will be considered.
  2. Only grant applications that comply with municipal by-laws will be considered.
  3. Improvements requiring a variance will not be considered unless unique circumstances (not caused or created by the applicant) exist.
  4. Facade improvements and signage should add to the character and value of the downtown. You can check your community design toolkit, façade program guidelines, municipal design guidelines and / or streetscape plan for tips on ways that your project can support the community design vision. The following questions will be considered when reviewing the application:
  5. Is the work proposed of the same character as the building and its surroundings? Elements, window spacing, materials and features that reflect building character.
  6. Is the work proposed historic in character and does it use historic elements, colours, shapes, etc.
  7. Does this work proposed improve the visual quality and character of the downtown?
  8. Facade improvements should be of an appropriate size, scale and character for the building and site. The following questions will be considered when reviewing the application:
  9. Are the improvements scaled appropriately for the building and/or site?
  10. Does the proposed work fit as an overall element or does it overwhelm or stand out? Are the colours / materials appropriate?
  11. Applications for improvements that use a variety of styles and materials are encouraged. Creative design and/or use of graphics or images (as opposed to simply the name of the business) are also strongly encouraged.
  12. Facade improvements may include signs; applicants to the façade improvement program are encouraged to submit a joint application for a signs and awnings program grant and vice versa. Fascia signs must be appropriately designed and located; see the guidelines for this program for further details.Since it is difficult to produce backlit plastic panel or molded signs which reinforce the desired atmosphere and / or character of downtown, these types of signs are not encouraged and are not likely to be approved for funding.
  13. The use of a professional designer and / or contractor is encouraged
  14. Improvements must not interfere with sidewalk maintenance and pedestrian safety; which include proper height and allowable encroachment onto the sidewalk.
  15. Projects are subject to the existing sign by-laws that may require permits to be issued.
  16. Awnings and projecting signs may require an encroachment agreement with the Municipality (if they project over Municipal property) and Façade work may require a construction permit.

Applicants requiring further clarification are encouraged to contact the County of Bruce and / or their local municipality for planning / design assistance.

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