Ontario announces funding for rural communities to improve their downtowns

Funds intended for main street improvements such as crosswalks and landscaping

The Village of Millbrook in the Township of Cavan Monaghan revitalized its main street in 2016, including new crosswalks. Under Ontario's Main Street Revitalization Initiative, the township will be one of many municipalities in the Kawarthas to receive funding for similar improvements. (Photo: Nexicom / Facebook)
The Village of Millbrook in the Township of Cavan Monaghan revitalized its main street in 2016, including new crosswalks. Under Ontario's Main Street Revitalization Initiative, the township will be one of many municipalities in the Kawarthas to receive funding for similar improvements. (Photo: Nexicom / Facebook)

The government of Ontario has announced $26 million in funding for rural municipalities under its “Main Street Revitalization Initiative”, intended to attract investment and tourism, create jobs, and enhance regional economic growth by supporting the revitalization of downtown and main streets across the province.

Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Minister Responsible for Small Business, made the announcement today (January 23) at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference in Toronto.

“Main streets are at the core of small, rural communities and are home to thousands of small businesses across the province,” Leal said. “That’s why our government is committed to ensuring they continue to remain vibrant hubs where residents meet, tourists visit and small businesses grow and prosper.”

The funding will be used to improve downtown and main streets through improvements such as the installation of pedestrian crosswalks or landscaping. Municipalities can also direct funding to local businesses to improve the appearance of their storefronts by installing lighting or new signage.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario and its rural arm, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association, will administer the funds.

The government will allocate funds to municipalities based on population size, using the most recent data from the 2016 Statistics Canada Census of Population. Communities with fewer than 25,000 residents will receive an adjustment to ensure they receive sufficient funds.

Here are some of the communities in the Kawarthas receiving funding under the initiative:

  • City of Kawartha Lakes – $92,213
  • City of Peterborough – $96,964
  • Municipality of Brighton – $46,076
  • Municipality of Centre Hastings – $40,087
  • Municipality of Hastings Highlands – $39,498
  • Municipality of Highlands East – $38,875
  • Municipality of Port Hope – $50,234
  • Municipality of Trent Hills – $46,970
  • Municipality of Trent Lakes – $40,615
  • Town of Bancroft – $39,331
  • Town of Cobourg – $52,509
  • Township of Asphodel-Norwood – $39,524
  • Township of Cavan Monaghan – $43,522
  • Township of Cramahe – $41,426
  • Township of Douro-Dummer – $41,726
  • Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen – $39,881
  • Township of Minden Hills – $41,200
  • Township of North Kawartha – $38,143
  • Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan – $41,693

For a complete list of all municipalities, see www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/rural/main-st-allocation.pdf.

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