TORONTO — The Canadian Urban Institute and Economic Development Council of Ontario are partnering to support the recovery of main streets in southern Ontario with the My Main Street contest.
Applications are now being accepted for the $23.25 million investment to support the revitalization of 200 neighbourhoods across southern Ontario. The initiative aims to reanimate neighbourhoods through installations, events and activities that will help to drive foot traffic back to main streets, states a release, adding the program will also help communities develop main street recovery action plans.
My Main Street is being delivered through two program streams:
- The My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program will support the revitalization of 65 main street communities and 650 businesses with direct business supports and market research. Through the program, communities can apply for funding to hire a main street ambassador for 12 months who will focus on providing wrap-around community economic development services to new and existing businesses. The ambassador unlocks resources, including non-repayable contributions of up to $10,000, for 10 local businesses in each participating neighbourhood.
- My Main Street Community Activator will support up to 140 placemaking projects including activities, events, improvements and policy development aimed at strengthening the connection between people and places in areas of community and commercial importance. Support will be provided in the form of non-repayable contributions between $25,000 and $250,000 and will be made in the form of reimbursements against costs incurred.
“The most resilient neighbourhood is one that has a wide range of ‘users’ and ‘uses’ and lots of people who live, work and shop in their communities,” said Mary Rowe, CEO and president of the Canadian Urban Institute, in a statement. “My Main Street is an opportunity to not just restore main streets to what they were before the pandemic, but to make them better, more inclusive and culturally safe places for everyone, where small, local businesses thrive and everyone can enjoy and benefit from them.”
A virtual information session will be held on Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. ET. The session will share examples of projects that are eligible, a walk through the application process and answer any questions. For more information visit mymainstreet.ca.