Green Infrastructure Financial Incentives and Grants

Green Infrastructure Funding

There are many ways in which we citizens of the world can green our communities and help the environment — from creating rain gardens, green roofs and other stormwater systems that help prevent polluted water runoff from entering waterways to restoring ecosystems and supporting species at-risk.

In honour of Green Infrastructure Week 2018, we’ve compiled a list of financial incentives and grants available that should not only ease our carbon footprint and help our pocketbooks, but also empower our communities to go from #GreytoGreen.


Stormwater management systems control flooding and reduce pollution in our rivers and waterways by temporarily holding rainfall, melted snow or water runoff. Water is regularly collected from local storm sewers, treated to remove large pollutants, then slowly released back to our waterways.

A rain garden is an example of a stormwater management solution that is beautiful as well as functional. Rain gardens capture stormwater runoff from roofs and other surfaces, preventing polluted water from entering sewer systems which lead into rivers, lakes and streams. They also help prevent flooding and provide habitat for birds, butterflies and insects.

City of Guelph Stormwater Credit & Rebate Program

Funding for the stormwater credit and rebate program was approved as part of the city’s 2018 non-tax operating budget to offer $80,000 for residential rebates and $250,000 for stormwater service fee credits.

The residential seasonal rainwater harvesting rebate offers a one-time rebate of $0.50/litre of tank storage (to a maximum of $2,000) to property owners who purchase and install an approved tank to capture and manage stormwater runoff on their properties.

The business and multi-residential program is credit based and targeted towards industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential properties with six or more units. Property owners can apply for credits for implementing stormwater and/or pollution-prevention best management practices and low impact development measures. Eligible properties will receive a credit against their monthly stormwater service fee charges, up to a maximum of half of their fee, for a maximum of four years.

Waterloo Region Stormwater Credit Program

Property owners in Kitchener and Waterloo can apply for stormwater credits of up to 45% of that portion of their utility bill.

RAIN Smart Financial Incentives

Reep is an environmental charity that helps people in Waterloo Region and across southwestern Ontario live sustainably, with a current focus on addressing climate change through residential energy efficiency and storm water management. Their RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods project offers financial incentives, from $100 to $1,500, to homeowners in Kitchener’s Lakeside and Mount Hope neighbourhoods upon installation of rain gardens, infiltration galleries and permeable paving, plus rebates for rain barrels and cisterns.

Thunder Bay Rain Garden Rebate Program

EcoSuperior offers a $500 rain garden subsidy to eligible residents, businesses and other institutions to help pay for materials such as plants, rocks, gravel, edging materials, soil and amendments.

Toronto Foundation – Vital Innovations Award

Toronto Foundation is a registered charity and community foundation that provides one-time strategic grants of up to $50,000 to residents and organizations who address and provide support for projects that support a better quality of life in Toronto.

The foundation helped fund the start-up of Rain Gardens United (previously known as Rain Gardens of Danforth East Village-East York) in 2015 with a $10,000 grant to install 11 residential rain gardens and connect Wards 29, 30, 31, and 32 with the Leslie Spit and carpet the “green corridor” of Toronto with a butterfly, bee and bird-friendly habitat. The project has since expanded to 31.


Green roofs support the growth of vegetation and consist of a waterproofing membrane, drainage layer, organic growing medium (soil) and vegetation. Benefits include rainwater absorption, insulation, creating wildlife habitats, and  helping to lower urban air temperatures.

Livegreen Toronto Eco-Roof Incentive Program

The City of Toronto’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program offers grants to support the installation of green and cool roofs on on Toronto homes and buildings (with a gross floor area of less than of 2,000 m2.) Green roof incentives include up to $100 per square metre installed; up to $1,000 for structural assessment.


Ecological restoration supports the renewal and restoration of degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by active human intervention and action.

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Owners of public, private or commercial properties within the Lake Simcoe watershed are eligible to apply for funding assistance of up to $10,000 for projects that focus on protecting and restoring the area’s natural resources (i.e. supporting improved water quality, soil conservation, natural heritage enhancement). Free expert technical advice is available from LSRCA Stewardship Technicians, and staff can assist with accessing funding from other sources, if/when available.

Community Interaction Program (CIP)

The CIP provides funding of up to $200,000 for community projects aimed at conserving and improving the St. Lawrence ecosystem, available to Quebec-based non-profit, non-governmental organizations and Aboriginal communities. Projects that focus on specific environmental issues requiring action are eligible: From $25,000 for study projects; $100,000 for public awareness projects; and up to $200,000 for projects that highlight restoration, sustainability, biodiversity protection and study/action.

Land Stewardship & Habitat Restoration Program

The LSHRP is a competitive granting program that offers eligible organizations with support to undertake land and habitat restoration for biodiversity conservation at the landscape level. Successful applicants receive up to $20,000 per project for activities that restore habitats to benefit fish, animals and/or plants. Applicants are required to equally match funding provided through the LSHRP. Open to *incorporated* conservation organizations, businesses, municipal government, non-government organizations and Aboriginal organizations or communities.

More Green Infrastructure Funding Sources:

Infrastructure Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities have announced more than $3 million in funding for 50 new initiatives in communities across Canada through two programs: the Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP) and the Green Municipal Fund (GMF).

Evergreen – Past approved projects include greening initiatives, urban food gardens, innovative building in mid-sized cities and revitalizing greenspace.

The Greenbelt Foundation supports projects with an obvious relation to, and direct impact on, the Greenbelt. Grants are available to registered Canadian charities or other qualified donees. The maximum grant that an organization can apply for is $300,000 per project. Eligible projects include restoration and enhancement for the Greenbelt’s natural and water resource systems.

The Green Ontario Fund maintains a list of energy-savings programs that are available for residential and small businesses and organizations, searchable by geographic location.

The Living City Foundation supports environmental initiatives in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation and has raised more than $40 million for conservation work in the Greater Toronto Area since 1961. Past funding has been provided for projects that involve protecting and regenerating watersheds and parks and conservation areas.

The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) provides grants to community groups, charities, non-profit organizations and municipalities for projects that have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gases and/or air pollution in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The grants program has two priority streams: Clean Transportation and High-Performance Buildings, and two special funding opportunities: Low-Carbon Neighbourhoods and Social Innovation Skills.

Tides Canada is a national leader in social change philanthropy and has supported over 2,500 initiatives, with grants totalling $158,403,260 in support of environmental and social change. Through their ChangeCapital program, they support nearly 40 initiatives on a shared platform and manage about 200 donor advised funds.

Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) provides funding to projects that contribute to the rehabilitation of both water treatment and distribution infrastructure and existing wastewater and stormwater treatment systems, collection and conveyance infrastructure, and initiatives that improve asset management, system optimization, and planning for future upgrades. CWWF is supported by Infrastructure Canada and scheduled to end in 2019-2020.

Green Infrastructure Fund (GIF) supports environmental infrastructure projects that promote reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air, cleaner water and cleaner land. There are five eligible categories of investment: wastewater infrastructure, green energy generation infrastructure, green energy transmission infrastructure, solid waste infrastructure, and carbon transmission and storage infrastructure. GIF is supported by Infrastructure Canada and scheduled to end in 2021-2022.

Gas Tax Fund (GTF) provides municipalities with long-term funding to enable construction and rehabilitation of core public infrastructure, supported by local communities who invest across 18 different project categories, including: wastewater infrastructure, roads and bridges, public transit, drinking water, and recreational facilities. The fund promotes investments in increased productivity and economic growth, a clean environment, and strong cities and communities.

Approximately 25,000 total projects have been funded through the Gas Tax Fund since 2005, supported by Infrastructure Canada.

Help expand this list of green funding opportunities! Please send details or comments to


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