Belleville Façade Improvement Program received $650,000 between 2017 and 2022

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| Published , updated January 29, 2024

Between 2017 and 2022, the City of Belleville has granted BDIA members $648,786+ for façade improvements through the Façade Improvement program. Prior to 2017, council had approved over $50,000 in façade project grants.

What is the Façade Improvement Program?

Created in 2002, the city’s façade improvement program seeks to stimulate and encourage preservation of the architectural traditions upon which the character of the downtown is based.

The purpose of the façade improvement program is to revitalize the city centre, to counter urban decay and improve the image of the city.

It subsidizes the cost of exterior work on businesses’ frontage including, but not limited to:

  • masonry restoration and stabilization
  • installation of storefront awnings
  • replacement of back-lit signs with decorative front-lit signage
  • painting of woodwork and metal
  • architectural lighting improvements
  • renovation of storefronts
  • entranceway modifications to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

What improvements are ineligible for funding?

  • landscaping
  • building insulation
  • interior work

How much can a business receive?

As of 2021, the City of Belleville will provide non-repayable financial contributions of:

  • Up to $3,000 for the costs of professional fees related to the design of façade improvements
  • 50% of the eligible costs up to $12,000 for improvements and rehabilitation of front façades
  • 50% of the eligible costs up to $12,000 for improvements and rehabilitation of façades which back on to the Moira River

The City Rebates are intended to apply to construction costs to improve (and/or restore) the visual appearance and integrity of the building fabric or exterior façade(s). Funding may cover signage and painting costs at the discretion of the City.

In previous years, the funding had been $15,000 for a single wall (façade); and $20,000 for two (2) façades (front and side, or front and rear), to a maximum of 75% of the cost of a project.

Funding issued

Between 2014 and 2018, council approved $387,000 in grants resulting in façade projects worth more than $825,000. Between 2017 and 2022, the City of Belleville has granted the BDIA $648,786+ for façade improvements.

The 2018 Facade Improvement Program budget was funded by a grant from the Province of Ontario‘s Main Street Revitalization initiative in the amount of $74,454.48.

Eligibility

  • Buildings must be located in the Downtown Façade Area (see map below). See the detailed GIS Map.
  • Buildings that have not received funding under the previous CI.P’s façade improvement program within the last five (5) years. However, exceptions can apply where funding is still available after the fall intake period.
  • Existing commercial, mixed use, and institutional buildings.

Requirements

Applications are assessed under three main considerations:

  • Consistencies with the design guidelines and the original architectural design of the building;
  • The extent to which a project improves the overall appearance of the property and of adjacent and nearby buildings; and
  • The overall benefit to the downtown and consistency with the City’s Official Plan and other applicable policies

Submission requirements are as follows:

  • Completed application form
  • Detailed drawings of planned work
  • Detail on building materials to be used
  • Detail on colours to be used
  • Two (2) independent itemized quotes from qualified contractors
  • Property taxes in good standing

Applications

  • Spring Intake Deadline: May 31st
  • Fall Intake Deadline: September 1st

All applications submitted before May 31st will be considered as part of the first intake period. Any applications received after the spring intake period will be considered first come first served basis, provided that funding is still available.

Any properties that have received funding under the facade improvement program(s) within the last five years may be considered following the fall intake deadline of September 1st, provided that funding is still available.

What are the results of the façade improvement program?

This information is not made public because the applications are approved by the Working Committee and confirmed by the Director of Engineering and Development Services rather than City Council and the City has chosen not to voluntarily and proactively disclose this information.

Can businesses who received funding under the previous iteration of the façade improvement program apply again?

Yes, however priority will be given to any properties that have not taken part in the façade program within the past 5 years. If a property has participated in the program in the past 5 years, they will still be eligible to apply, but applications will not be reviewed until the fall intake period.

Any properties that have received funding under the facade improvement program(s) within the last five years may be considered following the fall intake deadline of September 1st, provided that funding is still available.

Façade Improvement Programs across Ontario

MunicipalityFunding
TorontoProgram currently closed. Previously 50% of eligible costs, up to $12,500
Kitchener50% of eligible costs, up to $10,000
Peterborough50% of eligible work up to $15,000 (one façade) or $30,000 (two visible façades)
LondonLoan covering 50% of the cost up to $50,000, paid back at 0% interest over 10 years
Markham50% up to $10,000 (+$5,000 for heritage structures)
Thunder Bay50% up to $10,000
St. Catherines50% up to $10,000 per façade
Windsor50% up to $30,000 per project ($60,000 for larger buildings)

Sources

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