Tourism Relief Fund in southern Ontario

Applications are no longer being accepted. Applications received and acknowledged by FedDev Ontario before closure will be assessed in the order they are received, subject to remaining funding.

Visit funding for southern Ontario to learn about other FedDev Ontario support.

The Tourism Relief Fund supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. With a budget of $500 million over two years (ending March 31, 2023), including $485 million in regional priorities funding administered by Canada’s regional development agencies, with $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives, and the $15-million National Priorities Stream administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), this fund will position Canada as a destination of choice as domestic and international travel rebounds by:

  • empowering tourism businesses to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors
  • helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors by providing the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world

Important program update:

  • Funding is available under the Tourism Relief Fund in southern Ontario for tourism operators to promote, present and/or expand activities that attract tourists and visitors to events happening between November 2022 and March 2023.
  • New Tourism Relief Fund applicants are welcome to apply for this funding. Existing recipients must demonstrate how their new November 2022 - March 2023 proposal is distinct from their current or completed project.
  • In all cases, total funding (including FedDev Ontario support or funding provided by a Regional Tourism Organization supported by FedDev Ontario) cannot exceed the maximum amount available to a business or organization under the program (see details below).
  • If approved, funding will be reimbursed based on costs incurred and claimed between November 2022 and March 31, 2023.

Indigenous applicants

Indigenous tourism projects are important to Canada's economic recovery efforts and a priority under the Tourism Relief Fund. Under the fund, a minimum of $50 million will specifically support Indigenous tourism initiatives. Contributions to Indigenous entities (not generating profits) will normally be non-repayable. Indigenous applicants are invited to apply through the process described below.

National tourism support

Through the National Priorities Stream, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will deliver $15 million to support the advancement of national tourism priorities aligned with Canada’s Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. These include destination development, seasonal and geographic dispersion, and human resources and skills development. This funding will provide the opportunity to leverage the reach and expertise of national tourism organizations to support pan-Canadian or multi-regional activities—like conferences and events, training and research, and network building—focused on addressing challenges facing the tourism sector on its path to recovery.

Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors, such as:

  • businesses
  • not-for-profit organizations, such as tourism associations
  • band councils or other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives

To be considered eligible for this fund, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • be a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience
  • be part of a defined tourism cluster or a tourism dependent community, including supporting downtown cores or
  • provide an anchor product or service in a tourism destination

Eligible activities

Tourism Relief Fund projects focus on:

  • Product development: for example, projects that enhance tourism experiences; help tourism businesses adapt to the "new normal," to modernize their offerings; and, encourage the adoption of more environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices.
  • Destination development: for example, projects that position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium- to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development prospects in line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

For more details on the eligibility criteria, please consult the Application guide.

Financial support

Total contributions to businesses are either:

  • non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs or
  • fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs

Not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous entities (not generating profits) will be eligible for non-repayable contributions.

  • Total contribution amounts would not exceed $500,000. The actual contribution amount will be based on the minimum amount required to carry out the project.


  • Total contributions are the amount of funding provided to an individual entity (business or organization) for one or more project over the duration of the Tourism Relief Fund (July 2021 – March 2023). This includes all funding provided by FedDev Ontario and/or a Regional Tourism Organization supported by FedDev Ontario.
  • Existing project recipients may be considered for the November 2022 to March 2023 tourism season funding if incremental activities are proposed and total contributions received does not exceed funding the maximum (as outlined above).
  • A business cannot receive a combination of a non-repayable and a repayable contribution.
  • For November 2022 to March 2023 project applications, only eligible costs for events and activities that take place as of the date of application in November 2022 and March 31, 2023, will be funded.