Tourism Growth Program in southern Ontario: How funding works

Tourism Growth Program in southern Ontario

2. How funding works

Eligible applicants

  • Incorporated small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the tourism industry
  • Indigenous-owned businesses (including Indigenous sole proprietors) or Indigenous tourism organizations
  • Not-for-profit organizations (including tourism associations and economic development organizations)
  • Governments (municipal/provincial/territorial and related entities)

Ineligible applicants

Businesses or organizations who are not primarily focused on the tourism industry or whose services are not primarily for public use or benefit are normally not eligible applicants. This includes those in the following industries:

  • restaurants / food services
  • hotel chains
  • retail sector
  • private leisure facilities/event venues

Funding priorities

We may prioritize funding to projects that focus on one or more of the following program priorities:

  • supporting the Indigenous tourism industry
  • increasing tourism benefits for communities by driving visitation from urban areas to rural areas
  • supporting economic, environmental and cultural sustainability
  • supporting active outdoor experiences (e.g., projects that provide more opportunities for physically active tourism offerings such as rock-climbing, trails, watersports, etc.)
  • extending the tourism season (e.g., projects that promote and/or develop product, services or experiences with an aim of increasing tourism activity outside the traditional high season or extending their services year-round)
  • complement support provided through provincial programs

Eligible activities

The TGP supports communities, small- and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations to grow and develop local tourism projects that will position Canada as a destination of choice for domestic and international travellers.

If you are a tourism business, examples of supportable activities could include:

  • improving/creating new or innovative tourism offerings or products
  • investing in digitization or technology integration to enhance productivity, sustainability, efficiency and/or competitiveness
  • developing and delivering new products, services or experiences to increase tourism activity outside of the traditional high season or to extend services year-round
  • enhancing accessibility, creating a welcoming environment for diverse clientele

If you are a not-for-profit tourism organization, examples of supportable activities could include:

  • developing/implementing long-term tourism plans, based on research and market analysis
  • improving local assets, facilities, and/or planning for key active outdoor tourism experiences (e.g., projects that provide more opportunities for physically active tourism offerings)
  • facilitating the growth of off-season tourism (e.g., promoting tourism products, services and experiences outside of the traditional high-season, supporting the expansion of seasonal tourism to year-round service)
  • supporting the delivery of local community festivals and events that attract tourists to a destination
  • developing/increasing capacity for tourism businesses to provide inclusive tourism experiences

Funding parameters

Funding is project-based and must result in incremental and measurable outcomes and add value to the existing activities already being undertaken by the applicant.

Parameter  Businesses Not-For-Profit Organizations
Funding amounts
  • Applicants can request up to a maximum of $250,000 per project. Exceptions may apply.
Repayment terms
  • Funding is normally offered in the form of a fully repayable, interest-free contribution.
  • Should your project be approved, repayment will normally begin 1 year after the completion of the project.
  • Funding is normally offered in the form of a non-repayable contribution.
Matching requirement (cost sharing)
  • Eligible project costs are shared between FedDev Ontario and the applicant as follows:
    • FedDev Ontario – a maximum of 50%
    • Applicant – a minimum of 50%
  • In-kind contributions are not an eligible form of matched funding.
  • Total governance assistance (federal, provincial and municipal) cannot exceed 50% of eligible capital costs and 75% of eligible non-capital costs. Government assistance is permitted up to 100% of eligible costs for projects led by Indigenous applicants.
  • Eligible project costs are shared between FedDev Ontario and the applicant. Preference may be given to projects that maximize funding from other sources (i.e., where FedDev Ontario's contribution is 50% or less).
    • An applicant's portion of the cost-share (i.e., 50% of eligible project costs) may be comprised of cash contributions and in-kind contributions from other project partners.
    • Total government assistance (federal, provincial and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of total eligible project costs.
Eligible costs
Ineligible costs
Project time frame
  • Project start and end dates may vary by project but cannot begin prior to March 29, 2023, and must be completed by no later than March 31, 2026.
    • Priority may be given to projects where activities and funding take place between November 20, 2023, and March 31, 2024. Projects that are underway but not yet complete or substantially completed by the time of your application may be considered for support.

Key funding conditions

  • An application does not constitute a commitment from FedDev Ontario for financial assistance.
  • The contribution amount is subject to availability of funding, and FedDev Ontario reserves the right to make the final determination on the value of the contribution.

Important Note

  • Financial assistance may have tax implications for your business. It is recommended that applicants obtain advice from a qualified tax professional to determine the full implications of receiving funding.