Improve community facilities and spaces. Capital grants provide funding over one year to help organizations respond to the capital needs of Ontario’s communities.
June 14, 2023, at 5 PM ET
Maximum 12 months
Amount awarded (per year)
Create inspiring, useful spaces
Apply for a Capital grant to help your non-profit organization address a community need by improving the infrastructure Ontarians need to thrive. Whether it’s purchasing equipment, building a new space, or completing renovations, retrofits or repairs, Capital grants support projects that will have a positive impact in your community.
We support projects that:
- Improve access to community spaces, facilities, programs, activities and services, and facilitate community members’ full participation in the life of the community
- Improve and build community spaces
- Make programs and services better and more efficient
- Make better use of technology
Organizations can request funding for multiple capital improvements within one facility, e.g., touchless entry and widening of doorways at local community centre, or they can request funding for the same capital improvements at multiple facilities, e.g., HVAC retrofits at 3 municipal arenas.
Plan your application
Before your organization prepares its grant application, review the information on this page along with the Capital grant resources. OTF receives a lot of applications, so it’s important to check that your organization and Capital project meet OTF eligibility requirements before you apply.
In the application, your organization needs to select the Capital grant outcome(s) that apply to your project and describe how the project will address a need in the community. You will also need to identify key project activities and complete a Financial Workbook to describe the costs of your project activities.
Review the Capital grant application questions.
As part of the Capital grant application, the following documentation needs to be submitted:
Financial Statements: Most recent completed financial statements which include comparative information for the prior fiscal year is required. Municipalities, First Nations, Métis or Inuit communities are not required to submit financial statements. Review the Financial Statement Requirements.
Quotes or estimates: For each good and/or service valued above $10,000, OTF requires that a minimum of one quote or estimate be uploaded with the grant application. However, OTF prefers to receive two or more quotes or estimates to help your organization establish accurate budget amounts and demonstrate the best value for money. Review the Requirements for Quotes or Estimates.
Lease or Proof of Ownership: Proof of ownership or a five-year lease agreement is required for renovations, repairs, or retrofits of buildings or facilities, the addition of outdoor installations, and installation of fixed equipment. If an existing lease expires prior to the end of the five-year term required by OTF, a letter from the lessor documenting the commitment to renew the existing lease is required. Review the Lease Agreement Requirements.
Photos: At least one ‘before’ picture of the current state for each area to be worked on needs to be uploaded with the grant application. If you are purchasing equipment, provide at least one picture of equipment to be purchased.
Discover if your organization and project are eligible for funding.
An applicant for an OTF grant must:
- have a primary purpose, presence and reputation for delivering programs and activities with direct community benefit in Ontario
- demonstrate the financial capacity to manage OTF funds, deliver and complete the proposed project as per OTF’s Financial Health and Need policy
- demonstrate that they provide services in Ontario
- demonstrate their ability to generate additional resources from the community and other sources
- demonstrate that it is an appropriate organization to carry out the proposed project
Any one of the following organizations may be eligible for funding:
- a charitable organization or foundation registered with the Canada Revenue Agency
- an organization incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction
Organizations that are both an incorporated not‐for‐profit and a registered charity are to apply as a charity.
Any one of the following Indigenous communities may be eligible for funding:
- A First Nation
- A Chartered Community Council, operating under the Métis Nation of Ontario
For First Nation communities seeking funding for their library, they must apply on behalf of the library and cannot submit separate applications for both the community and the library for the same grant deadline.
A Chartered Community Council, operating under the Métis Nation of Ontario is to apply through the Métis Nation of Ontario.
Inuit-led organizations are to apply as either a charitable organization or an incorporated not for profit organization, as applicable.
A municipality with a population of 20,000 or less is eligible to:
- apply for funding in OTF’s Active People Action Area fostering more active lifestyles, or in OTF’s Inspired People Action Area supporting arts, culture and heritage projects; and
- apply for its cultural or recreation agencies, including municipal libraries and museums.
County Library Boards and Local Services Boards serving populations of 20,000 or less are also eligible to apply for funding in the Inspired People or Active People Action Areas.
- Organizations are to adhere to OTF’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, Eligibility Policy, and Financial Need and Health Applicants Policy.
- Organizations need to be in good standing with OTF regarding their granting history. This includes past applications, either approved or declined.
Review the Eligibility Policy for all eligibility criteria
Financial statement requirements
Organizations must upload their most recent completed financial statements based on their fiscal year-end date and total revenues.
- Financial statements must be completed within 12 months of the organization’s most recent fiscal year-end.
- For the June 14, 2023 deadline:
- 2021 financial statements are required (including 2020 comparative details) if the organization’s fiscal year-end date falls between June 1 and December 31.
- 2022 financial statements are required (including 2021 comparative details) if the organization’s fiscal year-end date falls between January 1 and May 31.
- Additional information pertaining to a surplus or deficit will need to be uploaded along with the financial statements, if applicable.
- Organizations must have at least one year of financial history from their incorporation or charitable registration date based on their organization's fiscal year-end date.
- Financial statements must be Board approved (draft statements are not accepted).
While all organizations must meet OTF’s Financial Statement requirements, Municipalities, First Nations, Métis or Inuit communities are not required to submit financial statements with their grant application.Review all financial statements requirements.
Our policy requirements define eligibility for OTF funding and outline exclusions. Funds are granted to eligible applicants delivering eligible project activities.View our policies
Board of directors requirements
All organizations, with the exception of Municipalities, First Nations, Métis, or Inuit communities, need to have a minimum of three board members with active terms at the time of the grant application deadline.
- Your organization is required to have a minimum of three board members with active terms. Their terms need to be active as of the application deadline date.
- At least 50% of the board must maintain an arm’s length relationship to each other. This means that board members and executives are not married or related to each other and do not work as business partners or are in another relationship where interests may be compromised.
Ensure your organization’s project meets all of the following criteria:
- The main impact of project activities is in one of OTF's catchment areas
- The project complies with OTF policies, specifically:
- The project information is complete and includes all of the required documentation
- The project aligns with Capital grant requirements:
- It is clearly demonstrated how the Capital project will address a need in the community
- It is clearly demonstrated how the Capital project will achieve the Capital grant outcomes selected
OTF's application process involves various steps for organizations.
Visit the grant application deadline page. Once the online application portal opens, you can begin the application.
OTF staff will first review your application as well as information available on your organization’s website and social media accounts. We verify that your organization is eligible to apply, that your application is complete, and we review your project using the project assessment criteria. Our experienced staff and local volunteers score your application against the project assessment criteria.
Local Grant Review Team volunteers make funding recommendations. OTF’s Board of Directors approve these recommendations. Learn more about how we make application decisions.
The final list of approved grants is sent to Ontario Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to give them the opportunity to congratulate successful recipients directly, when possible. OTF then notifies all applicants of the final decision.
Successful applicants take part in a mandatory orientation session with their OTF Program Manager.
Successful applicants are sent an email with their OTF Contract.
- Grants are activated once OTF contracts are signed and returned electronically.
- Next, in order for OTF to release the first grant payment through electronic funds transfer (EFT), the organization’s banking information needs to be confirmed in OTF’s online portal.
- Reporting & monitoring: In addition to grantee engagements throughout the life of a grant, at the end of each year grantees complete a Progress Report. Grantees also submit a final report when the project is completed. This covers the achievement of the project, metric, and learnings.
- Completion: After OTF staff approve a final report, the grant hold-back funds are released and the grant is closed.
- Grantee compliance: A random sample of grants are subject to a Grantee Compliance Audit. Grant files can be audited for compliance at any point within the grants life, or after the grant has been closed.
Capital grant outcomes
To apply for a Capital grant, your organization needs to select Capital grant outcomes that apply to your project. The outcomes selected need to help your organization address the community need identified in the application.
Select only those outcomes that apply to your Capital project:
- Increase use of facility or space by expanding functionality, square footage, participation rates and/or usable hours. (e.g., outdoor lighting, wall partitions, new changing room, added play area, new or expanded kitchen facilities)
- Extend life of facility or space through repairs, retrofits or renovations (e.g., roof, HVAC, seating, windows, doors, electrical upgrades)
- Improve facility or space to make it accessible to all people. (e.g., ramps, washrooms, automated door openers, elevators)
- Enhance program and service delivery through the purchase of fixed and non-fixed equipment (e.g., sports equipment, multi-sensory equipment, workstations, maintenance equipment, sound system, kitchen appliances)
Based on the Capital grant outcome(s) selected, your organization needs to describe your project, how your project will achieve each outcome, and how it will help your organization address the community need identified in your application.
Eligible costsReview the eligible costs listed below to plan the Financial Workbook that’s required with your application. In the Financial Workbook, link each project activity with its eligible cost category. All project activities must be reasonable to carry out with the amount requested. All costs funded by OTF must be eligible and directly attributable to the project.
Apply for a Capital grant to cover the following costs:
- Construction / renovation costs: This includes materials and/or contractors
- Equipment costs: This includes fixed and non-fixed equipment
- Developmental costs: Up to 20% of the total grant request can be for developmental costs associated with construction, such as the development of engineering plans, legal fees, or survey costs.
Please note that 10% of the awarded funding will be held back, to be paid upon satisfactory review of the final report.
Review key Financial Workbook Instructions along with examples.
Ineligible costs include:
- Taxes, such as GST and HST, for which the recipient is eligible for a tax rebate, and all other costs eligible for rebates.
- Contingency costs
- Costs incurred before the approval of the OTF grant
- General capital fundraising drives and/or capital campaigns are not eligible for OTF funding.
For a full description of ineligible costs, review OTF’s Eligibility Policy.
Projects are scored by experienced staff and local volunteers based on the information submitted in the Project information section of the application. Each area is given a score between -2 to +2.
Assessment Criteria #1: Community Need
The organization has clearly demonstrated how its capital project will address a need in the community. Community need can include health and safety requirements, as well as the social, physical and economic well-being of the community.
Scoring weight: 30%
Key areas of your application to focus on:
- The project should respond to a need in the community
- It should be clear how the project serves the public at-large and demonstrates a direct benefit to the community
- The project contributes to the social and economic well-being of the community
Assessment Criteria #2: Organization supports diverse, underrepresented, and/or vulnerable populations
The organization has clearly demonstrated that its facilities or spaces positively impact populations experiencing barriers such as socio-economic, geographic, cultural, gender, abilities and/or racial.
Scoring weight: 10%
Assessment Criteria #3: Strategy
The strategy is well thought out and explains how the project will address a need in the community based on the Capital grant outcomes selected.
Scoring weight: 35%
Key areas of your application to focus on:
- The project is clearly articulated and reasonable for addressing the community need
- The project and its impact are clearly aligned with the Capital grant outcome(s) selected
- Appropriate photos or diagrams are uploaded with the application
Assessment Criteria #4: Process
The process is well thought out and identifies the steps needed to complete the Capital project.
Scoring weight: 25%
Key areas of your application to focus on:
- Planning to date supports project implementation
- Project and key project activities are clear and will meet the standards set out in the Ontario Building Code, federal and provincial regulations and local by-laws
- It is feasible to carry out the key project activities in the selected grant term
- The Financial Workbook and total grant request are reasonable and aligned to key project activities
- At least one appropriate quote or estimate is uploaded for goods and/or services valued above $10,000 and align with requirements listed in the Financial Workbook Instructions.