Success begets success, and Hamilton’s environment, people and work ethic attracts a significant pool of new businesses, all aligned with Hamilton’s economic development programs and keep our city on a positive economic trajectory. Below is a comprehensive list of the incentives and programs offered by the City of Hamilton. The City of Hamilton offers a number of programs for property owners and developers to help offset costs of improvements and conversions of brownfields, heritage properties, core area properties and buildings and LEED’s certified buildings.
The City of Hamilton’s Environmental Remediation and Site Enhancement (ERASE) Community Improvement Plan is a comprehensive set of programs designed to encourage and promote brownfield redevelopment. As its name suggests, the Plan is designed to “erase” brownfields by providing financial incentives to clean them up and replace them with productive economic land uses, thereby improving both economic opportunities and environmental conditions in the City.
Properties within the ERASE Community Improvement Project Area are eligible for the programs, subject to meeting the program requirements contained in the ERASE Plan and all other requirements of the City.
These programs include:
- Study Grant
- Redevelopment Grant
- Education Tax Assistance
- The Hamilton Downtown/West Harbourfront Remediation Loan Program (RLP)
- Municipal Acquisition and Partnership
- Development Charge Reduction
- Brownfield Examples
The City’s Economic Development and Real Estate Division manages the ERASE programs. This single point-of-contact provides ERASE applications guidance, brownfield information and access to regulatory and planning contacts. Also serves as an advocate and liaison between City departments, other government agencies and participating brownfield partners.
Learn more about the program, contact:
Economic Development Division
Phone: (905)546-2424 ext. 1219
ERASE Study Grant Program (SGP)
Matching grants are available from the City to pay for up to one-half the cost of a Phase II and/or a Phase III Environmental Site Assessment (Remedial Action Plan). The maximum City contribution per study is $20,000 (excluding HST) to a maximum of two (2) studies and $25,000 (excluding HST) per property. If you are a property owner or purchaser of potentially contaminated land within the project area, you may be eligible.
ERASE Redevelopment Grant Program (RGP)
Grants are available to provide financial relief to property owners who undertake and complete brownfield redevelopment projects within the project area. These grants cover the following eligible program costs: environmental remediation and environmental studies demolition site preparation including construction/improvement of on-site public works. Redevelopment grants are only payable on brownfield properties where the redevelopment results in an increase in assessed value and property taxes. The grant is calculated as 80% of the increase in the municipal portion of property taxes and is paid on annual basis for up to 10 years, commencing once the redevelopment is complete. An application must be made to the City in order to be eligible for a Redevelopment Grant. Only costs incurred after an application is approved by the City can be included in the grant payment.
ERASE Education Tax Assistance Program (TAP)
Similar to RGP, the TAP will provide a financial incentive in the form of a freeze or cancellation of part of the educational tax portion on a brownfield property. Under the TAP, the Province of Ontario may match the municipal tax treatment for the education portion of the property tax that results from remediation and rehabilitation of the property and is paid on annual basis for up to 3 years, commencing once the redevelopment is complete. The Economic Development Division will administer this program.
Downtown/West Harbourfront Remediation Loan Program (RLP)
The Hamilton Downtown/West Harbourfront Remediation Loan Program (RLP) has been developed to stimulate residential or residential / commercial development/redevelopment on properties requiring remediation (i.e. brownfield properties) that are located within Downtown Hamilton or the West Harbourfront. The Program will provide financial assistance through a low interest loan equal to 80% of the cost of remediating a property within the defined areas to a maximum of $400,000 per property/project. The loan is to be a ‘bridge’ until such time as the property owner receives their ERASE Redevelopment Grant or the Hamilton Tax Increment Grant.
ERASE Municipal Acquisition and Partnership Program (MAPP)
MAPP is a program of City property acquisition, investment and involvement in pilot projects with the private sector to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. Pilot projects can showcase the use of innovative tools such as new environmental remediation technologies. The City of Hamilton intends to be a leader in all areas of brownfield redevelopment, to provide stewardship in the administration of these programs and to be proactive in addressing opportunities associated with City owned properties.
ERASE Development Charge Reduction Program (DCR)
Once an application has been approved under the ERASE RGP, they have the option of applying the costs of environmental remediation on that property against development charges payable for that property (after any demolition charge credits are applied). If the applicant chooses to exercise this option, the costs of environmental remediation applied against development charges payable will be deducted from eligible costs under the ERASE RGP.
The City of Hamilton offers financial incentive programs in the form of loans and grants to assist with various costs associated with development in Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), the Mount Hope/Airport Gateway, and the commercial corridors as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area By-law. There are also financial incentives for properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. The Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Plan provides the basis through which these programs are provided. In addition, municipal development charges are reduced by 85% within a defined area of Downtown Hamilton (as of July 6, 2016 the exemption will be at 80%). A developer will receive an additional dollar for dollar exemption for 10% of the remaining 15% municipal development charges to be paid if they contribute dollar for dollar 10% of the development charges to be paid to the Downtown Public Art Reserve.
More detailed descriptions and applications forms specific to each program can be accessed below:
- Business Improvement Area Commercial Property Improvement Grant Program for façade improvements within active Business Improvement Areas (BIAs).
- Commercial Property Improvement Grant Program is intended to provide financial assistance for commercial property owners/authorized tenants within Downtown Hamilton, the Community Downtowns of Ancaster, Binbrook, Dundas, Stoney Creek, Waterdown, the Mount Hope/Airport Gateway, and the commercial corridors as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area.
- Hamilton Tax Increment Grant Program for the development or rehabilitation of residential and/or commercial land and buildings within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas, the Mount Hope/Airport Gateway and those properties within the City boundary designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
- Hamilton Downtown, Barton and Kenilworth Multi-Residential Property Investment Program, for predominantly residential development together with uses accessory to the residential development within Downtown Hamilton, the Barton Village Business Improvement Area and the commercial corridors of Barton Street, east of the Barton Village BIA and along Kenilworth Avenue as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area.
- Commercial Corridor Housing Loan and Grant Program to stimulate residential development within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas, the Mount Hope/Airport Gateway, the commercial corridors identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area and those properties within the City boundaries designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
- Office Tenancy Assistance Program, for leasehold improvements to office buildings located within Downtown Hamilton, Community Downtowns, Business Improvement Areas, the Mount Hope/Airport Gateway and the commercial corridors along Barton Street and Kenilworth Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area.
- Hamilton Heritage Property Grant Program, for structural/stability work and the conservation and restoration of heritage features of properties that are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. Eligible properties must be located within: Downtown Hamilton; Community Downtowns; the Mount Hope/Airport Gateway; an active Business Improvement Area; or, be designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and located within the lower city between Highway 403 and the Red Hill Valley Parkway and used for commercial, institutional or multi-residential purposes.
- Hamilton Community Heritage Fund Loan Program, provides interest-free loans to a maximum of $50,000 for restoration of heritage attributes on properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act
- Hamilton Heritage Conservation Grant Program, The Hamilton Heritage Conservation Grant Program is intended to provide financial assistance in the form of matching grants between $1,000 to $5,000 for the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage resources. The objective of the Hamilton Heritage Conservation Grant Program is to assist in the on-going conservation of heritage properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act that are not eligible for the Hamilton Heritage Property Grant Program.
- Barton / Kenilworth Tax Increment Grant Program, to provide an economic catalyst for developing, redeveloping or renovating residential / commercial lands and buildings located within the boundaries of the Barton Village Business Improvement Area (BIA), the Barton and Kenilworth commercial corridors and the properties that front on Barton Street between James Street North and Victoria Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area By-law.
- Barton / Kenilworth Commercial Corridor Building Improvement Grant Program, to support the development of property and the maintenance, functionality, viability, accessibility and aesthetics of existing building stock used for commercial, multi-residential or institutional uses within the boundaries of the Barton Village Business Improvement Area (BIA), the Barton and Kenilworth commercial corridors and the properties that front on Barton Street between James Street North and Victoria Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Renewal Community Improvement Project Area By-law.
- Barton/Kenilworth Planning and Building Fee Rebate Program supports development within the Barton Village Business Improvement Area, the Barton/Kenilworth Commercial Corridors and Properties that front on Barton Street between James Street North and Victoria Avenue North as identified in the Downtown and Community Improvement Project Area.
Co-ordinator, Urban Renewal Incentives
Planning and Economic Development Department
City of Hamilton
71 Main Street West, 7th Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5
Phone: (905) 546-2424 ext. 2755
Fax: (905) 546-2693
The intent of the LEED Grant program is to provide an economic catalyst for sustainable building and sustainable land development practices located within the Hamilton LEEDING the Way Community Improvement Plan.
The purpose of the grant program is for the City to share the incremental construction cost, consultation, energy modeling and certification fees with the applicant to achieve LEED certification. Grants are calculated on the basis of the rating of official certification under the LEED rating system by the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC).
The program authorizes for each approved grant application a five year grant, the amount of which is subject to Council approval, in an amount not exceeding the increase in municipal realty taxes as a direct result of the development/redevelopment of land and/or building. The grant which may be approved by Council shall be an amount which does not exceed 75% of the municipal realty tax increase during the term of the grant. For purposes of determining the eligible amount of the increase in municipal realty taxes, special charges shall be excluded from the calculation. The grant would reduce the effect of an increase in municipal (City portion only) realty taxes attributable to the differential between the pre-development assessment and the post-development assessment. The approved grant is assignable. The grant program may be applied for with other incentive programs that the City of Hamilton offers except for other Tax Incremental Financing programs.