Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

Grants and Support Programs

Canada Housing Benefit for Low-Income Renters

As part of the federal NDP-Liberal deal, the Canada Housing Benefit has been rolled out as a one-time, tax-free payment of $500 for low-income renters. Renters can get this benefit even if they do not receive the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit or another housing subsidy.

This benefit does not affect other federal benefits such as the GST Credit, Canada Child Benefit, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. The Ontario government has not yet confirmed whether the top-up will affect provincial benefits like Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, or the Ontario Trillium Benefit.

Applications are now open until March 31, 2023. Click here for details on eligibility and how to apply.

$5.4 Million in Grants for BIAs and Non-Profits

The City of Toronto and funding partners FedDev Ontario and Metrolinx announced $5.4 million in funding for businesses. Unfortunately, these grants are not open directly to small businesses. The Business Improvement Area (BIA) would have to apply on behalf of the small businesses they represent and the funding be used to benefit the affected area.

Applications are now open for the following grants:

Main Street Innovation Fund

  • Funding from $25,000 to $100,000
  • This program offers funding for BIAs and not-for-profit organizations to test innovative and creative solutions to local challenges and share their findings and results with others. Deadline for applications is Thursday, March 16.

Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program

  • Grants of up to $24,000
  • This program offers matching funding of 50% to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts (or, in certain limited circumstances, at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements, assisting businesses to re-lease space impacted by COVID-19. Improvements to meet health regulations and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance are also included.
  • The maximum grant available is $20,000. Further funding of up to $4,000, for a maximum grant of $24,000, is available for upgrades to meet accessibility standards. Deadline for applications is Tuesday, February 28 or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first.

Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program

  • Grants of up to $50,000
  • In partnership with FedDev Ontario and Metrolinx, the City has launched this program for BIAs, non-profit organizations and charities demonstrating a strong local business involvement. This grant will provide funding for community-driven projects that address the unintended effects that transit construction can have on local businesses.
  • These grants can be used for various initiatives, such as business engagement, area marketing and branding, creative event activations, research and needs assessment and beautification. Deadline for applications is Thursday, March 2 or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first.

ParticipACTION Community Challenge Grant

The ParticipACTION Community Challenge is a national physical activity and sport initiative that encourages everyone in Canada to get active throughout June in search of Canada’s Most Active Community. With the support from the Government of Canada, ParticipACTION is providing $4 million in grants to increase sport and physical activity participation of equity-deserving populations.

How to apply: Eligible organizations can apply for grants of up to $5,000 that can be used for staffing, training, promotion, programming, partnership and equipment. Deadline is February 1, 2023.

EI Rates and Rent Increase in January

In January 2023, we will see increases to Employment Insurance (EI) rates and the annual Rent Increase Guideline.

Employment Insurance

The maximum amount workers can get on EI goes up on January 1, 2023. Regular, sickness, caregiving, maternity and standard parental benefits will increase from $638/week to $650/week. Extended parental benefits are expected to increase from $383/week to $390/week.

Rent Increase Guideline

For most tenants covered by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), there’s a maximum amount a landlord can increase the rent by each year. This is called the rent increase guideline set each year by the Ontario government. In 2023, the rent increase guideline is 2.5%.

For tenants protected by the RTA, a landlord must wait 12 months after the tenant moves in before they can raise the rent. Rent can only be raised once every 12 months. More information on residential rent increases available here.

Community Services Recovery Fund

  • The Community Services Recovery Fund is a $400 million investment from the Government of Canada to support charities and non-profits as they focus on how to adapt their organizations for pandemic recovery. United Way Greater Toronto is working in collaboration with United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and Community Foundations Canada to distribute funding. This fund supports Community Service Organizations, including non-profit organizations, Indigenous Governing Bodies, and Registered Charities located across Canada. Applications are open on January 6, 2023.

Learn about the program on the Community Services Recovery Fund website. Deadline for applications is February 21, 2023.

Transportation Training Programs

  • Centennial College’s Pre-Apprenticeship program is your first step to an in-demand career as Automotive Service Technician and Truck and Coach Technician. Funded by the Government of Ontario, this program was created to be a transitional step towards finding an apprenticeship. Start date: April 3, 2023.

Program Highlights: 
• No tuition fees are required to take this program.
• Basic tools and textbooks are provided for you.
• It’s a condensed program, which can be completed in 33 weeks.
• A 12-week paid work placement is included as part of the program.

You are invited to join us for our virtual Pre-Apprenticeship Info Sessions on Tuesday, January 24, or Thursday, January 26, at 6:00 PM Eastern Time.

This is your opportunity to learn about our tuition-free Truck and Coach Technician and Automotive Service Technician Pre-Apprenticeship programs and ask questions.

Register in advance for the Info Sessions by clicking here.

Employment Support for Job Seekers with Developmental Disabilities

  • The Family Support Network for Employment (FSNE) provides support for individuals with developmental disabilities looking for paid employment. For more information, email [email protected] or visit the website here.

Professional Access into Employment Program


  • The Professional Access Into Employment (PAIE) is a 9-month program of Employment Ontario that caters to newcomers trained in the environmental sector looking to start their career. The February 2023 registration page is now open to applications from eligible residents.

Diversity Training for Employers

Funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada, Businesses Breaking Barriers works with employers in the skilled trades and STEM fields to strengthen their teams by introducing the practice of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Starting with a company-wide culture assessment, Times Change offers FREE tools and resources as part of an individualized DEI plan focused on increasing the recruitment, retention and advancement of underrepresented employees/candidates on your team.

Please email Larysa at [email protected]eschange.org.

Hospitality Youth Program

  • The Hospitality Workers Training Centre is presenting this free fast-track program for youth who are interested in working in the hospitality industry. With daily support from trainers, employment specialists, and a youth engagement and success specialist, Fast Track can help you discover a variety of hospitality career paths, and give you the opportunity to earn important industry certifications at no cost. For more information, call toll-free at 1-888-777-4982. Details here.

Women Breaking Barriers Program

  • Women Breaking Barriers works to strengthen company practices around recruitment, retention, and advancement using free tools and resources with the goal to help small to medium-sized employers find qualified candidates for their open positions and help women find sustainable, high-paying employment. More information on their programs can be found here.

Income Tax Assistance from CRA

  • Tax filing may be more challenging for some people this year because of COVID-19. Filing a tax return is very important as it will let the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) determine if someone is eligible for certain benefit and credit payments, such as the Canada Child Benefit and the GST/HST credit. To help, the CRA will offer extra support to eligible individuals who have previously received support through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). Individuals who need help completing their income tax return can call 1-833-995-2341Visit Canada.ca/tax-filing-assistance.

Ukrainian Relief in Ontario

The Ontario government is launching a suite of supports for Ukrainian families arriving under the new emergency travel authorization to connect new arrivals with job search supports and local employers in the community.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress-National (UCC)

The UCC is working with Canadian government officials at all levels to learn what programs and assistance will be provided for displaced persons coming to Canada from Ukraine. 

If you want to help a new arrival, complete the survey at ucc.ca

Education Funding Opportunities

  • Annual Studentship for Mental Health Program

Mental Health Research Canada is providing funding opportunities for university and college students. Click here for more information.

  • Tuition Programs for Foster Kids

Are you a current or former foster kid? Did you always want to go to college or university but money got in the way? Click here for participating schools.

Program for Indigenous Tourism in Ontario

  • The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), in collaboration with Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO), and the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC), are now accepting applications for A Three Fires Collaborative Quest Program - a program designed to support recovery and growth of the province’s Indigenous tourism workforce by building the labour pool and filling critical gaps within the industry.

To apply for the program as a potential employee, you must self-identify as Indigenous. You will have the opportunity to participate in training workshops facilitated by OTEC and you will be matched with tourism employers to complete a paid job placement.

To apply for the program as an employer, you must be a tourism business in Ontario, and you must be willing to support your new employee’s training and development in collaboration with the program. After completing the program you will be eligible to receive a wage subsidy of 30%, to a maximum of $3,000 per employee hired. To apply, click here.

Ontario Arts Council Grants

  • For more than 55 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has provided vital support to the professional arts community in Ontario. The OAC is financed through an annual grant from the Ontario government’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Visit the website here for information on the grants available or email [email protected].

Toronto Arts Council Grants

  • Supporting the city’s artists and arts organizations through an established and effective granting program since 1974. Visit the website.

Art and Creative Skills Collective

An arts-based non-profit organization that offers free arts programming including story-writing, photography and film-making. Each program is designed to:

  • Provide a safe space for youth to express themselves
  • Build 21st-century skills among youth
  • Give youth a platform to voice their opinion, artistically
  • Deconstruct the stigma around mental illness
  • Facilitate the development of positive and peer-learning support
  • Help participants explore new career options and push their artistic inclination
  • Support participants to work in a group setting and learn as a collective, fostering a deep sense of community

Visit the website.

Pathways to Success Program for Indigenous Youth

  • The Indigenous Professional Association of Canada’s Pathways to Success Program creates new opportunities for internships and summer work experiences for Indigenous youth (17-29) in Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton. They are currently looking for employers and Indigenous youth to participate in the program. For more information, visit the Pathways to Success website and signup page.

Private Refugee Support Network Ontario

  • The Private Refugee Sponsor Network Ontario (The Network) is a volunteer-driven organization with 260 sponsors working together in response to community need, offering information, education, problem solving, and networking opportunities to enable private sponsors to better support refugee families. The Network is playing a significant role in resolving post-arrival issues, addressing potential sponsorship breakdown and creating relationships with settlement agencies that will lead to more effective service delivery in the sector. To learn more about the Private Refugee Sponsor Network Ontario, email [email protected], or visit the website at www.refugeesponsornet.ca.

Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance Program

  • Do you need help around your home? This program enables older adults and individuals with disabilities to continue to live independently and safely in their own homes with support from brokered home maintenance workers. Services at reasonable prices include: lawn and garden maintenance, snow shovelling, light housekeeping, odd jobs around the house. For more information, visit www.tigp.org, email [email protected] or call 416-676-5993.

Toronto Rent Bank Program

Toronto Rent Bank Program is currently offering grants of up to $4,000 or 3 months of rent to eligible low-income households who are facing eviction. Toronto residents may be eligible for an interest-free rental arrears or rental deposit grant if they:

  • Live in Toronto

  • Pay market rent for a rental unit covered by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)

  • Fall within the low-income household eligibility requirement

  • Are not currently in receipt of social assistance such as Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program  (ODSP)*

  • Can satisfy other Toronto Rent Bank Program requirements, as required

Please call 416-397-RENT (7368) for more information on how to apply. Operating hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This program is offered by Neighbourhood Information Post and funded by the City of Toronto. Visit www.torontorentbank.ca for more details.

*Residents in receipt of social assistance should contact their Ontario Works or ODSP  office as they may qualify for the Housing Stabilization Fund.