For Immediate Release

October 4, 2021

Canadian Urban Institute and Economic Development Council of Ontario partner to support the recovery of main streets in southern Ontario

Applications now open for My Main Street!

October 4, 2021—Applications are now open for My Main Street, a $23.25 million investment to support the revitalization of 200 neighbourhoods across southern Ontario. My Main Street aims to reanimate neighbourhoods through installations, events and activities that will help to drive foot traffic back to main streets. The program will also help communities develop main street recovery action plans to support thriving and resilient neighbourhoods. 

My Main Street is being delivered through two program streams:

•       The My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program will support the revitalization of 65 main street communities and 650 businesses with direct business supports and market research. Through the Local Business Accelerator program, communities can apply for funding to hire a Main Street Ambassador for 12 months. The Main Street Ambassador will focus on providing wrap-around community economic development services to new and existing businesses. The Main Street Ambassador unlocks resources, including non-repayable contributions of up to $10,000 for 10 local businesses in each participating neighbourhood.

My Main Street Community Activator will support up to 140 placemaking projects including activities, events, improvements and policy development aimed at strengthening the connection between people and places in areas of community and commercial importance. Support will be provided in the form of non-repayable contributions between $25,000 and $250,000 and will be made in the form of reimbursements against costs incurred. 

My Main Street is built on the principle of supporting community economic development and creating vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods where residents from all backgrounds can benefit, enjoy and feel safe in their communities and on their main streets. The program will take an inclusive approach, supporting areas that have commercial and community importance, and will provide targeted support to racialized neighborhoods and measures to reduce the barriers faced by underrepresented groups.

“The most resilient neighborhood is one that has a wide range of ‘users’ and ‘uses’ and lots of people who live, work and shop in their communities,” said Mary W. Rowe, CEO and President, Canadian Urban Institute. “My Main Street is an opportunity to not just restore main streets to what they were before the pandemic, but to make them better—more inclusive and culturally safe places for everyone, where small, local businesses thrive and everyone can enjoy and benefit from them. 

“I am pleased that the Economic Developers Council of Ontario is embarking on My Main Street,” says Heather Lalonde, CEO, Economic Developers Council of Ontario. “Our vision for the Local Business

Accelerator is to ensure that vibrant, prosperous, and inclusive main streets anchor neighbourhoods in cities and towns across Southern Ontario.”

Interested municipalities, business improvement areas and community organizations located within southern Ontario (except for Toronto), are encouraged to attend the virtual information session on October 13, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. ET. We’ll share examples of projects that are eligible, walk you through the application process and answer any questions you have.  To learn more, please visit