Community Building Fund – Capital Stream

Repair, renovate or retrofit existing sport and recreation facilities to help strengthen communities.

Close up of a group of seniors relaxing after playing basketball

Next deadline

Application period is closed

Term length

6 or 12 months

Amount awarded (per year)

Minimum $10,000

Maximum $500,000

Supporting Ontario’s Recovery

The Community Building Fund – Capital stream provides support for non-profits, Indigenous communities and Municipalities in the community sport and recreation sectors. The fund will help strengthen communities by supporting the repair, renovation or retrofitting of existing sport and recreation facilities to address:

  • local community need by extending the life and maximizing the use of existing facilities (e.g. playgrounds, splashpads, etc.) OR
  • COVID-19 related public health requirements now that support future preparedness

If your organization and project are not eligible for funding through the Community Building Fund - Capital stream, we encourage you to explore additional funding opportunities offered by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and Grants Ontario.

Definitions

For the purpose of this fund, the following definitions are used: 

  • Recreation: Physical activities engaged in for the purpose of health, well-being or enjoyment with the primary focus on human activity.
  • Sport: Regulated and organized form of physical activity between two or more participants. Such activity may be in the form of a game, match, race, or other form of event.
  • Repair: Fixing or restoring a facility to increase its useful life.
  • Renovation:  Updating the functionality of a facility to improve its usefulness.
  • Retrofit: Adding new features or parts to improve the functionality or efficiency of a facility.

Plan your application

Prior to filling out an application, applicants are encouraged to review the Community Building Fund – Capital stream application questions. The overview of the application includes important information you will be required to submit about your organization and project. It also indicates what documentation is required, such as financial statements, quotes, photos and proof of ownership.

Review the Community Building Fund – Capital stream application questions.

Eligibility

Review the Community Building Fund – Capital stream eligibility requirements and OTF’s Eligibility Policy to determine if your organization is eligible.

Organization eligibility

Organizations applying to the Community Building Fund – Capital stream need to operate or manage sport and recreation facilities in Ontario that serve the public at-large, and must be one of the following:

  • A charitable organization* or public foundation registered as a charity by the Canada Revenue Agency 
  • An organization incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction
  • A First Nation / Métis / Inuit or other Indigenous community
  • A Municipality 

*conservation authorities are eligible to apply as charitable organizations for the Capital stream

Ineligible organizations include:

  • An agency of the provincial or Federal government 
  • Organizations that are receiving funding from other sources for the same component of a capital project
  • Colleges and universities operating sport and recreation facilities
  • Primary and secondary schools operating sport and recreation facilities
  • For-profit organizations

Policy requirements

Organizations need to meet the following OTF Policies:

Financial statement requirements

While all organizations must meet OTF’s Financial Statement requirements, Municipalities, First Nation, Métis, Inuit or other Indigenous communities are not required to submit financial statements with their grant application.

  • 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.
  • 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).
Review all financial statement requirements

Board of directors requirements

All organizations must meet OTF’s Board of Directors requirements. However, Municipalities, First Nations, Métis, Inuit or other Indigenous communities are not required to submit Board of Director information with their grant application.

Please ensure your organization meets all of the following criteria:

  • Your organization must have a minimum of three active board members (term end dates must be on or after the grant 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.

Municipality signage requirements

Municipalities that receive grants of $100,000 or more will be required to purchase, produce and install an Ontario Builds sign.  

  • Signs will need to be installed once grant applications are approved and OTF Grant Contracts are signed.   
  • Municipalities with project costs of $100,000 or more will be responsible to purchase, produce and install the Ontario Builds sign using $10,000 to be allocated in the Total OTF Budget Request.  
  • Review the Ontario Builds sign guidelines to assist with producing the sign. 

Review the project costs section to understand how to include the required signage cost into the Total OTF Budget Request.

Organization and grant requirements

While all organizations must meet OTF’s financial statement and Board of Director’s requirements, Municipalities, First Nation, Métis, Inuit or other Indigenous communities are not required to submit financial statements or Board of Director information with their grant application.

Please ensure your grant application meets all the following criteria:

  • All questions, acknowledgments and attachments are complete.
  • Complies with the Eligibility Policy, except where otherwise noted in the Community Building Fund – Capital stream requirements.
  • Complies with OTF policies.
  • Strongly aligns with your chosen Community Building Fund - Capital stream outcome(s).
  • Provides appropriate financial statements based on your organization’s total revenues and fiscal year end date, according to the financial statement requirements.
  • Board of Directors is current and meets OTF requirements.
  • OTF has no concerns with your organization's OTF granting history, for all past applications, either approved or declined.

Application process

Application submission

Visit the grant application deadline page. Once the online application portal opens, you can begin the application. 

Review and assessment

OTF staff will first review your application as well as information available on your organization’s website and social media accounts, to make sure you are eligible to apply, that your application is complete, and is a fit with the grant requirements. Our experienced staff and local volunteers score your application against the grant assessment criteria.

Recommendation and selection

Local Grant Review Team volunteers make funding recommendations. OTF’s Board of Directors approve these recommendations.

Notification

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.

Orientation

Successful applicants take part in a mandatory orientation session with their OTF Program Manager.

Confirmation

Successful applicants are sent an email with their OTF Contract.

Activation
  • 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. 
What happens during your grant?
  • Reporting and Monitoring: In addition to grantee engagements as required, grantees submit a final report when the grant is completed. This covers the achievement of the grant. 
  • Completion: After OTF staff approves the final report and the grant recognition requirements are met, 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. Grants can be audited for compliance at any point within the grant’s life, or after the grant has been closed.

Capital stream outcomes

Grant applicants will be required to select the outcome(s) that support the repair, renovation or retrofitting of existing sport and recreation facilities to either address local community need OR public health requirements identified through COVID-19. Select only those that apply to the project you are requesting funding for.

Local community need outcomes

  • Maximize use of facility – utilization of the space is maximized by increasing hours, use, and/or participation rates (e.g. outdoor field lighting, accordion style wall partitions)
  • Extend life of facility – extend operational lifespan of facility (e.g. roof, HVAC, seating, windows and doors, electrical upgrades)
  • Improve accessibility of facility – increase accessibility of facilities to benefit everyone (e.g. ramps, washrooms, automated door openers, elevators)

or

Public health requirements outcomes

  • Increase Physical Distancing - enable safe spacing between occupants (e.g. larger common spaces – hallways, bathrooms etc., plexiglass partitions, widening entrance/exit points)
  • Improve Air Quality - enhance the quality of air in common and workspaces (e.g. HVAC, air filtration, windows/insulation to improve HVAC efficiency, ventilation upgrade)
  • Reduce Physical Contact (touchless/automated) – reduce physical contact with shared surfaces (e.g. handwashing stations, touchless doors, bottle refilling)

How much can organizations apply for?

Organizations can apply for up to 100% of their total project cost up to a maximum of $500,000, with the exception of Municipalities with a population over 20,000 that can only apply for up to 80% of their total project cost.

  • Eligible project costs will be supported up to a maximum of $500,000.
  • Minimum request amount is $10,000.

Limit of one application per organization, however:

  • organizations can request multiple capital improvements within one facility
    • e.g., touchless entry and widening of doorways at local community centre 

or

  • organizations can request the same capital improvements at multiple facilities
    • e.g., HVAC retrofits at 3 municipal arenas

Project costs

Project costs will help your organization address community need or public health requirements identified through COVID-19.
  1. Construction / Renovation: Includes materials, labour for construction and/or installation
  2. Fixed Equipment: Large-scale fixed equipment for installation
  3. Development Costs: Developmental costs and/or project management costs to a maximum of 20% of the OTF request amount
  4. Ontario Builds sign: Municipalities with project costs of $100,000 or more will be required to purchase, produce and install an Ontario Builds sign.
Project cost Total OTF Budget Request Example
$100,000 or more Project cost + $10,000 Ontario Builds sign $200,000 project cost + $10,000 Ontario Builds sign = $210,000 Total OTF Budget Request
$500,000 Project costs are funded to a maximum of $500,000, inclusive of the $10,000 Ontario Builds sign  $490,000 project cost + $10,000 Ontario Builds sign = $500,000 Total OTF Budget Request

All projects must:

  • Occur in the Province of Ontario and be completed within one year following OTF approval

  • Occur at facilities that are open to the public for sport or recreation use

  • Be for the repair, renovation or retrofitting of sport or recreation facilities operated by the applicant, which could include, but are not limited to playgrounds, sport and recreation facilities, trails, and outdoor fitness space  

Important: Read further instructions on how to fill out the application’s financial workbook and learn more about what you can apply for.

Review important financial workbook instructions

  • Capital costs incurred before the approval of the Community Building Fund – Capital stream grant application
  • Non-fixed equipment
  • Any costs not directly paid by the recipient organization
  • Harmonized Sales Tax or refundable expenses (e.g. security deposits)
  • Contingency costs
  • Legal, audit, insurance or interest fees
  • In-kind contributions
  • Long-term debt financing
  • Any costs covered by another funding source

Application assessment

Applications will be reviewed and scored based on specific requirements for the Community Building Fund - Capital stream.

In addition to the scoring criteria below, ensure your project aligns with the following Community Building Fund – Capital stream requirements:

  • Impacts identified are based on local community need or address public health requirements identified through COVID-19 
  • Project aligns with Community Building Fund – Capital stream outcomes
  • Request is for one capital improvement at multiple locations, or one or more capital improvements at a single location. 
  • Financial Workbook includes eligible project costs only

Scoring criteria 

1) Community Significance 

The sports or recreation facilities: 

  • are important to the community  
  • serve the public at-large and demonstrate community benefit
  • contribute to the social and economic well-being of the community

Scoring weight: 30%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

  • Facilities contribute to the health and well-being of community members 
  • Facilities contribute to the economic well-being of your community (e.g. employment, visitor spending, hosting events).

2) Organization supports diverse, underrepresented, and/or vulnerable populations 

The Community Building Fund seeks to support diverse communities and under-represented populations. In the application, tell us how your facilities positively impact populations experiencing socio-economic, geographic, cultural and/or racial barriers.

Scoring weight: 10%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

  • Organization has clearly demonstrated that its facilities positively impact populations experiencing socio-economic, geographic, cultural and/or racial barriers.

3) Strategy 

The organization has described how it will repair, renovate or retrofit existing sport and recreation facilities to address local community need or public health requirements identified through COVID-19. 

Review the definitions for repair, renovation and retrofit.

Scoring weight: 35%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

  • Project is clearly described
  • Project will address a community need or address public health requirements
  • Project is clearly aligned with the Community Building Fund - Capital stream outcome(s) selected

4) Process

The process identified will help the organization achieve the outcome(s) selected.

Scoring weight: 25%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

  • Planning to date supports project implementation  
  • Activities are appropriate to successfully implement the project
  • Quotes or estimates are appropriate
  • Financial Workbook is reasonable and aligns with the Community Building Fund - Capital stream outcome(s) selected