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Community Improvement Plans (CIPs) (s. 28)

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An illustration of 4 city blocks with buildings of varying heights of up to 4 storeys, which shows examples of municipal community improvement initiatives, including street furniture and lighting, bike lanes, curb cuts for accessibility, bike racks, native trees and landscaping, and transit stops.  Also shown are initiatives funded through a grant and loan program, including building rehabilitation, façade improvements, brownfield site remediation, new affordable housing developments, permeable paving surfaces, geothermal heating and cooling, a green roof, publicly accessible open space, and solar panels.

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Description of Tool

  • Plans that focus on the maintenance, rehabilitation, development and redevelopment of targeted areas
  • Optional tool, requires official plan (OP) policies and a by-law designating a CIP project area
  • Prescribed upper-tiers (UTs) may adopt CIPs dealing with prescribed matters outlined in Ontario Regulation 550/06
  • UTs and lower-tiers may participate in each other’s CIPs
  • Municipalities can make grants or loans within CIP project areas to help pay for certain costs, and can establish Tax-Increment-Equivalent Financing programs (TIEF)
  • Allows for the registration of grant and loan agreements on title


  • Municipal councils must adopt OP policies and a by-law to designate a community improvement project area
  • OP policies must specify municipal programs and incentives and their eligible works, improvements, buildings or facilities

Potential Benefits

  • Can enable municipalities to provide grants and loans to stimulate private sector investment in targeted areas of the community
  • Can promote revitalization and place-making to attract tourism, business investment and economic development opportunities
  • May promote brownfield cleanup and redevelopment
  • May make more effective use of existing community infrastructure

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This sheet deals in summarized and conceptualized fashion with complex matters that reflect legislation, policies and practices that are subject to change. All illustrations represent hypothetical scenarios of the application of various tools. For these reasons, this fact sheet should not be relied upon as a substitute for the relevant legislation, regulations and policy documents, or for specialized legal or professional advice when making land-use planning decisions.

ISBN 978-1-4435-1189-6 (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-4435-1188-9 (HTML)