The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) provides grants to charities, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) for projects that have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the region and/or air pollution in Toronto.
Recent TAF grants cover a wide range of activities, from technology demonstration to collective impact and policy advancement. While diverse in approach, all of these projects share the potential to advance high-impact climate solutions in our region.
While we focus most of our efforts on reducing emissions in the buildings and transportation sectors, we are open to funding projects in other areas which offer major emissions reduction opportunities.
Buildings and transportation represent the two largest sources of carbon emissions in the GTHA, accounting for 78 per cent of regional emissions. That’s why our two priority granting streams focus on these areas. We currently also offer special funding opportunities to enhance social innovation skills for climate action throughout the region. While we focus most of our efforts on reducing emissions in the buildings and transportation sectors, we are open to funding projects in other areas which offer major emissions reduction opportunities.
November 15, 2019 (Board approval: February 14, 2020)
Feb 21, 2020 (Board approval: April 28, 2020)
May 15, 2020 (Board approval: July 16, 2020)
August 28, 2020 (Board approval: November 6, 2020)
- Your application must demonstrate the project’s potential to reduce carbon emissions in the GTHA and/or air pollution in Toronto. Please refer to each stream for specific granting priorities.
- Only registered charities, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities in the GTHA are eligible to apply for TAF grants.
- Project applications can be single-year or multi-year requests. The requested funds should be in line with the project’s scope and timeframe.
TAF will not fund:
- Partisan political activities
- Projects where the primary activity is an event such as a conference, workshop, or training session
- A project that builds on, or is another phase of, a currently funded project from the same proponent. However, TAF can provide concurrent funding to the same recipient for different projects.
Grants can be used to fund all project-related costs, including project evaluation and third-party advisory services. Funding can also be used to offset operating costs and a portion of administrative costs directly linked to a TAF-funded project.
- Completed budget spreadsheet
- Evidence of legal status as a registered charity or not-for-profit organization
- Most recent financial statements (audited where possible)
- Names and affiliations of Board directors
We may request additional materials to support your grant proposal. These could include references, confirmation of other sources of funding, CVs/LinkedIn profiles of project team members, etc.
Upcoming grant intake deadlines:
- November 15, 2019 (Board approval: February 14, 2020)
- Feb 21, 2020 (Board approval: April 28, 2020)
- May 15, 2020 (Board approval: July 16, 2020)
- August 28, 2020 (Board approval: November 6, 2020)
We fund initiatives at different stages of the project cycle, from concept development to project implementation. Please use our standard application form for proposals that are fully-developed. If you seek support to refine early-stage ideas and demonstrate their feasibility, please use our concept development application form. These grant requests tend to be smaller (e.g., $10,000 to $20,000) over a shorter time period (e.g., 6 months). If you’re not sure which form is best suited to your project, please contact us.
TAF analyzes each project’s emissions reduction potential with the help of its in-house emissions quantification expert. We base our analysis on the details you provide regarding how you will design your project and what the anticipated scale-up opportunities are across the region. As part of our technical analysis, we may get in touch with you to clarify your key assumptions or to request further research to support our calculations.
Here is a list of leading Canadian funders that support projects related to climate change and air pollution: George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation The Metcalf Foundation’s Environment Program has three areas of focus:
- Carbon Landscapes
- Climate Blueprints
- Cycle City
Independent Electricity System Operator The IESO offers several funding programs that support the design and delivery of renewable energy and conservation initiatives in Ontario. Federation of Canadian Municipalities FCM’s Green Municipal Fund provides funding for municipal environmental initiatives that improve air quality and reduce emissions. This funding stream provides support for plans, feasibility studies, pilot projects, and capital projects. Ontario Trillium Foundation The Trillium Foundation has a Green People action area with two priority outcomes:
- More ecosystems are protected and restored
- People reduce their impact on the environment
McConnell Foundation McConnell Foundation emphasizes a balance between social, economic, and environmental priorities. Applications are taken on a rolling basis; there are two environment-focused granting streams:
Ontario Centre for Excellence OCE’s TargetGHG program helps large industrial plants to adopt leading-edge technology and supports Ontario’s entrepreneurs to develop creative new cleantech solutions. TD Friends of the Environment Foundation The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation supports a wide range of environmental initiatives, with a primary funding focus on:
- Environmental education
- Urban green space programs
Ivey Foundation The Ivey Foundation’s Economy and Environment program supports the development of projects that integrate the economy and the environment. All proposals must be from a registered Canadian charitable organization. Government of Canada The Low Carbon Economy Challenge leverages Canadian ingenuity to reduce emissions and generate clean growth, aligned with the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change goals. The Challenge can fund provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. The EcoAction Community Funding Program funds projects across Canada to encourage Canadians to take action to address clean water and climate change, and to build the capacity of communities to sustain these activities into the future. Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Liveable Communities The Funder’s Network Partners for Places matching grant program invests in partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being of all residents. Additional resources:
- Natural Resources Canada curates a Directory of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy programs in Canada.
- City of Toronto provides a number of energy efficiency incentives, such as the High Performance New Construction Program or the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), to help achieve our TransformTO climate goals.
- Here’s a list we compiled of grants and incentives for home energy retrofits in Ontario.
2019 grants budget$1,040,000
Range of grant values$10,000 to
Average Grant Amount in 2018$67,000
Number of Allocations in 201816
Canada Green Building Council - $198,372
Building Regional Capacity for Complying with and Leveraging Energy and Water Benchmarking and Reporting
Ontario’s mandatory Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) regulation for large buildings is a critical policy tool in supporting the achievement of provincial and municipal carbon reduction targets. Canada Green Building Council will support enhanced compliance with the provincial EWRB regulation through a combined strategy of awareness building, education and evaluation across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Canada Green Building Council - $300,000
Workforce Transformation Initiative: Building a Green Future
This 28-month project will establish a coalition that can champion policy, business and regulatory actions that result in the establishment of an Ontario low-carbon building workforce for deep retrofits and new construction. The CaGBC will act as the secretariat of the initiative, providing project management services for goal setting, activity implementation, progress measurement, and funding mobilization.
Efficiency Canada - $290,000
Energy Efficiency Policy: Leading the Advocacy Charge
The 29-month project will support engagement in Ontario and federal processes related to key energy efficiency policies. Efficiency Canada will promote strong energy efficiency policies, focusing on building codes, energy performance standards, and a provincial conservation framework which features support for energy efficiency to compete as a low-cost system resource for electricity and natural gas.
Environmental Defence - $75,000
Impact of Vehicle Pollution in the GTHA
The goal of this project, led by Environmental Defence in partnership with health-focused organizations, is to draw attention to the local health benefits of electrifying transportation, and to present recommendations for accelerating vehicle electrification through a public-facing report and interactive online elements.
Pollution Probe - $50,000
The Next Step in the GTHA’s Clean Energy Transition
Natural gas is currently envisioned as the default electricity generation source to replace the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station when it is retired in 2024. However, this decision would lead to significant increases in carbon emissions from Ontario’s electricity grid. To prevent this increase in emissions, Pollution Probe will engage relevant partners and identify the information needed to promote the use of non-emitting electricity sources to replace Pickering Nuclear Generating Station upon its scheduled retirement.
Ryerson City Building Institute - $20,000
Unlocking Density and GHG reductions from the GTHA’s single-family homes
Ryerson City Building Institute will test the feasibility of a revolving financial fund model. The revolving fund would be used to retrofit single-family homes to achieve a higher energy efficiency standard (for example, 50 per cent more efficient) and convert the homes into duplex or triplex units.
Toronto Environmental Alliance - $155,459
Accelerating Neighbourhood Climate Solutions through Community Hubs
Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) will seed and support two to three community hubs in achieving significant carbon reductions in their local neighbourhoods and generating prototypes and tools that can be used to activate a larger network of hubs in the future. This project will build on the recent TAF-supported Climate Change and Community Hubs feasibility assessment, undertaken by Enviromentum in partnership with TEA.
Toronto Environmental Alliance, on behalf of Toronto Climate Action Network (TCAN) - $21,700
TCAN and TransformTO Community Website
The goal of this two-year project is to create a website that supports information and event sharing, fostering collaboration and coordination among member groups and external organizations, and supporting new and existing groups to engage with climate action in Toronto. The site will also serve as an online community hub for fostering public engagement and a sense of community ownership and shared responsibility for TransformTO’s long-term plan.
YWCA Hamilton - $70,000
Passive House Affordable Housing Project
The goal of this two-year project is to demonstrate the energy efficiency and savings in operating costs that can be achieved in a pre-cast midrise affordable housing project and disseminate relevant information that would encourage and assist others in utilizing a similar approach in the development of affordable housing projects of this nature.
ACORN Canada Institute - $30,000
Co-Benefits of Carbon Reduction Based Tenant Engagement
ACORN will develop best practices for engaging tenants in building retrofits, bridging gaps between tenants, landlords, governments, and environmental organizations. Co-create approaches with the tenants that focus on retrofit co-benefits (e.g. local jobs and training opportunities, better indoor air quality).
City of Markham - $225,100
Berczy Glen Geothermal Community Energy System
The City of Markham will research, design and eventually build a net-zero neighbourhood of approximately 400 homes anchored by a district geothermal system. Executed in collaboration with Mattamy Homes and Enwave, the project will be the largest net-zero neighbourhood in Ontario. The best practices and lessons learned from this project will help advance geothermal community energy systems across the GTHA.
City of Toronto Planning Division - $53,500
Zero-Emissions Buildings Training Program
With Toronto’s new Zero-Emissions Buildings Framework (co-developed by TAF) in place, capacity building for municipal staff and the building industry is essential to achieve zero-emissions construction. The City of Toronto Planning Division, with Passive House Canada, will develop a cross-sector training curriculum for new high-performance building concepts and how to apply them to the local context. 200 participants will participate in the training program over two years.
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce - $189,500
GHG Reductions Through Industrial Waste Heat Diversion
According to TAF’s emissions inventory for the GTHA, 68% of Hamilton’s carbon emissions come from the industrial sector. To help tackle these emissions, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce will map out the sources of waste heat along Hamilton’s industrial waterfront and determine the best uses for this heat. The aim of this initiative is to accelerate the adoption of future waste heat to energy applications in Hamilton’s industrial sector, which could significantly lower carbon emissions, save costs and promote local business competitiveness.
Labour Education Centre - $29,913
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has hundreds of buildings across Toronto. The Labour Education Centre will facilitate a collective impact approach involving school board management, trustees, union representatives, parents and other stakeholders to enable energy-efficiency measures and future climate actions at the TDSB. The goal is to develop a model that is transferable to other school boards and potentially other institutions and even other sectors of the economy.
MaRS Advanced Energy Centre - $24,750
Designing a Building Innovation Adoption Accelerator
In order to reach our TransformTO and provincial climate targets for low-carbon buildings, it is integral to engage Class B and C building owners and operators on energy efficiency retrofits. However, Class B and C building stakeholders often have limited capacity and resources dedicated to this work. To combat this capacity gap, the MaRS Discovery District proposes to create a new internal Building Innovation Adoption Accelerator. In the concept development stage, MaRS proposes to design a program structure to help Class B and C building owners evaluate and incorporate relevant technologies to improve existing building energy performance, and to accelerate the adoption of these technologies for further commercialization.
Mohawk College Centre for Climate Change Management - $46,000
Mohawk College has developed the Bay Area Climate Change Office (BACCO) to break down municipal and community silos, and create a collaborative, regional approach to climate action across the cities of Hamilton and Burlington (also known as the Bay Area). Mohawk College will work with partners from multiple sectors to develop a three-year strategic plan to guide BACCO’s activities.
Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) - $103,632
Linking health and climate change in the GTHA
Asthma, Lyme disease, and heat-related illness are afflicting tens of thousands of Canadians right now – and the impacts of these illnesses are only expected to become more pervasive without swift and strong action to reduce carbon emissions. In the first phase of this project, the OPHA developed an evidence-based communications strategy to strengthen public awareness of the link between climate change and health, and to urge action that addresses immediate health concerns and minimizes the longer-range health impacts related to climate change. Now in the second phase, OPHA will lead the GTHA implementation of this strategy in collaboration with communications, health and environmental experts.
Pembina Institute - $42,200
Feasibility Study and Leadership Cultivation for Delivery Microhubs and Low-Carbon, Last Mile Delivery in the GTHA
In recent years, Pembina has demonstrated clear leadership on the urban freight file – particularly in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Low-carbon delivery microhubs are an emerging solution to reduce congestion, air pollution, and transportation-related emissions in urban areas. The project will analyze the environmental and economic value of implementing delivery microhubs and light commercial electric vehicles for last-mile deliveries in Toronto and adjacent municipalities. The proposed research and partnership cultivation will identify two or three possible scenarios and provide policy recommendations to support implementation.
Quality Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST) - $50,000
Renewable Natural Gas Handbook for Municipalities in the GTHA
As interest in renewable natural gas (RNG) grows, project proponents need access to the right tools, knowledge and resources to effectively implement new projects. QUEST will help to build this capacity in the GTHA by facilitating knowledge-sharing roundtable discussions with multiple sectors (e.g., municipalities, utilities, technology service providers) and developing an RNG handbook to help practitioners take full advantage of this renewable energy source.
School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) - $39,675
SELECT (Social Entrepreneurial Leaders Enabling Climate Transitions) Program
The SELECT program, a partnership between SSE and Environmentum, helps racialized and newcomer Torontonians to understand the co-benefits of climate action and provides the necessary tools and resources to incubate climate-related community initiatives and social enterprises. SELECT aims to increase engagement with communities whose views are traditionally underrepresented in the climate movement and generate transferable lessons from their community engagement to inform TransformTO’s low-carbon neighbourhood strategy.
Toronto & Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) - $70,000
TRCA’s last Climate Action Plan was put together nearly a decade ago and its initial time frame is coming to an end. Our support will help TRCA update its Plan to include key opportunities for regional emissions reductions and climate resilience, incorporate consider climate actions which deliver multiple benefits, and develop program goals and evaluation metrics to support effective delivery of the new strategy.
Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) - $19,050
Evaluation Strategy for Low-Carbon Construction Training Program for Black youth
One of TransformTO’s acceleration campaigns is to “Develop a workforce for high-performance buildings.” The Toronto Community Benefits Network has been an active champion for good, local jobs, particularly for marginalized communities in Toronto. This concept development project will result in a strategy for creating a training program for Black youth that fosters the enthusiasm and skills needed to participate in the low-carbon construction jobs of the future.
Toronto Green Community (TGC) - $36,696
The success of TransformTO, the City of Toronto’s climate plan, will require engagement of new constituencies across the entire city. As part of TAF’s Low-Carbon Neighbourhoods granting stream, TGC will create two new neighbourhood-based community green groups in Etobicoke and Scarborough, and will develop new climate-related engagement strategies with existing pillars of the community such as Business Improvement Areas, urban Indigenous groups, faith communities, and newcomer groups.
TTCriders - $91,748
Transit Priority King Street Pilot and Ridership Growth Strategy
To increase transit ridership, TTCriders will engage the public to improve and support the King Street Pilot and the implementation of the TTC’s Ridership Growth Strategy. Community engagement will include businesses, community groups, and other stakeholders. The findings from this TAF-supported project will help inform similar ridership growth initiatives across Toronto and the GTHA.
University of Toronto - $20,500
Evaluation of Neighbourhood Pilot Projects
TAF’s Mobilize Low-Carbon Neighbourhoods program focuses on funding neighbourhood-level engagement pilot projects across the city. There is a need to understand the outcomes and effectiveness of these pilot projects. The University of Toronto will provide this much-needed synthesis and evaluation of the results of TransformTO and other relevant community engagement projects, and will develop an evaluation framework with metrics (such as co-benefits in health, social equity, local jobs) that can be applied to assess the impact of future projects.
Clean Air Partnership - $30,168
Needs Assessment for a Municipal Champions for Climate Action Network
Engagement with municipal political staff from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to assess their interest in, and the potential structure of, a Municipal Champions for Climate Action Network.
Environment Hamilton - $102,458
Multi-Sector Collaboration for Public Transit in Hamilton
Establishment of a strong collective of diverse organizations, working towards greater municipal investment in public transit in the City of Hamilton.
Environmentum - $17,893
Leveraging Community Hubs to Mobilize Low-Carbon Communities
Research into the feasibility of community hubs as launch points for wider community engagement in developing low carbon communities.
MaRS Data Catalyst - $58,000
Deploying Shared Mobility in the GTHA, Phase II
Completion of the design of two to three shared mobility pilots in the GTHA in collaboration with identified partners.
MaRS Data Catalyst - $40,000
Deploying Shared Mobility in the GTHA, Phase I:
Establishment of a framework to guide effective shared mobility pilot deployment in the GTHA.
Ontario Public Health Association - $60,050
Showcasing the Health Benefits of Climate Action
Development of a communications strategy focused on the health benefits of strong climate action, with the goal of increasing public support for such action.
Region of Peel - $26,000
Off-Peak Delivery Pilot Project
Development of a pilot project with businesses to shift truck traffic from peak to off-peak hours throughout the Region of Peel.
Toronto Environmental Alliance - $30,000
Adopting a Co-Benefits Approach to Build Broad Support for Climate Action
Co-development of a project plan for a diverse partnership to build broad support for implementing municipal and provincial climate strategies that maximize community benefits.
University of Toronto - $112,011
Assessing the Impact of Energy Retrofit Strategies for Contemporary and Post-war MURBs
Environmental Defence - $300,000
Locking in Ontario’s Clean Economy
Provision of input into key aspects of Ontario’s climate plan implementation and creation of widespread support to ensure the plan’s successful long-term durability.
Ontario Association of Architects - $31,629
New Construction Energy Benchmarking Tool Development
Development of a tool that will automate the reporting and aggregation of data available in energy models, to inform the design processes of new buildings and enable the tracking and analysis of performance trends across all new buildings.
Pembina Institute - $188,800
Piloting a Neighbourhood Freight Forum in Toronto
Establishment of a Neighbourhood Freight Forum (NFF) with the Duke Heights Business Improvement Area, and application of learnings from this pilot to develop a framework for enabling NFFs across Toronto.
Pembina Institute - $23,325
Strategic Planning for Tracks and Grids
Development of a strategy for reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority - $244,715
Evaluating Low-Carbon Technologies and Best Practices in the Built Environment
Evaluation of up to four technologies which demonstrate a strong potential to reduce GHG emissions in Toronto.
Toronto Region Board of Trade - $30,000
TRBOT Energy Working Group Formation
Consideration of GHG emissions and targets in the context of the TRBOT’s work to secure a sustainable, secure, and affordable supply of energy for the Toronto region.
University of Toronto - $140,000
Quantifying Toronto’s Transportation GHG Emissions
Development of an accurate and up-to-date estimate of GHG and air pollution emissions related to road transportation, with a view towards assessing the possible policy and program options for reducing these emissions.
YMCA of Greater Toronto - $30,000
Embodied Carbon in Construction Materials
Performance of a life cycle analysis (LCA) on two YMCA developments to help inform lower-carbon material selection and to educate Toronto’s design community and building owners regarding the potential of LCA to lead to lower-carbon buildings.
City of Toronto – Environment and Energy Division - $100,000
TransformTO – Modelling a Low-Carbon Future
Undertaking of integrated, long-range greenhouse gas scenario modelling to better understand how to achieve Toronto’s deep carbon reduction goals, and how these required actions interact with other city goals related to public health, prosperity, and social equity.
City of Toronto – Environment and Energy Division - $192,375
Energy Reporting and Benchmarking for Large Buildings
Support of activities related to the start-up and initial implementation of an Energy Reporting and Benchmarking requirement for large buildings in Toronto.
MaRS Cleantech – Advanced Energy Centre - $20,000
Developing Standards for Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Research into the feasibility of developing a Canadian version of existing US-based standards designed to increase investment in energy efficiency retrofit projects, drawing on the expertise and experience of the Investor Confidence Project.
Plug’n Drive - $70,000
Factors Shaping Electric Vehicle Ownership, Drive Patterns, and Behaviours
Research into the factors that drive the uptake of electric vehicles in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, and the development and promotion of evidence-based recommendations based on these factors.
Toronto Environmental Alliance - $99,823
Engaging Torontonians in Creating a Low-Carbon Future
Research into leading civic engagement methods from around the world and piloting of the most promising methods to create broad public support for low-carbon policies in Toronto.
Environmental Defence - $300,000
Ontario and the Clean Economy
Development and implementation of a bold provincial climate change strategy to support Ontario’s 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Evergreen - $90,000
Move the GTHA Phase II
Continued delivery of backbone resources to support a cross-sector collaboration which promotes the need for increased public investment in regional transportation infrastructure.
Evergreen - $20,000
Tower Renewal Showcase
Concept development proposal to develop costing scenarios and a detailed business case for using infill developments to finance tower retrofits.
Pembina Institute - $76,200
Location Efficient Development
Development of a strategy to promote location-efficient development in the Greater Toronto Area.
Project Neutral - $15,000
Measuring and Strengthening the Impact of PN’s Neighbourhood Climate Action Model
Design of an evaluation strategy to assess the greenhouse gas impact of Project Neutral’s work and develop clear metrics to inform its future interventions.