We’re pleased you’re interested in securing a grant from us to help lower carbon emissions or air pollution in the region.
Our granting programs focus on the two biggest sectors for carbon emissions: the building sector and the transportation sector.
UPDATE for August 2020 intake:
In response to COVID-19, cultural, policy, and economic shifts are emerging. We are open to ideas that are well-positioned to support resilient economic recovery, leverage current movements to achieve low-carbon outcomes, or avoid back-tracking towards carbon-intensive activity during this period. Projects that respond to changes in the way we travel, shop, or work, or initiatives that support GTHA municipalities in planning climate projects that could leverage stimulus funding are just some examples of emerging opportunities to reduce emissions. All grant applications will continue to be assessed based on our traditional granting criteria as well as the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to help or hinder the achievement of project outcomes and wider economic recovery. We encourage you to contact us for more information.
In the building sector, we are looking to provide grants to scalable projects that:
- Demonstrate new approaches to significantly reduce the carbon intensity and increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings, especially multi-unit residential buildings, aiming to reduce the average GHG intensity of large buildings in the GTHA by 35% by the year 2030
- Support the transition of new construction in the GTHA to be near net-zero carbon emissions and energy consumption by the year 2030
- Advance policy and financing approaches to facilitate and scale energy-efficiency retrofits
- Pilot demonstrations of promising energy efficiency and zero-emissions building technologies and management approaches
- Deepen tenant engagement to support behaviour-related energy efficiency practices
- Work with diverse collaborators to demonstrate the co-benefits of energy efficiency such as improved indoor environmental quality and local job creation
- Quantify and describe the workforce and training gaps that need to be filled to serve a scaled-up energy efficiency retrofit sector, informing the creation of the TransformTO Workforce for High-Performance Building Campaign
In the transportation sector, we are looking to provide grants for scalable projects that:
- Speed up the transition to electric vehicles to help achieve our 2030 vision of electric vehicles making up 40% of new passenger vehicles in the GTHA
- Address key barriers and opportunities associated with the electrification of transportation such as grid capacity, refuelling infrastructure, resilience, and equitable access to affordable low-carbon mobility options
- Work with diverse collaborators to examine the co-benefits of clean transportation solutions including job creation, equitable access to mobility, and public health improvements
- Advance policy and financing approaches to achieve our provincial and municipal targets, for example ensuring that 100% of our transportation network is fueled by low-carbon energy sources by 2050
- Create new models for mobility service that improve efficiency and reduce emissions, such as first and last mile solutions, and shared mobility
- Reduce distances travelled (vehicle-kilometres travelled) through improved transportation options or avoided trips across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- Your application must demonstrate the project’s potential to reduce carbon emissions in the GTHA and/or air pollution in Toronto.
- 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.
- Once you have reviewed our granting streams and recent recipients, get in touch with TAF’s grantmaking team via firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your idea.
- Fill out the appropriate application form and submit it before the grant intake deadline.
- TAF will assess each application against the pre-set evaluation criteria outlined in our application forms.
- The Grants and Programs Committee reviews each application and makes a funding recommendation to our Board of Directors.
- The Board then makes a final decision on each grant proposal. Grant proponents may request an opportunity to address the TAF Board directly concerning their grant, should they wish to dispute the Committee’s recommendation.
Upcoming grant intake deadlines:
- August 28, 2020 (Board approval: November 6, 2020)
Upcoming grant intake deadlines:
- August 28, 2020 (Board approval: November 6, 2020)
TAF will not fund:
- Partisan political activities
- Projects where the primary activity is an event such as a conference, workshop, or training session
- A request that builds on, or is another phase of, a project by the same proponent currently being funded by TAF. However, TAF can provide concurrent funding to the same proponent 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.
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.
Examples of current grants
A list of select in-progress grants, to help you understand the sort of work we fund.
Durham Region Transit - $195,890
Scaling-up to Zero Emission Transit in the Region of Durham
This project will support Durham Region Transit (DRT) in securing the necessary capacity and data to plan the effective transition of their bus fleet to zero-emission technologies, and to design a dedicated bus depot for zero-emission buses. To achieve this outcome, DRT will gather information while piloting eight electric propulsion buses and four charging technologies.
Environmental Defence - $240,000
Climate Accountability in Ontario
Environmental Defence will track the provincial government’s progress in meeting greenhouse gas emission reduction targets as outlined in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan. In doing so, this project seeks to create conditions for more ambitious climate actions in the province by mobilizing community members through outreach and awareness-building activities.
Ontario Home Builders’ Association - $170,000
Multi-family Air Tightness Testing Pilot
This project will develop a standardized approach to air tightness testing for multi-family buildings, and will increase industry capacity to perform these tests. The project team will identify logistical barriers faced by builders and testers, and then identify solutions to overcome these challenges. The best practices will be demonstrated through case studies at two buildings, and lessons learned will be captured in an Air Tightness Testing Manual.
Passive House Canada - $40,000
Zero Emissions Buildings Exchange Concept Development
Passive House Canada will develop a concept plan for a Zero Emissions Buildings Exchange, which will serve as a hub for learning, research, and capacity building for the green building industry in the GTHA. The concept plan will be developed in collaboration with diverse industry members to identify and solidify program partners, priorities, and funding sources.
Pembina Institute - $99,000
An Action Plan for Urban Freight Electrification in the GTHA
Electrifying urban freight presents an enormous opportunity to decarbonize the transportation sector in the GTHA. This project will equip businesses with the information needed to integrate and scale up use of electric vehicles in their delivery fleets. Pembina Institute will help businesses overcome barriers to electrification through modelling and research, and by identifying the segments of the urban freight supply chain that are best placed for electrification. Project deliverables will include an action plan for businesses, as well as a policy guide on the infrastructure, plans and regulations that are required to support fleet electrification.
Pembina Institute - $175,000
Coalition for Clean Fuels and a Clean Fuel Standard
This project will enable Pembina Institute to continue ongoing efforts to ensure that Canada adopts a strong Clean Fuel Standard, which will reduce the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels used in Canada and aims to reduce annual carbon emissions by 30 megatonnes by 2030. Pembina will achieve this by convening stakeholders, providing leadership on policy solutions, producing research, and coordinating engagement strategies with key decision makers.
Smart Freight Centre, University of Toronto - $92,000
Expanding an Off-Peak Delivery Program in the GTA
This project seeks to create a supportive environment for off-peak delivery (OPD) in the GTHA, and for retailers to adopt OPD in their freight operations. This work builds on the TAF-funded Peel Region OPD pilot project, which demonstrated emissions reductions and improved delivery efficiency among participating retailers. The University of Toronto will lead a multi-sector partnership to expand the pilot project to 23 retail participants, then monitor the emissions reductions associated with the program. The results of this project will be used to build support for a permanent, multi-region OPD program in the GTHA.
The Regional Municipality of Durham - $35,890
Durham Deep Energy Efficiency Program
This concept development project seeks to design a residential home retrofit program for the Regional Municipality of Durham, and to develop a multi-year implementation plan for the program based on market analysis and input from target audiences and key stakeholders. This program will support Durham’s long-term objective to retrofit all existing residential buildings in the region by 2050.
Volta Research - $150,000
Residential Takeoff and Analytics Tool for Low Carbon Retrofits
Volta Research will develop an easy-to-use software that will simplify and streamline the energy modelling process for low-rise residential buildings. Their web-based tool will also present energy efficiency retrofit options that increase the emission reduction potential of retrofit projects. Responding to challenges identified by industry stakeholders, this project seeks to lower the cost of energy modelling and increase industry capacity to implement energy efficiency retrofits in residential buildings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) - $26,696
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.
Environment Hamilton - $112,458
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.
University of Toronto - $112,011
Assessing the Impact of Energy Retrofit Strategies for Contemporary and Post-war MURBs