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.
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 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% 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 per cent 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:
- May 15, 2020 (Board approval: July 16, 2020)
- August 28, 2020 (Board approval: November 6, 2020)
Upcoming grant intake deadlines:
- May 15, 2020 (Board approval: July 16, 2020)
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) - $9,675
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 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.
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 - $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.
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.
University of Toronto - $112,011
Assessing the Impact of Energy Retrofit Strategies for Contemporary and Post-war MURBs
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.