Main streets get a boost

Southern Ontario’s main streets are lined with small businesses that bring tourists and locals together to enjoy the best our communities have to offer.

Small businesses are a vital part of Canada’s culture and economic prosperity and the federal government is making investments to help locally-owned businesses and communities small and large thrive.

Filomena Tassi, minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with other local dignitaries, announced a $15-million investment for the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) to continue the recovery and revitalization of main streets across southern Ontario through My Main Street (MMS).

With this investment, the organization will launch two new programs through MMS to provide funding and support for businesses and community organizations across southern Ontario.

The new programs will support up to 325 businesses on main streets across 100 communities, along with 75 community projects promoting high-impact placemaking activities. These activities will help draw people to the main streets and encourage locals and visitors to support an estimated 2,500 community businesses and organizations.

This investment into southern Ontario’s main street businesses will support up to 5,750 direct and indirect jobs across southern Ontario.

“Small businesses are at the heart of our cities,” said Paul Chiang, Member of Parliament for Markham–Unionville. “They bring us together, support our communities and contribute to the vibrancy of our neighbourhoods. This investment in My Main Street will work to continue to stabilize and revitalize our main streets and neighbourhoods in Unionville and Markahm and across southern Ontario.”

This announcement builds on a 2021 Government of Canada investment, through FedDev Ontario, of $23.25 million to support the recovery and revitalization of main streets across southern Ontario through the launch of the My Main Street initiative. To date, this investment has supported nearly 4,000 businesses and organizations.

Since 1990, the Candian Urban Insititute (CUI) has been working with city-building professionals to create programs and initiatives, and research and develop policies to promote best practices in urban development. The organization has become a place to learn, share, and collaborate to promote thoughtful urban planning initiatives across the country, including finding ways to make communities more resilient and inclusive.

Through MMS, CUI will also create and provide Main Street Community Profiles that businesses and organizations in the local community can use to understand the social, economic and demographic makeup of consumers in the region. This will enable small business owners to ensure their business and growth plans are well-informed and tailored to their local community.


Photo: MPs Paul Chiang and Filomena Tassi at a recent funding announcement which will support main streets.

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