The City of Port Colborne and the governments of Ontario and Canada offer a range incentive programs for new or expanding businesses. The programs outlined below are all available in Port Colborne, and most can be stacked together to provide a compelling package for investments in the manufacturing or logistics sectors.

Review of Community Improvement Programs (CIPs)

RCI Consulting was retained by the City to conduct a comprehensive review of the City’s six existing CIPs. These CIPs were originally based on Council direction to incentivize growth and development in designated CIP project areas in Port Colborne. The main objective of this comprehensive review is to:

  • Better address community improvement needs and incorporate best practices;
  • Streamline and reposition the incentive programs in the CIP to target and leverage private sector    investment more strategically;
  • Simplify the processes for program application review and approval; and
  • Ensure that Port Colborne is investment ready while maintaining financial viability of the programs.


 Notice of Public Meeting

City Council is hosting a Legislated Public Meeting on September 26, 2023, to receive comments on the proposed new Comprehensive Community Improvement Plan (CIP). Council will review comments prior to making a decision on the proposed Comprehensive CIP at a following meeting. The details of the Public Meeting are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Council Chambers, Third Floor, City Hall, 66 Charlotte Street

Virtual participation is also available via Zoom. Please contact the Deputy Clerk for meeting details.

A draft of the proposed Comprehensive Community Improvement Plan is available for viewing. A copy of the Staff Report on the proposed Comprehensive CIP will be available on September 21, 2023, by visiting the Council, Boards and Committees Calendar.

Public Engagement

City staff and RCI Consulting hosted an open house on July 14, 2022, to seek public input on potential revisions to the City’s Community Improvement Plans (CIPs). The presentation made at this open house is available for public viewing.

City of Port Colborne Community Improvement Programs

Brownfield CIP

The Brownfield Community Improvement Plan provides four incentives to encourage development on lands designated as brownfields. Brownfields are defined as an abandoned, vacant, derelict, idled or underutilized properties in the Urban Area of the City of Port Colborne where redevelopment is complicated by environmental contamination.

Grants available are:

  • Building Permit Fee Grant
  • Environmental Site Assessment Grant
  • Feasibility Study Grant
  • Property Tax Assistance Rehab Grant

Downtown Central Business District CIP

The Downtown Central Business District Community Improvement Plan identifies the physical, economic, and other strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in relation to the revitalization of the Downtown. The CIP articulates a vision for the Downtown. This CIP specifies a Public Realm Improvement Plan that contains recommended improvements to various elements and features of the Downtown CBD in order to improve the pedestrian environment and promote private sector investment activity and develop a tool box of incentive programs that can be offered by the City to directly stimulate private sector investment in the revitalization and redevelopment of the Downtown Central Business District.

Grants available are:

  • Second Storey Commercial Grant
  • Facade Improvement Grant
  • Planning and Building Fees Grant
  • Revitalization (Tax Increment) Grant
  • Urban Design Grant

East Waterfront CIP

The Port Colborne East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan is an important step and tool to renewing the environment of Port Colborne's East Village and Waterfront. Its purpose is to guide and encourage physical improvements to the area.

Grants available are:

  • Commercial Building and Facade Improvement
  • Residential Intensification Grant
  • Revitalization (Tax Increment) Grant
  • Urban Design Study Grant

Industrial CIP

The Industrial Community Improvement Plan provides four incentives to encourage industrial development, both new investments and expansions of existing operations, on lands zoned for industrial uses throughout Port Colborne. The incentive available through the Industrial Community Improvement Plan is the Revitalization (Tax Increment) Grant.

Olde Humberstone CIP

The Olde Humberstone Community Improvement Plan promotes the establishment of a compact, pedestrian-oriented village center consisting of vibrant and dynamic mixed-use areas, and residential living environments that provide a broad range of housing types for an array of housing needs. It also aims to enhance the community's character through the promotion of high-quality urban design.

Grants available are:

  • Planning Fee Grant
  • Facade Improvement Grant
  • Sidewalk Cafe Grant
  • Permit Fees Rebate
  • Tax Increment-Based Grant
  • Residential Intensification Grant
  • Sign Replacement Grant
  • Affordable Housing Grant
  • Shared Parking Lot Grant

Media Coverage (September 15, 2022) - Community Improvement Plan incentives make Neff Street apartment plan in Port Colborne ‘viable’

Niagara Gateway Economic Zone and Centre CIP

The Niagara Gateway Economic Zone and Centre Community Improvement Plan provides two incentives to encourage industrial development within the urban area of Port Colborne. These two programs are the Tax Increment Based Grant and the Development Charge Grant Program. 

Government of Ontario Incentive Programs

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund promotes economic development in Southwestern Ontario, which includes Port Colborne. The fund provides financial assistance to promote the expansion and attraction of investment/business in Southwestern Ontario through support for capital spending, skills development, productivity enhancements, infrastructure needs and other similar economic development initiatives. Funding is targeted to key sectors. 

Government of Canada Incentive Program

Building Canada Fund

The Building Canada Fund is a federally funded infrastructure fund. Eligible projects can receive up to 50% of capital costs. The Building Canada Fund identifies sectors as key funding priorities. The Building Canada Fund also covers some remediation costs for brownfields. 

Foreign Trade Zone Programs

The Government of Canada has three foreign trade zone style programs that can be used anywhere in Canada – properties do not need to be in or identified as foreign trade zones. The Duty Deferral Program allows duty payments to be deferred or refunded on goods that are imported to Canada, stored (or minimally processed) and then exported. The Export Distribution Centre Program provides relief from paying Harmonized Sales Tax on imported goods and domestically purchased goods. The program applies to importation of goods with limited valued-added production taking place, then exportation of the finished goods. The Exporters of Processing Services provides relief from paying Harmonized Sales Tax on imported goods provided the goods do not belong to the applicant and the goods are only stored or minimally processed, then exported. 

FedDev Ontario 

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario administers 10 programs that provide funds targeted to specific sectors or toward key priorities. Funding opportunities vary by program.