Downtown Kitchener Incentives

The following incentives are available in the core area of Kitchener and issued by the City of Kitchener unless otherwise noted. Visit the Incentives page to learn about other incentives, or the Kitchener, Central Neighbourhoods of Kitchener or Waterloo Region pages to learn about incentives available in those areas.


downtown Kitchener incentives mapDowntown Kitchener Development Charge Exemption 

Issued by: Region of Waterloo and City of Kitchener 

Description: All lands within the Downtown Core Boundary are exempt from both City of Kitchener and Regional development charges, including the Regional development charges for waste and transit.

Amount: Exemption for otherwise applicable development charges.

End date: The Regional Development Charge Exemption end date is the earlier of February 28, 2019 or when the by-law is repealed. The Kitchener Development Charge Exemption is the earlier of March 1, 2019 or the repeal of Kitchener Development Charges By-Law 2014-068.

Further information: Refer to Kitchener's Development Charges By-law 2014-068 Section 3.3 and Regional Development Charges By-law Number 16-053 (Section 1), or contact Kitchener's Building Division at 519-741-2312 or




Bonusing for Increased Built Form/Density

Description: Community benefits such as providing residential floor space, conserving heritage buildings or facades and/or providing a publicly accessible amenity area may result in the ability to build additional floor space beyond the standard maximum floor space ratio within downtown zones D-1 to D-6. These benefits are considered desirable objectives for the downtown.

Amount: The ratio or amount of increased floor area is dependent upon the existing downtown zone, the type of community benefit available for bonusing in that zone and several other provisions.

Further information: Please visit Kitchener's Zoning By-law page and contact the Planning Division at 519-741-2426 or



Downtown Kitchener CIPFacade Grant Program

Description: This program assists downtown property owners and tenants with the financing of street-oriented building fa├žade improvements.

Amount: Grant amount is up to 50 per cent of the costs, to a max of $10,000 per storefront, subject to design guidelines.

End date: To end or be revaluated by December 31, 2017.

Further information: Please visit Kitchener's Facade Grant Program page or contact Cory Bluhm, Manager of Downtown Community Development at 519-741-2200 ext. 7065 or


Building Permit Rebates

Description: To stimulate redevelopment and renovation of downtown buildings, this program offers grants in lieu of building permit fees to registered owners of downtown commercial properties.

Amount: Refund of applicable fees, not to exceed $1,000 per property.

End date: To end or be revaluated by December 31, 2017.

Further information: Please visit Kitchener's Grants in Lieu of Building Permit Fees page or contact the Building Division at 519-741-2312 or


Startup Landing Pad Grant Program

Description: This program offers a grant for property owners of downtown Kitchener second-storey and above underutilized building spaces and startups to access leasehold and accessibility improvement funds.

Amount: $20,000 matching for eligible leasehold improvements; $40,000 matching for accessibility improvements.

End date: February 2019.

Further information: Please visit Kitchener's Startup Landing Pad Grant Program page or contact Thom Ryan, Sr. Business Development Officer at 519-741-2200 ext. 7826 or


Disclaimer: The purpose of these program summaries is to provide readers with a quick reference of financial incentives potentially available in each area. They do not constitute complete program descriptions. To determine eligibility, please review the detailed program descriptions or contact the appropriate staff person. It is at the issuers' discretion to cancel an incentive at any time. Information is subject to change and accuracy cannot be guaranteed.