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Facade Improvement Grant Program

At its November 30, 2012 meeting the DWBIA Board of Directors agreed to suspend any further Façade Grant applications pending a review of the application process and the evaluation criteria.  Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Click on the following links to download the FIGP Manualthe Grant Application Form or Façade Guidelines.

Fresh Fronts is a Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association program that provides grant money for building and business owners to improve their building owners to improve their building facade. 

It's a DWBIA initiative that helps make our downtown more attractive for us all-customers, tourist, merchants, property owners, and people who work and live downtown.

Fresh Fronts provides up to $15,000 for approved Façade Improvements

What is it?
A Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association program that provides grant money for building and business owners to improve their building façade.

How does it work?
Property owner or tenant reviews the Downtown Windsor Storefront Façade Guidelines and the Downtown Windsor Storefront Design Guideline Manual- available at the DWBIA offices, 419 Pelissier Avenue.

Property owner or tenant submits an application to the DWBIA outlining the
planned façade improvements.

Application is reviewed by the DWBIA Review Committee and is accordingly approved or declined, usually within 30 days.

A Letter of Understanding outlining all terms and conditions must be signed by the tenant and landlord prior to final approval by the Review Committee.

The DWBIA issues payment to successful applicants after completion of the agreed upon work, within the established deadline.

The maximum funding provided by the DWBIA is $10,000 for non-corner properties. A corner property is eligible for a maximum funding of $15,000, provided improvements are proposed for both the front and corner-side wall of the building facing a public road or pedestrian right-of-way.

What buildings are eligible?
All member properties within the DWBIA boundaries as defined by the City of Windsor.

For the purposes of this program, a property is defined by a storefront address or a business license.

How do I qualify?
You must be the owner of the property used for commercial purposes at street level or be a tenant having the written permission of the property owner.

You must have submitted an application and all required background information to the DWBIA.

You must not start your improvement project before the application is approved by the DWBIA.

You have not received the maximum commercial façade funding for your property in the previous 10 years.

You must have read the DWBIA Conflicts of Interest Policy and disclosed any possible conflict of interest on your application form.

Retail businesses are encouraged to apply.

Multiple businesses within the same block are encouraged to apply.

Do I need to hire an architect?
The DWBIA strongly recommends that all applicants utilize the services of an architect or designer. The DWBIA will reimburse architects fees, up to $500.00, for successful applicants only.

When would I receive the grant?
Upon completion of the façade improvements to the satisfaction of the Executive Director and; Receipt of proof of payment of all invoices i.e. photocopies of all invoices stamped ‘paid’ or photocopies of cheques or credit card receipts relating to the façade improvements by the Executive Director and; Submission of photographs of the building façade after the façade improvements have been completed.

What improvements are eligible?
It is mandatory that applications follow the Downtown Windsor Storefront Façade Guideline Manual and must represent at least one of the eligible façade improvements mentioned below:

  • Brick cleaning façade treatments such as power washing
  • Exterior Painting
  • Replacement of doors & windows
  • Replacement and/or repair of cornice, parapets & other architectural features
  • Repair & replacement of awnings or canopies
  • Repair and / or re-pointing of façade masonry
  • Re-facing of facade
  • Installation and improvement of signage
  • Installation of exterior decorative lighting and upgrading of existing fixtures on external façade
  • Redesign of storefront
  • Other improvements agreed to by the Review Committee.

What improvements are not eligible?
Applications for properties that currently have but do not address the following critical elements will be ineligible for the grant program. Applications which incorporate the following critical elements will be ineligible for the grant program.

Window: Materials:

  • Mirrored, tinted, Plexiglas windows Vinyl or aluminum siding
  • Fitting original with glass block
  • Broken or boarded windows “Bricking up” existing window
  • openings
  • Upper Window: Exterior Lighting:
  • Plexiglas windows Flashing, pulsating, dynamic lighting
  • Broken or boarded windows
  • Awnings: Painting over old signage
  • Signage: Box-type backlit signage
  • Flashing Signs
  • Parapet: Aesthetic
  • Dilapidated or damaged parapets 
  • Overhead Door:
  • Residential garage doors
  • Solid doors
Where do I apply?
Applications should be submitted to:
Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association
Attn: Executive Director
419 Pelissier Avenue Windsor, Ontario N9A 4L2
P: 519.252.5723 F: 519.252.6817

Please note that all funding is at the discretion of the Facade Improvement Grant Committee.  All decisions are final.
If you have further questions please contact the DWBIA at 519-252-5723 or

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