Government of Canada celebrates first recipients to receive support to revitalize main streets in their communities

News release

Economic Developers Council of Ontario and Canadian Urban Institute’s My Main Street program supports over 100 placemaking projects and 65 main street communities  

January 12, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario

Today, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), celebrated the first recipients of the My Main Street program at a virtual event hosted by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) and the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI).

Minister Jaczek highlighted the importance of supporting our main streets and neighbourhoods, and the vital role they have in keeping the economy strong while reiterating the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to supporting our communities, local businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Minister recognized the recipients of the first round of this support, including 106 placemaking projects through the Community Activator stream. This program was designed to renew the connection between people and commercial spaces in their neighbourhoods by supporting activities, events, and local improvements that will encourage the return of foot traffic to neighbourhoods, when it is safe to do so.

Additionally, support for the 65 main street communities taking part in the Local Business Accelerator program was announced. Through the program, main street communities will receive support through the hiring of a local Main Street Ambassador, customized market research, data analysis and direct business support. Resources provided through both streams can also be used to prioritize equity-seeking groups. A list of all of the successful Community Activator projects and Local Busines Accelerator communities can be found at

Announced in August 2021, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, provided EDCO and CUI with a $23.25-million investment to support almost 5,000 businesses and nearly 4,500 jobs across southern Ontario over the next two years.


“The My Main Street program is supporting southern Ontario’s main street businesses, communities and entrepreneurs by boosting the connection between people and their communities by providing vital resources to help improve business practices and storefronts. Our main streets are at the heart of our communities, and protecting jobs and helping local businesses recover will ensure our economy thrives.”
- The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Agency for Southern Ontario

“The projects supported by this first round of My Main Street demonstrate how communities are creatively working to bring people together—safely, following all the protocols, with local businesses. They are reminding us of how our remarkable local places and spaces can be accessible to everyone, especially now."
- Mary W. Rowe, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

“Main streets that combine placemaking and a diverse business balance, result in successful local economies. This project enables communities to ensure that both are possible. Thanks to the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, communities in southern Ontario will have the resources to establish a strong foundation moving forward.”
- Heather Lalonde, CEO, Economic Developers Council of Ontario 

Quick facts

  • A partnership between EDCO and CUI, My Main Street provides resources and support to help businesses and communities revitalize main streets.

  • Applications for Year Two for the My Main Street Community Activator program are currently being accepted until February 1, 2022. Interested municipalities, business improvement areas and community organizations located within southern Ontario (excluding Toronto), are encouraged to learn more and apply at

  • EDCO provides leadership to enhance the professional development of its members; advance economic development as a profession and support municipalities in fostering economic prosperity in the province of Ontario.

  • CUI works with city building professionals to create programs and initiatives, research and develop policies to promote best practices in urban development.

  • The Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, also supported main street recovery through investments including $19 million for the City of Toronto’s Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative and ShowLoveTO, and in the Digital Main Street platform, which helped businesses pivot brick-and-mortar operations to the digital marketplace, resulting in access to training and employment opportunities for students, increased online offerings and revenue growth.

  • Since 2015, FedDev Ontario has provided over $1.8 billion to support nearly 2,500 projects, maintaining over 97,000 jobs and creating over 40,000 jobs in southern Ontario. 

Associated links


Jeffrey Woodland
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Allison Watson
Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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