Smart Cities Challenge improving the lives of Canadians through innovation, data, and technology

News release

Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 1, 2018 – By encouraging innovation and the use of data and connected technology, the Government of Canada is empowering communities to become more liveable and inclusive, while creating economic opportunities for Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced the 20 finalists of the Smart Cities Challenge, a new, competition-based approach that encourages communities to come up with innovative solutions to their most pressing issues:

  • Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation, Ontario ($5M prize)
  • Bridgewater, Nova Scotia ($5M prize)
  • Cree Nation of Eastmain, Quebec ($5M prize)
  • Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Quebec ($5M prize)
  • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories ($5M prize)
  • Airdrie and Area, Alberta ($10M prize)
  • Communities of Nunavut, Nunavut ($10M prize)
  • Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec ($10M prize)
  • Greater Victoria, British Columbia ($10M prize)
  • Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario ($10M prize)
  • Parkland, Brazeau, Lac Ste Anne and Yellowhead Counties, Alberta ($10M prize)
  • Richmond, British Columbia ($10M prize)
  • Saint Mary's First Nation and Fredericton, New-Brunswick ($10M prize)
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ($10M prize)
  • The Pas, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and Kelsey, Manitoba ($10M prize)
  • Edmonton, Alberta ($50M prize)
  • Montreal, Quebec ($50M prize)
  • Quebec City, Quebec ($50M prize)
  • Region of Waterloo, Ontario ($50M prize)
  • Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia ($50M prize)

More than 200 communities, large and small, from across Canada responded to the Challenge, submitting innovative ideas that have the potential to improve their communities in areas such as reconciliation, protection of Indigenous language and culture, food security, better education and health for youth and children, and affordable housing.

Summaries of the finalists’ applications, along with their Challenge Statements and the evaluation criteria are posted on the Impact Canada website. Each finalist will receive a grant of $250,000 to further develop their innovative ideas into final proposals that outline all design, planning, privacy, data protection and project management components of their plans. The four winners will be announced in spring 2019.


“I am proud to see all the effort that communities have put into engaging with residents and in developing their Smart Cities Challenge proposals. I challenged community leaders to be bold and think outside-the-box, and I am pleased to see that they answered the call through the innovative ideas they submitted. These new ideas will result in positive outcomes for Canada’s middle class and improve people’s quality of life. I am thrilled at the meaningful, lasting and positive outcomes that this Challenge has already created for communities thus far, and look forward to seeing the final proposals.”

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Quick facts

  • Twenty finalists have been selected to go on to compete for four prizes:

    • one prize of up to $50 million, available to all communities;
    • two prizes of up to $10 million, available to all communities below 500,000 residents; and
    • one prize of up to $5 million, available to all communities below 30,000 residents.

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Associated links


Kate Monfette
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Twitter: @INFC_eng
Web: Infrastructure Canada

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