Backgrounder: The Government of Canada Announces Winners of the Smart Cities Challenge


Smart Cities Challenge aims to improve the lives of Canadians through data and connected technology

The Challenge

In November 2017, the Government of Canada challenged communities across the country to develop bold and ambitious ideas to improve the lives of their residents using data and connected technology.

Over 200 communities, large and small, urban and rural, from across Canada rose to the Challenge. They submitted innovative ideas that have the potential to advance progress on issues such as improving economic opportunity for Canadians, imagining the future of transportation, and improving the health outcomes of Canadians, among others.

An independent panel of 13 jury members assessed and evaluated the 130 eligible submissions based on the criteria set out in the Applicant Guide.

The Finalists

Last June, 20 finalists were selected to move on to the next step of the Challenge. These finalists each received a $250,000 grant to develop their project proposals. These proposals outline the design, planning, privacy, data protection and project management components of their plans.

The grant enabled each finalist to fund activities in support of the development of their proposal. Such activities included professional services, feasibility assessments, capacity building, pilot projects, community engagement and communications, and research.

On March 5, 2019, each finalist submitted a final proposal for consideration. The Smart Cities Challenge jury assessed and evaluated these final submissions using the criteria outlined in the Smart Cities Challenge Finalist Guide and recommended four winners to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

The winners were announced on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, by Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne and his Parliamentary Secretary, Marco Mendicino.

The Winners

$5 million prize

Community: Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Challenge Statement: Our community will lift its residents out of energy poverty, starting by reducing the energy poverty rate by 20% by 2025.

Final Proposal:


Contact Information:
Jessica McDonald, Director of Community Development

Leon de Vreede, Sustainability Planner

$10 million prize

Community: Nunavut Communities, Nunavut

Challenge Statement: Our communities will implement protective and preventative measures to reduce the risk of suicide in Nunavut, which is ten times the national average, and increase the amount and accessibility of peer support networks, educational resources and creative outlets that promote positive Mental Health to all Nunavummiut.

Final Proposal:


Contact Information:
Maria Coates, Development Manager

Community: City of Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario

Challenge Statement: Guelph/Wellington will become Canada's first technology-enabled Circular Food Economy, reimagining an inclusive food-secure ecosystem that increases access to affordable, nutritious food by 50%, where "waste" becomes a resource, 50 new circular businesses and collaborations are created, and circular economic revenues are increased by 50%: 50x50x50 by 2025.

Final Proposal:


Contact Information:
Cathy Kennedy, Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations, City of Guelph
519-822-1260 ext. 2255 

$50 million prize

Community: Montréal, Quebec

Challenge Statement: The Montreal community is shaping an efficient and dynamic neighbourhood life by innovating mobility and access to food. Through a co-creation and citizen participation process, the accessibility of services and the well-being of Montrealers are increasing significantly.

Final Proposal: (available in French only)


Contact Information:
Aldo Rizzi, Head of Telecom Strategy and Partnerships

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