Strategic Economic Infrastructure Program

This program supports infrastructure projects that best align with the vision of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario to help create jobs and build capacity in our northern communities.

Efficient and modern infrastructure is a cornerstone of a strong northern economy. This program helps a region or community advance economic development opportunities and support investment through strategic infrastructure.

Who is Eligible?

  • Partnerships and alliances comprising municipalities, First Nations, Aboriginal organizations, local services boards, not-for-profit corporations, educational institutions and private sector businesses and organizations.
  • Municipalities, First Nations, not-for-profit corporations and educational institutions may apply individually. Other organizations with a training or educational mandate may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What is Eligible?

  • Strategic infrastructure projects that have a direct and demonstrable net economic impact in Northern Ontario, with a focus on job creation.
  • Existing and emerging priority economic sectors aligned with the Growth Plan

Eligible projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Capital projects that encourage partnerships among communities, educational institutions, skills training providers and industry to respond to labour market needs and opportunities.
  • Projects that support brownfield site redevelopment and/or encourage infill development.
  • Industrial parks with preference to be given for development of vacant and/or underused lots within a previously developed area.
  • Information and communications technology infrastructure.
  • Other projects which, in the opinion of the NOHFC Board of Directors, are considered necessary to further an economic goal in Northern Ontario may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What is Not Eligible?

Except where the NOHFC may, on a case-by-case basis, consider the following necessary, these are generally not eligible for funding:

  • esthetic improvements
  • administrative facilities/offices
  • projects that serve individual businesses
  • roads
  • arts/cultural/recreational centres and related facilities
  • land acquisitions
  • bridges
  • projects that are considered to be deferred maintenance
  • individual feasibility studies and business plans and other general studies
  • rolling stock
  • marketing/advertising projects
  • ongoing operational costs
  • individual businesses and projects led by the federal or provincial governments


Preference is given to projects which demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Partnerships that advance regional priorities that benefit multiple communities and/or sectors
  • Creates and/or maintains jobs
  • Encourages long-term planning or supports existing long-term plans
  • Projects are identified and aligned with a planning exercise (regional economic development plans, asset management plans, etc.)
  • Has a high level of financial leverage and which provides opportunities for investment from other partners
  • Supports investment attraction and business growth, or improved business efficiency/capacity
  • Increases economic opportunities and participation of Aboriginal communities
  • Supports education and skills development for identified economic opportunities and skills development/gaps
  • Improves the connectivity and usage of information technology to support the competitiveness of existing and new businesses
  • Addresses gaps in broadband connectivity or increases bandwidth availability and affordability
  • Builds on and optimizes the capacity and efficiency of existing infrastructure

Applications are assessed based on, but not necessarily limited to, such factors as:

  • The significance of the project, number of jobs to be created, service being provided
  • Financial capacity of the applicant
  • Ability of the applicant to operate and maintain the completed project
  • Public benefit
  • Consistency with a regional and/or community planning process such as regional economic development plans, strategic plan, business retention and expansion initiative, investment readiness test, official plans, etc.
  • Applicants clearly identifying and measure project deliverables
  • NOHFC investment must be necessary to make the project viable, and ongoing initiatives must demonstrate self-sustainability
  • All buildings, facilities or land related to the project being owned by the applicant or leased for a period exceeding the life of the capital investment, or for a shorter time period if approved by the NOHFC.
  • NOHFC funding is not intended to replace other government programs. Where a project is considered the direct responsibility of a federal or provincial department, ministry or agency, funding is not provided, except possibly as additional assistance once a decision is given by the lead agency.
  • Having a solid, viable, business plan that identifies the technical, managerial and financial capacity for sustaining the initiative


  • Assistance available from the NOHFC includes conditional contributions, forgivable performance loans, and repayable loans.
  • The maximum investment from the NOHFC does not exceed the lesser of 50 per cent or $1 million, towards eligible project components. 
  • The amount and type of assistance is determined by the board.  Only in exceptional circumstances does the NOHFC consider projects exceeding the normal levels of assistance, on a case-by-case basis.

Not all projects meeting the program criteria outlined above will receive funding.  Applications will be accepted under this program until March 31, 2017.  This is subject to change without any prior notice.

How to Apply

Send completed application forms to:

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
70 Foster Drive, Suite 200
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6A 6V8
fax: 1-705-945-6701

For more information call our toll free line 1-800-461-8329.