Eligible project costs

Eligible project costs must be directly attributable to the project and must be incurred and paid on or after the project start date of the funding agreement and up to the project completion date. The project start date cannot be earlier than the application period close date.

Eligible project costs do not include ongoing costs of production or operations.

Eligible project costs are cash outlays, net of all applicable harmonized sales tax (HST), which must be documented through invoices, receipts or recipient records acceptable to Ontario. These are all subject to verification by an independent auditor. You must maintain evidence of payment for audit purposes.

Acting reasonably, Ontario’s decisions as to the expenditure eligibility and valuation shall be final and determinative.

Project cost categories

Eligible costs are limited to new investments to improve productivity, innovation and growth of companies, as opposed to costs related to on-going operations.

Specifically, these are the eligible cost categories:

  • project facilities and infrastructure
  • equipment and machinery
  • labour
  • materials
  • specialized expertise
  • training and talent costs
  • permits and fees

This list of eligible and ineligible cost categories is for reference only. A final determination of eligible and/or ineligible costs will be at the discretion of the ministry.

Facilities and infrastructure


  • construction and project facility modifications or upgrades, subject to Ontario’s approval
  • site servicing, power service upgrades, etc. required to execute the project
  • for projects where an applicant is expanding or relocating to a larger building (for example, increasing from 30,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. of productive space), only the costs associated with the additional 20,000 sq. ft. of productive space would be considered eligible


  • purchase of land or buildings
  • costs associated with landscaping and staff parking lots

Equipment and machinery


Equipment and machinery necessary for the successful completion of the project. For example:

  • new technology
  • new high-performance equipment and machinery
  • maintenance equipment associated with new technologies or systems


Purchase/lease or operation of vehicles or off-site equipment.



One-time labour directly related to project costs are eligible (for example, costs to set up or commission new equipment, technology or systems for the project).

Incremental specialized labour that is directly related to the project (for example, research and development) is eligible to a maximum of two years.

This would include direct salaries, wages and benefits, paid by the recipient, for employees of the recipient working on the project and in proportion to the amount of time spent working directly on the project. Benefits means employees’ regular entitlements for payroll-related benefits (Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, employer health tax), medical and dental-related benefits, the actual cost of sick leave, vacation, statutory holidays and pension. Any other benefits must be approved in writing by Ontario.

The recipient is required to maintain timesheets or appropriate records for all employees working directly on the project to verify time spent on project work, to verify expenditures for audit purposes.


Ongoing operational and production labour costs.



Costs of direct materials necessary for—specifically identified and measured as being used for—the completion of the project, including:

  • materials used for configuring and testing production processes and systems
  • materials used for training employees
  • materials used for prototypes
  • other materials directly related to the project as approved by Ontario


Materials used for the regular production of saleable items.

Specialized expertise


Costs of specialized expertise required for the project including third-party engineering services, software development, management, etc.

Training and talent costs


  • skills training, including employer-provided training, related to the project
  • costs to provide the training (including training materials)
  • training infrastructure (for example, building retrofits for training room, equipment)
  • with limits, third party costs related to training for owners and/or management, to address specific business needs
  • cost to hire external expertise related to development of a human resource (HR) strategy and/or succession planning (or hiring an internal HR professional for a period of up to one year if company did not previously have one employed)
  • with limits, costs for recruitment to attract talent required for company growth (company must provide adequate description of costs/activities and objectives)


Training costs supported by Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Permits and fees


Costs incurred by the recipient for permits, inspections and other fees directly attributable to the project.


Fees attributable to ongoing operations.

General working capital requirements


Capital requirements not directly attributable to the project including debt service costs, federal or provincial taxes, surtaxes and special expenses (for example, legal fees).

Other costs


  • preparation of funding proposal
  • shareholder payments
  • costs incurred outside of Ontario, except for purchases from suppliers located outside Ontario
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • travel, hospitality, meal and incidental expenses
  • rebates, credit or refund
  • debt service costs, federal or provincial income taxes, surtaxes
  • marketing, sales or distribution/shipping costs

Information to help complete section F in the application form

Not providing detailed descriptions could result in the cost being deemed ineligible.

For all cost categories, provide a clear description to indicate what makes this cost eligible.

For any cost category in a given year that exceeds $25,000, provide a breakdown of the cost.

Using the cost category “Equipment & Machinery in Year 1” as an example. If the projected eligible cost is $100,000, then the description should state:

  • cutting machine: $35,000
  • two drilling machines: $50,000
  • cleaning machine: $15,000

Looking at the cost category “Training and Talent Costs in Year 1.” If the projected eligible cost is $10,000, then the description should state “required training for five employees on the new CNC machine.”