About the program

An Investment Ready: Certified Site designation is issued to properties that have successfully completed a set of program requirements to demonstrate that the property is primed for development and ready for investment.

A property with an Investment Ready: Certified Site designation is attractive to investors and site selectors because it:

  • provides important background information on your site’s availability, utilities, transportation access and environmental records
  • encourages faster site selection decisions
  • can help greenfield or expansion projects get started

The Investment Ready: Certified Site designation is valid for 4 years, unless the property is sold or leased within that time.

Benefits

Successful recipients of the Investment Ready: Certified Site designation receive many benefits, including:

  1. Funding support
    • you can receive up to 50% of your eligible expenses back, with a maximum reimbursement of up to $50,000 per application
    • eligible expenses includes costs incurred during the entire certification program including application, completion of certification requirements, maintenance of your site certification and marketing of the Certified Site
  2. Marketing and investment attraction support
    • Investment Ready: Certified Sites will be incorporated into a variety of marketing campaigns and strategies that attract international investors, which may also include:
      • the support of Ontario’s international marketing professionals
      • advertising in key industry publications and trade shows
      • customized sales materials
      • a profile on Ontario’s international investment website
      • visibility on Ontario’s social media channels

Eligibility

Read the detailed certification instructions and requirements guide.

You can also request the instructions and requirements guide:

Minimum eligibility requirements to apply for the program

Make sure that your property fulfills all 10 listed requirements below:

  1. All properties must be designated for industrial uses in the approved municipal Official Plan and zoned within the municipality’s comprehensive Zoning By-Law to permit a wide range of industrial uses. A Plan of Subdivision must be available for properties located within designated business and industrial parks.
  2. Property size:
    1. Properties located outside of business or industrial parks: The property must consist of at least 4 hectares or 10 acres of contiguous area that can be developed. The property may be a grouping of multiple lots or parcels.
    2. Properties located within a business or industrial park: The property size must be a minimum cumulative total of 10 acres of that can be developed. The total can either represent an individual lot or a grouping of multiple lots. Multiple lot submissions within the same business or industrial park may be combined into 1 application.
  3. The program is open to public and privately owned properties. Each application must have the same registered owner on title. Property owner(s) must be willing to enter into a contract with the province to participate in the site certification program.
  4. The property or business/industrial park must have existing public road access or must be accessible by public road by the completion of certification.
  5. The property or business/industrial park must either already be serviced by municipal water and wastewater at or adjacent to the lot line, or must be serviced by the certification date.
  6. Where available, the property or business/industrial park must be serviced or serviceable by natural gas.
  7. The property or business/industrial park must be serviced or serviceable by hydro and telecommunication services.
  8. The property or properties must be free from development constraints that could impact the developable area or range of industrial or other employment uses permitted on the property. Potential constraints could include, but not limited to:
    • restrictions on title
    • identified flood zones or the presence of provincially significant natural heritage features
    • holding symbols on the property listed in the zoning by-law
    • future planned roads or existing rights-of-way
  9. The property or properties must be available for sale for a period of 4 years following the date of certification, unless the site is sold.
  10. Applications must be sponsored and endorsed by either the municipality or regional Economic Development Organization and from the Chief Planning Official or his/her delegate.

How to get certified

Step 1: Schedule your pre-application consultation

The pre-application consultation with Investment Ready staff is a required first step in your application to the program. Pre-application consultations are your chance to discuss the basic mandatory minimum eligibility requirements for entry to the program and to determine if your property meets those minimum criteria.

Contact us to arrange a pre-application consultation by the deadline.

Step 2: Submit your application package

You may submit a formal application package when the pre-application consultation has been completed and your property or properties have been reviewed by the Investment Ready staff as eligible.

Fill in the application form and make sure you have all the required documents. Mail your completed application package to:

Investment Ready: Certified Site Program
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
777 Bay Street, 21st Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5

Step 3: Notification of acceptance

Even if your property fulfills the minimum requirements, it does not guarantee that your site will be accepted into the program:

The number of sites we approve depends on:

  • how many applications we received
  • funding availability

We will notify you if your site has been approved. If your site has been accepted, the ministry will issue a contract to formalize your participation in the program.

Step 4: Complete additional requirements

Once accepted into the program, you have 2 years to:

Step 5: Receive designation

Once all assessments and documents have been completed, submitted and approved:

  • your property will receive an Investment Ready: Certified Site designation, valid for 4 years
  • invoices for eligible expenses can be submitted for reimbursement, if applicable
  • we will work together to fully integrate your property and community into our international investment attraction and marketing activities

Contact us

Let’s start the conversation early! Should you have any questions about the certification process, need help to apply or want to take part in an information session to learn more about the program:

Set up a pre-application consultation

Contact the Investment Ready staff to find out if your industrial property could be eligible and what type of information and documents you will have to provide:

Updated: May 14, 2021
Published: December 02, 2013