Program overview

The Ontario Together Fund (OTF) provides funding to firms and organizations for projects that strengthen the resilience of Ontario’s healthcare sector, COVID-19 response or pandemic preparedness and meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • strengthen Ontario’s manufacturing capacity for goods and services critical to the health, safety, and security of Ontarians
  • support homegrown technologies and innovation

Eligible applicants

Funding is available to firms and organizations within Ontario with a minimum of two years of operations. Scale-ups may be eligible.

In limited circumstances, communities may be eligible for funding if they can provide technical advice or innovation broadly across Ontario.

Applicants must be compliant with all applicable laws and not owing any fees, levies or taxes to Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario or her agencies.

Eligible projects

To be eligible, a project must:

  • be based in Ontario and serve business or consumer markets
  • strengthen the resilience of Ontario’s healthcare sector and meet one or both of the following criteria:
    • strengthen Ontario’s manufacturing capacity for goods and services critical to the health, safety, and security of Ontarians
    • support homegrown technologies and innovation

In addition, a key eligibility consideration is the degree to which a project supports re-shoring of production and manufacturing capacity to Ontario.

Projects are not required to have a minimum investment amount.

Projects must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Project costs eligible for reimbursement under the OTF must be directly attributable to the project and must be incurred and paid on or after the project start date and up to the project completion date (see Appendix A for further information).

Stacking with other government funding sources (including federal and provincial programs) will be permitted to a maximum of 100% of eligible project costs, not including tax credits.

Types of support

The primary form of financial support will be conditional grants, to provide immediate support to successful applicants.

Ontario may provide up to 75% of eligible project costs, up to a maximum of a $2.5 million in grant funds. Note that projects funded at the maximum 75% level would need to demonstrate exceptional benefits or innovation. Typically, projects will be funded at a lesser amount.

Complementary supports and services

Projects may be eligible for non-financial supports, including:

  • advisory services
  • assistance with compliance approvals
  • accessing skills and talent

For example, if a project involves a facility expansion, an applicant may be eligible for supports such as expedited environmental compliance approvals.

Assessment framework

Business cases will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • alignment with provincial priorities, with preference given to projects that:
    • strengthen Ontario’s domestic manufacturing capacity
    • support homegrown technologies and innovative solutions
    • strengthen Ontario’s Medical Technology (MedTech) sector
  • technical and financial assessments that:
    • identify risks and mitigation approaches related to the applicant’s ability to execute the project and deliver services, inputs, or finished products that meet appropriate specifications
    • confirm that the applicant is in a financial position to carry out the project
  • identification of an ongoing business or consumer market for the product or solution
  • job creation, retention and regional considerations
  • management expertise
  • compliance with relevant legislation and regulations

How to apply

Applying for the program is a two-stage process.

Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2022 at 5 p.m. EST. Please allow a minimum of eight weeks from the date of submission for your application to be assessed for funding decision.

Pre-application

  1. On the Ontario Together Portal, click the link that says “Find out if you can get funding.”
  2. This will link you to an online pre-application webform that you must complete and submit for review.
  3. If the project is deemed eligible, you will be asked to submit a full funding application through the following next steps.

Full application

Please use Google Chrome 75 or above to access Transfer Payment Ontario.

  1. Register your organization on Transfer Payment Ontario (TPON)
    • you will need to create a ONe-key account and ID if you do not already have one. ONe-key is used for secure access to the Government of Ontario system. We strongly recommend that you create Account Recovery Information during this process should you forget your log-in information. Administrators are unable to retrieve ONe-key IDs
    • the following items are required for registration: Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (CRA BN), legal name, operating name, and information on at least two contacts within the organization
    • note that TPON could take up to five business days to process your request
  2. Log in to your account on Transfer Payment Ontario. You will see the “Funding Opportunities” button appear.
  3. Click on “Submit for Funding”.
  4. Locate the Ontario Together Fund application listed under “Invitational Programs for my Organization”.
  5. Navigate to Step 2 Complete Form and click on the Download Form button to download the application form and complete each section, as required. Within this step, when you are ready to upload the application form, click on Upload Form button. Note: the system will only accept forms that have been validated. Please click Validate button before uploading to ensure that all fields are filled out.
  6. Upload the completed form and your supporting documents on TPON. This includes:
    1. copy of articles of incorporation and letters patent (if applicable)
  7. corporate family tree that sets out the corporate structure showing the parent, affiliates and related entities of the applicant and their relationships with one another (if applicable)
  8. financial statements from the last two fiscal years and year-to-date financial statements for the current fiscal year. Financial statements should be audited, if available
    1. quotes/estimates to support your budget (if available)
  9. Navigate to Step 4 Confirm Submission and click Complete Submission.

Key items to note

Working with an external firm

Working with an external firm for the purposes of preparing an application has no bearing on the success rate of an applicant.

Applications may only be submitted by the prospective applicants, and any applications submitted by a third-party on behalf of an applicant will not be considered. The primary contact on the application form must be an employee of the applicant company.

Any costs associated with the use of a consultant for a funding application are not eligible project costs.

Tax Compliance Verification

You need to provide the organization’s Tax Compliance Verification (TCV) number in the application form. Learn how to generate a TCV number, if you don’t already have one.

If your organization is approved for funding, you’ll need to show us your TCV certificate. We require it to ensure that the organization is federally and provincially compliant with its taxes.

Note: A recommendation to apply or applying to the program does not guarantee funding. The OTF is a discretionary, non-entitlement program. Even if an application meets all program objectives and eligibility criteria, there is no guarantee that the applicant will be awarded funding under this program. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the applicant acknowledges that if an applicant submits an application, the Government of Ontario is under no obligation to approve funding.

Funding agreement

Successful applicants will be required to enter into funding agreements with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (the “ministry”), containing terms and conditions satisfactory to the ministry.

Prior to funding being disbursed, successful applicants are required to meet a number of conditions including evidence of project financing, insurance and compliance with provincial laws, and other conditions as applicable.

Funding agreements will contain provisions for full or partial repayment of funds if performance measures, including investment, milestones and other terms and conditions of the funding agreement, are not met.

See Appendix B for a list of funding agreement key terms.

Confidentiality and public reporting

The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (the “ministry”) is bound by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31 (FIPPA), as amended from time to time, and any information provided to the ministry may be subject to disclosure under the FIPPA.

Section 17 of the FIPPA provides an exemption from the disclosure of certain third-party information that reveals a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information supplied in confidence where disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to result in certain harms. Any trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information submitted by an applicant in confidence to the ministry should be clearly marked by the applicant as such.

The ministry will provide notice to an affected applicant before granting access to a record that might contain information referred to in Section 17 of the FIPPA so that it may make representations to the ministry concerning disclosure.

Approved projects will be the subject of public announcements.

Applications may be shared with third-party due diligence providers, other ministries or provincial third-party service providers as part of the assessment process.

Ministries must publicly report annually on the status of business support programs and strategic investments, including:

  • project description and project investment commitment
  • amount of government support
  • results achieved to date

Following submission of a signed business case, applicants are subject to the following compliance checks: 

  • Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development – Health and Safety and Employment Standards
  • Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
  • Accessibility Compliance (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)
  • Ministry of Finance – Tax Compliance

Conflicts of interest

includes, but is not limited to, any situation or circumstance where:

  • in relation to the application process, the applicant has an unfair advantage or engages in conduct, directly or indirectly, that may give it an unfair advantage, including:
    • having, or having access to, information in the preparation of its application that is confidential to the Government of Ontario and not available to other applicants
    • communicating with any person with a view to influencing preferred treatment in the application process, including the giving of a benefit of any kind, by or on behalf of the Applicant to anyone employed by, or otherwise connected with the Government of Ontario
    • engaging in conduct that compromises, or could be seen to compromise, the integrity of the grant application process and render that process unfair
  • in relation to the performance of its contractual obligations in a contract with the Government of Ontario, the applicant or any person who has the capacity to influence the applicant’s decisions has outside commitments, relationships or financial interests that could, or could be seen by a reasonable person to, interfere with the applicant’s objective, unbiased and impartial judgement relating to the project, the use of the proceeds of the grant, or both.

Contact information

For additional information regarding the Ontario Together Fund, contact otf@ontario.ca.

Appendix A: Eligible and ineligible project cost categories

Eligible project costs must be directly attributable to the project and must be incurred and paid on or after the project start date and up to the project completion date, which shall be no later than December 31, 2023.

Eligible project costs are cash outlays, net of all applicable HST, which must be documented through invoices, receipts, or records that are acceptable to the Ministry and subject to verification by an independent auditor. Evidence of payment must be maintained for audit purposes. Acting reasonably, the ministry’s decisions as to the expenditure eligibility and valuation shall be final and determinative.

Eligible project costs do not include ongoing expenditures associated with regular production or operations. Labour, materials, overhead, and other expenditures for the regular production of saleable items are not eligible.

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

Eligible project costs

  • retooling or upgrade of existing equipment and machinery
  • purchase and installation of equipment and machinery
  • cleaning equipment and services to ensure the maintenance of a clean and safe work environment for employees and customers
  • personal protective equipment and other health related equipment
  • project facility modifications/upgrades
  • materials directly related to the project
  • labour directly related to the project
  • certifications, permits, inspections, and other fees directly attributable to the project
  • costs of specialized expertise required for the project (for example, third-party engineering services, software development)
  • skills training, including employer-provided training, directly related to the project

Ineligible project costs

  • preparation of funding proposal
  • executive compensation increases
  • shareholder payments
  • costs incurred outside of Ontario. Except for purchases from suppliers located outside Ontario
  • mergers, acquisitions and buyouts
  • refinancing of existing business operations
  • 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

Appendix B: Key terms of funding agreement

In order to obtain funding, a successful applicant will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the ministry, containing terms and conditions satisfactory to the ministry.

Conditions and timing of the funding disbursements

No disbursements will be made under this program until the funding agreement has been fully signed and all conditions for disbursement have been fulfilled.

Grants will be disbursed in two payments:

  • up to 60% of the grant will be disbursed once a funding agreement is executed and certain conditions have been met, including:
    • confirmation that all sources of project financing are in place
    • confirmation of proof of insurance (minimum of $2 million)
  • the remaining portion of the grant will be disbursed only after:
    • all project milestones have been completed to the ministry’s satisfaction
    • all reporting and other requirements have been completed to the ministry’s satisfaction (see “Reporting Requirements” below)
    • the ministry has had the opportunity to inspect the project facility

Note that recipients will need to be able to cash-manage project costs given that a portion of the grant is held back and disbursed only after the project is complete.

Project investment commitment

The funding agreement will include a project investment commitment. This figure will be the same as the total eligible project costs and is the minimum amount that a recipient will be required to spend on the project during the project term.

The funding agreement will contain a provision whereby a portion of the grant will be clawed back by the ministry if the recipient fails to meet the amount of the project investment commitment listed in the agreement.

Project investment target clawback

If the project investment commitment is not achieved on or before the project completion date, the recipient shall repay a cash amount to Ontario in accordance with the following formula:

Reporting requirements

The funding agreement outlines reporting requirements by recipients. Recipients may be required to provide an interim status report and will be required to submit documentation at the end of the project confirming eligible costs in the form of an independent auditor’s report, at their own expense. 

Recipients will be required to report on job retention and creation outcomes. 

Recipients will be required to provide annual post-project reports for up to three years following the completion of the project.

All ministry funding agreements require written assurance that the contracting organization is in compliance with all applicable laws, including accessibility legislation.