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Million Dollar Makeover Program

Million Dollar Makeover City Of Kawartha Lakes

Million Dollar Makeover is a funding program designed to encourage and support economic development in Kawartha Lakes.

Applications are now closed.

Application Intake 1

Applications open: September 1, 2023

Applications close: October 31, 2023

Review and Approval: by early January 2023


Application Intake 2

Applications open: January 10, 2024

Applications close: February 28, 2024

Review and Approval: by April 30, 2024

Million Dollar Makeover logo

Connect with the team

Carlie Arbour

Economic Development Officer - Community
705-324-9411 extension 1396

Final Report

Library Before photo
Kawartha Lakes Library After Photo
Fenelon Falls Brewing Co. Before
Fenelon Falls Brewing Co. After
About the Program

The program encourages investment in commercial districts and properties in Kawartha Lakes by supporting property and business owners in improving the visual and functional aspects of their commercial, mixed-use commercial/residential or heritage designated residential buildings.

The Million Dollar Makeover is the funding arm to implement the Kawartha Lakes Strategic Community Improvement Plan (CIP).

Program Objectives:

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Downtown main street revitalization and enhancements

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Heritage districts and building restoration and improvements

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Derelict building repairs and improvements to functionality

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Affordable rental housing private space retrofits in mixed-use buildings.

Project Areas:

The Million Dollar Makeover is open across all of  Kawartha Lakes, and we encourage all businesses in the City to apply.

Please note that priority status will be given to projects located within the CIP Focus Areas.

Additional Resources & Downloads


All improvement projects are subject to the following criteria and conditions to be eligible for any funding program. Additional program-specific eligibility requirements are listed under the applicable funding program.

The Property

  1. The property must be located within a designated Project Area. Priority status may be given to properties within communities whose improvement proposals align most closely with the City’s policy and design guidelines foundation.
  2. The property must be a commercial, residential or mixed-use commercial/residential property, or be changing to one of these land uses as part of the proposed redevelopment.
  3. The property and building(s) shall not have tax arrears, outstanding utility charges, contraventions, penalties, fines or fees, or any other legal claim, lien or order, including work orders that may adversely affect the title of the land, or other outstanding requirements, and must comply with all municipal by-laws

The Project

  1. The project to be undertaken must contribute to community improvement in accordance with the Kawartha Lakes Strategic Community Improvement Plan, as well as the Official Plan, any community-based Secondary Plan for the respective community, any Streetscape and Façade Design Guidelines and any other relevant, municipally-endorsed plans, studies, guidelines, or regulations.
  2. The minimum project cost shall be $1,000 or as determined through pre-application evaluation.
  3. Appropriate building permits and planning approvals shall be in place.
  4. Upon approval and/or completion of a project, the City reserves the right to audit the costs associated with any of the works described by the approved application, and any audits will be undertaken at the expense of the applicant.
  5. Upon approval and/or completion of a project, the City reserves the right to inspect any properties/buildings that are part of the approved application.

The Application

  1.  A “complete application” will include a completed application form, and supporting materials such as plans, studies, cost estimates and contracts, applicable reports, and any additional information required by the City.
  2. A complete application must be approved by the City before work commences (applications for projects that have already begun will not be considered).

The Funding

  1.  The total amount of the financial incentives will not exceed the eligible project costs of the property improvements (clearance/demolition, construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation, or improvement of energy efficiency), and may combine financial tools (grants, loans, rebates).
  2. The City is not responsible for the costs associated with preparing an application or any other related costs.
  3. Should the applicant fall into default of any of the eligibility requirements or any other requirements of the City then the City may delay, reduce, or cancel the incentive, and may require repayment of any of the incentive program benefits, at the discretion of the City.
  4. Any program commitments may be cancelled if work does not commence within six (6) months of the City’s approval of an application, or in accordance with an Agreement with the City.

Mr Sub Building After

Fenelon Falls Brewing Company After Photo

Lindsay Sportsline Outside Building

Colborne Street Gallery After

Application Process

  1. Look for opportunities to improve your building and property
  2. Determine which Million Dollar Makeover program(s) best fits your project
  3. Read and understand the Eligibility Criteria and Conditions
  4. Connect with the City’s Economic Development staff to discuss your project and/or arrange a pre-application meeting to answer any of your questions
  5. Complete and submit your application form with all of your required documentation
Cow and Sow in Fenelon Falls

Million Dollar Makeover Funding Programs

The Million Dollar Makeover is a funding program that includes 10 funding opportunities that are designed to encourage private sector investment, revitalization, redevelopment and construction activity throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes. The programs can be used individually or stacked together for a particular project. 

Application Form

This is where you will provide all of the information related to your application. Complete all questions. Provide as much detail as possible so there is a clear understanding of your project. 

Supporting Documents

All detailed drawings, pictures, plans, and relevant documents must be included with your application to be considered complete.

Application Review & Evaluation

Staff will review and evaluate your application based on the program objectives.

The City reserves the right to distribute funds across the eligible communities and funding programs as deemed appropriate to achieve the City’s Strategic Goals, the Economic Development Strategy and the CIP program objectives.

A Steering Committee will select the successful projects. Steering Committee decisions are final.

Million Dollar Makeover Final Report

Use this form to prepare and submit the final report for your MDM project. Grant funding will be released once this report has been received and approved by staff. 

Submit Your Report

Frequently asked questions

 Find answers to frequent program questions

What is the Million Dollar Makeover?
The Million Dollar Makeover is a funding program available to support property and business owners in improving the visual and functional aspects of their commercial, mixed-use commercial/residential or heritage designated residential buildings. The City has over one million dollars in financial incentives available through loan and grant programs.
Who can apply?

The Million Dollar Makeover is available across Kawartha Lakes. Property owners, or businesses (with permission of the property owner) of commercial, mixed-use residential-commercial, or heritage designated residential properties are able to apply. There are focus areas which will receive priority for funding. These areas are Bobcaygeon, Coboconk, Fenelon Falls, Lindsay, Norland, Omemee and Woodville, which have been identified as Focus Areas.

Grant funding is available city-wide. Owners of these properties, or business owners to whom the property owner has delegated the right to receive funding, may be eligible for funding, subject to the full eligibility criteria outlined in the Million Dollar Makeover program.
 Is there a fee to apply?
No, there is no fee to apply for the Million Dollar Makeover program. The City is not responsible for any costs associated with preparing an application.
Do I need a building permit?
It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that all permits and/or approvals are received from the applicable agencies prior to the commencement
of the Work. This could include, but not limited to, the Municipality, Ministry of Transportation, relevant Conservation Authority(ies) and relevant Watershed
Authority(ies). We may withhold all or a portion of the funding until all required permits and approvals have been obtained.
Is a project eligible for funding from more than one funding program?


For example, if a property owner located in downtown Omemee wanted to complete an accessibility improvement and install a new sign, they could apply for a $2,000 sign grant (with $2,000 individual investment) and a $7,000 loan for the accessibility improvement.
What makes a good application?

You will be more likely to receive funding if your project:

  • Aligns with the Façade and Design Guidelines
  • Has a significant visual impact
  • Maintains the history and heritage of your Downtown or Community
  • Enhances the overall wellbeing of your Downtown or Community
  • Your private investment exceeds the cost of City investment
What documents are needed?

A complete application will include:

  • Photographs of the existing building and site conditions
  • Sketches of the work to be completed
  • Two cost estimates for eligible work provided by licensed contractors or appropriate professionals
Larger projects may require additional documentation. A pre-application meeting will be arranged with the Economic Development Division to determine what specific documentation is required for your project.
When will you receive the funds?

Successful applicants are required to sign a funding agreement outlining funding and legal requirements.

For loan projects, the funding is released according to the funding agreement.

For grant projects, funding is released to the applicant once the project has been completed to the agreed standards.
When does my project need to be completed?

All grant projects must be completed construction within one (1) year.

All loan funding agreements will contain detailed requirements for construction, reporting and timelines. The terms of all loans will be no longer than five (5) years.
Why talk to our staff?
You are encouraged to have a pre-application meeting with Staff. Our team can help advise your project and outline important steps in the application and construction phases of your project.

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