Ontario Increases Funding to Renew and Modernize Colleges and Universities

Published on November 20, 2020

Investments will prepare students for in-demand jobs, create economic recovery stimulus for local communities and promote safe learning environments

News Release

SAULT STE. MARIE — As announced in the 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recoverthe Ontario government is making an investment in critical maintenance, repairs, upgrades and renewals of $466 million in capital grants over three years starting in 2020-21 for Ontario's universities and colleges. This investment under the Facilities Renewal Program (FRP) includes:  

  • $144 million in 2020-21, an increase of $73 million over last year, 
  • $144 million in 2021-22, and 
  • $178 million in 2022-23.

The announcement was made today in Sault Ste. Marie by Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities.

"The first-class education students receive at our postsecondary institutions is critical to the future of Ontario, our economy, and the prosperity of our people, said Minister Romano. "That is why our government is committed to providing annual funding that will help our colleges and universities renew and modernize their facilities."

This investment will allow institutions to address their deferred maintenance backlog, undertake critical repairs, modernize classrooms, upgrade technology and improve their environmental sustainability, while continuing to deliver a safe experience for students who were welcomed back to campus this fall. In addition, institutions may use the investment to pursue renewal of infrastructure campus projects, creating economic stimulus opportunities for local communities.

In addition to the $144 million investment in FRP funding for 2020-21, the Ontario government is investing $20 million through the College Equipment and Renewal Fund (CERF) to help Ontario colleges purchase and renew instructional equipment and learning resources. This funding is also being used to purchase equipment to support student virtual learning during COVID-19. This amounts to a total investment of $164 million in capital funding in 2020-21 to help colleges and universities ensure that their students, faculty and staff have modern and safe learning environments.

"Well-maintained facilities and the latest in learning tools and equipment are critical parts of a postsecondary education," said Minister Romano. "The need to invest in the maintenance of existing infrastructure is now balanced with the need to invest in new infrastructure which will be a tremendous boost for local communities looking for much needed economic stimulus on the road to recovery. By investing in postsecondary infrastructure, we are supporting economic recovery, creating jobs and ensuring students obtain the skills they need for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow."

Quick Facts

  • Ontario's Action Plan sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
  • Established in 1986, the FRP provides annual funding to assist universities and colleges with renewing and modernizing their campuses through the repair, renovation and alteration of existing facilities.
  • Colleges and universities can use funds from the FRP towards projects that support the renewal and modernization of campuses. This includes major building systems upgrades, roof repairs, heating and ventilating system upgrades, and mechanical and electrical system upgrades.
  • Established in 2002, the CERF provides annual funding to help publicly-assisted colleges acquire and renew instructional equipment and learning resources.
  • Colleges can use funding from the CERF towards the purchase of a variety of hands-on equipment and materials, such as specialized equipment or machinery for use in labs and classrooms, and tools for use in shops.


"We thank Minister Romano for this tremendous investment into capital improvements at Ontario’s colleges. This helps ensure our colleges continue to be world leaders in post-secondary education and that more students will acquire the expertise to succeed in their careers."

- Linda Franklin
President, Colleges Ontario

"Ontario universities welcome this funding for university infrastructure. This support helps our institutions continue to provide modern learning environments for students, operate more efficiently and renew our facilities. It will also help address the growing capital needs of our institutions, generate local employment opportunities and drive growth in communities across Ontario."

- Steve Orsini
President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities

Additional Resources