Capital Investments – Improving Ontario's Schools

Better buildings support better learning for Ontario students.

Since 2003, the province has provided nearly $18.3 billion in capital funding for school boards to support more than 860 new schools and more than 840 additions and renovations.

The province is providing almost $16 billion in capital grants over 10 years to help build new schools in high-growth areas, improve the condition of existing schools and invest in projects to reduce surplus space.

Priority Capital Investments

Modern schools and additions to better support student achievement and well-being.

Since the Capital Priorities funding program began in 2011, the ministry has provided more than $4.3 billion in funding to support new school facilities, as well as permanent additions and renovations at existing schools. These priority capital projects were needed to address enrolment growth, to support full-day kindergarten, to replace schools in poor condition and to support school consolidations.

In January 2018, Ontario announced $784 million in funding for school boards to support 39 new schools and 40 major additions and renovations including child care and EarlyON Child and Family centres.

School Repairs and Renewal

The ministry is continuing its historic investment in school renewal by maintaining its commitment to invest a total of $1.4 billion in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. This is in addition to the 2.7 billion that was provided between 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. These investments will result in critical improvements to key building components that ensure student safety and improve energy efficiency, like roofing, HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. It will also significantly improve more visible elements of schools that impact students' well-being and public confidence, including flooring, walls, ceilings, playing fields and more.

The Government of Ontario is committed to increasing the transparency of its historic investments in school infrastructure so that Ontarians can see the importance of this funding and the results it yields over time. As part of that commitment, the Ministry of Education released the Facility Condition Index in June 2016.

Child Care Capital

To meet the demands of a growing and changing province, in the September 2016 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Ontario announced a significant investment to enhance child care.

Starting in 2017, Ontario will support access to licensed child care for 100,000 more children aged 0-4 over the next five years. This commitment will double the current capacity for 0-4 year olds in licensed child care.

As a first step, the government invested $65.5 million to create approximately 3,400 new child care spaces in schools across the province in 2016.

In 2017, Ontario announced more than $245 million in funding to create more than 8,900 new licensed child care spaces in schools. In 2018, another $80 million was invested to create more than 2,700 additional new spaces.

Since 2003-2004, the province has more than doubled child care funding to more than $1.44 billion annually, and the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown to nearly 406,000 — an increase of more than 117 per cent.

School Consolidation Capital

In 2017, the province completed its 2014 Ontario Budget commitment to invest a total of $750 million over four years to support school capital projects that reduce excess space, however the ministry continues to support improved efficiency through the reduction of excess space as part of its Capital Priorities funding program. To date, the ministry has announced approximately $1.0 billion in allocations to support about 150 consolidation projects that reduce excess space.

Community Hubs

Ontario is investing nearly $163 million to support community hubs. The funding has expanded child care and child and family support services in local schools and will improve community access to school space.

In addition to these investments, regulatory changes took effect in September 2016. These changes encourage the creation of community hubs in schools by expanding the list of organizations that are given an opportunity to purchase or lease surplus school property before it is placed on the open market. Those organizations will also be given more time to place an offer, allowing greater opportunity to consider continued community use.

Quick Facts:

  • There are more than 4,900 publicly funded schools in Ontario (4,000 elementary and 920 secondary schools).
  • These schools represent 280 million square feet or 2.2 million pupil places.