75% Tax Incentive on Storefront Upgrades

Whether you’re opening your business in a new location or you’re well settled in, the 75% tax incentive for storefront/façade improvements can help you bring your storefront to the 21st-century! This program covers upgrades including lighting, new or upgraded awnings, exterior architectural features, upgraded windows and exterior walls, parking lot paving, landscaping, signage, and more! Terms and conditions apply.

Community Improvement Checklist

City Beautification

Supporting Local Contractors

Savings for Local Businesses

Improved Downtown District

Increases Property Sales

Go above and beyond on the look of your storefront, pave your parking lot, or purchase a rundown building and upgrade it to your liking. The City of Estevan Economic Development Facade Improvement program allows you to invest in the look of your business without baring a large cost.

Eligible Improvements

  • Lighting
  • Exterior Walls
  • Windows
  • Limited Permanent Interior Improvements

  • Storefronts
  • Entrance Ways
  • Parking Lots
  • Signage

  • Awnings / Canopies
  • Exterior Architectural or Artistic Features
  • Architectural Design
  • Landscaping


The following criteria are required to participate in the project.

  1. These existing buildings are (a) located within a Target Area, (b) part of a continuous pedestrian-oriented street, and (c) located directly adjacent to the sidewalk and passing foot traffic.
  1.  Buildings located in industrial, areas, particularly along Kensington Avenue, qualify for this incentive if the improvement includes a paving of the storefront yard/ entrance.
  2. The applicant must be either the property owner or a designated person who has written authority from the owner to submit the application and/or to do this project.
  3. The buildings must be used primarily for retail and commercial purposes. The Ec Dev Board has some discretion to include projects that are institutional or non-profit or accommodate other non- commercial uses that contribute to the activity on the commercial main street. The Ec Dev Board may also consider businesses located in areas other than Main Street.
  4. The façade/store improvement work must be done by a local (Estevan) contractor.
  5. The project must conform to the Program Design Guidelines

Design Guidelines

Buildings have a direct connection to pedestrians.

The building must be located close to the sidewalk and at ground-level so that pedestrians can easily see into and enter the stores. There should be no obstructions in front of the building such as a parking lot or stairs. Sometimes a small setback from the sidewalk can be a design element for the façade – this space can be used as a gathering place or display area for the business.

Renovations improve natural surveillance.

People should be able to clearly see inside the shop to the showcased merchandise and the shopkeepers should be able to easily see outside to monitor who is around the buildings.

Improvements include:

  • adding and/or increasing the size of existing windows and storefronts;
  • using glass doors;
  • using clear glass rather than frosted or tinted glass;
  • decluttering the windows of posters and signs; and,
  • removing roller shutters or painting grills black.
  • adding downcast lighting that washes the perimeter of buildings in light and does not pollute night skies.

Buildings are accessible to pedestrians.

The entrances of the building should

  • be wide enough to be comfortable;
  • be located directly onto the sidewalk and not along the side of the building;
  • be inviting, eye-catching and complement the façade design using interesting materials;
  • be accompanied by clear business signage including good address display;
  • be well lit to provide a sense of security and safety for visitors; and,
  • incorporate landscaping to enhance pedestrian comfort and make the place more interesting.

Sidewalks should be lively places that are filled with people.

Neighbourhoods are healthy and complete when they are filled with people walking up and down the sidewalks. Certain businesses foster this pedestrian activity: coffee shops, clothing stores, gift shops, restaurants and bakeries.

Renovations fit to a human scale.

Façade improvements should make the buildings friendly to the pedestrians. The project emphasis will focus on the lower three stories of the building. The front of the building will be partitioned into sections that are more interesting to walk past than long stretches of homogenous walls. Design elements and materials such as signage should be people-sized rather than super-sized elements that cater to people driving past quickly in their cars.

Projects should contribute to the safety of the street.

Buildings should be well lit at all times of the day. Customers and pedestrians want to feel safe as they walk down the streets. Building façades and sidewalks can be lit with lighting that has different colours and patterns to create dramatic effects. Lighting that contributes to dark skies is preferred.

Projects address winter conditions.

Estevan is a winter city. Streetscapes and building façades can use the dramatic winter sun to create interesting shadows along the building face, maximize sun exposure, and provide protection from the wind and snow. This can be done with:

  • awnings, balconies or projects that shelter;
  • Warm, bright colours;
  • hardy landscaping that survives winter and provides colour and texture in winter months;
  • lighting to illuminate dark evenings; and,
  • non-slippery materials for building entrances.

Projects exemplify innovative, artistic design.

The improvements should make the building look inviting to shoppers, comfortable for pedestrians and interesting for the whole streetscape. Unique artistic elements can give a shopping area character and identity. Texture, pattern, colour and interesting shapes should be incorporated into the façade design in an innovative arrangement and through the use of a variety of materials.

Please download and complete the application form. Completed application forms can be submitted either by email, fax, mail or in-person to :


Phone: (306) 634-2721
Email: estevaneconomicdevelopment@estevan.ca