Infrastructure Canada

Smart Cities Challenge

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This page was last updated on November 23, 2017. More recent information can be found on the Results page and the Infrastructure Canada site.

Communities are encouraged to contact Infrastructure Canada with any questions regarding the process.

Infrastructure Canada is engaging Indigenous leaders, communities and organizations to finalize the design of a competition specific to Indigenous communities that will reflect their unique realities and issues. Indigenous communities are also eligible to compete for all the prizes in the current competition using the process and timelines outlined on this site and in the Applicant Guide.

  • Application


    Applicants should begin the Smart Cities Challenge process by engaging with residents about the most pressing issues their community faces. These consultations will help applicants define their Challenge Statements.

    With their Challenge Statements established, applicants will develop the ideas and activities that will make up their preliminary Smart Cities Challenge proposal. The questions that will appear in the application form, information on how to fill it out, and evaluation criteria are provided in the Applicant Guide, available for download on this website.

    Applicants must complete and submit their applications on this website by April 24, 2018.

    Applicants are encouraged to contact Infrastructure Canada with questions about eligibility and other application requirements prior to the deadline.

    When appropriate, questions asked and answered will be made available on this website.

  • Selection of Finalists


    Once applications are screened for eligibility, Infrastructure Canada will post the summaries on this website. Applicants will post the full versions online.

    Eligible applications will be reviewed by experts from inside and outside government and will then be evaluated by an independent Jury.

    The Jury will select finalists by Summer 2018. Each of these finalists will receive a $250,000 grant to develop their final proposal.

  • Final Proposal


    Finalists will develop fully-implementable final proposals that outline all design, planning, and project management components of their plans. Each final proposal must present a strong business case with clearly established milestones and measurable outcomes. Finalists will also outline their data and reporting strategy, making appropriate links to Infrastructure Canada's Climate Lens and Community Benefits Reporting Framework. The Climate Lens will only apply to proposals related to climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.

    As they develop their final proposals, finalists will also formalize partnerships with organizations that will help them implement their projects, and will establish project governance structures.

    These final proposals are due in Winter 2019. The deadline and evaluation criteria for final proposals will be made public at the time of the announcement of finalists.

  • Selection of Winners


    Infrastructure Canada will post all final proposals on this website.

    Similar to the preliminary applications, final proposals will be reviewed by experts and then evaluated by the Jury. Their evaluations will focus on project feasibility, strength of the business case, and clear links to the outcomes established in the Challenge Statement.

    The Jury will select winners by Spring 2019.

  • Implementation

    Winners will receive prize money through contribution agreements with Infrastructure Canada. Payments will be made once projects attain milestones that demonstrate progress towards outcomes.

    Throughout implementation, winners will maintain close contact with Infrastructure Canada. Winners will continually monitor their progress and, if course corrections are necessary, they will work with Infrastructure Canada to make them.

    Depending on the nature and scope of the final proposal, implementation is expected to span between 2-5 years.

    Lessons learned from the entire Smart Cities Challenge process will be gathered from all participants and shared with Canadian communities.

Challenge details

Who can apply?

  • Municipalities, local or regional governments
  • Indigenous communities
  • Groups of organisations above

Key dates

  • Application deadline: April 24, 2018
  • Announcement of finalists: Summer 2018
  • Announcement of winners: Spring 2019


  • One prize of up to $50 million
  • Two prizes of up to $10 million each
  • One prize of up to $5 million