Infrastructure Canada

Smart Cities Challenge

Back to all challenges
challenge banner



Canada's Smart Cities Challenge, The Winners

Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia ($5M): Reduction of energy poverty

Leon De Vreede, Sustainability Planner, Town of Bridgewater:

Energy poverty is when people spend more than 10% of their available income on energy for their home and for their means of transportation.

David Mitchell, Mayor of Bridgewater:

Through community engagement, consultation and research we determined that 40% of our people were living in energy poverty. Recognizing that so many were facing this hardship, we set about finding innovative solutions to solve this issue and lift our citizens out of this crippling cycle. Those solutions became our Smart Cities Challenge winning plan called Energize Bridgewater. Through home retrofits and improvements we will begin the first phase of this plan, reducing their energy costs and carbon footprint all at the same time.

Leon De Vreede:

The core of our program is to implement an energy management information system. Those most vulnerable, who are lacking access to energy resources already are actually helped first into a more sustainable, more resilient energy future.

Nunavut Communities, Nunavut ($10M): Community connectivity, and digital access for life promotion

Ryan Oliver, Director and Founder of Pinnguaq:

Our vision for the Smart Cities project is to create a series of maker spaces to make available infrastructure to promote and enable tech learning but also to build resiliency and build positive health outcomes and the ability to just explore in a space what a community wants to explore.

Taha Tabish, Health Technology Innovations Research Coordinator, Quajigiartiit Health Research Centre:

Our Inuit traditional values, you know sort of talk about, building capable human beings. The gap that exists in sort of high-speed high-bandwidth Internet for rural and remote communities I think sort of translates into an inability to engage with not just the rest of Canada, but I think also the rest of the world.

It's about strengthening community bond. It's about allowing young people to feel sort of, agency of self and to connect with their culture, to connect with their identity and feel proud of that and to learn skills and feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves.

City of Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario ($10M): A circular food economy

Cathy Kennedy, Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations City of Guelph:

In Guelph-Wellington we are working to create a regional eco-food system bringing together farmers and researchers and entrepreneurs to create solutions to solve food problems.

Barbara Swartzentruber, Executive Director, Smart Cities Office:

So we're working with our partners from multiple sectors on three goals. That's to increase access to affordable nutritious food, to create new circular businesses and collaborations, and to increase the economic and social value by transforming waste.

Cathy Kennedy:

We know in Guelph-Wellington that one out of six families are food insecure. We also know that we waste approximately thirty to fifty percent of our food. That is simply not sustainable. So we are creating a regional eco food system where everybody will have access to affordable nutritious food, where nothing is wasted and where we can create economic opportunities by creating new businesses and collaborations.

City of Montréal, Quebec ($50M): Mobility and access to food

François Croteau, Lead, Smart Cities, City of Montréal:

In order to identify the priority projects for the city of Montréal as part of the federal Smart Cities Challenge, the City of Montréal decided to invite the community citizens and organizations alike to a daylong brainstorming session to determine which projects were priorities for the community. During the day of collaboration and consultation, two important, significant projects were identified as being priorities for the community.

First, an integrated mobility project was identified. A neighbourhood mobility project aimed at improving mobility in neighbourhoods in close proximity to one another. Through a misture of transportation and shared data, so that we can improve things and help people who depend on solo car use to more easily get around their neighbourhoods.

Second, we identified issues involving access to food, combatting food desserts and ensuring that people who depend on solo car use can have access to both easier mobility and to quality food via distribution networks that are also linked to open, shared data.

Therefore, the objective of this project, of course, will be to experiment. Experiment within one neighbourhood, then several neighbourhoods, and to invite the population to participate in this project. This could make it possible to expand the project throughout not only the City of Montréal, but also throughout the Montréal Metropolitan Community, and ultimately transform our big, beautiful city.


  • Winners Announcement

    May 14, 2019

    The winners were announced on May 14, 2019.

    Click here for more information.

  • Final Proposals

    March 22, 2019

    All 20 finalists have submitted their final proposals and videos. The winners will be announced on May 14, 2019.

    Click here to read the final proposals and view the finalist videos.

  • Spotlight on Finalists

    June 1, 2018

    The following is a spotlight on finalists, who were announced on June 1, 2018.

    Click here for spotlight on finalists
  • Dashboard

    June 1, 2018

    The following is a dashboard that shows some high-level analysis of the applications that were submitted in April 2018 for the first competition.

    Click here to view the dashboard
  • Participating Communities

    June 1, 2018

    The Smart Cities Challenge application deadline was April 24, 2018. Communities, large and small, from all over Canada have submitted applications with their bold, innovative ideas.

    The following is an interactive map and table of the applicants and the 20 finalists, who were announced on June 1, 2018. Click on the icons on the map and the buttons in the table to see more information.

    Click Here for the Smart Cities Interactive Map

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