Rain Garden Subsidy Program

Did you know an average residential rain garden in Peterborough can divert about 1.5 cubic metres of water from storm sewers each year? That’s roughly 9.5 bathtubs of water! By redirecting runoff toward a rain garden, you can keep the watershed healthy, lower the risk of urban flooding, increase your home’s curb appeal, and create habitat for native plants and wildlife. The more residents who participate, the bigger the impact.

Through the Rain Garden Subsidy Program, the City of Peterborough offers eligible homeowners up to $1000 to offset the cost of designing and installing a rain garden in their front or back yard.

We’ve partnered with the municipality to offer applicants extra support through the application process, including on-site consultation visits and design support.

Don’t live within the City of Peterborough? You can still take advantage of the educational resources offered below.


Watch our four part video series to learn more about the subsidy program and how to build and maintain your own garden. Note that watching these videos is required in order to receive your subsidy.

Click the Playlist button in the top-right hand corner of the video to access parts two through four – note that watching all four videos is essential in order to receive the subsidy.

New to 2023 – Rain Garden Templates

GreenUP has designed two rain gardens for use by anyone who wishes to install a rain garden in the Peterborough region. These templates suit a range of roof sizes and site conditions. We’ve used mostly native plants to maximize secondary benefits like pollinator habitat and biodiversity.

With just a few additional details, these templates can be submitted as part of a landowner’s application to the City of Peterborough Rain Garden Subsidy Program.

Use the table to determine which template makes the most sense for you. If neither template suits the size and shape of your property, use the suggested plant lists as a jumping off point to design your own garden.


  The Classic Rain Garden The Habitat Garden
Roof Size (catchment area) 25m2 to 75m2 40m2 to 130m2
Garden Bottom Area (m2) 6m2 12m2
Total Required Space (L x W) 4.5m x 3m 6.6m x 4m
Soil type Sandy to Clay Loam Sandy to Clay Loam
Sun/shade profile Full Sun to Mostly Shade (plant substitutions are available for different light profiles) Full Sun to Part-Shade
Style Informal, flower-dominant, colourful Slightly formal, shrub-dominant, lots of autumn and winter interest
Maintenance requirements once established One to two hours per month during the growing season, slightly more in the spring Less than an hour per month during the growing season, slightly more in spring
Secondary benefits Pollinator friendly, biodiversity, some carbon sequestration potential, curb appeal Bird and pollinator friendly, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, curb appeal, privacy

Program History

Piloted in 2015, and launched in 2016, the Peterborough Utilities Water Wise Landscaping Recognition Program is modelled after the City of Brantford’s Waterwise Landscape Recognition Program.

GreenUP offers the landscape recognition program with the generous support of Peterborough Utilities Group. Since its inception, the Peterborough Utilities Water Wise Landscaping Recognition Program has nominated over 82 gardens. Each of these gardens acts as a demonstration garden to inspire others and showcase solutions. Water Wise has also developed local resources, hosted workshops, and provided garden tours.

Water Wise is one of several programs offered by GreenUP that supports residents of the City of Peterborough in taking healthy and sustainable action for our community. Click here to learn more about other Water Wise programs.

Program Links

Program Contact Information

Name: Laura Keresztesi
Position: Program Coordinator
Phone: 705-745-3238 ext. 206
Email: laura.keresztesi@greenup.on.ca


City of Peterborough