I frequently get asked by clients how they can help their children buy a home.
It is a challenging market right now, and is very difficult to both pay for rent and save a large down payment while watching home values rise more quickly than a buyer's savings, so a gift towards a down payment may really make a difference between home ownership and not.
The short answer is YES mom and dad can help- but there are rules: the money MUST be a gift (with no expectation of repayment) and the gift can only be given to an immediate family member. It is a tax-free gift for both the giver and the recipient.
A loan may also be given under certain circumstances but it will be subject to taxes and may take the buyer's debt-level too high to qualify for a mortgage.
The article below clearly lays out the rules about these gifts, but I also advise you to seek a lawyer if this will be considered against a future inheritence or if there are other sibilings who haven't recieved this same gift (even if they might in the future).
Rules for Gifting a Down Payment in Canada