In 2010, Toronto City Council passed a Sign By-law to regulate signs in Toronto. The Sign By-law strives to achieve a balance between the need to advertise and identify businesses and services, the health and safety of citizens and the goal to keep Toronto free of excessive sign clutter.
Signs typically fall within two categories: First Party (which identify a business or service located on the property) and Third Party (which advertise goods or services not found at or related to the property, e.g. a billboard). The Sign By-law is administered and enforced by the Sign By-Law Unit, located at City Hall.
If you want to display a sign for your business, a sign permit is required in most cases. To check if your proposed sign needs a permit or to find information on how to apply for one, please contact the Sign By-law Unit or visit the links below.
There are many types of signs which the Sign By-law allows, such as wall signs, ground signs, or projecting signs. However, there are some signs that are not permitted by the Sign By-law, including:
- A sign attached to a tree, fence, or railing;
- A sign on a parked vehicle or trailer;
- A sign attached to any electrical, lighting or telephone post;
- Signs which move, such as promotional flags or banners, and;
- Signs on exterior walls or in windows that display copy electronically (e.g. LED displays or TV screens / monitors)
Businesses displaying signs that do not comply with the Sign By-law may be subject to enforcement measures which could include being charged with a Provincial Offence (and associated fines ranging from $305 per sign up to a maximum of $100,000) and/or the removal of the signs at the owner’s expense.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to Sign By-law Unit staff, please contact us during regular office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Sign By-law Unit
Toronto City Hall, first floor, East Tower
100 Queen Street West
Or visit: www.toronto.ca/signs