Frequently Asked Sign Permit Questions

Do I require a sign permit to put up a sign to advertise my business?

Yes. The Sign Bylaw requires that a person shall obtain a sign permit from the City if they are proposing to construct, erect, alter, rebuild, reconstruct, move, demolish or remove a sign.

There’s a sign already in place in the location I’m moving into. I will only be changing the face of the sign to the name of my business. Do I need a sign permit?

Maybe. Sign Permits are not required for face changes on signs that were previously installed with permits. If the existing sign structure was installed without permits, then a new Sign Permit is required for any face changes. To find out if the sign on your building has a previous Sign Permit, please contact the Planning Division.

The business across the street from me has a projecting sign but according to the Sign Bylaw I can’t have one. This doesn’t seem fair.

Most likely that sign across the street was put up several years ago when the bylaw did allow that type of sign. It is now considered “legally non-conforming” to the bylaw today. If that sign were to come off the wall in a storm or be damaged in some way that necessitated its removal, a replacement sign would not be allowed, as any new signage must conform with the bylaw of today.

What if I don’t get a sign permit for my new or changed sign?

You could receive a Municipal Ticket from the City that will carry a fine of $250. Should you elect to pay the fine as a cost of doing business and still not get a permit you will be repeatedly ticketed until you do obtain a sign permit.

I would like to make the sign permit application myself rather than hiring a sign company to do it. Is this allowed?

It is preferable that a professional sign company make the application, as the company will have the expertise to properly install a sign. Professional sign companies also have insurance that covers liability in the event that one of their signs falls off a building and injures a pedestrian. If a business owner wishes to make an application himself he should be prepared to submit complete application.