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Signs in Toronto: Understanding the Bylaws

Toronto is notorious for one thing, its bylaws. Don’t let that scare you away from advertising with signs. The process isn’t that complicated and once you understand the basics, you won’t have to worry. In addition, here atVital Signs, we offer a service that will take care of the bylaw process for you. What does this mean? Zero headaches for you.

The Bylaw Process for Signs

When the sign bylaw was passed in April 2010, it also designated specific sign districts. These districts are:

  • Residential
  • Employment Industrial Office
  • Residential Apartment
  • Institutional
  • Commercial
  • Open Space
  • Commercial Residential
  • Utility
  • Employment (Industrial)

There are also special sign districts, they are:

  • University Avenue
  • Nathan Philips Square and City Hall
  • Gardiner Gateway
  • Dundas Square
  • Downtown Yonge Street
  • Chinatown

So your probably wondering what you will need. When building and placing signs, in most cases, you must apply for both a sign permit and a building permit. Sign permits are issued under Chapter 694 of the Municipal Code. In all situations involving signs, unless specifically exempt, they are required for the erection of signs. Failure to secure this permit for your signs can result in hefty penalties. Building permits are also required for most signs. The general rule of thumb, when building signs, is that you will need both. The only time that you will need just the sign permit is if you placing the signs directly on a window or painting them onto a building. In these specific cases, you will only need a basic sign permit.
Bylaws are troublesome, but they are necessary. Vital Signs is dedicated to making the bylaw process as simple as possible for our customers. If you need help understanding sign bylaws in Toronto, Markham,Newmarket, or throughout the GTA, we are here to help.