Permanent sign permits
Permanent signs include billboards, ground signs, or signs attached to buildings (fascia signs).
To install a permanent sign you’ll need to apply for a sign permit to make sure it complies with the Sign By-law and the Ontario Building Code.
What it costs, how long it takes
It usually takes about six to eight weeks to get a permit.
The cost will depend on the number of signs you’re installing and the size of each sign’s face. The size of your sign is measured by the square metre area of the sign’s face.
A permanent sign will cost $32 per square metre plus $55 per sign. The minimum fee is $378.
When you submit your permit request you’ll need to pay a deposit of $260. This will be credited towards the total cost of your sign permit.
Check the Sign By-law
Before you start a new project, check the Sign By-law to find out what the restrictions are on the type and size of the sign you can build in your area.
Gather drawings and documents
You’ll need to submit the following drawings and other documents as part of your application. Your drawings should clearly show the locations and size of all existing and proposed signs. Drawings must be to scale, and should use metric measurements.
More details can be found in the Sign Application Required Drawings and Documents.
- Site plan
- Key plan that shows the unit’s location in the building
- Elevations of your sign(s) and buildings
- Cross sections
- Structural details
- A letter of authorization from the property owner
- Commitment to general review (if applicable)
Check for additional approvals
Depending on the location and type of sign you’re installing, you may need other approvals before your sign permit can be issued:
Signs for businesses
If you’re installing a sign for your business you’ll need to provide proof of the Zoning Certificate of Occupancy. The zoning certificate must be approved for the same location as your sign permit.
Signs next to a provincial highway
If you’re installing a permanent sign within a quarter mile (0.40 km) of a provincial highway like Highway 401 or 403, you may need approval from the Ministry of Transportation.
Signs next to regional roads
To install a ground sign next to a regional road, you’ll need approval from the Region of Peel.
You can apply for a permanent sign permit online through the ePlans portal.
1. Create account and permit request
2. Upload drawings and documents
Shortly after submitting your permit request, you’ll receive an email from the City that includes your temporary project number and an invitation to upload drawings and supporting documents.
3. Pre-screen review
After you upload your drawings and documents, we’ll do a ‘pre-screen’ review to make sure the minimum requirements are met. This process usually takes three to five business days.
If everything is correct, we’ll let you know what additional fees need to be paid. You can reference the Permit Fee Schedule for a general idea of the charges.
If we still need more information, you’ll receive a “pre-screen corrections” email. You’ll need to make all of the pre-screen corrections in order to move ahead with the application process.
4. Your application is created
Once your request passes the pre-screen review and you have paid the fees required, your application will be created and we’ll email you a new application number.
5. Department review
Your application will be sent to the review group to make sure it meets the building code, sign by-law and other applicable approvals. If your application is complete this review will take about two weeks.
When the review is complete, the status of your application will be updated to either “approved” or “withheld.”
If your application is “withheld” you will need to resubmit revised or additional information. You can review our feedback in your “Project status report” in ePlans. We’ll send you an ‘applicant resubmit’ email telling you what to do next.
Resubmitting your application could add two weeks to the permit process.
6. Download approved drawings
Once your application is approved, you’ll be notified via email that your permit and drawings are available to download in ePlans.
Check your application status
Check the status of your sign permit application by visiting “project info” in ePlans.
Each status, such as “application in progress,” “withheld” or “issued permit” indicates the stage your application has reached.
During the review stage, if your application has been withheld, we’ll send an email telling you what to do next. Until you receive this email you cannot upload any additional information or respond to any comments in ePlans.
However, you can visit “workflow–project status report” to view feedback from the review group and any additional information you’ll be required to submit.
Your sign permit application will be reviewed by a sign examiner to make sure it complies with the Sign By-law. If your application does not meet Sign By-law requirements, you can either revise your application and re-submit it or apply for a sign variance.
A variance is an exception to the by-law, and is only granted for very specific circumstances, such as a pre-existing condition applying to the land or the building. Applying for a variance does not guarantee that one will be granted.
Apply for a sign variance
To apply for a variance, upload the Sign Variance Application Form and a letter explaining why you need the variance to ePlans. Pay the non-refundable sign variance fee of $1226 in person at the Planning and Building customer service counter, located on the third floor of 300 City Centre Drive.
If a variance is required for an existing sign installed without a sign permit, a fee of $1500 is applicable.
If you’re applying for a variance for an electronic billboard, additional information will be required.
Once you’ve received your permit and are ready to install your sign, you’ll need to schedule an inspection or multiple inspections by a City official. This is to make sure the sign is installed as per your permit and the Sign By-law.
- Fascia sign inspections must be scheduled after the sign has been installed
- Ground signs must be inspected twice. The first inspection should be scheduled when you’re ready to construct footings and the second inspection after the sign’s been installed
Sign enforcement and penalties
The City may remove your sign if it’s unsafe or violates the Sign By-law. You may also be fined up to $5000, excluding costs.
If you have any questions or need help, please call 311 (905-615-4311 from outside City limits) or email email@example.com.