The municipality closely controls all types of signage to ensure that the posting and installation of billboards and signs does not interfere with road safety, private property, city aesthetics.
Anyone contravening any provision of By-law 00-881 is guilty of an infraction and liable to a $50 to $2,000 fine when the offender is a natural person or to a $50 to $4,000 fine when the offender is a legal person.
- The installation of a sign (permanent or temporary) requires beforehand a certificate of authorization, except for the temporary sign on a construction site.
- An application for a certificate of authorization must be accompanied by two (2) copies of a plan showing the detailed measurements, construction details and location of the proposed sign.
- No sign may be installed unless it is keeping with the overall architecture of the building which it is to serve or to which it relates and to the general character of the area in which it is installed.
- All signs on buildings must be composed of channel letters having a minimum thickness of 5.0 cm.
- The minimum front setback for monument and freestanding signs is 3.05 m (approximately 10 ft).
- No permanent sign can be installed unless securely constructed and attached to a building or, if located on vacant land, must be attached to a frame and thoroughly secured to the satisfaction of the building inspector.
- No sign can extend above the roof or parapet line of the building against which it is to be established.
- No sign on a building can be established higher than 7.3 m (24 ft) from the ground level.
- All signs must be kept in good condition to the satisfaction of the building inspector.
- Any sign installed on a fence or the roof of a building or any other structure located within the City.
- Any commercial sign installed for the purpose of advertising elsewhere than at the place of business.
- Any sign similar to flashing lights equipment commonly used on police cars, ambulances, fire trucks and traffic lights.
- Any sign imitating the shape of an everyday object or a human or animal shape.
- Any flashing or mobile sign.
- Any electronic notice board except for those used by the City.
- Any billboard, except for those used by the City or other government bodies.
Number of signs restriction
Where permitted, no more than one sign may be established, except in the following cases:
- where a building is situated on a corner lot, a single sign may be installed to face each street;
- where the second sign is a symbol or crest extensively used by the particular firm;
- on a multiple tenancy building in which case a single sign per tenant may be installed provided such sign is integrated in design, location, colour, size and shape to the overall design of the building and of all other signs.
Residential zones restrictions
- Luminous signs — no luminous sign may be installed in the residential areas of the City, the said residential areas as defined in the Zoning bylaw.
- Physical location — no sign may be installed on a residential dwelling or on the premises thereof unless the sign is placed on the front of the dwelling, is not in excess of 967 cm² (150 in²) of the area, and indicates only the name or names and the occupation of the occupant or occupants.
Commercial, industrial and office buildings restrictions
- All signs on commercial, industrial and office buildings may occupy an horizontal distance of not more than 66 % of the horizontal façade and a vertical distance of not more than 20 % of the vertical façade of the building.
- At no time may a sign exceed 1.2 m (4 ft) in height or 9.29 m² (100 ft²) in area.
- No freestanding sign may be erected except in the case of shopping centres, mixed occupancy commercial buildings and service stations. The area of such signs may not exceed 9.29 m² (100 ft²) and the height thereof may not exceed 6.09 m (20 ft). All electrical wiring must be underground.
- In buildings with a commercial, industrial or public destination, window signs are allowed on a maximum surface area of 25 % of the total windowed area of the building for which they advertise products or services. The following materials are permitted for such signs: self-adhesive or painted letters, plastic-coated cardboards and papers if integrated into a hard panel.
Conditions and restrictions for real estate signs
Real estate signs offering for sale or lease buildings other than residential single-family houses require a certificate of authorization valid for a six month period.
- Existing buildings — Real estate signs offering for sale or lease buildings other than single-family houses must be located on the site at least 3 m from all property lines and must be no more than 3 m high and not more than 6 square metres in area.
- Vacant land — Real estate signs offering for sale or lease vacant land sites must be located on the site at least 7.5 m from all property lines and must be no more than 3 m high and not more than 6 square metres in area.
- Rental of apartment units — Permanent signs offering apartments for rent may be installed on the sites of apartment buildings. They must comply with regulations governing monument signs. One sign may also be installed on the façade of each apartment building (3 square metres maximum).
Conditions and restrictions
Monument signs may be permitted subject to the following requirements:
- their maximum height must be 1.82 m (6 ft) above the sidewalk or curb directly facing the sign;
- a maximum area not exceeding 3 m2 (32 ft2);
- signs must be located outside the triangle of visibility (keeping a 9 m clearance on both sides of the point of intersection);
- must be built on a continuous solid base (in concrete);
- wiring must be underground and lighting must be from the interior.
- where used for mixed occupancy buildings, the monument sign must show the name, logo and address of the building or the name and logo of the principal occupant only.
- in the case of isolated buildings, where used for medical centres, the monument sign may show the name, logo, address of the building and the name of the occupants.
Directional signs may indicate the location of parking areas, delivery entrances or other information meant for orientation. They may not display any advertising content.
- directional signs are permitted in all commercial, restricted and industrial zones.
- the sign area must not exceed 0.5 m² (5.3 ft2) and if the sign is not attached to the building, it must be located at a 3 m (10 ft) minimum setback from the property line.
Temporary construction signs (construction site signs)
Any person, firm or company engaged in the construction, alteration, repair, decoration or demolition of any building, or in the landscaping or embellishing of any lot, may establish, during the continuance of such work, a sign not exceeding 0.55 m² (6 ft²) in area to advertise the name, address or the trade or profession of such person, firm or company provided that:
- not more than two such signs are displayed on any such site or lot.
- if three or more persons, firms or companies are engaged in any such work, they may have a single sign not exceeding 2.97 m² (32 ft²) in area, instead of the smaller signs above mentioned, to advertise their names, addresses and trades or occupations.
- although a certificate of authorization is not required, said signs must be located and maintained to the satisfaction of the Building Inspector.
- Any sign installed on a construction site must be removed within fifteen (15) days after completion of the construction or project.
Banners are authorized under the same conditions applicable to temporary promotional signs and must be installed on the building for which they advertise the products or services without being higher or wider than the building. No banner may be fixed to a freestanding sign.
- On residential buildings, only country flags are authorized.
- Temporary flags advertising a residential project are authorized.
- All the authorized aforementioned flags must be installed on a building.
- No flag fixed on a mast is authorized.
- These provisions do not apply to flags representing governmental or municipal institutions.
All of the above provisions do not apply to:
- Signs located inside a building with the exception of window signs.
- Historical inscriptions and commemorative tablets.
- Inscriptions engraved in stone, concrete or marble used in cemeteries, historical or commemorative monuments.
- Signs required by law.
- Signs belonging to the federal or provincial governments or to the City.
- Signs placed on buildings of worship or on their sites indicating the name of the building, its pastors and the hours at which religious functions or activities are held.
- Signs having a total area not exceeding 0.55 m² (6 ft²) and advertising only that the immovable property on which it is placed is for sale.
For regulations on posting and exceptions concerning outdoor public swimming pools, refer to By-law 00-881.
Urban Planning and Engineering, 514-684-1033
These guidelines are for information only and hold no legal value. The official text written in the by-law takes precedence.