Recommended updates create more user-friendly sign bylaw

Guelph, Ont., September 24, 2020 – On October 5, City Council will discuss recommendations to update Guelph’s Sign Bylaw including changes that make it clearer and more user-friendly.

“Guelph’s current sign bylaw has been around for over 20 years,” explains Bill Bond, senior bylaw administrator. “Many regulations within the bylaw are outdated and don’t match current urban design principles or new technology in the sign industry. Our recommended changes make the bylaw easier to understand, streamline variance requests and make sure that signs in Guelph are created and placed in a way that preserves our streetscapes.”

As part of the comprehensive bylaw review, the City consulted with businesses, property owners, sign companies, builders, realtors and the public over the past two years. Based on community feedback, internal consultation, research and a best practice review, the City is making recommendations to update Sign By-law No. (1996)-15245 including:

  • Providing clear definitions that explain different types of signs
  • Giving City staff the authority to approve sign bylaw variances—requests for changes or exemptions—to help speed up the process, which currently requires Council approval
  • Removing the requirement for a permit for portable signs placed on private property
  • Setting clear limits for the brightness and intensity of lights on signs
  • Increasing the size of drive-thru menu boards
  • Allowing exemptions for election signs which are regulated under the Election Bylaw
  • Adding regulations for mobile signs in City parks
  • Adding regulations for signs on temporary construction fencing

Members of the public can register as a delegate or submit written comments about the proposed recommendations for the new sign bylaw by contacting the City Clerk’s office at 519-837-5603 or [email protected] by 10 a.m. on Friday, October 2.

If approved by Council, staff will use the recommendations to develop a new Sign Bylaw, which will be presented to Council for approval in early 2021.

About the Sign Bylaw Review

The City is reviewing Guelph’s sign bylaw which sets out rules for all exterior signs in Guelph including where signs can be placed throughout the city, what types of signs are allowed, and how big signs can be. The sign bylaw covers both permanent signs and temporary signs, including signs that are placed in or on windows.


Staff report: Draft Recommendations for the new Sign By-law

Media contact

Bill Bond, Senior Bylaw Administrator
Building Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2382
[email protected]