A permit is required before installing a permanent building sign, and free-standing (pylon) sign, portable sign (A-frame), or mobile sign. Guelph’s Sign Bylaw does not permit flashing/revolving signs, inflatable signs, signs for home-based businesses, signs which obstruct the vision of drivers.

Building signs or a free-standing (pylon) signs

Building signs and free-standing signs (not excluded by Section 3 of the Sign Bylaw) require a permit.

Building signs are signs attached to a building and include signs on a canopy or awning, and the like.

Freestanding signs, commonly referred to as pylon signs, are signs which are typically supported by a support structure which is embedded into the ground.

When applying for a permanent building or freestanding sign please use the application package below titled “Permanent sign application package”

597 KBPermanent sign application package

Where a sign is required to be reviewed by a professional engineer, please use the document below titled “Commitment to General Reviews by Architects and Engineers”.

95 KBCommitment to General Reviews by Architects and Engineers

Portable signs

Portable Signs (such as an A-frame/sandwich board) require a permit. If the sign is to be placed on the boulevard (City property) please be aware there may be additional regulations.

Portable sign permit application

Mobile signs

Mobile signs require a permit prior to installation.

Mobile signs are signs which are designed to be moved from place to place and which utilize manual (interchangeable) copy. Permits are required to install a mobile sign. Each permit has a duration of 30 consecutive days.  The application for a mobile sign permit can be found below.

Mobile sign permit application Third-party mobile sign permit application for non-for-profit organizations

Sign bylaw variances

When a sign does not comply to the regulations of the Sign Bylaw, a Sign Variance may be applied for. It is recommended that staff be consulted prior to applying for a Sign Variance (fee is non-refundable). Once the application is received, staff will prepare a Sign Variance Report for consideration of the sign variance request by Council.  The application for a sign variance can be found below. Please submit your application to the attention of Building Services.

Sign Bylaw variance application


Fees for sign permits and sign variance applications can be found in the document below.

Sign permit fees

Norfolk Street Bridge banners

The City is no longer accepting or processing requests for banners on the Norfolk Street footbridge.

The Norfolk Street footbridge will be closed as of February 5, 2017 as part of the Wilson Street and parkade construction project. The City is building a new parking facility at the site of the Wilson Street parking lot, and replacing the footbridge. Banners will not be permitted on the new footbridge.

Please get permission for posters

Posters are permitted on approved poster sleeves downtown and on the downtown community board.

A poster placed on an approved poster sleeve must be approved by Service Guelph. To obtain approval, please submit the poster to Service Guelph at 1 Carden Street for review. For questions related to this approval, please contact ServiceGuelph by phone at 519-122-1260 or email

To place a poster on the downtown community board, please contact the Downtown Guelph Business Association

For more information

Zoning Services

For information regarding Street Signs and Traffic Directional Signs, please contact Operations at 519-837-5628.

The above information is provided as a guide only and does not supercede the City of Guelph Sign Bylaw. The City of Guelph Sign Bylaw contains exact definitions and regulations relating to signs in the City of Guelph.