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”
Permanent sign application package
Where a sign is required to be reviewed by a professional engineer, please complete the following form:
Commitment to General Reviews by Architects and Engineers form
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 exceptions during COVID-19 pandemic
To assist businesses with economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic, Guelph City Council approved a temporary suspension of some mobile sign regulations to waive mobile sign permit fees and increase the maximum number of permits per year. The following is a summary of these changes:
- The $85 permit fee for a 30-day mobile sign is waived from June 17 to August 31, 2020.
- A business is allowed to have more than four (4) 30-day mobile sign permits in 2020, provided space is available in an approved location.
To avoid sign clutter and potential safety concerns, the City will continue to regulate the maximum number and the location of mobile signs on each property. This includes but is not limited to a required 30 metre (m) separation distance between each mobile sign and a limited number of signs per property (1 mobile sign for every 30m of frontage to a maximum of 4 mobiles signs). All other regulations and provisions of By-law No. (1996)-15245, as amended, continue to apply.
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 applicationThird-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.
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 [email protected]
To place a poster on the downtown community board, please contact the Downtown Guelph Business Association
For more information
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.