Sign bylaw

This bylaw is a consolidated digital version of the official legal document. It is not an exact reproduction and is for information purposes only.

Contact 519-747-87771-866-785-3941 (TTY for deaf) or clerkinfo@waterloo.ca to get a copy of the official bylaw.


Bylaw number: 2016 - 050
Last passed by council: September 26, 2016 


A bylaw to prohibit and regulate signs and other advertising devices within the City of Waterloo 

  1. Definitions 
  2. Permits 
  3. Revocation of permits 
  4. Expiry of permits 
  5. General purpose 
  6. General prohibitions and regulations 
  7. Prohibited signs 
  8. General provisions 
  9. Illumination 
  10. Public right-of-way 
  11. Sign locations 
  12. Structural 
  13. Temporary signs 
  14. Election signs 
  15. Real estate sales signs 
  16. Large real estate project or subdivision signs 
  17. Sign Zones 
  18. Regulations for sign types 
  19. Heritage conservation district 
  20. Sign variances 
  21. Notice 
  22. Enforcement 
  23. Inspection 
  24. Order to discontinue activity 
  25. Work order 
  26. Penalty 
  27. Miscellaneous 
  28. Non-conforming signs 
  29. Exemptions 
  30. Collection of unpaid fines 
  31. Schedules 
  32. Short title 
  33. Severability 
  34. Repeal/transition 
  35. Coming into force 
  36. Schedule 1 
  37. Schedule 2 
  38. Schedule 3 

Whereas Section 11(3) 7 of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.25, as amended (the “Act”), provides that a municipality may pass bylaws respecting structures, including fences and signs;

And whereas the Building Code Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, C.23, as amended (the “Building Code Act”), empowers a Council to pass bylaws respecting building permits and the issuance thereof;

And whereas Section 436 of the Municipal Act provides that a municipality has the power to pass bylaws providing the municipality to enter on land at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out an inspection to determine whether or not a bylaw of the municipality is being complied with;

Now therefore the Council of The Corporation of the City of Waterloo enacts as follows:


1.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this bylaw the following terms shall have the corresponding meanings set out below:

“abandoned or obsolete sign” means a sign located on property which becomes vacant and unoccupied for a period of 90 days or more, or any sign which pertains to a time, event or purpose which no longer applies 

“accessory sign” means a sign which is erected on but not permanently anchored in the ground and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, this definition shall include signs commonly referred to as a-frames, t-frames, and sandwich board signs. For the purposes of this bylaw directional signs, inflatable signs, portable signs and banner signs shall not be considered as accessory signs.

“advisory committee on culture” means the committee appointed by Council to advise on cultural development in the City of Waterloo.

“alter” means any change to a sign structure or sign face except the changing of copy (as defined), or the replacement of similar parts for maintenance purposes.

“animated sign” means all signs that move or depict movement through the use of images in any way, by any mean, but does not include an electronic message board.

“banner sign” means a sign composed of lightweight material, including cloth, canvas or similar fabric, but does not include a canopy or awning.

“bed and breakfast sign” means a sign indicating the name and location only of a bed and breakfast establishment.,

“billboard sign” means a sign that directs attention to goods, products or services not sold or provided on the premises on which the sign is located.

“Building Code” and “Building Code Act” means the Building Code Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c. 17, as amended, or any predecessor or successor thereto and regulations thereunder.

“building frontage” means the linear distance along the facade of the building, which is parallel to, or most close to being parallel to, an abutting street. For the purpose of this bylaw, a building may have more than one building frontage this being determined by the number of streets abutting the lot. In a building with multiple units, a unit is only considered to have building frontage if the main customer access to the unit leads directly outside. If the main customer access of a unit leads to an interior common corridor, it is not considered to have building frontage.

“building permit” means a permit to erect a sign as required under the Building Code Act.

“canopy sign” means any sign that is part of or attached to an awning, canopy or other fabric, plastic or structural protective element installed over a window, door, entrance, outdoor service area or similar type of entrance way, movable or immovable which overhangs more than 0.45 metres.

“changeable copy” means the portion of a sign on which the copy of the sign is designed to be changed manually or electronically on a regular basis.

“charity” means a registered charity as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada) or successor legislation, which has a registration number issued by the Canada Revenue Agency, or successor agency.

“Chief Building Official” means a chief building official of the City, or his or her designate, appointed or constituted under sections 3 or 4 of the Building Code Act.

“church directional sign” means a sign directing vehicular traffic to a church site.

“City” or “City of Waterloo” means the Corporation of the City of Waterloo.

“city property” means land, buildings or chattels owned by the City.

“construction hoarding” means temporary fencing that can be set up around the perimeter of the desired area to be fenced in. 

"copy” means the wording, letters, numerals, logos and/or artwork of the sign, on the sign surface either permanent or removable.

“Council” means the Council of the Corporation of the City of Waterloo.

“design guidelines” means a set of design recommendations intended to guide site development to achieve a prescribed level of design quality in the public and private realm.

“Director” means the Director of Bylaw Enforcement or his or her designate.

“directional sign” means a sign directing vehicular or pedestrian traffic, giving instructions, or giving facility information which may contain the name, logo and establishment on the related site, but contains no advertising copy.

“directory sign” means a sign not exceeding 0.2 square metres in sign area, consisting of only the names, locations, and hours of operation of the occupants of a building or food and beverage menu items.

“election sign” means a sign used for the purpose of advertising any political party or candidate participating in an election for public office.

“façade” means each entire exterior wall of a building including any parapet but does not include any structure erected above the top storey of a building.

“fascia sign” means a single faced sign attached or erected against a wall of a building, with the face horizontally parallel to the building wall, including signage applied directly onto a facade of a building or structure, but not architectural projection features.

“flag sign” means a sign depicting a distinctive design, typically rectangular in shape and composed of fabric.

“flankage yard” means the yard extending from the front yard to the rear yard between the street and the nearest main wall of the main building, excluding any chimney breast.

“freestanding sign” means a sign that has its own structural support independent of a building that has a minimum height above the adjoining ground of one and one-half (1.5) metres.

“front yard” means a yard extending across a full width of a lot between the front lot line and the nearest main wall of the main building on the lot.

“gas pump island” means the area surrounding the gas pumps to which the pumps are affixed and which is generally raised to prevent vehicles from hitting the gas pumps, but that need not be raised to be considered a gas pump island.

“ground sign” means a sign that has its own structural support independent of a building that has a maximum height above the adjoining ground of one and one half (1.5) metres.

“height” means the vertical distance measured from the proposed or finished grade immediately below the sign to the highest extremity of the sign including any frame, border or ornamental feature.

“incidental sign” means a sign not exceeding 0.2 square metres in area, and which is meant to direct the public and/or to identify accessory facilities to a building or property.

“illuminate” means the act of lighting an advertising device by way of an artificial light source located within, on, or external to the sign, the brightness and intensity of which are measured in lux (being a unit of illumination equal to one lumen or candela per square metre that is measured by the power and size of the source).

“illuminated sign” means a sign with an internal light source or designed to reflect light from an external source intentionally directed at it.

“inflatable sign” means any advertising device designed to be inflated and which is tethered to the ground, a building, structure, or similar support and includes hot-air balloons.

“intersection” means a road junction where two or more roads meet or cross at grade.

“large project” means a townhouse, maisonette or multiple dwelling, building or development and any industrial, institutional, or commercial building, or development.

“large real estate project or subdivision sign” means a temporary sign on a lot that directs attention to: a. a commercial, institutional, industrial, or multiple dwelling unit building, lot or development; or b. a subdivision development, that is for sale, lease or open for viewing. May include general marketing, realtor, site contractors and other professional advisors information.

“location sign” means a sign located in pedestrian gathering areas which includes a site map posted on an architecturally designed base or stand.

“lot line (front)” means the lot line that divides a lot from the street provided that in the case of a corner lot, the shorter lot line that abuts the street shall be deemed to be the front lot lines and the longer line that abuts a street shall be deemed the flankage. In the case of a “lot through” both of the lot lines abutting a street shall be deemed front lot lines.

“lot through” means a lot bounded on two opposite sides by a street but not a corner lot.

“major entrance road” means the intersection of two streets which funnel traffic into a subdivision from roads designated as arterial roads within the City of Waterloo Official Plan, Schedule E.

“menu board sign” means a sign erected as part of a drive-through facility used to display and order products and services available through a drive-through business.

“MLEO” means a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer of the City of Waterloo appointed by the Council of the City of Waterloo pursuant to s.15 of the Police Service Act, R.S.O.1990, c.P.15, as amended.

“multi-faced sign” means any type of sign which is made up of more than two faces, each face of which has for its purpose, that of a sign.

“Municipal Act” means the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25, as amended, or any predecessor or successor thereto and regulations thereunder.

“mural” means a painted scene, display or artistic endeavour that is painted upon any construction hoarding, outside wall or other integral part of a building and does not advertise a business or product, including logos and trademarks.

“neighbourhood association sign” means an accessory sign placed on the City of Waterloo boulevard by a recognized neighbourhood association advertising a neighbourhood event.

“non-profit organization” means a club, society or association that is organized and operated exclusively for social welfare, civic improvement or other similar purpose; is not operated for profit; and no part of the income is available for the personal benefit of any member, shareholder or trustee.

“obstruction on corners triangle” means the triangular area formed by measuring from the curb lines or projection thereof at the street intersection, three (3.0 m) metres along one curb line, fifteen (15.0 m) metres along the opposite curb line, and joining such points with a straight line.

“owner” means the registered owner, or the authorized agent of the lands or premises upon which any sign or sign structure is located.

“parapet” means a low protective or decorative wall or railing along the edge of a roof or balcony, terrace and cornices.

“person” means an individual business, firm, corporation, association, partnership, person or any combination thereof.

“pre-menu board sign” means a sign erected as part of a drive-through facility and only used to display products and services available at the drive-through business;

“Planning Act” means the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13, as amended, or any predecessor or successor thereto and regulations thereunder.

“portable sign” means a sign that is not permanently affixed to a building or base and stands on the ground without any additional support, and can be easily carried or transported, but does not mean or include inflatable signs, accessory signs or banner signs

“poster sign” means any notice, bulletin, placard, leaflet, bill or handbill which is temporarily posted, attached, erected or displayed publicly for any purpose whatsoever including the purpose of advertising, announcing, directing or promoting any event, show, performance, entertainment, meeting, gathering, business, product or idea. For the purposes of this bylaw, an advertising device is a poster sign. For the purposes of this bylaw, a poster sign is a sign.

“projecting signs” means any sign, other than a Fascia or Canopy Sign, which is attached to, and projects from, a building, structure or wall, more than 0.5 metres.

“property” means a lot and includes all buildings and structures thereon.

“real estate sales sign” means a temporary sign, the purpose of which is to advertise for sale or for rent, a building or property, or portion thereof, and may also indicate information as to the real estate agent, the name and location of the sales office for a newly developing area, or the location, name and nature of a model home representing an example of the building design available in a newly developing area.

“repair and maintain” means anything done to preserve the condition of a sign or to prevent the deterioration of the sign and includes the restoration of the sign by removing or replacing worn out, missing, damaged or broken parts.

“residential sign” means a sign indicating the name and address of a private residence or the name and/or nature of a permitted non-residential occupancy therein.

“roof sign” means a sign, the face of which is located wholly or partially above the roofline, which in turn is defined as the lowest point at which the roof meets the building, but does not include a Fascia Sign.

“sign” means an identification, description, illustration, object or device, illuminated or non-illuminated, that is visible from any street and directs attention to a product, place, activity, person, institution, business, or solicitation, but does not include:

a. the display of good placed inside a window;

b. gravestones or other markers placed for historical or memorial purposes;

c. private celebratory or holiday decorations;

d. murals; or e. traffic control devices.

“sign area” means the number of square metres on the surface of a sign including the border and frame and where there is no border shall include all of the surface area lying within the extremities of the sign. Where a sign has two or more opposing display surfaces separated by an interior angle of 5 degrees or less, one half of the total area of the display surfaces shall be used in the calculation of the sign area.

“sign owner” shall include:

a. a person who is the occupant of the property or premises, if the sign identifies the property or directs attention to products or services offered by the person on the property; or

b. in the case of a mobile sign or an advertising sign, the owner, or lessee of the sign structure; or c. the person or persons having the use or major benefit of the sign; and any person acting or purposing to act on behalf of the persons listed in a., b., or

c. in respect to the sign. “sign permit” means a permit issued by the Director that the proposed sign design, construction and location meets the requirements of this bylaw.

“sign variance committee” means the committee appointed by Council to grant variances or amendments to the sign bylaw and to hear appeals from sign permit decisions.

“sign zone” means a zone established by section 8.0 of this bylaw.

“site plan” means a plan of the property showing the site features and functions including areas for landscaping, driveways, parking, buildings, and sidewalks , as well as the dimensions from the building(s) to the property boundaries.

“storey” means that portion of any building which is situated between the top of any floor and the top of the floor or roof next above such floor, provided that any portion of a building partly below the ground shall be deemed a storey if its ceiling height is one point eight metres (1.8m), above the average adjacent ground level.

“street” means a public highway having a minimum width of twelve metres (12m).

“survey” means a detailed plan completed by an Ontario Land Surveyor which determines the boundaries and area of a property and the location of any building(s) or structure(s).

“temporary sign” means a sign that is permitted by the applicable sign zone, and posted or erected for a period not to exceed three (3) months, unless otherwise specified in this bylaw or other legislation. 

“temporary new business sign” means a sign that directs attention to the opening of a new business.

“third party signage” means any sign situated on a property advertising a business or a product sold at another location.

“university building identification sign” means a sign located within the University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park that is erected on a freestanding frame, base, mast or pole, and not attached to any building.

“unsafe” when used with respect to a sign or sign structure means a condition which is structurally inadequate or faulty or which could be hazardous to any person or property.

“variable electronic sign” means a sign on which text messages are displayed by means of light emitting diodes (LED), liquid crystal display (LCD), plasma or other similar technology. Variable electronic signs include only messages displayed in text and do not include any images.

"wind activated sign” means a non-illuminated sign sitting on an independent base or support, not anchored in the ground in a permanent or semi-permanent manner which spins or revolves due to wind force.

“window sign” means a sign and/or paintings or photographs affixed to or located within 1.0 metres of the interior or exterior of a window in view of the general public, including a window in a door.

“window lifestyle sign” means a sign and/or paintings, photographs, or imagery affixed to or located within a faux window of any building or structure depicting an activity, interest, or theme, but that does not contain verbal messages, specified products, company names, logos, or service. For the purpose of this bylaw, a faux window shall mean any window feature or design that is architecturally integrated into a building façade for the purpose of aesthetic design.

“zone” means those zoning categories as set out in the zoning bylaws of the City of Waterloo, as amended.


2.0 Permits

2.1 A permit is required for any sign erected, located or displayed within the City of Waterloo with the exception of the signs listed in section 6.1 of this bylaw.

2.2 The Director may require an applicant to submit:

a. the written authorization of the property owner and the sign owner;

b. a completed application form as prescribed by the Director;

c. duplicate copies of a current site plan which shows the location of the proposed sign in relation to the boundaries of the lot, adjacent streets and any buildings on the lot;

d. duplicate copies of drawings showing plan, elevation and cross-section views of the proposed sign and sign structure, including the dimension, copy design and materials;

e. where applicable, drawings and specifications in duplicate showing the parts of the building to which the proposed sign is to be attached;

f. proof that the sign has been designed appropriately according to the City of Waterloo Urban Design Manual;

g. where applicable, proof of approval for the proposed sign from all other governmental authorities having jurisdiction;

h. where applicable, proof that the sign complies with the illumination requirements; and,

i. the appropriate fee as set out in the City of Waterloo Fees and Charges Bylaw.

2.3 In the event of a discrepancy between the site plan submitted in conjunction with a permit application and the information on file with the City, the Director may require a survey be submitted.

2.4 Documents submitted as part of a sign permit application shall be submitted on paper no larger than 8 ½ by 14 in.

2.5 The Director shall issue the permit for a sign if all provision of this Bylaw, and any other applicable law, including the Building Code Act, any bylaws of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and any guidelines of the Ministry of Transportation for the Province of Ontario have been complied with, provided no sign permit shall be issued to any business that requires a business licence pursuant to a bylaw of the City, if such business has not obtained the appropriate licence.

2.6 Once approved any alterations or changes in design will require another sign permit.


3.0 Revocation of permits 

3.1 The City may revoke a permit under any of the following circumstances:

a. Where the permit has been issued in error by the City or on the basis of false, mistaken, incorrect or misleading information or undertaking provided to the City;

b. Where the sign does not conform to this Bylaw or any condition of approval under this Bylaw; or,

c. Where the sign does not conform to the City of Waterloo Property Standards Bylaw, as amended.


4.0 Expiry of permits 

4.1 A permit issued by the City shall expire:

a. upon the expiry of any display period specified under this bylaw or pursuant to the terms of a permit;

b. in all other instances, six months from the date of issuance unless the sign has been erected for its intended purpose;

c. immediately upon removal of the sign; d. where the business ceases to exist at the location specified on the permit; or e. where changes have been made to the sign design or business being advertised.


5.0 General purpose

5.1 The purpose of this bylaw is to regulate signs and enforce sign regulations in the City with the intent of authorizing signs that:

a. are appropriate in size, number, and location for the type of activity or use to which they pertain;

b. provide reasonable and appropriate means for the public to locate and identify facilities, businesses, and services without difficulty or confusion;

c. are compatible with their surroundings;

d. protect and enhance the aesthetic qualities and visual character of the City by encouraging quality sign design;

e. are consistent with the City of Waterloo planning, urban design and heritage objectives;

f. do not create a distraction or safety hazard for pedestrians or motorists;

g. minimize adverse impacts on nearby public and private property; and

h. provide enterprises adequate and flexible means to identify themselves, their products or services, while recognizing that the primary function of signage is to identify rather than advertise.

5.2 General prohibitions and regulations 

5.2 No person shall:

a. erect, place, construct, or alter any sign in the City of Waterloo, without first obtaining the necessary sign permit, if required, as provided under this bylaw;

b. maintain or allow any sign to remain on, or be affixed to, the lands or premises of which that person is the owner or occupier unless a sign permit in respect of the sign has been issued pursuant to this bylaw;

c. erect, locate or display a sign for which a sign permit has been obtained except in accordance with the approved plans and drawings submitted as part of the sign permit applications;

d. erect, locate or display a sign in a manner that is not in accordance with the regulations of this Bylaw or the conditions of any variance granted under this Bylaw: City of Waterloo Sign Bylaw 2016 13

e. erect, locate or display a sign of a type which is not specifically permitted under this Bylaw;

f. erect, locate or display a sign for any use which is in contravention of any zoning bylaw of the City of Waterloo;

g. erect, locate or display a sign which is on or overhangs City of Waterloo or Regional Municipality of Waterloo property, including any road allowances unless an encroachment agreement has been obtained;

h. erect, locate or display a sign which is located on a property other than the one containing the business or product to which they direct attention;

i. erect, locate or display a sign which is not located on a wall adjacent to the unit the sign intends to advertise in a multi-unit building;

j. erect, locate or display a sign that obstructs the view of any pedestrian, or driver of a motor vehicle or obstructs the visibility of any traffic sign or device, or where it interferes with vehicular traffic in a manner that could endanger any person;

k. erect, locate or display a sign within the obstruction on a corner triangle as required under any zoning bylaw at the intersection of two streets;

l. fail to maintain a sign in a proper state of repair so that such sign becomes unsafe or unsightly;

m. fail to remove, alter, or repair a sign which is not in compliance with this bylaw when so directed by the Director; or

n. erect, locate or display a sign in such a position where any part of said sign is located within three (3) metres to any fire alarm, fire hydrant, hydro pole, or utility wire other than those required to illuminate or operate the sign, without the applicant for the sign first obtaining permission in writing of the authority having jurisdiction over the same.

5.3 Prohibited signs 

5.3 No person shall erect, construct, place, alter, or maintain, any of the following signs on any premises:

a. Banner signs, save and except the provisions for temporary new business signs described in Section 7.0 and the provisions for special event or theme signs described in Section 2.0 of Schedule 2; 

b. Animated signs other than variable electronic signs subject to the provisions of Sign Zone G and J;

c. Inflatable signs, save and except the provisions permitted in Sign Zone G;

d. Billboards save and except the billboards presently permitted at :

i. 10 Northland Road;

ii. 170 King St N;

iii. 47 Erb St W; and

iv. 34 King St N;

e. Roof signs, save and except the roof signs presently permitted at:

i. 70 Belcan Place;

ii. 130 King Street South; and,

iii. 55 Northfield Drive;

f. Wind activated signs or devices designed to attract the attention of the public, save and except the provisions permitted in Sign Zone B;

g. No sign shall be painted on the exterior brick, roof, block or on any cladding of any building, except that lettering or symbols may be painted on an ornamental or decorative veneered surface which is fastened to the exterior wall of a building, save and except the mural provisions permitted in Sign Zone F;

h. No sign or sign structure shall be placed on or extend more than 0.45m over the public right of way without the consent of the sign variance committee, which may include an encroachment agreement;

i. No sign should obstruct or be attached to any fire escape, tree or permanent fence or part thereof; and

j. Fascia signs shall not be placed or located to cover architectural features of a building or structure. Such features include, but are not limited to windows, columns, doors, arches, quoining, cornices, casings, keystones, sills, gables, porticos, dentils or lintels.

5.4 A person shall be deemed to be erecting, locating or displaying a sign if that person is a sign owner and directs, permits, or fails to stop the establishment, placement, location or display of the sign.

5.5 The sign owner shall notify the Director of the completion of the erection of any ground signs, fascia signs or freestanding signs erected pursuant to a permit within 15 days after the sign is erected.


6.0 General provisions

6.1 Notwithstanding sections 5.2(a) and 5.2(b), the following sign types are permitted throughout the City and do not require a permit:

a. accessory signs which comply with section 9.1 of this bylaw;

b. election signs which comply with section 7.7 of this bylaw;

c. incidental signs which comply with the definition of an incidental signs in section 1.0 of this bylaw;

d. poster signs which comply with section 9.16 of this bylaw;

e. signs being composed of plants, shrubbery or landscaping material designed as decorative features, which comply with the obstruction on corners regulations;

f. church directional signs which comply with the Ontario Traffic Manual for Information Sharing and are created by the City of Waterloo Public Works Services Department;

g. real estate sales signs which comply with section 7.8 and 7.9 of this bylaw;

h. signs or notices exhibited by the authority of the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario or any municipal authority;

i. changes in sign changeable copy (standard or electronic), on a sign structure which is the subject of a sign permit;

j. historical or commemorative plaques which comply with the incidental sign regulations;

k. directional signs which comply with the regulations contained in section 9.6 of this bylaw;

l. flag signs; and,

m. directory signs which comply with the directory sign regulations in section 9.7 of this bylaw.

6.2 Where a sign is not expressly permitted under this bylaw it shall be deemed to be prohibited. City of Waterloo Sign Bylaw 2016 16

6.3 Where a type of sign is not specifically permitted within a particular Sign Zone under Schedule "1", it shall be deemed to be prohibited within that Sign Zone.

6.4 A maximum of 4 signs, composed of a combination of the permitted sign types within the applicable sign zone, shall be permitted per property.

 6.5 Illumination 

6.5 No rotating beam beacon or flashing illumination, which in the opinion of the Director resembles an emergency light, could present a safety risk to traffic, or be disruptive to adjacent properties, shall be used in connection with any sign.

6.6 All signs permitted in this bylaw may be illuminated by internal lights or gooseneck lights unless specifically stated otherwise.

6.7 Except for gooseneck lights, the source of illumination shall be concealed within the sign.

6.8 Lighting for illuminated signs shall be downcast or shielded to minimize reflective impact on the night sky by being ground oriented.

6.9 Lighting for illuminated signs shall not provide any glare, not shine directly onto neighbouring premises or into the direction of oncoming traffic.

6.10 Lighting intensity of an illuminated sign shall be turned off or dimmed between the hours of 11:00p.m. and 7:00a.m.

6.11 Illuminated signs shall be programmed with automatic dimming technology that automatically adjusts the sign’s brightness in direct correlation with ambient light conditions.

6.12 The sign brightness shall not exceed 0.3 foot candles (3 lux), above ambient light as measured using a foot candle (Lux), meter.

6.13 The electrical installations of an illuminated signs shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the requirements of and to the satisfaction of Waterloo North Hydro.

6.14 Public right-of-way 

6.14 Any sign, extending over any sidewalk, or any pedestrian walkway, shall have a minimum clearance from grade of two and one-half (2.5) metres.

6.15 No sign or advertising device except fascia signs, canopy signs, and projecting signs shall be erected or maintained which project over any street, public right-ofway or public sidewalk in the City of Waterloo except in accordance with the provisions of this bylaw.

6.16 It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the sign to ensure that they enter into the required agreements with the City of Waterloo and/or the Regional Municipality of Waterloo for any sign erected or maintained which projects over any street, public right-of-way or public sidewalk in accordance with the provisions of this bylaw.

6.17 Sign locations 

6.17 Unless stated otherwise in this bylaw, signs shall be located in the yard adjacent to the building frontage, or the abutting street, and fascia signs shall be located on that facade of the building which is parallel to, or most closely parallel to, the abutting street containing the main entrance to the building.

6.18 No sign shall be erected on any public right-of-way except the following:

a. signs erected by the City of Waterloo, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, the Province of Ontario or the Government of Canada;

b. church directional signs or service club signs, subject to approval by the City of Waterloo Public Works Services Department; or

c. signs permitted in accordance with section 6.1 of this bylaw.

6.19 No sign shall be attached to any fire escape, tree, or permanent fence, and no sign except highway information or bus information signs shall be attached to any utility pole or standard.

6.20 Structural 

6.20 Prior to the issuance of a sign permit, the applicant shall submit a copy of the complete building permit application applicable to the sign being applied for to provide proof of intent to obtain a permit.

6.21 Notwithstanding section 6.19, the following exceptions apply: 

a. signs for regulating traffic or similar devices, legal notices or warnings at railroad crossings;

b. signs in display windows including writing, representation, painting or lettering directly on the surface of any window or door, or other signs not affixed to the building interior;

c. small signs displayed for the direction of the public including signs that identify rest rooms, freight entrances, and such other similar directional signs;

d. murals; and

e. incidental signs or other signs subject to municipal approval.

6.22 No sign, advertising device, or canopy other than those permitted in accordance with section 9.1 of this Bylaw shall be attached or displayed in or upon the sidewalk and all others shall be securely attached to a building or other satisfactory support and it shall be the duty of the owner of the sign to ensure that the same is securely attached to the support and so maintained.

6.23 It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the sign to ensure that any sign erected or structurally altered is in accordance with the Building Code, Canadian Standards Association, and any other applicable regulations. Notwithstanding the generality of the foregoing, this shall include:

a. it shall be the responsibility of the owner of the sign to ensure that where any building, parapet wall, or other structure, any part thereof, that the said building or structure is adequate to support, without reducing the safety factors provided all loads to which it may be subjected, including those loads resultant from or caused by the erection of the sign, such as wind and snow, and is fully capable of safely transferring said loads through its structural members to soil having adequate load carrying or load resisting capacity;

b. material subject to wind forces used in the construction of signs shall be of sufficient strength and shall be installed to withstand a designed external pressure as prescribed by law;

c. materials subjected to thermal forces shall be installed so that their expansion and contraction over the temperature range to which the material is likely to be subjected will not dislodge material from its assigned position; and

d. plastic materials used in the construction of sign faces shall comply with subsection 3.15.4 of the Building Code. 

6.24 No sign, illuminated or operated electrically be erected, maintained or altered, unless such electrical work is in conformity with the Canadian Electrical Code and the Electrical Safety Authority regulations and shall be equipped with such devices as are necessary in order that the sign shall not interfere with radio or television reception.

6.25 A sign shall be constructed and erected so that all structural design assumptions used or applicable in its design are valid after the completion of the construction and erection of the sign, and for the life of the sign.

6.26 A building permit must be applied for in the following scenarios:

a. a sign structure required to be designed by an architect or professional engineer where it is a freestanding sign which exceeds seven and onehalf (7.5) metres in height and above the adjacent ground;

b. a projecting sign weighing more than one hundred and fifteen (115) kilograms, or exceeds seven and one-half (7.5) metres in height above the adjacent ground. Such sign shall not be attached or fastened in any manner to a parapet wall or structure unless designed by an architect or professional engineer; or

c. a roof sign that has any face that is more than ten (10) square metres or is required to be designed by an architect or professional engineer. 


7.0 Temporary signs

7.0 Temporary signs shall be erected, maintained, and altered in accordance with the following regulations. 

7.1 Temporary signs are permitted throughout the City.

7.2 No temporary signs shall be placed within the City right-of-way.

7.3 Temporary signs shall not be illuminated.

7.4 One temporary portable sign advertising a charity or non-profit organization shall be permitted per property, where portable signs are a permitted sign type within the applicable sign zone, and where a portable sign permit is available. The permit for this sign would not require a fee, and the sign shall not include any event sponsorship name(s) and/or logo(s).

7.5 Temporary Signs located on construction hoarding may include contractor or sub-contractor signage and/or a mural to a maximum sign area of 1.5 sq.m. per metre of property frontage. All murals shall be subject to the mural provisions as described in Section 9.13.

7.6 A maximum of two temporary new business signs per property shall be permitted subject to:

a. The sign(s) being a type of sign permitted in the Sign Zone applying to the property or one of a banner sign or portable sign;

b. The sign(s) remaining in place for no more than a maximum of 30 days;

c. The sign(s) being removed by the owner upon expiry of the permit.

7.7 Election Signs shall be permitted subject to:

a. the area of such sign shall not exceed one and one-half (1.5) square metres per sign face and three (3) square metres in total;

b. election signs must be non-illuminated;

c. election signs shall be removed 72 hours after the termination of the election for which the sign was erected; and

d. election signs shall not be erected on public property or so as to interfere with pedestrian or traffic safety.

7.8 Real Estate Sales Signs shall be permitted subject to:

a. The maximum area not exceeding 0.6 square metres per side, or 1.2 square metres in total;

b. The maximum height on a freestanding frame, mast or pole, and not attached to a building, shall be 1.5 metres;

c. The sign being located on the property for which the land, building, or portion thereof is being offered for sale, rent or lease, or on which the model home or sales office located;

d. The duration of the sign posted shall not exceed the duration of the availability of the property or unit for sale, rent or lease, plus two weeks for a sold sign.

7.9 Large Real Estate Project or Subdivision Signs shall be permitted subject to: 

a. the maximum size of any large real estate project or subdivision sign shall be as follows:

Property sizeMaximum area of sign 
0.5 hectares or less

3 square metres per face,

6 square metres total 

Greater than 0.5 hectares,

but less than 4 hectares

6 square metres per face,

12 square metres total 

Greater than 4 hectares

12 square metres per face,

24 square metres total

b. the maximum allowable height shall be six (6) metres;

c. one (1) large real estate project or subdivision sign shall be permitted for each large project;

d. two (2) large real estate project or subdivision signs shall be permitted for each registered plan of subdivision or draft plan of subdivision application item;

e. the signs must be located on the related property, premises or registered plan of subdivision;

f. the signs must be located behind the building line or must be set back at least six (6) metres from the lot line; and

g. any large real estate project or subdivision sign must be removed:

i. within 2 weeks upon the sale or lease;

ii. upon completion or abandonment of the project works;

iii. when seventy-five percent (75%) of the units in the project are rented and or sold;

iv. three hundred and sixty five (365) days from when the sign was erected,

whichever occurs first, subject to a new application.


8.0 Sign Zones 

8.1 For the purposes of this Bylaw, the area within the boundaries of the City is hereby divided into ten (10) zones as follows and as shown on Schedule 1 attached:

a. Sign Zone A comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as Academic and Major Institutional;

b. Sign Zone B comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as Business Employment & Flexible Industrial;

c. Sign Zone C comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as a Heritage Conservation District;

d. Sign Zone D comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as Parks / Open Space and Rural;

e. Sign Zone E comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as Residential;

f. Sign Zone F comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as Uptown Commercial Core, Mixed Use Office, and Uptown Mixed Use;

g. Sign Zone G comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as Conestoga Commercial Centre;

h. Sign Zone H comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as Mixed Use Community Commercial, Mixed Use Neighbourhood Commercial and Convenience Commercial;

i. Sign Zone I comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as Corridor Commercial; and,

j. Sign Zone J comprising the lands designated by the City of Waterloo Official Plan as West Side Mixed Use Commercial Centre (see attached Schedule 2 for specific provisions).

8.2 A sign permit may be issued for the following sign types in their respective Sign Zones as follows:

a. Sign Zone A (Academic & Major Institutional):

i. directional sign;

ii. directory sign;

iii. fascia sign;

iv. ground sign;

v. large real estate project or subdivision sign;

vi. projecting sign;

vii. real estate sales sign;

viii. university building identification sign; and

ix. variable electronic sign;

b. Sign Zone B (Business Employment & Flexible Industrial):

i. canopy sign;

ii. directional sign;

iii. directory sign;

iv. fascia sign;

v. freestanding sign;

vi. large real estate project or subdivision sign;

vii. portable sign; viii. projecting sign;

ix. real estate sales sign;

x. variable electronic sign;

xi. wind activated sign; and

xii. window sign

c. Sign Zone C (Heritage Conservation District):

i. accessory sign;

ii. bed & breakfast sign;

iii. directional sign;

iv. real estate sales sign; and

v. residential sign;

d. Sign Zone D (Parks / Open Space and Rural):

i. directional sign;

ii. fascia sign;

iii. freestanding sign;

iv. large real estate project or subdivision sign; and

v. real estate sales sign; 

e. Sign Zone E (Residential):

i. bed & breakfast sign;

ii. directional sign;

iii. ground sign;

iv. large real estate project or subdivision sign;

v. neighbourhood association sign;

vi. real estate sales sign; and

vii. residential sign;

Notwithstanding the above, for mixed-use buildings in Sign Zone E, the following signs shall be permitted:

i. accessory sign;

ii. canopy sign;

iii. directional sign;

iv. directory sign

v. fascia sign;

vi. freestanding sign;

vii. ground sign;

viii. large real estate project or subdivision sign;

ix. menu board sign and pre-menu board sign;

x. neighbourhood association sign;

xi. projecting sign;

xii. real estate sales sign;

xiii. residential sign

xiv. window sign; and

xv. window lifestyle sign;

f. Sign Zone F (Uptown Commercial Core, Mixed Use Office, and Uptown Mixed Use):

i. accessory sign;

ii. canopy sign;

iii. directional sign;

iv. directory sign;

v. fascia sign;

vi. ground sign;

vii. large real estate project or subdivision sign;

viii. menu board sign and pre-menu board sign;

ix. murals;

x. projecting sign;

xi. real estate sales sign;

xii. residential sign; and

xiii. window sign;

g. Sign Zone G (Conestoga Commercial Centre):

i. accessory sign;

ii. animated sign;

iii. canopy sign;

iv. directional sign;

v. fascia sign;

vi. freestanding sign;

vii. inflatable sign;

viii. large real estate project or subdivision sign;

ix. menu board sign and pre-menu board sign;

x. portable sign;

xi. real estate sales sign;

xii. variable electronic sign; and

xiii. window lifestyle sign;

h. Sign Zone H (Mixed Use Community Commercial, Mixed Use Neighbourhood Commercial and Convenience Commercial):

i. accessory sign;

ii. canopy sign;

iii. directional sign;

iv. directory sign

v. fascia sign;

vi. freestanding sign;

vii. ground sign;

viii. large real estate project or subdivision sign;

ix. menu board sign and pre-menu board sign;

x. portable sign;

xi. projecting sign;

xii. real estate sales sign;

xiii. variable electronic sign;

xiv. window sign; and

xv. window lifestyle sign;

i. Sign Zone I (Corridor Commercial):

i. canopy sign; ii. directional sign;

iii. directory sign;

iv. fascia sign;

v. freestanding sign;

vi. ground sign;

vii. large real estate project or subdivision sign;

viii. menu board sign and pre-menu board sign;

ix. portable sign;

x. projecting sign;

xi. real estate sales sign; and

xii. variable electronic sign; and

j. Sign Zone J ( West Side Mixed Use Commercial Centre):

i. See attached Schedule 2 for signs permitted and specific provisions

Schedule 2


9.0 Regulations for sign types 

9.1 Accessory Signs No accessory sign shall be displayed except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. an accessory sign will have a maximum width of 1 metre, a maximum height of 1.2 metres, a minimum height of 0.6 metres and a maximum area of half (0.5) a square metre per face and one (1) square metre in total;

b. one accessory sign per business shall be permitted;

c. there shall be a minimum separation distance of 3.0 metres between accessory signs

d. no accessory sign shall be closer than 0.3 metres to the travelled portion of the street;

e. no accessory sign shall be located in a manner so as to interfere with either pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

f. where an accessory sign is located on a public sidewalk there shall be a minimum clearance of one-point-two (1.2) metres to allow pedestrians to pass;

g. accessory sign must be non-illuminated;

h. an accessory sign shall be constructed of wood, metal or plastic, or a combination thereof;

i. notwithstanding anything contained in sections 5.3(h), 6.15, 6.18 and 6.21 of this bylaw, accessory sign may be permitted on the sidewalk, boulevard or in a yard in Sign Zone F; and

j. all accessory signs must be stored indoors at the end of business each day.

9.2 Animated Signs

No animated sign shall be displayed except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. animated signs are permitted on freestanding signs only and shall be subject to freestanding sign regulations;

b. a maximum of 30% of the sign area may be used for the purposes of an animated sign;

c. illumination regulations shall apply to all animated signs; and

d. one animated sign shall be permitted in each of Sign Zone G and Sign Zone J

9.3 Bed and Breakfast Signs

No bed and breakfast sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. the maximum area permitted for such signs shall be 0.4 square metres;

b. bed and breakfast signs shall only be permitted on the property on which the bed and breakfast establishment is located; and

c. such signs must be non-illuminated and either attached and flat to the related building, or must be a ground sign.

9.4 Banner Signs

No banner sign shall be erected, maintain, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. wall mounted banner signs are only permitted up to a maximum of 30 days;

b. a maximum sign area of three (3) square metres shall be permitted;

c. banner signs shall only be permitted as a temporary new business sign;

d. only 1 banner shall be permitted per building frontage.

9.5 Canopy Signs

No Canopy Sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. The maximum area for a canopy sign shall be 0.6 square metres for every metre of building frontage;

b. a canopy sign shall have a minimum clearance from grade of two and one-half (2.5) metres;

c. no canopy sign shall extend closer to the curb than one-half (0.5) metres;

d. a canopy sign of a rigid or non-movable type shall not extend over a public right of way unless an encroachment agreement has been obtained; and,

e. no canopy sign shall be supported on iron, steel or other supports which rest on the public sidewalk, or street allowance.

9.6 Directional Signs

No directional sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. each sign shall not exceed 0.375 square metres per face, and 0.75 square metres in total;

b. such signs shall not exceed two and one-half (2.5) metres in height above the adjoining ground;

c. one (1) directional sign shall be permitted at each point of entrance or exit on a parking lot, and in addition other directional sign, as required to direct traffic may be permitted;

d. each sign may bear the name of the business address that owns and operates the parking lot; and

e. a maximum number of direction signs permitted at one business is four (4).

9.7 Directory Signs

No directory signs shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. each sign shall not exceed 0.2 square metres in sign area;

b. each sign shall be affixed to the façade of the building and be located immediately adjacent to the main entrance(s);

c. a maximum of two directory signs shall be permitted.

9.8 Fascia Signs

No fascia sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations, save and except the specific provisions as described below in section 9.8.1 through 9.8.5:

a. the maximum sign area for fascia signs shall be one and one half (1.5) square metres for every metre of building or occupancy frontage;

b. the maximum permitted area for fascia signs is dependent on the building frontage. Where a building is deemed to have more than one building frontage (see definitions section 2.4), the maximum area permitted for each building frontage shall be determined strictly on the basis of that building frontage, and the permitted area may not be transferred from one building frontage to another;

c. the total sign area shall be calculated as one sign for any part of the sign which is packaged together, or is separated by less than 0.61m (2 feet). Any part of a sign which is 0.61m (2 feet), or greater from the nearest part of the remainder of the sign, shall be considered separately when calculating sign area;

d. in sign zones where fascia signs are permitted, and where the lot is adjacent to a street to which there is no legal access, fascia signs will be permitted in accordance with all other provisions of this Bylaw;

e. Single occupancy properties:

i. where more than one fascia sign is to share the same building frontage, the total area of all fascia signs shall be in accordance with this Bylaw; and, ii. a maximum of four (4) fascia signs shall be permitted per property;

f. Multi-tenant or mixed use properties:

i. notwithstanding anything to the contrary, fascia signs shall be located at a pedestrian scale within the first two stories of multi storey buildings, and may be located on a storey which is not adjacent to the business it is advertising;

ii. notwithstanding anything to the contrary, where one (1) fascia sign is permitted in any zone, this shall mean one (1) fascia sign for each occupancy subject to the sign area regulations in section 9.8(f)(iii);

iii. one individual fascia sign, not to exceed a sign area of 0.6 sq.m. per metre of unit frontage, shall be permitted for each business in an industrial mall or commercial mall, subject to the sign being located on the façade of the building deemed to be the front of the unit, and subject to all other regulations of this Bylaw; and,

iv. notwithstanding anything to the contrary, where a unit in a commercial mall does not share an exterior building wall, a fascia sign for that unit shall not be permitted. 

9.8.1 Sign Zone A – University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park

a. one fascia sign is permitted per street frontage;

b. the maximum sign area of a fascia sign shall be five (5) square metres; and

c. no sign or sign structure attached to the wall or canopy of a building shall extend more than 0.45 metres above the roof or parapet of the building, nor extend beyond the ends of a wall of any building to which it is attached.

9.8.2 Sign Zones B, F, H, I, - Service Station or Gas Bar

a. Fascia signs shall be permitted on the sides of a canopy structure which are parallel to, or most closely parallel to, a street provided that:

i. where the structure is situated on the lot with only one street abutting the lot, a maximum of 40% of the permitted fascia sign area for the canopy structure may be allocated to the said fascia sign; and

ii. where the structure is situated on a lot with more than one street abutting the lot, a maximum of 25% of the permitted fascia sign area for one building frontage of the canopy structure may be allocated to said fascia signs.

b. Where a service station is located on a site containing multiple commercial buildings and it is not possible to determine the building frontage of the structure as defined by this bylaw, the Director shall deem one side of the structure to constitute the building frontage for the purposes of this bylaw.

9.8.3 Sign Zones D, E – Institutional, Recreational or Medical Use

a. The sign area shall not exceed two and one half (2.5) square metres per face.

9.8.4 Sign Zones F, H, I – Institutional or Recreational Use

a. Fascia signs shall not exceed four and one half (4.5) square metres per face.

9.8.5 Sign Zone H – All uses except those specifically otherwise stated in section 9.8

a. the maximum sign area for each tenant’s fascia signs on a building shall be 0.6 square metres for every metre of building frontage or occupancy frontage to a maximum of four and one half (4.5) square metres, whichever is less;

b. if illuminated, a mechanism shall be put in place to ensure that the illumination shall cease between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am the next day; and

c. gooseneck or other comparable external downwardly directed lighting illuminating the sign face shall be permitted.

9.8.6 Sign Zone I – all uses except those specifically stated in sections 9.8.2 and 9.8.4,

a. the maximum sign area for fascia signs shall be twenty five (25) square metres.

9.9 Freestanding Signs

No freestanding sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations, save and except the specific provisions as described below in sections 9.9.1 through 9.9.2:

a. such signs shall be limited to an area of seven (7) square metres per face up to a total of fourteen (14) square metres for all sides;

b. the maximum area of changeable copy on freestanding signs shall be three (3) square metres per face and six (6) square metres in total, and in no case shall the area of changeable copy exceed 50% of the sign per face or in total;

c. the maximum area of a freestanding sign may be increased by one quarter (0.25) of a square metre per face, or one-half (0.5) of a square metre in total, for every square metre of changeable copy on the freestanding sign;

d. such signs shall not exceed ten (10) metres in height;

e. such sign shall meet a minimum set back requirement of one and half (1.5) metres from any lot line; and,

f. in sign zones where a freestanding sign and a ground sign are permitted, a permit may be issued for only one of the two sign types.

9.9.1 Sign Zone B – Industrial Uses

a. where a property has forty five (45) metres or less of street frontage, the maximum area of the sign shall not exceed seven (7) square metres per face and fourteen (14) square metres in total;

b. where a property has more than forty five (45) metres of street frontage, the sign area shall not exceed 0.155 square metres per face and 0.31 square metres in total for each lineal metre of street frontage;

c. that area of any freestanding signs shall not exceed twenty two and one half (22.5) square metres per face and forty five (45) square metres in total; and

d. where a property has more than 150 metres of street frontage, one (1) additional freestanding sign shall be permitted. the total area of each of the two signs must conform to (b) and (c) above.

9.9.2 Sign Zones B, F, H, I – Service Station or Gas Bar

a. where a service station has not used a canopy structure, an additional freestanding sign shall be permitted over top of each gas pump island subject to the following:

i. the sign shall not exceed three (3) metres in height; and

ii. where a freestanding sign is requested, a maximum of 50% of the permitted fascia sign area for the site may be re-allocated to the freestanding sign. 

9.10 Ground Signs

No ground sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. the maximum area of a ground sign shall be three (3) square metres per face up to a total of six (6) square metres for all faces;

b. the maximum height of a ground sign shall be one and one-half (1.5) metres;

c. in the area shown on schedule ‘2’ attached to this bylaw, one (1) ground sign shall be permitted provided that:

i. the yard in which the sign is to be placed is at least 3 metres from the building to the lot line; and

ii. that the area of the ground signs shall not exceed 1 square metre per face and 2 square metres in total;

d. such a sign shall meet a minimum set back requirement of one and half (1.5) metres from any lot line;

e. in sign zones where a freestanding sign and a ground sign are permitted, a permit be issued for only one of the two sign types;

f. changeable copy on any ground sign may represent up to 80% of the sign area; and,

g. ground signs permitted in Sign Zone E shall be limited to schools, churches, medical offices, subdivision entrance features, and recreational facilities.

9.11 Inflatable Signs No inflatable sign or device shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. an inflatable sign shall only be permitted on a property with a minimum frontage of 30 metres;

b. inflatable signs shall not reduce or restrict parking stalls and sight lines;

c. an inflatable sign shall be located:

i. a minimum of three (3.0) metres from any lot line;

ii. a minimum of three (3.0) metres from and driveway entrance and exit; and

iii. a minimum of fifty (50.0) metres from a traffic light standard;

d. an inflatable sign shall have a maximum height of seven (7.0) metres and a maximum width of six (6.0) metres;

e. one inflatable sign shall be permitted for a property at any one time;

f. all inflatable signs shall be properly secured to the satisfaction of the city of waterloo;

g. sign permits to erect or display inflatable signs shall be issued for periods of a maximum of seven (7) consecutive days;

h. no more than two (2) permits shall be issued for a single business on the property on which the sign is to be displayed, in a calendar year; and

i. a period of twenty-one (21) consecutive days must pass between the issuance of permits for inflatable signs.

9.12 Menu Board Signs and Pre-Menu Board Signs

No menu board sign and pre-menu board sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. one menu board sign shall be permitted in association with a drivethrough facility, provided the menu board sign has a maximum height of two and one half (2.5) metres, and a maximum sign area of five (5) square metres; and

b. one pre-menu board sign shall be permitted in association with a drivethrough facility, provided the pre-menu board sign has a maximum height of one and a half (1.5) metres, and a maximum sign area of two (2) square metres.

9.13 Murals

No mural shall be erected, maintained or altered except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. murals shall be subject to the same regulations as fascia signs;

b. all murals shall obtain approval from the advisory committee on culture;

c. charity and non-profit organization signs shall be permitted as murals on construction hoarding;

d. charity and non-profit organization signs shall not include any event sponsorship name(s) or logo(s), but may include the name and/or logo of the charity or non-profit organization; and,

e. charity and non-profit organization signs shall require a permit, but will not be required to pay a fee.

9.14 Neighbourhood Association Signs

No neighbourhood association sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. all signs shall comply with the accessory sign regulations;

b. notwithstanding any other provision in this Bylaw, neighbourhood association signage may be permitted to remain overnight;

c. a permit application shall be submitted at no cost for each event

d. a maximum of 12 sign permits per neighbourhood association will be permitted per year;

e. at least 4 signs per event will be permitted to a maximum of 1 sign per major road entrance into the neighbourhood association; and

f. neighbourhood association signs shall be permitted for a maximum of 10 days prior to the event start date and a maximum of 1 day after the event end date.

9.15 Portable Signs

No portable sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. no person shall erect or permit to be erected a portable sign without having first obtained a portable sign permit. an application for a portable sign permit shall include a survey or plans, as required by the Director, indicating among other things, the location of the proposed sign together with the required permit fee;

b. notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, no portable sign permit shall be issued for each individual occupancy for a cumulative period greater than one hundred and eighty (180) days in any calendar year;

c. the term of any single portable sign permit shall be restricted to:

i. thirty (30) days where the permit is in respect to an occupancy contained within premises that contain more than one occupancy;

ii. no sign permit application for a portable sign shall be accepted for processing more than thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of the permit;

iii. a portable sign shall only be utilized for the advertising of the use of the occupancy for which the portable sign permit is issued. No portable sign permit shall be transferred;

iv. notwithstanding section 9.15(b), for the purposes of this bylaw any associated or related corporations, individuals, firms, syndicates, associations or business uses shall be treated as a single occupancy where any one person has control or direction of, or is directly or indirectly responsible for the control of, the associated or related corporations, individuals, firms, syndicates, associations or business uses; and

v. any associated or related activities, businesses, works, trades, occupations, professions, projects, undertakings or uses or a part or parts thereof which are or were carried on by or through more than one corporation, individual, firm, syndicate or association, or any combination thereof, shall be treated as one occupancy for the purposes of this bylaw;

d. notwithstanding section 19.0, any portable sign that is erected or displayed in contravention of the provisions of this bylaw may be pulled down or removed at the expense of the owner of the portable sign;

e. no person shall erect or permit to be erected a portable sign, except in accordance with the following regulations:

i. any portable sign must bear evidence of the Electrical Safety Authority approval or comply with the requirements of the Building Code;

ii. all electrical connections made to portable sign shall be made to the satisfaction of the City of Waterloo and, where applicable to Waterloo North Hydro;

iii. a portable sign may be placed in a front yard of a lot or in a flankage yard of a lot provided the location does not interfere with the line of vision of pedestrian or vehicular traffic entering or leaving that lot;

iv. a portable sign shall be placed on private property only, at all times;

v. a portable sign shall not reduce or restrict parking stalls and sight lines;

vi. a portable sign shall not be placed closer than ten (10) metres to another portable sign on adjacent properties and no closer than fifty (50) metres to a portable sign on the same property; vii. not more than one (1) portable sign shall be permitted for each individual occupancy;

viii. a portable sign shall have a minimum width of 1 metre, a minimum height of 1.2 metres, a maximum height of 3.2 metres above grade to top of portable sign, and shall not exceed an area of five and one-half (5.5) square metres per face or eleven (11) square metres in total;

ix. notwithstanding anything contained in this paragraph to the contrary, flashing lights, animation or flashing panels are prohibited within the corporate boundaries of the city of waterloo; and

x. portable sign shall not be placed any closer than twelve (12) metres to an intersection or within the obstruction on corners triangle as defined in section 1.0 of this bylaw; and

f. all portable signs must bear, in a visible location, the name, address and telephone number of the sign owner;

9.16 Poster Signs No person, either directly or indirectly, shall attach, erect or display a poster sign or cause a poster sign to be attached, erected or displayed in or upon any street, public right-of-way or public sidewalk except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. all poster signs must be attached to a designated poster sleeve, which are polyethylene coverings fitted to a light standards in the City and in accordance with the specific locations set out in Schedule 3;

b. all poster signs material shall be paper;

c. a poster signs shall be less than 14 inches in width and less than 21 inches in length;

d. all materials on designated poster sleeves shall be removed at the end of each calendar month;

e. no more than one poster sign for each purpose shall be fastened or erected within a designated plastic sleeve;

f. no poster signs shall be fastened to poles, trees, bus shelters, Canada Post boxes, traffic signs, parking signs or any other structure except in accordance with the bylaw;

g. a poster sign may only be fastened using standard staples which are less than one-half (1/2) of an inch in length. glue, nails and tape of any kind whatsoever shall not be permitted to be used as poster sign fasteners;

h. any poster erected or caused to be erected which is considered by the Director to be offensive, inappropriate or for an unlawful activity shall be removed. the expense of removing such a poster sign may be charged to the person who erected the poster sign or caused it to be erected; and

i. if such a person does not forthwith pay for the expense of removal, the city may recover the expense in doing it by court action or in like manner as municipal taxes pursuant to section 326 of the Municipal Act.

9.17 Projecting Signs

No projecting signs shall be erected, maintained, or altered except in accordance with the following additional regulations:

a. the area of such signs shall not exceed three quarters (0.75) of a square metre per face and one-and-a-half (1.5) square metres for all faces;

b. a projecting sign shall have a minimum clearance of three (3) metres above grade level;

c. projecting signs attached to buildings shall extend more than zero point five (0.5) metres beyond the facade of the related building; and

d. the outermost projection of such signs shall not project over the street or sidewalk a distance of more than 0.45 metres.

9.18 Residential Signs

No residential sign shall be erected, maintained or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. the maximum area permitted for such sign shall be 0.2 square metres;

b. such signs must be attached to, and flat to, the related building;

c. residential signs must be non-illuminated; and

d. must be less than three (3.0) metres above grade.

9.19 University Building Identification Sign

No university building identification sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. building identification signs shall be permitted in the University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park only;

b. one university building identification sign is permitted per street frontage;

c. for single tenant buildings, the maximum area of a university building identification sign shall be five (5) square metres per face for a one sided sign and three and three quarters (3.75) square metres per face for a two sided sign;

d. for multi tenant buildings, the maximum area of a university building identification sign shall be seven (7) square metres per face for a one sided sign and five and one quarter (5.25) square metres per face for a two sided sign; and

e. the maximum height of a building identification sign shall be two and one half (2.5) metres.

9.20 Variable Electronic Signs

No variable electronic sign shall be erected, maintained or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. variable electronic signs are permitted on a ground sign or freestanding sign;

b. one variable electronic sign shall be permitted per property;

c. a maximum of 50% of the sign area may be used for the purpose of an variable electronic sign;

d. the minimum display time for a variable electronic message, without movement or change in colour, shall be ten (10) seconds; and

e. the intensity of the illumination shall be programmed with automatic dimming technology that adjusts the sign’s brightness in direct correlation with the ambient light conditions.

9.21 Wind Activated Signs

No wind activated sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. a wind activated sign shall only be permitted on a property with a minimum frontage of 30 metres;

b. wind activated signs shall not reduce or restrict parking stalls and sight lines;

c. a wind activated sign shall be located:

i. a minimum of three (3.0) metres from any lot line;

ii. a minimum of three (3.0) metres from any driveway entrance and exit; and

iii. a minimum of fifty (50.0) metres from a traffic light standard;

d. a wind activated sign shall have a maximum height of one (1.0) metres and a maximum sign area of one point five (1.5) square metres per face;

e. one wind activated sign shall be permitted per property at any one time;

f. wind activated sign permits shall be issued for a period of thirty (30) days; and

g. no more than two (2) permits shall be issued for a single business on the property to which the sign is to be located in a calendar year.

9.22 Window Signs

No window sign shall be erected, maintained or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. the application of any logo or decal on the glass or other transparent surface of any window or door shall not exceed zero point five (0.5) square metres; and

b. window signs are only permitted on the first floor of a building.

9.23 Window Lifestyle Signs

No window lifestyle sign shall be erected, maintained or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. a maximum of 50% of the building’s faux windows may be used for window lifestyle signs per site, provided no more than a maximum of three (3) window lifestyle signs shall be permitted per site;

b. a maximum of two (2) square metres per window lifestyle sign shall be permitted; and

c. window lifestyle signs shall not be permitted in glass or other transparent surfaces which provide light and views to the interior of the building.


10.0 Heritage conservation district

In a heritage conservation district:

10.1 all signs erected shall require a heritage permit in addition to a sign permit;

10.2 no sign type other than those permitted in section 8.2.c, shall be permitted within the heritage conservation district;

10.3 no illuminated signs are permitted within the heritage conservation district;

10.4 all signs are to be designed appropriately to suit the character of the neighbourhood; and

10.5 no sign shall obstruct a building’s significant architectural features, including but not limited to, windows, brackets, sills, decorative masonry and cornice.


11.0 Sign variances 

11.1 The City hereby establishes a Sign Variance Committee for the purpose of granting minor variances from the provisions of this bylaw and to hear appeals from decisions regarding the issuance of sign permits on application by owners.

11.2 Council shall appoint four (4) community representatives to sit on the Sign Variance Committee and two (2) members of Council.

11.3 The owner of the property, or authorized agent of the owner, may make an application to the Sign Variance Committee for a minor variance from the provisions of this bylaw or make an appeal from a decision regarding the issuance of a sign permit. Such applications shall be accompanied by the fee set out in the City Fees and Charges Bylaw and such plans and specifications as the City may from time to time determine.

11.4 The Sign Variance Committee may grant or refuse any application for a minor variance from a decision in respect of a sign permit as the case may be and that such relief as it considers appropriate be granted either absolutely or subject to conditions.

11.5 The decision of the Sign Variance Committee may be appealed to City Council.

11.6 The City shall assign a staff member to act as Secretary to the Sign Variance Committee.

11.7 The Secretary of the Sign Variance Committee shall keep on file the records of all official business of the Sign Variance Committee, including records of all applications and minutes of all decisions respecting those applications.

11.8 The Sign Variance Committee shall give notice or direct that notice be given of the committee meeting to such persons as the Sign Variance Committee considers advisable.

11.9 All appeals shall be submitted:

a. within twenty one (21) days of the decision to deny a permit;

b. in writing;

c. to the Secretary of the Sign Variance Committee;

d. setting out, in detail, the grounds for the appeal; and

e. shall include the applicable fee as set out in the City’s Fees and Charges By-Law.

11.10 Where an appeal is not submitted within the time set out in section 11.9(a), the decision of the Sign Variance Committee shall be deemed to be confirmed and no appeal shall be allowed.

11.11 The City of Waterloo City Council shall exclusively hear all appeals in respect of sign permits and sign applications.

11.12 On an appeal, the City of Waterloo City Council may do any of the following things if, in the City of Waterloo City Council’s opinion, doing so would maintain the general intent and purpose of the bylaw:

a. confirm, modify or rescind the decision to deny issuing or renewing a permit; and,

b. grant minor variances from the provisions of this bylaw.

11.13 Council hereby delegates decision-making authority to the Sign Variance Committee with regards to minor variances and retains the authority to hear appeals on variance application(s) made under this bylaw, as Council is of the opinion that the powers that it is delegating to the Sign Variance Committee are of a minor nature, and the decision of the Sign Variance Committee shall be final and binding.

11.14 The Sign Variance Committee has no jurisdiction or authority in respect of any orders, charges or enforcement matters under this bylaw.


12.0 Notice

12.1 All notices pursuant to this bylaw shall be made in writing and shall be effective:

a. on the date on which the notice is delivered to the person to whom it is addressed; or,

b. on the fifth (5th) day after the notice has been sent by registered mail to the person’s last known address.


13.0 Enforcement

13.1 This bylaw may be enforced by Municipal Law Enforcement Officers


14.0 Inspection 

14.1 The City may enter on land at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out an inspection to determine whether or not the following are being completed with:

a. this bylaw; or

b. an order made under the Municipal Act.

14.2 For the purpose of conducting an inspection, the City, in accordance with the provision s.436 of the Municipal Act, may:

a. require the production for inspection of documents or things relevant to the inspection;

b. inspect and remove documents or things relevant to the inspection for the purpose of making copies or extracts;

c. require information from any person concerning a matter related to the inspection; and,

d. alone or in conjunction with a person possessing special or expert knowledge, make examination or take test, sample or photographs necessary for the purposes of the inspection.

14.3 No person shall hinder or obstruct, or attempt to hinder or obstruct, any person who is exercising a power or performing a duty under this bylaw.


15.0 Order to discontinue activity 

15.1 Where a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a contravention of this bylaw has occurred, a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer may make an order requiring the person who contravened this bylaw, or who caused or permitted the contravention, or the owner of the land on which the contravention occurred, to discontinue the contravening activity.

15.2 An order under s. 15.1 of this bylaw shall set out:

a. reasonable particulars of the contravention adequate to identify the contravention and the location of the land on which the contravention occurred; and

b. the date by which there must be compliance with the order.

15.3 Any person who contravenes an order under s. 15.1 of this bylaw is guilty of an offence.


16.0 Work order

16.1 Where a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a contravention of this bylaw has occurred, a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer may make an order requiring the person who contravened this bylaw, or who caused or permitted the contravention, or the owner of the land on which the contravention occurred, to do work to correct the contravention.

16.2 An order under s. 16.1 of this bylaw shall set out:

a. reasonable particulars of the contravention adequate to identify the contravention and the location of the land on which the contravention occurred; and

b. the work to be done and the date by which the work must be done.

16.3 An order under s. 16.1 of this bylaw may require work to be done even though the facts which constitute the contravention of this bylaw were present before this bylaw came into force.

16.4 Any person who contravenes an order under s. 16.1 of this bylaw is guilty of an offence.


17.0 Penalty 

17.1 Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of this bylaw is guilty of an offence and pursuant to section 429 of the Municipal Act, and all contraventions of this bylaw are designated as continuing offences.

17.2 Every person, excluding a corporation, who is convicted of an offence, is liable to a minimum fine of Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00) and a maximum fine of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) for the first offence and a maximum fine of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) for a subsequent offence.

17.3 Every corporation which is convicted of an offence is liable to a maximum fine of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) for the first offence and One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) for a subsequent offence.

17.4 In addition to the fine amounts set out in sections 17.2 and 17.3 of this bylaw, for each day or part of a day that an offence continues, the minimum fine shall be Four Hundred Fifty Dollars ($450.00) and the maximum fine shall be Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). The total of all daily fines for the offence is not limited to One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00).


18.0 Miscellaneous

18.1 Where a sign or any part thereof is erected, located or displayed on or overhanging City Property, the Director may remove or cause the sign to be removed immediately without notice to any person.

18.2 Where a sign is erected or displayed in contravention of this bylaw, the Director may immediately pull down or remove any sign that he or she determines constitutes a safety hazard.

18.3 Where a sign erected on private property does not comply with this bylaw or a permit issued under this bylaw, the Director may by notice require the sign owner to bring the sign into conformity in the manner and within the time specified in the notice. 

18.4 Where a sign on private property is not removed or a sign is not brought into conformity with this bylaw within the timeframe required by the Director pursuant to notice given under this bylaw, the Director may have the sign removed and the site restored. For this purpose, the Director, a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer, their contractor or other agent may enter upon the lot and premises at any reasonable time.

18.5 The order under sections 15 or 16 may be given:

a. by personal services upon the party being served;

b. by prepaid registered mail sent to the last address of the party being served on the records of the City; or

c. by prominently posting a copy of the order either on the sign in respect of which the order is given, or on the property upon which the sign is located.

18.6 The cost incurred by the City in removing a sign or restoring a site shall have priority lien status under the Municipal Act and may be added to the collector's roll and collected in the same manner as municipal taxes. Despite the foregoing, the cost incurred by the City in removing a sign or restoring a site is a debt due the City of Waterloo and may be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction.

18.7 Any sign removed by the City shall be stored by the City for thirty (30) days, during which time the sign owner may redeem such sign upon payment of the applicable fee prescribed in the City of Waterloo Fees and Charges Bylaw 18.8 Where a sign has been removed by the City and stored for a period of thirty (30) days, and has not been redeemed by the sign owner during that period, the City may dispose of the sign without any further notice and without any further obligation to the sign owner or any other person.


19.0 Non-conforming signs

19.1 Nothing in this bylaw applies to a sign that is lawfully erected and displayed on the day this bylaw comes into force, so long as the sign is not in any way altered. The maintenance and repair of the sign or a change in the message displayed shall be deemed not to in itself constitute an alteration.


20.0 Exemptions

20.1 Signs erected by the City of Waterloo, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and any signs erected under any municipal bylaw pursuant to the Municipal Act, are exempt from the provisions of this bylaw.

20.2 Public notification signage required by the City of Waterloo, Regional Municipality of Waterloo, or other government agency in regard to an application under the Planning Act R.S.O. 1990 (as amended), shall be exempt from this Bylaw.


21.0 Collection of unpaid fines 

21.1 Pursuant to s. 441 of the Municipal Act, if any part of a fine for a contravention of this bylaw remains unpaid after the fine becomes due and payable under s. 66 of the Provincial Offences Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.33, as amended, including any extension of time for payment ordered under that section, the Director may give the person against whom the fine was imposed a written notice specifying the amount of the fine payable and the final date on which it is payable, which shall be not less than twenty one (21) days after the date of the notice.

21.2 If the fine remains unpaid after the final date specified in the notice, the fine shall be deemed to be unpaid taxes for the purposes of s. 351 of the Municipal Act.


22.0 Schedules 

22.1 Any schedules which are attached to this bylaw shall form a part of this bylaw.


23.0 Short title 

23.1 This bylaw shall be known as the “Sign By-Law.”

23.2 Where applicable in this bylaw, reference to singular shall include plural, and reference to masculine shall include feminine.


24.0 Severability 

24.1 If a Court of competent jurisdiction should declare any section or part of a section of this bylaw to be invalid, such section or part of a section shall not be construed as having persuaded or influenced Council to pass the remainder of this bylaw and it is hereby declared that the remainder of this bylaw shall be valid and shall remain in full force and effect.


25.0 Repeal/transition 

25.1 Bylaw No 2013-082 is hereby repealed.

25.2 Any reference in any other bylaw, policy or document of the City of Waterloo to Bylaw No. 2005-150, Bylaw No. 2013-007 or Bylaw No. 2013-082 shall be deemed to be a reference to this bylaw.

25.3 Notwithstanding paragraphs 25.1 and 25.2 above, Bylaw No. 2013-082, Bylaw No. 2013-007 and Bylaw 2005-150, as amended, are deemed to continue in force and effect with respect to any and all orders, appeals or prosecutions issued, filed or commenced under that bylaw, and any assessment, rate, charge, tax, fee, liability or penalty outstanding under Bylaw No. 2013-082, Bylaw No. 2013-007 and Bylaw No. 2005-150 may be collected as if such bylaws had not been repealed.


26.0 Coming into force 

26.1 This bylaw shall come into force and effect on September 26, 2016. 

Enacted this 26th day of September, 2016


27.0 Schedule 1

Schedule 1, sign bylaw, sign zone


28.0 Schedule 2 - Sign zone "J" 

1.0 General

1.1 This Schedule and any amendments thereto shall be known as the Sign By-Law Regulations for ‘The Boardwalk’ and shall apply to lands zoned C-10 in the City of Waterloo Zoning Bylaw 1418.

2.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this schedule the following terms shall have the corresponding meanings set out below:

“building frontage” means the linear distance along the facade of the building, which is parallel to, or most close to being parallel to, an abutting street. For the purposes of this bylaw, a building may have more than one building frontage this being determined by the number of streets or private streets with public easements abutting the building. In a building with multiple units, a unit is only considered to have building frontage if the main customer access to the unit leads directly outside. If the main customer access of a unit leads to an interior common corridor, it is not considered to have building frontage;

“location sign” means a sign located at pedestrian gathering areas and intersections and includes a site map posted on an architecturally designed base or stand;

“poster sign sleeve” means a sign located on the exterior of the building. Poster sign sleeves shall only be permitted on the theatre as previously approved by Council on August 15, 2011.

“special event / theme sign” means a banner sign which projects from lighting posts or poles along these main streets to theme the development and may be used for special events or as festival Banners;

“street sign” means a street sign that has been designed in a way to differentiate it from a City standard street sign as the streets internal to The Boardwalk are privately-owned with the main streets having a public right-of-way and were named by street naming bylaws.

“wayfinding sign” means a sign located at strategic locations throughout the development to guide pedestrians and vehicles through the site and to key destinations and may include signage displaying a full list of shops and services , transit locations, restrooms, restaurants, and amenity areas;

General Provisions

3.1 Poster signs are not permitted on the exterior of buildings. Notwithstanding, the poster sign sleeves previously approved for the movie theatre use are recognized as permitted signage.

3.2 A ground sign may be erected in place of a permitted freestanding sign.

3.3 A sign, banner, or other advertising device may extend over any private or internal sidewalk or pedestrian walkway, but shall have a minimum clearance from grade of two and one-half (2.5) metres.

3.4 Where more than one tenant and/or owner is, or will be, occupying the same building, and wishes to have individual signs, either the owner, or owners, shall be required to make application for the sign permit. An agent of the owner, or owners, may apply for a sign permit, if the agent produces a signed acknowledgment from the owner, or owners, indicating that the owner or owners are aware of the implications of the Sign By-Law and its effect on overall site signage.

3.5 The Boardwalk logo may be permitted as an architectural feature on site furniture, such as benches, bicycle racks, trash receptacles; buildings and architectural feature walls.

3.6 All wayfinding signs may be applied for under one sign permit.

3.7 All building fascia signs will require sign permits and shall comply with the approved Master Sign Plan.

3.8 All signs shall comply with the illumination provisions listed in Section 6 of the parent Bylaw.

3.9 No liability (including negligence) is borne by the City of Waterloo for damages or consequential losses arising from signs and/or related lighting that are erected or maintained which projects over any street, public right-of-way or public sidewalk in accordance with the provisions of this bylaw. All signs and/or related lighting shall be the responsibility of the owner. 

4.0 Permitted Sign Types

4.1 A sign permit may be issued for the following sign types in sign zone J as follows:

a. Sign Zone J (West Side Mixed Use Commercial Centre)

i. accessory sign

ii. animated sign

iii. canopy sign

iv. directional sign

v. directory sign

vi. fascia sign

vii. freestanding sign

viii. ground sign

ix. large real estate project or subdivision sign

x. location sign

xi. portable sign

xii. poster sign sleeve

xiii. projecting sign

xiv. real estate sales sign

xv. special event / theme sign

xvi. street sign

xvii. variable electronic sign

xviii. window lifestyle sign

5.0 Regulations for Sign Types

Signs permitted under Section 4.0 of this Schedule must conform to the regulations of Section 9.0 of the parent Bylaw, unless specific regulations are stated below:

5.1 Fascia Signs

No fascia sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

5.1.1 The following provisions shall apply for Larger Format Anchor Stores, Entertainment and Recreation Uses Setback from Ira Needles Boulevard:

a. Fascia signs shall not project more than 0.40 metres from the building facade;

b. The maximum area for fascia signs shall be one and one-half (1.5) square metres for every metre of building frontage;

c. Individual signs shall be permitted for each business or tenant within the anchor store, subject to the sign(s) being located on the facade of the building deemed to be the front of the unit and facade of the building adjacent to a public street or street with a registered right-of-way, and subject to all other regulations of the City Sign Bylaw;

d. Where more than one building fascia sign is to share the same building frontage, the total area of all signs shall be in accordance with the provision above;

e. The maximum permitted area for signs is dependent on the building frontage. Where a building is deemed to have more than one building frontage (adjacent to a public street or street with a registered right-ofway) the maximum area permitted for each building frontage shall be determined strictly on the basis of that building frontage, and the permitted area may not be transferred from one facade of the building to another;

f. Corner use and single standing buildings are permitted to have signage on the side wall of the building where it is adjacent to a public street or street with a registered right-way;

g. Signs on building facades shall consist of individual illuminated letters, channel text signage or individual back-lit letters;

h. Neon or incandescent bulbs shall not be exposed, unless otherwise approved. Flashing, blinking, rotating or moving signs shall be prohibited, unless otherwise approved for the theatre.

5.1.2 The following regulations apply to all building Fascia Signs with frontage on Ira Needles Boulevard:

a. Signage may be permitted on a maximum of three (3) sides of the building/unit;

b. Only one (1) sign shall be permitted on the building façade along Ira Needles Boulevard;

c. The maximum area for building fascia signs shall be 0.6 square metres for every metre of building frontage to a maximum of seven (7) square metres, whichever is less;

d. Building fascia signs shall not project more than 0.40 metres from the building facade;

e. No projecting signs or canopy signs are permitted. However, a canopy serving as an architectural building element with no signage is permitted;

f. In the case of illuminated signs directly fronting on to Ira Needles Boulevard, gooseneck, illuminated channel text signage or other comparable external downwardly directed lighting shall be required;

g. Box-style fascia is not permitted;

h. Neon or incandescent bulbs shall not be exposed, unless otherwise approved by the Sign Variance Committee. Flashing, blinking, rotating or moving signs are prohibited.

5.1.3 The following regulations apply to all building Fascia Signs on freestanding commercial/retail buildings, multi-tenant commercial/ retail buildings, mixed use building and office buildings internal to The Boardwalk:

a. A maximum of two (2) fascia signs per tenant, per building, are permitted on buildings internal to The Boardwalk; 

b. The maximum area for building fascia signs shall be 0.6 square metres for every metre of individual building frontage;

c. The maximum permitted area for signs is dependent on the building frontage. Where a building is deemed to have more than one building frontage (adjacent to a public street or street with a registered right-ofway, main parking/pedestrian area) the maximum area permitted for each building frontage shall be determined strictly on the basis of that building frontage, and the permitted area may not be transferred from one facade of the building to another;

d. Where more than one sign is to share the same building frontage, the total area of all signs shall be in accordance with the provision above;

e. Building Fascia Signs shall not project more than 0.40 metres from the building facade;

f. Corner use and single standing buildings are permitted to have signage on the side wall of the building where it is adjacent to a public street or street with a registered right-way, subject to the total number of signs permitted on each building/unit;

g. Projecting signs are encouraged in combination with building fascia signs for multi-tenant commercial/retail uses that are pedestrian oriented;

h. No sign or sign structure attached to the wall or canopy of a building shall extend more than 0.45 metres above the roof or parapet of the building, nor extend beyond the ends of a wall of any building to which it is attached. Such signs shall not obstruct pedestrian, other non-vehicular travel and barrier free movements;

i. The Swiss Chalet restaurant may be permitted to included signage on a canopy above a second building entrance to identify the ‘takeout’ entrance. Such signage shall be incorporated into the canopy fabric and shall not be individually lit. The signage shall also not be located on the building façade facing Ira Needles Boulevard;

j. No building shall be permitted to combine fascia, canopy and projecting signs on one building façade. A combination of two of the three sign types is permitted;

k. Signs shall consist of individual illuminated letters, channel text signage or individual back-lit letters. Box-style fascia signs are generally not encouraged;

l. A coordinated approach to signage for multi tenant/unit buildings within The Boardwalk. Provide vertical breaks between fascia signs or consider channel text signs;

m. Neon or incandescent bulbs shall not be exposed;

n. Flashing, blinking, rotating or moving signs shall be prohibited. 

5.2 Freestanding Signs

No freestanding sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. All regulations for freestanding signs as described in Section 9.9 shall apply;

b. A maximum of two (2) freestanding signs shall be permitted, as previously approved by Council;

c. One (1) freestanding signs may be an animated sign, as previously approved by Council.

5.3 Ground Signs

No ground sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. All regulations for ground signs as described in Section 9.10, shall apply;

b. A ground sign may incorporate the logo for The Boardwalk development;

c. Tenant information or tenant corporate logos shall not be incorporated in any ground sign;

d. Low level ambient lighting may be considered on ground signs.

5.4 Location Signs

No location sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. The maximum area of the display on the sign shall be three (3) square metres per display face up to a total of six (6) square metres for all faces. The area shall not include the architectural structure;

b. The maximum height shall be 2.5 metres;

c. Such signs shall not obstruct pedestrian, other non-vehicular travel and barrier free movements;

d. Each sign may bear the name or corporate branding of The Boardwalk. Entrance signage shall not include tenant information or tenant corporate logos;

e. Each sign may be permitted to have back ambient lighting or down directional lighting.

5.5 Portable Signs

No portable sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. All regulations for portable signs as described in Section 9.15 shall apply;

b. A maximum of two (2) portable signs may be permitted at any one time for the purpose of advertising a new tenant opening;

c. A portable sign may be placed along Ira Needles Boulevard provided the location does not obstruct sight lines or interfere with pedestrian movements;

d. A portable sign shall not be placed closer than ten (10) metres to another portable sign on adjacent properties and no closer than one hundred (100) metres to a portable sign on the same property.

5.6 Special Event / Theme Signs

No special event / theme sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. Special event / theme signs shall be limited to locating along University Avenue, Lifestyle Way and The Boardwalk;

b. A maximum of forty (40) special event / theme signs shall be permitted within The Boardwalk;

c. The area of such signs shall not exceed one and a half (1.5) square metres per face;

d. Such signs shall be a minimum of 2.5 metres clear to the bottom of the sign from grade level;

e. The maximum height of any banner Sign shall be 2.0 metres;

f. Tenant information or tenant corporate logos shall not be included on the sign;

g. Special event / theme signs shall be constructed of durable sign material.

5.7 Street Sign

No street sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. Shall be designed in a way to differentiate it from a City standard street sign as the streets internal to The Boardwalk are privately-owned with the main streets having a public right-of-way;

b. Shall contain the street names in accordance with the street naming bylaws;

c. Shall not contain any tenant logos or advertising.

5.8 Wayfinding Signs

No wayfinding sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. Wayfinding signs can be provided in the form of standalone signs or incorporated on site lighting poles/posts along The Boardwalk and entrances from Ira Needles Boulevard. A maximum of six (6) wayfinding signs shall be permitted in the City;

b. Such signs shall be 1.5-2.0 metres to the bottom of the sign from grade level, unless the sign is a height restriction bar for a drive-thru lane or underground parking;

c. The maximum permitted sign height shall be 3.5 metres;

d. The area of such signs shall not exceed one (1.0) square metre per face;

e. Each sign may bear the name or corporate branding of The Boardwalk.

5.9 Window Lifestyle Signs

No window lifestyle sign shall be erected, maintained, or altered, except in accordance with the following regulations:

a. Window lifestyle signs shall only be permitted within the interior of faux windows of buildings;

b. Shall not be permitted on the building facades along Ira Needles Boulevard in the City;

c. Shall be permitted in spandrels and faux windows on building facades within the complex;

d. Locations on building elevations shall be considered as part of the City’s Site Plan Review process;

e. Shall be designed to contribute to the overall theme of the development and may include art and/or photographs;

f. The number of faux windows with window lifestyle signs shall be used on a limited basis and may be restricted on each building and/or façade to the satisfaction of the City.


29.0 Schedule 3 - Approved poster sleeve locations

Regina Street at Bridgeport – Northwest and Southwest corners

Bluevale Street N at Christopher Dr – Northwest corner and 2nd pole North side East of Christopher


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