Apply for a sign permit
If you run a business, corporation, or institution you will probably want to identify or advertise with signage.
It is recommended that you review Section 3 of the Sign by-law to determine if the sign you want to display requires a permit.
Apply online using our e-portal
Online portal registration questions or technical difficulties can be emailed to email@example.com.
Sidewalk sign process and application
First party sidewalk signs (also known as A-frame, T-frame or sandwich boards) are permitted on City and private property in various zones and situations. There is no cost to register or display these signs as long as they meet the criteria outlined in the Sign by-law. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or require more information.
What is a first party sidewalk sign?
A sidewalk sign means a temporary sign, not anchored to the ground, and constructed in a manner and of such materials that it can be easily moved by a person, without tools. The information here pertains to all forms of first party sidewalk signs under 0.66m in area. First party, in reference to a sign, means a sign that identifies or promotes a product or service provided on the same property as the sign.
Private or City property?
There are two main types of sidewalk signs, differentiated on their location:
- Sidewalk signs on private property
- Sidewalk signs on City property (also called public property or the public road allowance)
Determining which type sidewalk sign you have is important, as only sidewalk signs on City property need to be registered.
It is also important to know if the building your business occupies is set back from the front property line one (1) metre or more. If it is, you are not permitted to place a sidewalk sign on City property, it must stay on private property.
Contact us if you have any further questions after reading the information below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does it cost?
There is no application fee to register for a sidewalk sign on City property. However, you are required to get additional insurance for the sign as part of the registration/application process. This insurance will have a cost, but this is not a municipal fee.
If your sidewalk sign is on private property, you will not need to register it at all.
How do I register my sidewalk sign on City property?
Registration is free and relatively easy. Please follow the steps below:
- Complete the application form (Schedule 'B').
- Have your insurance company complete the Standard Certificate of Insurance.
- Draw the sign and include measurements of the height, width, and overall area. Your sign company may provide this drawing to you, or you can use the sidewalk sign template.
- Email all of the completed materials listed in steps 1 through 3 as PDF attachments to email@example.com.
- Display your sign in compliance with the Sign by-law. If there are problems with your application materials or insurance City Staff will contact you. Keep copies of your documents and/or emails in order to demonstrate registration, and compliance, if you are contacted by Enforcement staff in the future.
How big can a sidewalk sign be?
Whether on public or private property, the maximum dimensions of a sidewalk sign are:
- Height: 1.1 m
- Width: 0.6 m
- Area: 0.66 m2
A sidewalk sign with an overall area greater than 0.66m2 is prohibited by the Sign by-law.
Where can my sidewalk sign be placed?
When determining where to put the sidewalk sign it is important to know where the curb and property lines are. The following location criteria is used to guide sign location.
On City property (aka the public road allowance, or public property). Following registration the sidewalk sign must:
- Be a minimum of 0.6 m (2 feet) from the curb
- Be a maximum of 1.2 m (4 feet) from the curb
- Keep at least 1.5 m (5 feet) of space between the sign and the front of the building
On Private Property: Where the building is set back more than 1.0m the sidewalk sign must not be placed on City property, and the sign must be at least:
- 1.5 m from the sidewalk
- 3 m (10 feet) from a driveway or sight triangle
- 5 m (16 feet) from another sidewalk sign on the same property
- 10 m (33 feet) from a solely residential zone
As well, the sidewalk sign cannot be in a parking space.
How do I know if my sign is on public or private property?
If you're not sure your sign will be on public or private property, refer to a building survey, or check the maps. Business Hub Staff can provide some guidance, but in situations where it is unclear you will need a land survey plan. If in doubt, you can submit the application/registration materials in order to ensure compliance. Staff will contact you if there is a problem with your application, such as the insurance documents, or if you are not eligible for a sidewalk sign on City property for by-law reasons (for example the building is set back too far, there is less than 2.7 m from the curb to the building, etc.)
- If the building is set back from the public road allowance (City property/front property line) more than 1 (one) metre, you cannot display a sidewalk sign on City property.
- If the distance from the curb to the front of your building is less than 2.7 metres, you are not eligible for a sidewalk sign on City property.
Do I have to register the sidewalk sign every year?
No. Once a sidewalk sign on City property has been registered it can be displayed in accordance with the Sign by-law.
However, you are required to renew your insurance certificate each year. You will be contacted by the City of London to remind you to submit that document, annually.
When can I display my sidewalk sign?
A sidewalk sign on City property that has been properly registered with the City can be displayed when the business is open.
A sidewalk sign on private property has no time limits regarding its display. It can be out all the time so long as it is not a "Group 1" use. For more information about group uses, please refer to the Sign By-law.
Can my sign have lights in it or on it?
No. Sidewalk signs are prohibited from having any sort of lighting or illumination.
What if my sign contravenes the by-law?
Enforcement staff may visit your business in order to ensure your sign is in compliance with the by-law. This could be with regard to sign location, dimensions, failure to properly register your sidewalk sign on City property, failure to renew your insurance, or any other reason the sign may be deemed to contradict the sign, or other, by-laws.
Remember: Enforcement Staff are there to enforce the by-law. Therefore, do what they ask within they timeline they set, or risk being charged, fined, or having your sign impounded until you can comply with the by-law.
If you have any questions about enforcement, or compliance, you can contact the By-law Enforcement Officer that you spoke with, or call the Business Hub to get more information.
Read-O-Graph Mobile Sign Permit
Annual permit stickers expire June 30th of each year.
All read-o-graph mobile signs displayed in the City of London are required to display a valid annual permit sticker.
Those who rent out mobile signs are considered mobile sign operators and are required to have a valid business licence to operate as a Contractor.
Read-o-graph mobile signs not displayed in compliance with the regulations of the City’s Sign By-law S.-5668-183 are subject to immediate removal, fines or legal action.