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Application Procedure

The City of Peterborough regulates the use of all forms of signage for safety and aesthetic reasons. The goal is to ensure that the use and placement of signs does not create a hazard for pedestrians or motorists, that signs are well maintained and that the number of signs does not affect the attractiveness of the City.

Appropriate sign standards and effective by-law enforcement are the two key methods in achieving and maintaining quality signage in a community.

All signs must comply with the Sign By-Law 15-045

The Sign By-Law governs all signs. This includes, but is not limited to, facia, free-standing, banner, directional, development, sandwich board, and portable signs.

The By-Law includes regulations governing the size (sign area & height), location and duration (if the sign is temporary), according to the Official Plan designation of the property.

It is the responsibility of business and property owners to ensure compliance with sign regulations.


Anyone who is interested in placing a sign on a property must make an application to the Building Division. Sign Permit approval is required for the placing of all signs. This requirement applies to both permanent and temporary signs, as well as, signs that are freestanding or attached to a building.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the application form's, available online or from the Building Division at City Hall (Permanent Sign Application, Portable Sign Application, Portable Sign Authorization)
  2. The applicant must provide plans illustrating the following:
    • A site plan showing property lines, buildings, sidewalks, parking areas, and the general area of the proposed sign, and the proposed location, including accurate dimensions.
    • A plan showing all elevation details and the location of new signs and existing signs plus distance between, detail must also be shown, including detail of how the sign will be attached to the structure.
    • For free standing signs, the applicant must provide two sets of plans showing the base construction, dimensions, weight, and height of the sign. If the free standing sign is 7.5m height or over, a Structural Engineer's stamp and signature on the plans, as well as Letters of Assurance will be required.
  3. Submit application, fee, permission from land owner, and any appropriate supporting materials to the Building Division, City Hall - 500 George Street North, Peterborough, ON K9H 3R9, Fax: 705-742-1294, Email:

Sign Permit Fees *effective January 2013

* Freestanding Sign greater than 10 feet high $200.00 per sign
* Facia Sign greater than 10 square feet $125.00 per sign
+$50.00 for each additional sign on the same permit
* Freestanding Sign less than 10 feet high $125.00 per sign
+$50.00 for each additional sign on the same permit
* Facia Sign less than 10 square feet $100.00 per sign
+$50.00 for each additional sign on the same permit
  Portable Sign $100.00 per sign
+$50.00 for each additional sign on the same permit
  Directional Sign $100.00 per sign
+$50.00 for each additional sign on the same permit
  Banner Sign $100.00
expires in 60 days
  Real Estate Development Sign $100.00
expires in 2 years
* New  

Application Review and Approval
The review of an application for a sign is based upon its compliance with the Sign By-Law 15-045. The application is reviewed to determine whether or not the proposed sign complies with all the applicable sign regulations. Once the review is completed, you will be notified. Information or revisions may be required.

When all requirements have been satisfied, a Sign Permit will be issued. Upon issuance of the Sign Permit, the applicant may proceed with installation of the sign. An inspection may be conducted upon completion of the sign to ensure compliance with the placement of the sign. All information recorded on the application form must be demonstrated accurately.

The secureness, adequacy and safety of  signs attached to a supporting structure are the complete responsibility of the sign installer and the sign owner. If there is any doubt as to the safety of a sign installation, a contractor and/or professional engineer should be consulted.

How Much Time Does the Process Take?
The amount of time to process a sign application is largely dependent upon the complexity of the sign. In addition, the time frame is affected by how well the applicant responds to meeting the requirements established by the Building Division and if all required documentation is provided.

Variance Process
If the applicant wishes to pursue a variance to the Sign By-Law, an application to the Committee of Adjustment is required. The Building Division will forward the drawings to the Planning Division for processing. The Planning Division will contact the applicant if additional information or changes are required. Applications for Minor Variance are available online.

Signs On or Projecting Over Public Property
If a sign is on or overhanging public property, a permit shall not be issued until the owner of the lot/sign has entered into an encroachment agreement with the City. All applications must include insurance. The owner of the property must provide a certificate of insurance showing the owner's name as insured, and the City of Peterborough as additionally insured, with public liability and property damage in the amount of $2M (Two Million Dollars), and including a 30-day notice of cancellation clause. Please see further information regarding Signage on Public Property

Signs in the Downtown Core Area "Central Area, Schedule J, Official Plan"
No person shall erect a sign in the Downtown Core Area except in accordance with the Downtown Sign By-Law.

Signs and sign structures shall harmonize with the architectural character and scale of downtown buildings and surroundings (see Design Guidelines for Downtown Facia Signs). Portable signs are not permitted in the downtown core.

All fascia signs in the central area are subject to the approval of the City Planner, Urban Design, and the Manager of Building.

Please ensure that you have all the required information, application fees, and plans, so there are no delays in accepting or processing your application.



City of Peterborough, Infrastructure and Planning Services Department, Building Division
500 George Street North, Peterborough, ON K9H 3R9 Phone 705-742-7777, ext. 1892 Fax: 705-742-1294, Email: