The City of Peterborough regulates the use of all forms of signage to help keep the community safe and beautiful.

If you are interested in placing a sign on your property, you will need to fill out an application for a sign permit approval. You need a permit before you can install your sign.

Application process

1. Complete the proper application.

2. Include a plan with the following information:

  • 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 and distance between new signs and existing signs, 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 7.5 metres or over, a Structural Engineer's stamp and signature on the plans, as well as Letters of Assurance will be required.

3. Submit all documents to the Building Services Division through electronic e-mail 

  • Application
  • Fee
  • Permission from land owner

Any other supporting documents

Sign permit fees

Sign permit fees
Type of signFee

Freestanding sign greater than 10 feet high

$315 per sign

Fascia sign greater than 10 square feet

$265 per sign

Freestanding sign less than 10 feet high

$265 per sign

Fascia sign less than 10 square feet

$265 per sign

Portable sign

$265 per sign expires in 6 months

Directional sign



$50 for each addition sign on the same permit

Electronic Sign

$470 per sign

Banner sign

$100 per sign expires in 60 days

Real estate development sign


$420 per sign expires in 2 years

Application review and approval

The review of the sign application is based on its compliance with the Sign by-law. We review the application to see if the sign follows all the sign regulations. We will contact you if there are any revisions or if we require more information.

Once all the requirements have been met we will issue a Sign permit and the sign can be installed. An inspection may be conducted to ensure compliance with the application

The secureness, adequacy and safety of signs attached to a supporting structure are the owner and installer.

Submission requirements for electronic sign permit application

Information required

You need to have the following information, or your application cannot be processed

  • Application fee (determined by the applicable fee schedule and sign type)
  • Municipal address of the property
  • Cost of construction
  • Name, address and phone number for the owner(s) and contractor
  • Written authorization from the property owner or property management company

Plans required

The following plans must be submitted with the application. You may need your sign contractor to prepare the plans and file the application on your behalf

Two complete sets of scaled sign construction plans with the following:

  • Clearly show the size and area
  • Construction details including foundations, construction to buildings and or foundations
  • An elevation showing sign appearance
  • Sign height above grade
  • Evidence of an ambient light sensor including specifications and location on the sign

Two complete sets of scaled site plans with the following:

  • Metric units
  • Drawn to scale
  • Existing building footprint(s)
  • Setbacks from all lot lines to the sign(s)
  • Distance between signs on the same property (if applicable)
  • Driveway(s)
  • Streets
  • North Arrow
  • Measurements of distance between the sign and existing features in the boulevard (e.g. trees and curbs)

A location survey may be needed if you are installing a freestanding electronic sign.


The amount of time we need to process an application depends on the complexity of the application and how quickly we can schedule follow-up appointments.

Variance process

If you wish to pursue a variance to the Sign By-Law, you will need to fill out an application to the Committee of Adjustment. The Building Division will forward the drawings to the Planning Division for processing. The Planning Division will contact you 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 $2 million, and including a 30-day notice of cancellation clause. 

Signage on public property

It is our policy to prohibit signs on public property if:

  1. It is not temporary
    • Signs must be able to be removed from public property easily without any tools and not be affixed below the surface of the ground.
  2. Poses a safety hazard to pedestrians or vehicles
    • To provide sight lines at intersections and driveways, temporary signage on public property must not be placed within 20 m of the point of intersection of the edge of pavement or curb lines at intersections, as illustrated.
    • To provide for safe pedestrian vehicle movement, temporary signage on public property must not be placed
      within 1.5 m of a curb line, edge of pavement or sidewalk.
  3. Poses on operation nuisance to the City
    • An operational nuisance includes, but is not necessarily limited to, signage which obstruct snowplowing and grass cutting activities.
  4. It is on public parks or public buildings unless specifically permitted, specific permission should be directed to the City Clerk.
  5. Signs cannot be greater than 1.0 m by 1.5 m.
  6. Signs should be in good condition, signs in poor condition can be removed at our discretion.
  7. Signs need to have messages relevant to public interest.

Signs removed by the City will be done so at the owner's expense.

Signs in the downtown core area "Central Area, Schedule J, Official Plan"

  • No signs are allowed in the Downtown core unless they are following the Downtown Sign By-law.
  • Signs and sign structures need to follow the theme of downtown buildings and surroundings.
  • Portable signs are not permitted.
  • Internally list sign boxes are not allowed.
  • Signs with “cut-out” individual letters can be internally lit.
  • Signs should be located below the second story, and sized in accordance with a building front's architectural features.
  • Signs may be lit using an external light source such as goose-neck lighting.
  • Swing-type signs are encouraged. They are signs which project perpendicularly from the building face. They should not project more than 1 m from the building.
  • Electronic signs are not permitted.