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Third party advertising signs (Class F)

Application, bylaws, and design regulations for non-digital third party advertising sign on private property.

Third party advertising signs direct attention to a business, product or service that is available at a different location than where the sign is placed. ​

When is a permit required?

A development permit is required for all new and renewals of third party advertising signs.

Generally, a development permit is NOT required to:​

  • maintain or repair a legally existing sign
  • change or reduce the copy area of a legally existing sign

How to apply

Step 1: Review the checklist and sign rules

Step 2: Prepare your application

  • Complete the checklist
  • Review your fees
Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction)
Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction):
Permit fee Advertising fee Development Completion Inspection Total
Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction): ​Permitted use (no relaxation) $​100 $​100​​
Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction): Discretionary use or relaxations required $669 $32 $163 $864

See the Planning Applications fee schedule​ for a complete list of planning application fees.

Step 3: Apply

Apply online 

To apply in person, complete the sign application and visit the Planning Services Centre with the documents from the checklist in step 1. To skip the line, book an appointment​.


The regulations and rules regarding signage are intended to balance the need for signage with safety and aesthetics. These rules apply to signs on private property and are found in their entirety in the Land Use Bylaw 1P2007.​​

Rules for all signs

  • The sign position, shape, colour, format or illumination cannot resemble a traffic sign, signal or any other traffic control device.
  • Lights cannot be like those associated with danger or used by emergency services.
  • Trees or shrubs must not be removed or damaged to install a sign, make a sign more visible, maintain a sign, or to change the copy.
  • Signs in a residential area cannot be directly illuminated from a light source on the sign itself; however, they can be illuminated indirectly, such as a by a light shining on the sign. The light must not encroach onto adjacent spaces.

Rules for third party advertising signs

Sign location

    • Please see the 3rd party map for the prohibited locations and section 111 and 113(6)  in the Land Use Bylaw
    • Third party advertising signs are a listed use in:
      • C-COR2, C-COR3, C-O districts
      • I-G, I-B, I-C, I-R, I-O, I-H districts
      • S-CI, S-CRI, S-FUD districts
      • CC-X, CR20-C20/R20 districts

Sign placement

    • Must not be located within 30 metres of any other freestanding sign facing the same oncoming traffic. Must not be located within 75 metres of any other third party advertising sign facing the same oncoming traffic.
    • There must be no more than two freestanding third party advertising signs taller than 4.6 metres, and larger than 4.5 square metres within a 225 metre radius of each other facing the same street, except:
      • Where the separation is between an existing third party advertising sign approved prior to June 19, 2000; or
      • For a third party advertising sign located on the same structure.
    • Third party advertising signs smaller than 4.6 metres in height and 4.5 square metres in area must not be closer than 30 metres to each other.
    • Must not be closer than six metres from any property line shared with a road unless it is smaller than 4.6 metres in height and 4.5 square metres in area.
    • Trees required under an approved development permit cannot be removed or altered to accommodate the placement or visibility of a third party advertising sign.
    • The sign must not be located on or attached to the roof of a building.
    • A freestanding third party advertising sign must be separated, at distances determined by the Transportation Department, from:
      • A directional sign larger than 3 square metres in sign area in a street right-of-way;
      • A street intersection or railway crossing; and
      • The curbline or edge of a major street

Sign Height

  • Maximum 10.5 metres if the sign is mounted on the wall of a building or is a freestanding structure installed so that the sign is flush with the building wall 
  • Maximum 8.3 metres if the sign is freestanding and farther than 6.5 metres from a building
  • Maximum of the greater of 6.5 metres or the height of a building within 6.5 metres of the sign if the building is less than 8.3 metres high
  • Maximum 4.6 metres if the Third Party Advertising Sign is in C-COR1, C-COR2, CC-X, CC-COR
  • The sign must not project above the eaveline of the building

Sign dimensions

  • Maximum vertical dimension of 5.8 metres
  • Maximum horizontal dimension of 7 metres
  • Maximum area of 25 square metres
  • Maximum area of 4.5 square metres when located in the C-COR1, C-COR2, CC-X, CC-COR districts
  • Maximum area of 4.5 square metres in the CR20-C20/R20 district unless it is part of a comprehensive development and the sign has been incorporated into the design of the building or structure and must be pedestrian oriented in size

General rules

  • An applicant must show that any proposed third party advertising sign is compatible with the general architectural form of nearby buildings, the character of the streetscape, and does not severely obstruct the horizon line.
  • The sign must not block natural light or the sky from the windows and doors of surrounding buildings.
  • The lighting and orientation must not negatively affect neighbouring residential areas.
  • If lighting fixtures are used, they must not be visible and the light emitted must only light the sign itself.
  • No other signs or materials can be attached to a third party advertising sign.
  • The backs of all third party advertising signs and all cut outs must be enclosed.
  • The space between the faces of a double faced third party advertising signs must be enclosed.
  • Any electrical power supply to the sign or to the landscaping below the sign must be underground unless otherwise approved in cases with no reasonable access.
  • The sign may be approved for up to five years.

Expiring temporary signs

  • A new application can be made prior to the expiry of the original development permit.
  • If the height, size and location of the sign has not changed, The City:
    • must consider if the sign is compatible with the general architectural form of nearby buildings, the character of the streetscape, and does not severely obstruct the horizon line;
    • must not approve the application if a freestanding sign​ has been approved and constructed within 30 metres of the third party advertising sign;
    • may only approve the application if a third party advertising sign is a listed use in the district;
    • may approve the application if the sign is located in the pedestrian oriented areas as referenced in Part 3, Division 5, Subsection 113 (6) of the Land Use Bylaw as long as the property has not been approved for redevelopment; and
    • may approve the application if the sign is located in the C-COR1, C-COR2, CC-X, and CC-COR districts as long as the property has not been approved for redevelopment.

Development completion inspection

All discretionary signs and signs that require a relaxation of the Land Use Bylaw will need a development completion inspection to ensure the sign was installed in the correct location, and meets conditions of approval.

Development completion inspections can be booked through the Planning Services Centre.

Planning Services Centre

We are experiencing higher than normal volumes and longer wait times. We appreciate your patience while our agents answer your questions and review your applications.

If you are trying to reach us, please select only one method of contact for your inquiry. Multiple inquiry services at the same time can increase volumes and wait times. For applications, we encourage the use of our online system as the timelines for drop-off and online submissions are the same.

Monday - Friday* 
8 a.m. - 4:15p.m. (Mountain Time Zone)
*closed on statutory holidays

Live chat:


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3rd floor, Municipal building
800 Macleod Trail SE

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