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Bylaws related to election signs

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During elections, signs placed on the side of roads or on City of Calgary boulevards promoting candidates and political parties receive exemptions related to the length of time they can remain in place. This is through the Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw, and election signs can be placed for the entire Election Period as defined by this bylaw:

  • Federal Elections (or by-election): the period starting from the issuance of the writ and ending after the close of polls;
  • Provincial Election (or by-election): the period starting from the issuance of the writ and ending after the close of polls; or
  • Municipal Election (or by-election or school board election or by-election): the period starting from the close of nominations and ending after the close of polls.

In order to be legal, election signs must be placed according to particular guidelines. An election sign is not legal on municipal property if it:

  • Is closer than 15 metres to any intersection.
  • Is closer than 20 metres from an election sign promoting the same candidate.
  • Is closer than two metres from the curb or edge of the road.
  • Is placed on any traffic island or center median.
  • Obstructs any traffic control device or creates a traffic or pedestrian hazard.
  • Has a position, shape, colour, format or illumination which is similar to a Traffic Control Device.
  • Is attached to a street light pole, traffic signal pole or and City sign pole (except for posters).
  • Could be a hazard to either the person erecting the sign, or any member of the public.
  • Exceeds three square metres.
  • Is attached to a sound wall.
  • Is lit, electrified or inflatable.
  • Is permanently affixed.
  • Is supported by string, rope or wire.
  • Causes or could cause damage to municipal property.
  • Is damaged or becomes unsightly.
  • Is placed within 10 metres of a crosswalk that is not at an intersection.
  • Is placed on or within 2 metres of a fire hydrant.
  • Is attached on or within a plus 15 bridge.
  • Is erected in any Prohibited or Restricted Roadways. View map.
  • Is not removed within 72 hours after the polls close.

Fines for violations of these regulations range between $75 and $1000.

It is important that all registered candidates who participate in an election understand and follow our Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw. If any signs fail to meet our bylaw standards, the candidate will be held responsible for any fines assessed.

This is a brief overview of the bylaw. Please refer to the actual bylaw for more detailed information. Original copies of the bylaw are available at the City Clerk's office.

Related bylaws

Signs on private property

Home owner's permission is required before placing a sign on their property. You are also encouraged to obtain the home owner's permission before placing a sign adjacent to their property.

Signs and parks

According to the Parks and Pathways Bylaw, no person shall place a sign of any kind, commercial or otherwise, in a park unless otherwise authorized.

Filing a complaint

If you know of a bylaw infraction and would like to report it, please call 3-1-1 (from within Calgary) or 403-268-CITY (2489) (from outside Calgary).

For more information, visit: How to file a complaint and what happens to it