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Bylaws related to signage

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Bylaws related to election signs | Signage FAQs​​​

Signage includes temporary signs, mobile community signs, election signs, and signs that advertise a service. All of these are regulated under our Temporary Signs Bylaw.

Signs on municipal property

A temporary sign is not legally placed if it:

  • Is closer than 15 metres to any intersection.
  • Is closer than 30 metres to any City bus shelter, transit bench, bus zone, LRT station, or LRT platform.
  • Is placed in a Playground Zone or School Zone.
  • Is placed within 20 metres of a sign which is posted by the same owner or depicts, advertises or promotes the same idea.
  • Is placed on or within 2 metres of a Fire Hydrant.
  • Is placed within 10 metres on a crosswalk that is not at an intersection.
  • Is closer than 2 metres from the curb or edge of road.
  • Is placed on any traffic island or centre median.
  • Obstructs any traffic control device.
  • Is erected on any prohibited or restricted roadwayView map.
  • Creates a traffic or pedestrian hazard.
  • Is displayed for more than 14 days before or more than 24 hours following the date of the advertised event, whichever is less (see exceptions for election signage below).

A temporary sign is not legally attached if it is:

  • Is attached to a standard street light pole, traffic signal pole, or a City sign pole (except for posters).
  • Is attached on or within a plus 15 bridge, pedestrian walkway, or overpass.
  • Is attached to a sound wall.
  • Is permanently affixed.
  • Is supported by string, rope or metal guide-wire.
  • Causes or could cause damage to municipal property.

In addition, a temporary sign is not legal if it:

  • Has a position, shape, colour, format or illumination which is similar to a Traffic Control Device.
  • Is placed on any decorative or painted lamp post. Including posters.
  • Could be a hazard to either the person erecting the sign, or any member of the public.
  • Has a sign face larger than 0.6 square metres (3 square metres for election signs and Mobile Community Signs).
  • Is higher than 0.92 metres when measured from grade to the highest part of the sign (2.5 metres for election signs and Mobile Community Signs)
  • Is lit, electrified, or inflatable.
  • Is unsightly, damaged, or in disrepair.

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

Election signs

Election signs have certain exemptions from our Temporary Signs Bylaw. Election signs can be placed on municipal property for more than 14 consecutive days during an election period. But election signs on municipal property must be removed within 72 hours of the polls closing. For information on these exemptions, please visit our election signs page.

Garage sale signs

Garage sale signs need to follow all rules associated with temporary signs.

School Safe Zones Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw (29M97) Amendment

The School Safe Zones Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw (29M97) Amendment restricts advocacy messaging on public streets near schools, due to the harmful impact this messaging has on unwilling viewers. This bylaw amendment was created for the safety and protection of students, their caregivers, and school staff, who do not want to be exposed to this messaging while attending school.

The Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw prohibits the placement of signs within playground and school zones and with the amendment, restricts advocacy messaging on public property within 150 metres of a school (if larger than 3.5” by 5” in size). 

Advocacy messaging is defined in the bylaw as messaging that publicly expresses an opinion on an issue or cause. An advocacy group is defined as any group that promotes this type of messaging whether it be an external group or student group.

The bylaw restrictions do not impose a ban on advocacy messaging, but rather restrict the size of the sign within a 150 metre distance from the school, thereby mitigating the issue of unwanted messaging.

The bylaw does not apply to any activities within the school property, only to the public property around the school. Schools can give permission to advocacy messaging on school property. Students looking to hold demonstrations on school property can seek approval from their schools.

Enforcement and reporting

The School Safe Zones Bylaw Amendment carries a fine of $1,000 for any person found to be displaying or carrying a sign with advocacy messaging:

  • Within 150 metres of the school boundary;
  • Larger than 3.5” by 5”;
  • During school days; and
  • Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The bylaw will operate on a complaint basis – individuals or advocacy groups known or suspected to be engaging in this process near schools should be reported.

Please call 311 (from within Calgary) or 403-268-CITY (2489) (from outside Calgary) to report.

Related bylaws

Bylaws related to signs can be found under The City of Calgary Temporary Signs on Highways bylaw.

This page 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.

Signs on private property

You must obtain the home owner's permission before placing a sign on their property and you are 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. For more information, visit How to file a complaint and what happens to it.

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