Canopy and projecting signs (Class D)

Application, bylaws, and design regulations for all canopy and projecting signs on private property

A canopy sign is usually displayed on, under, or attached to a canopy or awning that’s fastened to an exterior building wall. A projecting sign is attached to the exterior building wall and is perpendicular to the building.​

When is a permit required?

All new canopy and projecting signs require a development permit. 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

In a case where a new canopy or projecting sign is a permitted use in the land use district but does not meet all applicable rules, a permit application may be considered with a relaxation to the rules. This affects the process and fees for the application. Please view ‘How to apply’ to see the fees for an application with relaxations.


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): Permit fee Advertising fee Development Completion Inspection Total
Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction): ​Permitted use (no relaxations) ​$95 $95​
Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction): Discretionary use or relaxations required $636 $30 $155 $821

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. 


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 message and other signs

Rules for canopy signs

  • The copy area on a canopy sign must not exceed 50 per cent of the canopy’s total area; which is measured by multiplying the canopy’s height by its length.
  • The canopy sign must not extend beyond the canopy itself.
  • A structure used to display canopy signs must:
    • Have a minimum clearance of 2.4 metres from grade
    • Not extend any further than the line on which street light or power line poles are located
    • Not extend further than 2.4 metres from the wall of the building to which it is attached
    • Not exceed 1.5 metres high measured from the lowest point to the highest point of the structure

Rules for signs hanging or attached under canopies and other building projections

  • ​​Must have a minimum clearance of 2.4 metres from gradeunder canopy rules
  • May be a maximum of 0.30 metres high
  • May have a maximum sign area of one square metre

Must be a minimum of 4.5 metres from each other​​​​

Rules for projecting signs

  • ​​​Businesses can have only one projecting sign on a primary building wall.​projecting rules
  • ​​The edge of the projecting sign closest to the building wall must be within 

    0.30 metres of the wall.
  • The maximum height of a projecting sign is six metres from grade, when measured to the top of the sign.
  • Where a projecting sign is for a hotel, retail and consumer service, or parking lot structure with a height of 18.5 metres or greater, the maximum allowable sign height is 21.5 metres above grade so long as:
    • the sign does not project more than two metres from the building; and
    • the sign area is 18.5 square metres or less.
  • The minimum clearance between the bottom of a projecting sign and grade is 2.4 metres.
  • Size restrictions for projecting signs:
​District ​Maximum sign area (square metres)
District: ​C-N1, C-N2, C-C1, CC-MH, CC-MHX, M-H1, M-H2, M-H3, M-X1, M-X2 Maximum sign area (square metres): ​2.3
District: ​C-COR3 Maximum sign area (square metres): ​9.3
District: ​Other commercial or industrial Maximum sign area (square metres): ​4.5
District: ​All other districts Maximum sign area (square metres): ​​1.0

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.

We do regular research with businesses to better understand the outlook and viewpoint of the business community. If you are a business owner, leader or manager, join our online business research panel, Business Perspectives.

Contact us

Planning Services Centre

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Live chat:
Web: Planning Services Centre

Development Approvals Review Team

Find Development Approvals Review Team staff to contact about specific applications.

This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​