Sign permits

Applications, rules and regulations for signs on private property.

Before you Apply


Use this page to help guide you through submitting a complete application. We will explain when you need a permit, what permits you need, what your application requirements are and go over some common rules relating to your project.

What type of sign do I need?

Basic signs (class A)

Basic signs include address, art, banner, construction, directional, flag, gas bar, pedestrian, real estate, special event, show home, temporary, and window signs on private property.

Fascia signs (Class B)

A fascia sign is attached to, or marked on a ​b​uilding’s exterior wall. It typically displays the name or logo of a business or building and does not project more than 0.4 metres from the building wall.​

Freestanding signs (Class C)

A freestanding sign is displayed on a permanent, non-moveable structure other than a building. It can display the name of a business or building, and can also display messaging.​

Canopy and projecting signs (Class D)

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.​

Digital message and other signs (Class E)

This category includes digital message, inflatable, painted wall, roof, rotating signs, and temporary sign mark​ers.

In addition to the sign types listed here, any type of sign that doesn’t fit within any of the bylaw sign types, and doesn’t include a digital display, falls within the Class E category. Class E signs are located on the same site as the b​usiness/activity that they are advertising.

Third party advertising signs (Class F)

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. ​

Digital third party advertising signs (Class G)

A digital third party advertising sign is a digital display that directs attention to a business, product or service that is available at a different location other than where the sign is placed.

Do you need a 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

Basic signs (class A)

All types of signs that fall within the basic sign (Class A) category do not require a development permit when:

  • they meet all the applicable rules

Fascia signs (Class B)

Fascia signs do not require a development permit when:

  • fascia signs (Sign - Class B) are a permitted use in the land use district;
  • the sign area is not larger than 1.5 square metres; and
  • the sign meets all applicable rules

In a case where a new fascia sign does not meet all applicable rules, a permit application may be considered with a relaxation to the rules. The process and fees are different in this case. Please view ‘How to apply’ to see the fees for an application with relaxations.

Freestanding signs (Class C)

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

A freestanding sign is displayed on a permanent, non-moveable structure other than a building. It can display the name of a business or building, and can also display messaging.​

Canopy and projecting signs (Class D)

All new canopy and projecting signs require a development permit. 

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.

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

Digital message and other signs (Class E)

All Class E signs require a development permit.

Third party advertising signs (Class F)

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

Digital third party advertising signs (Class G)

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

How much will it cost?

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.

Rules


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 Basic signs (class A)

Review the checklist​ and sign rules below

Address sign

A sign that indicates the address or name of a building, business or individuals occupying a building. Please note the following information:

  • No maximum size if sculpted out of the building face
  • Maximum 0.30 square metres if affixed to a residence or private garage
  • Maximum 1.20 square metres if not sculpted out of the building, or not affixed to residences or private garage
  • Is considered a fascia sign (Class B) and must follow fascia sign rules when exceeding size restrictions

Art sign

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This type of sign is primarily an artistic drawing applied or affixed to a building’s exterior.

  • A maximum of 10 per cent of the sign can be text.
  • Text can acknowledge the business inside the building, and the name of any individual, organization or business that sponsored or contributed to creating the art.
  • When an art sign is in a window, windo​w sign rules apply.

Banner sign

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A banner sign is constructed of flexible material that can be displayed without using a flag pole. It can temporarily promote products or services, replace a fascia sign, announce a new business, or it can be purely decorative.

  • A banner sign that is used to promote a product, service or a new business opening may be displayed for a maximum of 90 days per year and is limited to one sign per business/building.
  • The maximum sign area is five square metres.
  • The sign must not project above, or be located on, the building roof.
  • The sign may either be affixed to the building wall or freestanding, provided it does not exceed three metres high when measured from grade to its highest point.

Construction sign

A construction sign is displayed on a property under construction. It identifies who is responsible for the construction, labour, services, materials, or financing. It may also identify future use of the property.

  • When related to an existing development permit or to an undeveloped property, all construction signs on site:
    • Can add up to a maximum of six square metres
    • Must be removed within seven days following completion of the development inspection
  • When related to a development for which a development permit is not required, all construction signs:
    • May have a maximum sign area of one square metre in residential districts
    • May have a maximum sign area of 1.5 square metres in all other districts
    • May be displayed for a maximum of 30 days

Directional sign

This sign guides, warns or restricts people or motor vehicles; it may be either freestanding or attached to a building. Please note the following information:

  • Must not contain advertising or slogans but may include logos and written identification
  • Maximum copy area of 2.5 square metres
  • May be located anywhere on a property
  • Maximum of two freestanding directional signs may be located near a property’s entrance or exit point
  • Maximum four metres high for a freestanding directional sign

Flag sign

A flag sign is made of fabric or flexible material either attached to, or designed to be flown from a permanently constructed flagpole or light standard. Please note the following information:

  • Maximum sign area of two square metres
  • Limited to three signs per property where the property frontage is 30 metres or less
  • Limited to six signs per property where the property frontage is over 30 metres
  • Must not be higher than the maximum height of a freestanding sign (Class C)
  • Must not be on a building roof

Gas bar sign

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This type of sign typically advertises products or services sold at a gas station, and stored outside. Examples include windshield wiper fluid, motor vehicle oils, firewood, ice, air and propane. Please note the following information:

  • Maximum area of one square metre
  • Must not be illuminated

Pedestrian sign

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This type of temporary sign has no external supporting structure and is placed near a sidewalk to attract attention from passing pedestrians. Please note the following information:

  • Must be located within three metres of a public entrance to the business; however there are exceptions in business improvement areas; see the Land Use Bylaw, Part 3, Division 5, Section 89 (2) for details.
  • May only be displayed during the business’ operating hours
  • Must not be placed on a public sidewalk
  • Must not be illuminated
  • Maximum one sign per business located on the floor closest to ground level
    • Maximum one metre high
    • Maximum one square metre in area

Real estate sign

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A sign that contains information about the management, sale, lease or rental of a property or building. It may take the form of any other sign type.

  • When the real estate sign is freestanding:
    • There must not be more than one real estate sign per frontage
    • Maximum sign area of 1.5 square metres and maximum height of two metres if the frontage is equal to or less than 30 metres
    • Maximum sign area of three square metres and maximum height of three metres if the frontage is over 30 metres
  • When the real estate sign takes the form of a fascia sign, it must meet all fascia sign rules
  • When the real estate sign takes the form of a banner sign:
    • Must not be located above the third storey of a building
    • Must not be displayed for more than 90 days in a year

Special event sign

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A sign that promotes a charitable, educational, community, civic, cultural, recreational, religious or sporting event. A special event sign may take the form of any other sign.

  • Must not be on a property containing a residence
  • Must not contain advertising other than promoting the specific event, but may display any event sponsor or contributor
  • May be displayed for up to 15 days prior to the event date and for the event duration, but must not be displayed for more than 30 days in total
  • Can take the form of any other type of sign

Show home sign

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This sign identifies a newly constructed residential building as a sample of the type of building a builder is providing, and where prospective buyers may receive information about the community and about buying a home from that builder.

  • Maximum total sign area is six square metres

Temporary sign

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This type of sign is not permanently affixed to a structure or is affixed to a structure that is easily movable.

  • Must not be located in any of the locations listed in section 89 (1) and (2) of the Land Use Bylaw​
  • Must not be placed on a property where an approved digital message sign is operating
  • Must be stabilized or anchored to ensure it will not be unintentionally moved, blown over, or detached
  • Sandbags and guy wires may only be used to stabilize or anchor a temporary sign if the sign is on a hard surface
  • Must not be located within 7.5 metres of vehicle access to a property
  • In residential districts the maximum sign area is:
    • One square metre if a residence is on the same property
    • Three square metres if there are no residences on the same property
  • In all other districts the maximum sign area is:
    • 1.5 square metres if the frontage of the property is 30 metres or less
    • 5.5 square metres if the frontage of the property is greater than 30 metres
  • The maximum height is:
    • 1.5 metres if the sign area is 2.5 square metres or less
    • Two metres if the sign area is greater than 2.5 square metres, but less than three square metres
    • Three metres if the sign area is three square metres or more
  • A temporary sign with a sign area greater than 1.5 square metres must be located on a temporary sign marker that has been approved and must:
    • Be no further than one metre away from the temporary sign marker​
    • Not be closer to the street than the temporary sign marker
  • Only one temporary sign may be located on a property with a frontage less than or equal to 75 metres
  • A maximum of two temporary signs may be located on a property with a frontage greater than 75 metres but less than or equal to 200 metres
  • A maximum of three temporary signs may be located on a property with a frontage greater than 200 metres

Window sign

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This type of sign is attached to, painted, or displayed on the interior or exterior of a building window, so it is visible to someone outside the building; it:

  • Includes signs that are placed 0.90 metres or less behind a window
  • Does not include any type of product or window display intended to be visible outside of the building

Sign area cannot exceed 30 per cent of the window’s surface area​​​​​​

Rules for Fascia signs (Class B)

Review the checklist​ and sign rules below.

One and two storey buildings

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  • ​​The designated area is anywhere between 2.4 metres above grade and the upper edge of the buildingfascia building
  • No part of a sign can project beyond the shaded area
  • The sign can cover a part of the window if it is 2.4 metres above grade
  • A sign may be permitted under 2.4 metres if:
    • It consists of individual letters, symbols, or logos that are directly attached to the building
    • Any portion of the sign below the designated area does not exceed 30 per cent of the wall area
    • The copy area is under 9.3 square metres

Buildings over two storeys

  • ​​The designated area is anywhere between 2.4 metres above grade and the bottom of the third storey.fascia building over 2 metres

  • A sign may be permitted above the second storey if:
    • It consists of individual letters, symbols, or logos directly attached to the building
    • There is only one sign per building face above the second storey
    • The sign area does not exceed 2.5 per cent of the total area formed by multiplying the clearance of the sign from grade by the width of the building (see image)

Primary building wall

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  • No maximum sign area within the designated area
  • No restrictions on the number of signs
  • Can have multiple primary building walls

Secondary building wall

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  • Secondary building walls are any walls that are not primary building walls
  • Maximum sign-able area is 30 per cent
  • May be illuminated
  • The sign must be indirectly illuminated if facing a park or adjacent property designated as residential

Rules for Freestanding signs (Class C)

Review the checklist and sign rules below.

  • The sign cannot interfere with vehicle parking or traffic circulation.
  • All electrical power supplied to the sign must be underground.
  • Anchor bolts securing the base of the sign must be permanently covered.
  • A new freestanding sign must be located a minimum of 30 metres from any other freestanding sign on a neighbouring property which is facing the same oncoming traffic and is on the same side of the street.

Number of signs on a property

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A property may have one freestanding sign facing each street that has a vehicle entrance to the property unless:

  • The property has a frontage equal to or greater than 200 metres – in this case, one additional freestanding sign is allowed for every 200 metres of additional frontage.
  • The property is designated C-R2 or C-R3 - then two additional freestanding signs are allowed per frontage.

Size and height restrictions

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The allowable size and height of a Freestanding Sign can vary depending on which land use district the property is located.

​District ​Maximum sign area (square metres) ​Maximum sign height (metres)
District: ​C-N1, C-N2, C-C1 Maximum Sign Area (square metres): ​9.5 Maximum Sign Height (metres): ​6.0
District: ​C-COR3 Maximum Sign Area (square metres): ​18.5 Maximum Sign Height (metres): ​12.2
District: ​CC-ET, CC-EIR, all other commercial, industrial and mixed use districts Maximum Sign Area (square metres): ​14.0 Maximum Sign Height (metres): ​9.0
District: ​CC-EMU, CC-EPR, CC-ERR, CC-MH, CC-MHX, M-H1, M-H3, M-X1, M-X2
(where a property contains commercial multi-residential uses)
Maximum Sign Area (square metres): ​7.0 Maximum Sign Height (metres): ​6.0
District: ​All low density residential districts, M-CG, M-C1, M-C2, M-G, M-1, M-2 Maximum Sign Area (square metres): ​5.0 Maximum Sign Height (metres): ​4.0
District: ​All special purpose districts Maximum Sign Area (square metres): ​7.0 Maximum Sign Height (metres): ​​6.0

Rules for Canopy and projecting signs (Class D)

Review the checklist and sign rules below.

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
​​​​​

Rules for Digital message and other signs (Class E)

Review the applicable checklist​ and sign rules below.

Digital message sign

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This type of sign is a message sign containing a digital display, but not containing full motion video, or third party advertising.

 
  • Rules specific to commercial, industrial, mixed use, S-R, CC-ER or CR20-C-20/R20 districts:
    • Maximum sign area
      • five square metres when attached to a building
      • The lesser of 2.5 square metres or 30 percent of the window area where used as a window sign
      • 50 percent of the sign area of a freestanding sign
    • Must display a black screen from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. if visible from and located within 125 metres of a building containing a residence
 
 
 
  • Rules specific to low-density residential, multi-residential, CC-MH, CC-MHX, S-SPR, S-CS, S-CI, S-URP, CC-EMU, CC-ET, CC-EPR, CC-EIR, CC-ERR districts:
    • Only allowed if the sign advertises an event, activity, or service and is associated with one of the following uses:
      • Community Recreation Facility
      • Indoor Recreation Facility
      • Library
      • Museum
      • Outdoor Recreation Area
      • Park
      • All Place of Worship uses
      • All School uses
    • Maximum sign area of one square metre
    • Must display a black screen from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. if visible from and located within 125 metres of a building containing a residence
  • May have one digital message sign per property except for corner parcels which may have one sign facing each street
    • This does not apply if the sign displays only the date, time, temperature, parking information, fuel price, or a drive through menu board
 
  • Must not be located on a parcel adjacent to Deerfoot Trail, Spruce Meadows Trail, Stoney Trail, or any provincial highway when the copy on the sign is visible from these roads, unless it follows the following rules:​
​​​Table 1: 1: Maximum digital message sign area facing the same oncoming traffic and minium distance from ​Deerfoot Trail, Spruce Meadows Trail, Stoney Trail or provincially controlled high​way   
Maximum sign area (square metres) Minimum Distance from edge of payment to sign (metres)
5.0 400
4.0 350
3.0 300
2.0 250
1.0 200

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Inflatable sign

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A large, inflatable sign that can be a variety of shapes and sizes. They are expandable by using air or other gas, creating a three-dimensional display feature. They are often used to draw attention from people nearby. A maximum of 10 per cent of the sign can be text.

    • Not allowed if visible from major roadways or in pedestrian oriented areas; refer to the Land Use Bylaw Part 3, Division 5, Section 89(1) and (2)
    • Not allowed in the Stephen Avenue Mall heritage area
    • Must not be located on a roof
    • Must be tethered and touching the surface on which it is anchored
    • Must not extend higher than the maximum height allowed for a freestanding sign; refer to the Land Use Bylaw Part 3, Division 5, Section 97
    • Only one inflatable sign may be located on a property at any time and a maximum of two Inflatable signs are allowed per year
    • Can be displayed on a property for up to 30 days
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Painted wall sign

​A sign that is painted directly onto the exterior wall of a building, and can include copy that identifies the occupant of a building, unlike an art signMay be located anywhere on a building wall.

  • If the sign is removed, the building wall must be refinished to match the building
  • No restrictions on the copy area
  • No restrictions on the designated sign area

Roof sign

A roof sign is installed on the roof of a building or in such a way that it projects above the top of a building.

    • Only allowed in commercial, industrial, mixed use, S-CI, S-SPR, and CR20/C20-R20 districtsroof sign
    • May only identify the business or building occupant by name or logo
    • Supports and structures used must not be visible
    • The sign and any supports must not extend beyond the district maximum building height 
    • The sign area of all roof signs on the same side of a building must be less than or equal to 2.5 per cent of the area calculated by multiplying the width of the building face by the building height from the bottom of the sign to grade

Rotating sign

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This type of sign rotates or includes rotating features.

    • Rotating signs are only allowed in commercial or industrial districts.
    • It must not exceed the maximum height and sign area allowed for a freestanding sign; refer to the Land Use Bylaw, Part 3, Division 5, Section 97

Temporary sign marker

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A temporary sign marker refers to a physical, delineated space on a property where temporary signs may be placed on an ongoing, rotational basis. A temporary sign marker must be approved and designated as a location for temporary signs. 

  • Not allowed on major roadways or pedestrian oriented areas; refer to the Land Use Bylaw, Part 3 Division 5 Section 89(1)(2)
    • Must be:
    • Constructed of concrete, landscape pavers or similar hard surface material
      • Constructed of different surfacing than the surroundings so it clearly stands out
      • Always visible and clear of obstructions
      • A minimum of 0.4 square metres
      • Anchored or set into the ground
    • The number of temporary sign markers allowed on a property must match the number of temporary signs allowed – please refer to basic signs (Class A)​
    • Must not be located within 7.5 metres of motor vehicle access to the property
    • Must have an underground electrical power supply if a temporary sign will be illuminated
    • Must be located so that it is accessible from within the property in order to install, maintain, or remove the sign

Rules for Third party advertising signs (Class F)

Review the checklist and sign rules below.

Sign locations

  • Please see section 111 and 113(6)  in the Land Use Bylaw.
  • Third party advertising signs are a listed use in:
    • C-COR1, C-COR2, C-COR3, C-O districts
    • I-G, I-B, I-E, I-C, I-R, I-O, I-H districts
    • S-CRI, S-FUD districts
    • CC-X, CC-COR, CR20-C20/R20 districts

Sign placement

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  • 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:
    • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

Rules for Digital third party advertising signs (Class G)

 

Review the checklist and sign rules below.

Sign locations

  • Please see section 115.2  in the Land Use Bylaw.
  • Digital third party advertising signs are a listed use in:
    • C-COR3, C-O districts
    • I-G, I-B, I-C, I-R, I-O, I-H districts
    • 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 300 metres of any other digital message sign or digital third party advertising sign facing the same oncoming traffic
  • Must not be located within 75 metres of any other digital third party advertising sign facing the same oncoming traffic
  • There must be no more than two freestanding digital 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
  • Must be the following distances away from a property line facing a street depending on the traffic speed limit:
​​Speed limit (​km.h) ​Required distance from property line (m)
Speed Limit (km.h): ​60 Required Distance from Property Line (m): ​6.0​
Speed Limit (km.h): ​70 Required Distance from Property Line (m): ​10.0
Speed Limit (km.h): ​80 Required Distance from Property Line (m): ​14.0
Speed Limit (km.h): ​90 Required Distance from Property Line (m): ​16.0
Speed Limit (km.h): ​100 Required Distance from Property Line (m): ​​17.0
  • May be located closer than the distances above if:
    • The sign replaces an existing approved digital third party advertising sign
    • The development permit approving the sign remains in effect
    • The distance from the sign to any property line is not less than that of the existing approved digital third party advertising sign
  • Must not be visible from a building containing a residence
  • Must not be located less than 125 metres to a building containing a residence
  • Trees required under an approved development permit cannot be removed or altered to accommodate the placement or visibility of a digital third party advertising sign.
  • Must not be located on or attached to the roof of a building
  • A freestanding digital third party advertising sign must be separated, at distances determined by the Transportation Department, from:
    • directional sign larger than 3 square metres in a roadway
    • 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.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 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
    • Allowance for a 1.5 metre cut-out to the top and face of the sign and a 0.7 metre cut-out to the sides and bottom of the sign where the sign owner or sponsor may display their name

General rules

​​
    • An applicant must show that any proposed digital third party advertising sign is compatible with the character of the streetscape and the architectural design of nearby buildings.
    • The sign must not block natural light from the windows and doors of surrounding buildings, and it may not obstruct the skyline.
    • 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.
    • No other signs or materials can be attached to a digital third party advertising sign.
    • The backs of all digital third party advertising signs and all cut outs must be enclosed.
    • The space between the faces of a double faced digital 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 three 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 digital third party advertising sign
    • may only approve the application if a digital third party advertising sign is a listed use in the district;
    • must not approve the application when the sign is located within and the digital display is visible from 125 metres of a building containing a residence

Prepare your application

  • Complete the checklist (can be found inside the rules section of your class of signage)
  • Review your fees

How do you pay for a permit?

Online submissions

For online submissions you will pay your permit fees in full at the time of your application using a credit card

In person submissions

You will be required to pay in full at the time of your application. You may pay by credit or debit card, cheque or cash.

How long will it take to get a permit?

Timelines indicated are not a guarantee and depend on volumes, application completeness, and the applicant’s timely replies to additional information requests from the City.

Tip: To avoid delays in processing your application, make sure your application includes all the required documents, plans and information listed on the checklist below. 

 

See the tips for a smooth application for details on submitting a complete application.

Building safety approval - development permit Our process Timeline
Application is reviewed to ensure it matches the approved development permit and reviewed for safety code compliance 7 days

When does your permit expire?

Permit type Expiry (from date of issuance)
Sign permit 180 days

You will receive a permit expiry reminder in the mail. If you need more time, you can extend your permit. Visit the extend or reinstate your permit page.

Do you need to hire a professional?

If you are hiring someone to do the work for you, they will need to apply for the permit. Visit our hiring a contractor page to review the 5 steps to choosing a contractor.

Professional architects or engineers

An architect or professional engineer may be required to design and inspect your project. Refer to the current National Building Code – Alberta Edition, Division C, Section 2.4.2 or a consultant to determine if professional involvement is required. Where professional involvement is required, plans or documents must be stamped by the corresponding professional(s).​​

If your project requires engineer’s review, then a seal of professional engineer registered to practice in the province of Alberta for the proposed design should be provided. The engineer should be registered with APEGA- The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. Please visit APEGA website for professional engineer’s stamp authentication requirements.

How to prepare your application


1. Prepare the application details

You will need to know:

  • The project address
  • Who is applying (the homeowner or someone representing the owner)
  • Who will be doing the work (contractor, homeowner)
  • What you are applying for
  • Project details, including the size of the deck

2. Prepare the required documents and plans

Specific drawing and supporting document requirements are listed on the permit checklist (can be found under the Rules section). You must provide all the required drawings and documents when you submit your application.

Apply


Tips for a smooth application process

Before you apply

Download the checklist and check each application requirement as you prepare to submit your application. Items listed on the checklist are the minimum requirements. We might need more information after we review your application.

Provide all required documents on the checklist, including drawings, supporting material, and any additional forms. If you are not sure if something is required, contact the Planning services center

Use sample drawings to review what you need to include on your plans

Double check your documents are completed and make sure you have all required items on your plans before you upload them

After you apply

The Planning services centre may contact you for more information required for your application. Follow-up on requests for more information as quickly as possible. 

Use the Job Access Code (JAC) to check status updates for your application on calgary.ca/vista

  • You’ll get a JAC by e-mail after you’ve submitted your application. If you did not receive a JAC number, contact the Planning services center.
  • Checking your application’s status using your JAC will provide you with timely updates about the status of your application

What is a complete application?

A complete application means that you have provided all the necessary requirements for our teams to complete their reviews. You should provide everything listed on the Complete Application Requirement List, including plans, supporting documents and payment.

An application for a permit may be refused  if, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt,  if adequate information and documentation is not supplied as requested by the Safety Codes Officer. Should a permit be considered for refusal, the applicant will be given notification in writing and 30 days to resubmit the missing information. For more information, please review Building advisory A19-002 building permit complete application.

Apply online

To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.

We’re currently experiencing higher than seasonal application volumes, we apologize for delays. To check the status of your permit, go to vista.calgary.ca and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number

Apply in-person

Complete the application form.

Once you have gathered all required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning aervices centre.

After you apply


How to check the status of your permit

After you submit your application online, you will get a confirmation email with a Job Access Code (JAC).

To track your application and check its status, enter your Job Access Code in Vista.

If you need help or have questions, contact our Planning services centre

What inspections do you need?

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.

How do you book your inspections?

Visit building inspections for information on how to book, cancel or reschedule an inspection, permit expiry and the requirements for each inspection type.

Contractors

If you have a Vista account:

If you do not have a Vista acount:

Planning services Centre

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (MT)

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

In person: 
Planning services centre,
3rd floor, Municipal building 
800 Macleod Trail SE

Book an eAppointment for in person services at appointment.calgary.ca

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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. ​