Have your say on election sign rules in Toronto! Share your input through an online survey by 11.59 p.m. March 3, 2021. Your feedback will inform a review of the bylaw regulating election signs in Toronto.

Election signs

Election signs advertise or promote candidates in federal, provincial, or municipal elections (including elections for local board or commissions). This includes signs, balloons, blimps, vehicle wraps, mobile signs on vehicles or trailers and bumper stickers intended to influence a person to vote for or against any candidate.

Election signs in Toronto must comply with the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 693, Article II – Election Signs. For more information about rules governing election signs, please visit toronto.ca/ElectionSigns.

Reporting Election signs on City property

To report an election sign infraction on City property, contact 311 to submit a service request for investigation by Municipal Licensing & Standards.

In order to submit an election sign complaint, signs must be on City property and you must provide:

  1. The name of the offending candidate or the third-party advertiser responsible for the display of the election sign
  2. The address or location of the sign
  3. Very specific landmarks where description of the sign location cannot be done by address
  4. The reason for the complaint (what infraction do you feel has been made).

Regulations for Signs on private property (commercial or residential):

  • If an election sign is on your private property or in front of your private property and you did not give consent for the sign, you have the right to remove the election sign and dispose of it. You can also contact the candidate's office to have them remove the election sign.
  • If an election sign is on private property (front lawns, fences etc.) and is in contravention of the by-law, contact the candidate's office to correct the issue.
  • If you are a tenant in an apartment building, you are not permitted to post an election sign on the building's property/lawn, without the consent of the apartment building owner.  You are permitted to post an election sign in your dwelling unit window.

Outsider election sign:

  • An outsider election sign is any sign that has been displayed without the authorization, direction or involvement of a candidate.
  • Outsider election signs may be displayed on private property or public property, provided that:
    • the sign includes valid and up-to-date contact information for at least one individual responsible for the sign
    • the third-party advertiser has registered with the City Clerk.

Registering with the City Clerk's Office:

  • Candidates in the municipal election must continue to register with the City Clerk's Office and will receive information about election signs when they file their nomination papers, which outlines the regulations surrounding the display of elections signs.

Displaying election signs:

  • For municipal elections, election signs can be displayed 25 days prior to election day.
  • For provincial and federal elections, election signs can be displayed from the day the writ of election is issued.
  • When the day the writ of election is issued falls on a date of religious or cultural significance, election signs cannot be displayed until the following day.
  • Election signs must be removed 72 hours after the completion of voting on election day.
  • Signs found on public property 72 hours after the election will be removed by the City
  • It is the responsibility of the owner of the private property to remove election signs on their property or advise the candidate that removal is required.

Size and height of election sign:

Election signs cannot be larger than 1.2 square metres in area and higher than two metres above ground level, except:

  • on campaign offices
  • on TTC dedicated advertising spaces
  • on street installation dedicated advertising spaces
  • on third party advertising spaces (e.g., billboards)
  • when displayed indoors

Election signs cannot:

  • be illuminated (unless on advertising spaces mentioned above)
  • be attached to trees
  • obstruct visibility or block sightlines for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists
  • contain the City of Toronto logo

Election signs displayed indoors may be displayed at any height.

Where election signs can be displayed on public property:

See guidelines on where to place election signs

  1. Fences: Election signs can be displayed on fences provided that the election sign is displayed with the consent of the owner/occupant of the property.
  2. Private property: Election signs can be displayed on private property with the consent of the owner/occupant of the property.
  3. Public property: Election signs can be displayed:
    • on streets/roads or public utility poles on streets/roads, provided that election signs are not displayed: 
      • within 1.5 metres of the curb/edge of pavement
      • within 0.6 metres of either side of a sidewalk
      • within 15 metres of an intersection/pedestrian crossover of a collector or arterial road
      • within 3 metres of an intersection/pedestrian crossover of a local road*
      • on a median or island
      • adjacent to a voting place, City park or a facility that is owned or operated by the City
      • without the consent of the owner/occupant of the abutting property
    • on bus shelters, garbage and recycling containers, and street installation dedicated advertising space (under agreement with the City or its Agencies, Boards, or Commissions)
    • on Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) dedicated advertising space (under agreement with TTC)
    • as sign copy on a third-party sign (in accordance with the applicable permit under Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 694, Signs, General )
    • on the surface of vehicles or trailers

Election signs cannot be displayed on a median or island, adjacent to a voting place, or without the consent of the owner or occupant of the property beside the median.

Removal of illegally placed election signs:

  • election signs that have been removed by City Officials for being improperly displayed, will be stored for the duration of the election sign period (the time between when election signs are permitted to be displayed until the time they are required to be removed), plus an additional 72 hours after
  • notices will be provided to candidates and third-party advertisers, via email, phone or personal delivery within 24 hours from the time of removal
  • candidates and third part advertisers may retrieve their election signs at designated locations during designated dates/times, during the election sign period and 72 hours after
  • any signs not retrieved may be recycled or disposed of by the City, without notice or compensation to the sign owner

To request the return of confiscated election signs or campaign office signs contact Municipal Licensing & Standards by phone or email to schedule an appointment.

Campaign office signs

A campaign office sign is any sign that solely identifies the name of a candidate in a federal, provincial or municipal election and the location of a candidate’s campaign office, and contains no other message.

Campaign office signs may be displayed:

  • if it is part of a sign structure displayed in accordance with the requirements of TMC Chapter 694, or, in accordance with the applicable sign permit.
  • Directional signs to indicate the location of a campaign office are prohibited.

Placement of campaign office signs

  • Campaign office signs may be displayed provided that regulations around placement of election signs are followed.
  • In the case of a candidate for the position of Councillor or Trustee, election signs are displayed at no more than one campaign office in the ward where the candidate is running for election.
  • In the case of a candidate for the position of Mayor, election signs are displayed at no more than four campaign offices.

Related information: