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).

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 candidates 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 candidates 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 buildings property/lawn, without the consent of the apartment building owner.  You are permitted to post an election sign in your dwelling unit window.

Any sign, including an outsider election sign (third party sign):

  • advertising or promoting a candidate in a federal, provincial or municipal election, including an election of a local board or commission, or
  • intended to influence persons to vote for or against any candidate or any question or bylaw submitted to the electors under section 8 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

An outsider election sign:

  • is an election sign which has been erected or displayed without authorization, direction or involvement of a candidate.
  • Outsider election signs displayed by third party advertisers are subject to the same conditions and limits as election signs displayed by candidates.
  • Outsider election signs may be displayed on private property or public property, provided that regulations pursuant to TMC Chapter 693, Article II, Election Signs are followed, including the below regulations specific to third party advertisers:
    • the sign contains valid and up-to-date contact information for at least one individual responsible for the outside election sign and
    • the third party advertiser has registered with City Clerk's prior to displaying the sign.

Election signs:

  • There is no longer a requirement to pay a $250.00 deposit to display election signs on public property. In additional, there is no longer a removal or storage fee charged for improperly displayed election signs.  
  • 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.
  • Candidates in a federal or provincial election are no longer required to register with the City Clerk's Office (as there is no longer a requirement to pay the election sign deposit), and will not automatically information about the City's election signs regulations, however, they can download the information from the City of Toronto website.

Time period for displaying election signs:

  • Election signs for a Provincial or Federal election are only permitted to be displayed after the writ of election is issued
  • Election signs for a Municipal election, are only permitted to be displayed 25 days prior to election day
  • When the day the writ of election is issued or the 25th pay prior to election day is a date of religious or cultural significance, (as indicated in the annual schedule of meetings adopted by Council and published by City Clerk's), election signs shall not be displayed until the next day that is not a date of religious or cultural significance
  • Election signs may be displayed at campaign offices from the day the writ of election is issued for federal and provincial elections and 25 days prior to election day for municipal elections
  • In the case of a candidate for the position of Councillor or Trustee, election signs can be posted to 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 can be posted to no more than four campaign offices.
  • all signs are required to be removed 72 hours after the election
  • 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 may not exceed 1.2 square metres (12.92 square feet) in total sign face area and cannot be higher than 2 metres above ground level, except:
  • On campaign offices
  • On TTC dedicated advertising spaces, station advertising may not exceed 2.3 square metres, vehicle advertising space may not exceed 2.7 square metres.
  • On street installations, signs cannot be larger than the area of the dedicated advertising space
  • On third party signs (e.g. billboards), signs must be displayed in accordance with the applicable permit, Toronto Municipal Code Chapter (TMC) 694
  • When displayed indoors, there are no size or height restrictions.


Election signs cannot:

  • be illuminated (unless on TTC dedicated advertising space permitted by the TTC, street installations permitted by the City, or third party signs (e.g billboards) in accordance with the applicable permit under TMC Chapter 694
  • be attached to trees
  • obstruct visibility or block sight lines for pedestrians, cyclist or motorists
  • display the City of Toronto logo, in whole or in part
  • no person shall deface or willfully cause damage to a lawfully displayed election sign.

Where election sigs can be displayed on public property:

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

* See City of Toronto Road Classification System for clarification on collector, arterial and local roads.

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
  • despite the above, the City is not obligated to store signs made entirely of paper or other lightweight material and may recycle or dispose of these signs immediately upon removal

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 the candidate in federal, provincial or municipal election, and the location of a candidate's campaign office, and contains no other message, (these signs are not the same as election signs displayed on campaign offices).

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.

Related information: