An election sign is any 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.
This includes balloons, blimps, vehicle wraps, mobile signs on vehicles/trailers, bumper stickers, etc.
If you would like to report an election sign that is in conflict with the Signs By-law, contact 311.
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 Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 694, or, in accordance with the applicable sign permit (administered by Toronto Building).
Campaign office signs may be displayed provided that all regulations around timing and 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.
Directional signs (to indicate the location of a campaign office) are prohibited.
Outsider election signs
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.
When Election Signs Can Be Displayed
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 25th day prior to election day (or the day the writ of election is issued) is a date of religious or cultural significance, election signs cannot be displayed until the following day.
When Election Signs Must Be Removed
Election signs must be removed 72 hours after the completion of voting on election day.
Election Sign Deposits or Fees
There is no longer a requirement to pay a $250 deposit to display election signs on public property.
In addition, there is no longer a removal or storage fee changed for improperly displayed election signs.
Who Can Remove Elections Signs
Election signs displayed on private property must be removed by the owner/occupant of the property. The owner/occupant can also request removal/retrieval by the candidate or third party who provided them the election sign(s).
Election signs displayed on public property must be removed by the candidate or third party responsible for their display.
Candidate will be notified via email, personal delivery, mail or fax, within 24 hours of a sign being removed. Signs can be retrieved at designated City facilities, during designated dates/times throughout the Election Sign Period (and for 72 hours after). Any signs not retrieved may be recycled, destroyed or disposed of by the City.
Restrictions That Must Be Followed for Election Signs
Election signs cannot:
- be illuminated unless on TTC dedicated advertising space permitted by the TTC, street installation dedicated advertising space permitted by the City, or a third party sign (e.g. billboard) in accordance with the applicable permit under TMC Chapter 694
- contain the City of Toronto logo
- obstruct visibility or block sightlines for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists
- be attached to trees
Election signs cannot be larger than 1.2 square metres in area, except
- on campaign offices
- on TTC dedicated advertising spaces
- on street installation dedicated advertising spaces
- on third party signs (e.g., billboards) in accordance with the applicable permit under TMC Chapter 694
- when displayed indoors.
Election signs displayed outdoors cannot be higher than two metres above ground level, except on
- campaign offices
- TTC dedicated advertising spaces
- street installation dedicated advertising spaces
- third party signs (e.g., billboards) in accordance with the applicable permit under TMC Chapter 694
Election signs displayed indoors may be displayed at any height.
Where Election Signs Can Be Displayed
- provided that the election sign is displayed with the consent of the owner/occupant of the property
On private property
- with the consent of the owner/occupant of the property
On public property
- 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 dedicated advertising space (under agreement with TTC)
- as sign copy on a third party sign (in accordance with the applicable permit under TMC Chapter 694)
- on the surface of vehicles or trailers
*See the City of Toronto Road Classification System for clarification on collector, arterial and local roads