A Sign Variance approval is required before a Sign Permit can be issued for a sign which does not comply with the provisions of the Sign By-law.
Sign Variance Decision (Approval or Refusal)
An application for variance from the provisions of the Sign By-law may be granted where it is established that the proposed sign or signs will:
Applicants for Sign Variances must establish that their sign proposal meets all of these criteria in order for the sign variance application to be approved.
The authority to review and make determinations on variance applications for first-party signs has been delegated to the staff of the Sign Bylaw Unit.
Decisions on variances made by Sign Bylaw unit staff can be appealed within 20 days of the decision, and will be considered by the Sign variance Committee. Any applicant or interested party is able to appeal a sign variance decision made by staff provided that they fill out the appropriate forms and pay the applicable fees.
The authority to review and make determinations on variance applications for third-party signs has been delegated to the Sign Variance Committee.
The Ward Councillor may have approvals of variances granted by the Sign Variance Committee re-considered. These re-considerations will be decided by City Council through the respective Community Council.
The Sign Variance Committee is a City board that hears appeals of the Chief Building Official’s decisions on variance applications for first party signs and makes decisions on variance applications for third party signs.
As part of the Sign Variance Process, the following public notification processes must be followed:
All drawings to be drawn on standardized sized sheets, drawn to scale, fully dimensioned, signed and dated.
All drawings, reports, and forms, including the completed forms, must be provided in a PDF format on a re-writable DVD, USB or submitted by email.
Details of the type of copy proposed (ie. electronic, readograph, static).
Notes and details about lighting design and illumination levels for the sign.
Fully dimensioned drawings showing the sign proposal and location on the building or lot, including location and dimensions of any other signs on the building or lot.
Showing property lines and setbacks (sign and building) as well as the proposed sign location, the location any other signs on the building or lot.
Photographs of the site and/or building with the new sign proposal (optional).
Height of sign above surrounding grades. Distance of sign from property lines and street lines.
Depth and height of the building. Clearance from grade to the bottom of the sign. Elevations including storey levels and their heights. Location of windows and other openings.
(Required for most signs, other than Window or Painted signs)
Loading Information* (Snow Loads, Wind Loads, Earthquake Loads). Information of Combustion of Sign face/Materials.
For Wall Signs only: Cross section showing the depth of the sign and structural capability of the building or structure to which the sign is attached. Sign weight and attachment details.
For Ground Signs only: Foundation design and attachment details. Soil Parameters.
*where a building permit is required for the sign.
For Third Party Sign Variances only:
Third Party Sign Variance applications also require a detailed site plan prepared, dated and signed by a practising Ontario Land Surveyor (OLS), with the following requirements:
All distances, and relative locations listed above shall describe the distances from the outermost limits of the proposed Third Party Sign, as provided for in §694-14A.
The Applicant will also file a statement confirming accuracy of the site plan signed by the Applicant and signed and stamped by the OLS who prepared the site plan.
To apply for a First Party sign permit, you will need:
If making a Sign Variance Appeal, you will need:
Only electronic applications are accepted, and can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure you send all required forms, documents and drawings in PDF format.
For applications submitted via email, we accept credit card payments over the phone. Please call our main line at 416-392-8000.
Only electronic applications are accepted in person at our front counter. Please make sure you bring all required forms, documents and drawings in PDF format to our counter on a USB drive or disc.
The fees can be paid in person by debit, credit card or certified cheque (under $2,000.00). Cheques should be made out to “Treasurer, City of Toronto”.
$794.29 per application
$1,781.98 per application
$2,969.95 per application
$712.78 per application