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The banner program allows for a temporary sign other than a poster sign and is a decorative banner or a street banner to be installed on City of Ottawa owned poles or utility poles with the approval from the respective owner of the pole in accordance with the Signs on City Roads By-law (2003-520).

Banner permits can be issued at any time and are valid for up to 1 year.

All banners must comply with the City of Ottawa Corporate Sponsorship and Advertising Policy:

Development sign

Development signs are identification and promotional signs located on the developer or builder's own property where the development is to occur either as one project or in phases.

Development signs can be either ground or wall-mounted and can include the following types of signs utilized by the development industry:

  • Primary ground signs promoting the development
  • Directional signs to model homes
  • Model home identification signs
  • Sales centre signs
  • Amenities signs

Directional development sign

Directional development signs are permitted under sign permits on vacant land, except in residential zones and DR O1, and L3 zones. These signs provide a public service to prospective buyers who aren't familiar with the locale and need wayfinding assistance. The signage contributes to safety on the roadways by clearly directing the public to their intended destinations.

Homebuilder temporary way-finding (HBTWF) sign permit

Through the City's Signs on City Roads By-law No. 2003-52015, HBTWF Signs are allowed alongside roadways to direct traffic to the boundary of new housing developments and then to the builder sales centres to assist with general way-finding.

Projects are eligible for HBTWF Signs during the time of active sales and construction. The placement of these signs is subject to City approval to ensure public safety, consistent format and locations. Homebuilder Way-finding Signs are permitted alongside roadways to direct traffic to the boundary of new housing developments and to the builder sales centres to assist with general way-finding. It is the responsibility of the homebuilder to install the signs in the right-of-way once the location has received approval from the City.

Permanent Signs on Private Property

You may have to apply for a permit before installing a permanent sign on your property.

The Permanent Signs on Private Property By-law (No. 2016-326) regulates the design, construction, installation, relocation, alteration, and repair of permanent signs located on private property in the City of Ottawa. Temporary signs are governed by a different by-law.

Before you apply for a sign permit, you need to know your property’s zoning, since different sign permissions apply in different zones. Find or confirm your zoning through the “How to find your zoning” section of the Comprehensive Zoning By-law.

Questions? Call 613-580-2424, ext. 41162, or email

Signs - temporary signs on private property

Temporary signs on private property are regulated by By-law No. 2004 - 239. The following information provides an overview of this by-law, however if you would like more details, please refer to the actual by-law.

What does the by-law say?

  • Four, 30-day temporary sign permits per business establishment are permitted in any calendar year. Inflatable signs for a maximum of seven days.
  • Each temporary sign must be located twenty-three metres (23m) away from another temporary sign.
  • The temporary sign must be on the premises of the business it advertises.
  • Some signs do not require a permit, but they must comply with the by-law regulations: Election signs, incidental signs, real estate signs, signs presenting a message that is political, civic, charitable, philanthropic, educational, artistic, cultural or religious in nature, signs identifying the sale of seasonal farm-site produce provided signs are placed on premises zoned agricultural, for sale signs and signs affixed to gasoline pumps.
  • All temporary signs must display a clear and logical message relating to the business activity.
  • Signage must be: in good repair, situated at grade, a maximum of 2.7 m in height and structurally safe.
  • Signage must not impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
  • The name and telephone number of the sign business must be visible on the sign.
  • Temporary signs are not permitted on any premise zoned residential.


  • Can be displayed on private property thirty (30) days in advance of the election date.
  • Must be removed within 48 hours of the election.
  • See Regulations – Elections Signs

Real Estate Signs

  • One sign permitted for each street line of the premise offered for sale.
  • Must be removed two weeks after sale of the premises