Mural Program

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Ottawa's mural program

Murals are large-scale artworks created directly on a wall, or attached to it, with written permission of the property owner. Outdoor murals help the community by controlling graffiti vandalism, supporting arts and culture, contributing to economic development, and providing youth engagement opportunities.
The aim is to beautify and enhance the community with images that reflect and depict culture, history or visions of artistic expression in a tasteful and positive manner. The mural art shall not discriminate, or incite any other person to infringe upon any person’s human rights, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, or disability.

Mural regulations and restrictions

Municipal, provincial, and federal regulations

Each mural project in Ottawa must follow the requirements of municipal by-laws and provincial and federal regulations. These include:

Mural regulations

The mural design must follow specific regulations, such as:

  • Wording meaningful to the public at large can be included in the artwork
  • Murals may not be used for commercial advertising or public information or solicitation of any kind, for example, the following cannot be used in the artwork:
    • No artist names
    • No websites or blogs
    • No brand names, logos, or taglines
    • No lengthy descriptions
    • No tags or acronyms
    • No trademarked symbols or text
    • No inappropriate or controversial wording or images
  • A one (1) square metre area may be located at the bottom corner or at the lowest point of the mural to list artist name(s) and acknowledge sponsor(s)

Please note: the local community must be consulted on the mural location and proposed artwork.

Mural pre-application process

The mural review process assists residents or businesses to ensure the proposed mural meets all city by-laws, regulations, and acts before it is installed.

Step 1 - Choosing a wall/location

The mural applicant is responsible for identifying the location/wall as well as securing the property owner authorization form, which must be signed by the owner and not the tenant.

Step 2 - Proposed artwork review

The mural applicant will be required to send the final sketch for the artwork review process. This includes various internal partners within the city and the appropriate Ward Councillor.

Step 3 - Funding

Funding for murals can be public or private. Below is a list of potential public funding resources.

Organization Program
City of Ottawa Heritage Funding Program
City of Ottawa Arts Funding Program
Crime Prevention Ottawa Paint it Up!
Canada Council for the Arts Project Grants for Organizations in the Visual Arts
Ontario Arts Council Artists in the Community/Workplace
Ontario Arts Council Visual and Media Arts Projects
Ontario Arts Council Arts Education Projects

Mural Routes

Mural Routes is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that serves the mural community throughout the province of Ontario and is dedicated to the advancement of murals to revitalize and beautify cities. Mural Routes is internationally recognized for providing a network in Canada that specifically serves the needs of artists involved in mural art and has created a special niche within the arts community regarding all aspects of mural production.