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Edmonton Zoning Bylaw 12800 regulates the design, construction, installation, relocation, alteration and repair of signs located on private property.

Do I Need A Permit?

All signs on private property in Edmonton require a sign permit, except those listed in Section 12.2(1)(t) of the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw. Signs that have an electrical connection also require an electrical permit.

You must have a permit prior to the installation of signs, or it is an offence which is subject to fines and penalties.

Email permanentsigns@edmonton.ca for questions regarding permanent signs.

For relocatable or removable signs see Temporary On-premise and Off-premise Signs

Tips for Planning Your Project

What is a Permanent Sign?

Permanent Sign means a sign that is anchored to a footing extending below ground level, or is affixed to, or painted on, a building or other structure that cannot be readily relocated or removed from a site.

On-premise and Off-premise Signs:

On-premises Signs means any sign displaying copy that identifies or advertises a business, activity, product, service or entertainment located on the premises or site where the sign is displayed.

Off-premises Signs means any sign displaying copy that directs attention to a business, activity, product, service or entertainment that cannot be considered as the principal products sold nor a principal business, activity, service or entertainment provided on the premises or site where the sign is displayed.

Determine Your Site’s Regulations
Determine the Zone

All properties within Edmonton are zoned and that zoning determines which type of signs are allowed. The Edmonton Zoning Bylaw outlines the uses and regulations of a particular zone. 

Use maps.edmonton.ca to find the zone your proposed sign is in. 

Note the Plan in Effect and the Overlay that may also apply.

If the property is in a Direct Control Zone, please email permanentsigns@edmonton.ca to find out more about those specific regulations. A Direct Control Zone may refer to an archived bylaw that was in effect at the time the Direct Control Zone was approved.

Determine the Sign Regulation

Once you have determined the zone, refer to the specific zone regulations in the Zoning Bylaw to find the sign schedule which contains the sign regulations that are applicable to the proposed sign on the subject property.

Signs in Old Strathcona

If you're planning to install a sign in the Old Strathcona Historical Commercial District, please refer to The Old Strathcona User's Guide to Signage for more information about requirements. 

Encroachment Agreement

Signs that encroach from private property into or above City property, easements of interest or right of ways (ROWs) may be subject to an encroachment agreement and additional fees.

Electrical Permit

An electrical permit is required for signs with an electrical connection. The electrical work for the sign can be performed by an electrical contractor or a Certified Sign Service/Installation Technician (SSIT). If a new electrical service is required, it must be an electrical contractor who is doing the work.

An electrical permit will be included automatically with the sign permit application if applicable.

Electrical Contractors

When the electrical work is being performed by an electrician  the name of the electrical contractor can be supplied with the sign permit application.  Once the sign permit has been issued, the electrical contractor will be notified and able to fill out the electrical details required for the permit.

Sign Service/Installation Technician

If the electrical work is being performed by a Certified Sign Service/Installation Technician the sign permit applicant will need to have basic information about the electrical work ready.  The name of the sign installer as well as their certification number is required.  If you do not know your Electrical Certificate Training Program (ETCP) or Sign Service/Installation Technician (SSIT) number you can get it by emailing info@albertasigns.com.

See commercial electrical permits for further details.

Requirements

Fascia Signs

Fascia Signs are painted on or attached to an exterior building wall, or any other permitted structure. Fascia Signs do not extend more than 40 cm out from the building wall or structure. Fascia Signs include banners or any other two dimensional medium.

Site Plan or Curb to Property Line Map with Aerial Imaging
  • A north arrow
  • The curb line, property line and location of any existing or proposed buildings
  • The perpendicular distance from property line to building
  • The location of the proposed sign on the site, dimensioned perpendicular from the property lines to nearest edge of sign
  • The corresponding street and avenue abutting the site
  • For Off-premises Signs, the horizontal distance from the proposed sign to the nearest existing Off-premises Sign, or digital sign
  • For Off-premises Signs, the horizontal distance to the nearest building wall which serves as a backdrop for the sign, where applicable
Elevation Drawings or Photographs

A photograph and/or elevation drawing of each building façade or structure on which a sign is to be erected that shows the building façade for a distance of at least 15.0 m on either side of the location of the proposed sign.

Detailed Plans
  • The overall dimensions of the sign, including all sign boxes and cabinets
  • An illustration of the copy to be displayed on the sign
  • The method of illumination (if any)
  • The materials from which the sign is to be constructed
  • The method used to support the sign
  • The location of the sign on the building or structure
  • The clearance from grade from the lowest portion of the sign
  • The total height of the sign above grade
  • The distance of the maximum projection of the sign beyond the building wall
  • Any sidewalks, pedestrian passageways, or public roadways that the proposed sign shall extend over
  • Maximum extension of the sign above the building roof or parapet wall
Engineering Details

A fascia sign may require engineer design for its structural capacity and method of attachment to the building.

Signs exempted from requiring engineering, include:

  • Individual letters of maximum area of 0.37m2 (4 SF), not attached to other letters, independently attached to a building
  • Plywood sign of maximum area of 3.0m2 (32.29 SF), not attached to other signs, independently attached to a building
  • Cloth or fabric banners and signs painted on an existing building structure

Engineering is required for non-exempt fascia signs.

Members of the Alberta Sign Association (ASA) may use the standard fascia sign engineering where the sign shows:

  • Maximum width 6.096m (20’)
  • Maximum height 6.096m (20’)
  • Maximum sign area 19.97m2 (215 SF)
  • Maximum sign depth 0.305m (1')

Non-ASA-members and applicants for fascia signs that exceed the ASA standard engineering limitations must provide site-specific engineer-stamped design for the sign and its attachment to the building.

Freestanding Signs

Freestanding Signs are supported independently of a building.

Site Plan and Plot Plan/Survey Plan
  • The exact location of the proposed sign with dimensions, prepared by a registered Alberta Land Surveyor
  • A north arrow
  • The curb line, property line and location of any existing or proposed buildings
  • The location of the proposed sign on the site, dimensioned perpendicular from the property lines to nearest edge of sign
  • The corresponding street and avenue abutting the site
  • The perpendicular distance from curb line to property line
  • The location of the proposed sign on the site
  • The location of any existing Freestanding Signs on the site, and whether such sign shall be replaced by the proposed sign
  • The length of the frontage of the site where the sign is to be erected
  • The horizontal separation distance between the proposed sign and other Freestanding Signs located on the site
  • For Off-premises Signs, the horizontal distance from the proposed sign to the nearest existing Off-premises Sign
     
Elevation Drawings or Photographs

A photograph that shows the entire frontage of the site where the sign is proposed.

Detailed Plans
  • The overall dimensions of the sign, including all sign boxes and cabinets
  • An illustration of the copy to be displayed on the sign
  • The method of illumination (if any)
  • The materials from which the sign is to be constructed
  • The method used to support the sign
  • The total height of the sign above grade

Projecting Signs

Projecting Signs are attached to an exterior building wall, or any other structure, or suspended below the ceiling of a canopy, awning, or other structure. Projecting Signs extend more than 40 cm out from the building wall or structure.

Site Plan or Curb to Property Line Map with Aerial Imaging
  • A north arrow
  • The curb line, property line and location of any existing or proposed buildings
  • The perpendicular distance from the curb line to the nearest edge of the sign
  • The perpendicular distance from curb line to property line
  • The perpendicular distance from property line to building
  • The location of the proposed sign on the site, dimensioned perpendicular from the property lines to nearest edge of sign
  • The corresponding street and avenue abutting the site

If the sign encroaches over City property, a plot plan showing the exact amount of encroachment must be submitted and prepared by a registered Alberta Land Surveyor.

Elevation Drawings or Photographs

A photograph or elevation drawing of each building facade or structure on which a sign is to be erected that shows the building facade for a distance of at least 15.0 m on either side of the location of the proposed sign.

Detailed Plans
  • The overall dimensions of the sign, including all sign boxes and cabinets.
  • An illustration of the copy to be displayed on the sign.
  • The method of illumination (if any).
  • The materials from which the sign is to be constructed.
  • The method used to support the sign.
  • The location of the sign on the building.
  • The clearance from grade from the lowest portion of the sign; and the total height of the sign above grade.
  • Maximum extension of the sign above the building roof or parapet wall.
  • The distance of the maximum projection of the sign beyond the building wall.
  • Any sidewalks, pedestrian passageways, or public roadways that the proposed sign shall extend over.
  • The location of any existing Projecting Signs on the building and whether such sign(s) shall be replaced by the proposed sign.
  • For signs which project beyond the property line, the horizontal distance from the curb to the part of the sign nearest the curb. (If the sign encroaches over City property, a plot plan showing the exact amount of encroachment must be submitted and prepared by a registered Alberta Land Surveyor.)
Engineering Details

A projecting sign requires engineer design for its structural capacity and method of attachment to the building.

Members of the Alberta Sign Association (ASA) may use the current standard blade sign engineering where the sign shows:

  • Maximum width 1.219m (4')
  • Maximum stand-off 0.102m (4") gap between building wall and sign

Non-ASA-members and applicants for signs that exceed the ASA standard engineering limitations must provide site-specific engineer-stamped design for projecting sign and its attachment to the building.

Roof Signs

Roof Signs are erected upon, against, or above a roof, or on top of or above the parapet of a building.

Site Plan or Curb to Property Line Map with Aerial Imaging
  • A north arrow
  • The curb line, property line and location of any existing or proposed buildings on which signs are to be displayed
  • The perpendicular distance from curb line to property line
  • The perpendicular distance from property line to building
  • The location of the proposed sign on the site, dimensioned perpendicular from the property lines to the nearest edge of sign
  • The corresponding street and avenue abutting the site
  • The location of all existing Freestanding Signs, Roof Signs, Major and Minor Digital Signs on the site
  • For Off-premises Signs, the horizontal distance from the proposed sign to the nearest existing Off-premises Sign
Elevation Drawings or Photographs

A photograph or elevation drawing of each building façade or structure on which a sign is to be erected that shows the building facade for a distance of at least 15.0 m on either side of the location of the proposed sign.

Detailed Plans
  • The overall dimensions of the sign, including all sign boxes and cabinets
  • An illustration of the copy to be displayed on the sign
  • The method of illumination (if any)
  • The materials from which the sign is to be constructed
  • The method used to support the sign
  • The location of the sign on the building
  • The total height of the sign above grade
  • The clearance from grade from the lowest portion of the sign
  • Maximum extension of the sign above the building roof or parapet wall
  • The distance of the maximum projection of the sign beyond the building wall
  • Any sidewalks, pedestrian passageways, or public roadways that the proposed sign shall extend over
Engineering Details

Applicants must provide site-specific engineer-stamped design for the roof sign and its attachment to the building.

Digital Signs

A Minor Digital Sign contains digital copy that is not animated.

A Major Digital Sign contains digital copy, and may include static images, moving effects, message transition effects, video images, or animation, and on-premises and/or off-premises advertising.

On-Site Plan/ Survey Plan/ Off-Site Plan
  • A site plan, containing:
    • The exact location of the proposed sign with dimensions, prepared by a registered Alberta Land Surveyor
    • A north arrow
    • The curb line, property line and location of any existing or proposed buildings
    • The location of the proposed sign on the site, dimensioned perpendicular from the property lines to the nearest edge of the sign
    • The corresponding street and avenue abutting the site
    • Perpendicular distance from the curb line to the property line
    • Perpendicular distance from the property line to the building(s)
    • The directional orientation of any copy area
    • Location of the proposed sign on the site
    • Location of any existing signs on site, and whether such sign shall be replaced by the proposed sign
    • The location of all existing Freestanding Signs, Roof Signs, Major and Minor Digital Signs on the site
  • An off-site sign context plan for each digital sign face, containing:
    • A north arrow
    • Location of the nearest traffic control devices or traffic control signals, and all traffic control devices or traffic control signals along the blockface where the sign is located
    • Location of the nearest roadway intersections, and all adjacent roadway intersections
    • Location of the nearest Digital Sign that is greater than 8 m sq
    • Location of the nearest Off-premises Sign
    • Location of all transit stops and shelters along the blockface
       
Elevation Drawings/ Photographs
  • A photograph that shows the length of the frontage of the site where the sign is to be erected
  • Photographs of the abutting roadway(s) where the sign is to be erected
  • Digital Signs that are Fascia Signs shall also include:
    • A photograph or elevation drawing of each building façade or structure on which a sign is to be erected that shows the building façade for at least 15.0 m on either side of the location of the proposed sign
       
Detailed Plans
  • The overall dimensions of the sign, including all sign boxes and cabinets
  • An illustration of the copy to be displayed on the sign
  • The method of illumination (if any)
  • The materials from which the sign is to be constructed
  • The method used to support the sign
  • The total height of the sign above grade
  • Digital Signs that are Fascia Signs shall also include:
    • The maximum extension of the sign above the building roof or parapet wall
    • The clearance from grade from the lowest portion of the proposed sign
    • Any sidewalks, pedestrian passageways or public roadways that the proposed sign shall extend over
    • The distance of the maximum projection of the sign beyond the building wall
       
Confirmation from the Digital Sign manufacturer

Confirmation from the Digital Sign manufacturer that:

  • The light intensity of the sign has been preset not to exceed the illumination levels established in Section 59.2(5) of the Zoning Bylaw
  • The sign has an installed ambient light monitor
  • Brightness level shall not exceed 400 nits
Traffic Safety Study (Major Digital Sign Only)

A traffic safety study imprinted with the stamp or seal of a Professional Engineer is required for all Major Digital Sign applications near traffic conflict points such as intersections, merge points, exit ramps, traffic control signals or curved roadways. A traffic safety study imprinted with the stamp or seal of a Professional Engineer may be required at the discretion of the Development Officer in consultation with Transportation Services for any Minor Digital On-premises Sign, Minor Digital Off-premises Sign, Minor Digital On-premises Off-premises Sign, or Major Digital Sign. The study shall contain, but is not limited to, an analysis of possible traffic safety impacts, including impacts on motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and visibility of traffic control devices or traffic control signals.

Panel Replacements

Panel replacements are replacing the panel of an existing Sign.

Site Plan or Curb to Property Line Map with Aerial Imaging
  • A north arrow
  • The curb line, property line and location of any existing or proposed buildings
  • The location of the proposed sign on the site, dimensioned perpendicular from the property lines to nearest edge of sign
  • The corresponding street and avenue abutting the site

Note: A curb to property line map with aerial imaging in PDF is available by emailing mapdesk@edmonton.ca or by calling GIS Mapping at 780-496-6636.

Elevation Drawings or Photographs

A photograph or elevation drawing of each building facade or structure on which a sign is to be erected that shows the building facade for a distance of at least 15.0 m on either side of the location of the proposed sign.

Detailed Plans
  • The overall dimensions of the sign, including all sign boxes and cabinets
  • An illustration of the copy to be displayed on the sign
  • The method of illumination (if any)
  • The materials from which the sign is to be constructed
  • The clearance from grade from the lowest portion of the sign
  • Any sidewalks, pedestrian passageways, or public roadways that the proposed sign shall extend over
     

Comprehensive Sign Design

A Comprehensive Sign Design Plan is a plan for all signs that will be on the site.

Comprehensive Sign Design Plan Narrative
  • A coloured rendering of the sign(s) development and a narrative outlining the following information:
    • The exception(s) to the Zoning Bylaw sign schedule required by the comprehensive sign design plan
    • An explanation of how these exceptions achieve a greater degree of visual harmony between the proposed sign(s) and the building or site than would be possible through the provisions of the sign schedule having regard for:
      • The compatibility of the design, scale and location of the sign(s) in relation to the scale and architectural character of the building upon which the sign is to be erected and the type, scale and location of other signs on the building
      • The compatibility of the materials from which the sign is constructed and the illumination of the sign in relation to the architectural character and the exterior finish of the building
      • The compatibility of the proposed sign(s) with the use, landscape and architectural character of surrounding development
Site Plan
  • A north arrow
  • The curb line, property line and location of any existing or proposed buildings
  • The location of the proposed sign on the site, dimensioned perpendicular from the property lines to the nearest edge of sign
  • The corresponding street and avenue abutting the site
  • The perpendicular distance from curb line to property line
  • The perpendicular distance from property line to building
  • The location of the proposed sign(s) on the site (numbered consecutively)
     
Elevation Drawings or Photographs
  • A photograph or elevation drawing of each building façade or structure on which a sign is to be erected that shows the entire building façade
  • All sign locations must be identified (numbered/lettered consecutively and labelled with the use class)
     
Detailed Plans
  • The overall dimensions of the sign, including all sign boxes and cabinets
  • The location of all sign(s) on the building
  • The clearance from grade from the lowest portion of the sign
  • The total height of the sign above grade
  • Maximum extension of the sign above the building roof or parapet wall
  • Any sidewalks, pedestrian passageways, or public roadways that the proposed sign shall extend over
  • The dimensions of any changeable copy, and digital sign panels
     

Submit Your Application

Fees

Fees are determined by the 2020 Development Permit and Related Fees listing.

Additional fees will be charged, if an electrical permit is required. See the listing for 2020 Building Permit and Safety Codes Fees

Online Application Checklist
Required for all Sign Applications:
  • Elevation drawings or photographs
  • Detailed plans
Required for Fascia, Projecting, Roof, Panel Replacement Sign Applications:
  • Site plan or curb to property line map with aerial Imaging
Required for Freestanding Sign Applications:
  • Site plan and plot plan/survey plan
Required for Digital Sign Applications:
  • On-site plan/ survey plan/ off-site plan
  • Confirmation from the digital sign manufacturer
  • Traffic safety study (Major Digital Sign only)
Required for Comprehensive Sign Design Applications:
  • Comprehensive sign design plan narrative
  • Site plan
File Instructions:
  • Name files to describe contents and project address (Example: “Site Plan — 321 45 Street NW”)
  • Submit separate files for each document type (Example: site plan and elevation drawings should be separate)
  • Ensure the project address is included within every file
In-Person Application Checklist

Due to COVID-19, we are not accepting in-person applications.

To apply in person complete the following documents and visit the Edmonton Service Centre located in the Edmonton Tower Building. There are several ways to make a payment.

Required for all Sign Applications:
Required for Fascia, Projecting, Roof, Panel Replacement Sign Applications:
  • Site plan or curb to property line map with aerial Imaging
Required for Freestanding Sign Applications:
  • Site plan and plot plan/survey plan
Required for Digital Sign Applications:
  • On-site plan/ survey plan/ off-site plan
  • Confirmation from the digital sign manufacturer
  • Traffic safety study (Major Digital Sign only)
Required for Comprehensive Sign Design Applications:
  • Comprehensive sign design plan narrative
  • Site plan
File Instructions:
  • Ensure the project address is included on every file

After You Apply

Application Processing

When the application is submitted online and the fees have been paid, our intake staff will check that all the required information and documents have been received. Once the application is complete, the application is assigned to a Development Officer to review against the Edmonton Zoning Bylaw.

Signs may require circulation to other relevant stakeholders as part of the review process (this may include departments such as Subdivision Planning).

The Development Officer will make a decision on the development. If approved, you will receive a copy of your approved permit by email to the email address you provided on your application form.

Changing Your Application or Permit

Changes to your submitted application may be subject to additional fees. To make changes while your application is in progress please email permanentsigns@edmonton.ca or the Development Officer working on the sign permit.

To make changes after your permit has been issued contact the development authority identified on your development permit.


Cancellation And/Or Refund Request Form

Electrical Inspections

An Electrical inspection may be required at various stages of your project. Review your electrical permit conditions to understand when to request inspections.

Online Applications: Request your inspection(s) online.

In-Person Applications: Call 311 to request your inspection(s).

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