Signs within the Town of Collingwood are regulated under By-law No. 2012-10, as amended and in some cases regulated under the Ontario Building Code.
A sign permit is required before you erect, display, alter or allow the erection, display or alteration of any sign including the change of sign copy within the Town of Collingwood.
The purpose of the Sign By-law is to coordinate the type, placement, and scale of signs within the different land-use zones and to recognize the commercial communication requirements of all-sectors of the business community. In so doing, the By-law shall encourage signs which are compatible to the heritage of its downtown buildings and the unique scenic characteristics of the community; shall promote both renovation and proper maintenance; and shall be accomplished by regulation of the size, shape, display, erection, use, and maintenance of signs. The use of signs is regulated according to zone.
- abandoned signs
- inflatable signs
- billboard signs
- roof signs
- signs on a marquee
- flashing or animated signs
- posters on public property
- signs located so as to obstruct the view of any pedestrian or motor vehicle driver so as to cause an unsafe condition
- signs interfering with or obstructing the view of an authorized traffic sign, traffic signal, or official sign or any sign capable of being confused with such a traffic sign, traffic signal or official sign
- sign located within a sight triangle
- sign which is located so as to interfere obstruct or impede fire escape, fire exit, door, window, skylight flue, air intake or exhaust, or parking space;
- moving, swinging, revolving, or rotating sign, except as specifically permitted elsewhere
- signs which use ‘Day-Glo'
- fluorescent, luminous or reflective paint or similar products except for traffic control purposes
- signs which include more than one trademark or emblem that is registered or copyrighted in the name of the applicant or includes a trademark or emblem exceeding 20% of the sign face
- signs which advertise any specific brand of product unless the brand of product is also the name of the business, except on mobile signs and banners
- pennant, spinner, streamer, or twirling signs
- the tacking, pasting or otherwise affixing of signs of a miscellaneous character, visible from a street located on the walls of buildings, sheds, trees, poles, posts, fences, or other structures
- signs which inhibit the architectural feature of the building.
Further, no person shall:
- Erect a sign in a location which may interfere with or damage any above or below ground municipal or utility services which have been lawfully placed at the location.
- Attach, affix or display any sign or advertisement on a vehicle or trailer which is parked or located for the primary purpose of displaying said sign or advertisement.
- signs that regulate official traffic or government signs;
- the copy and message of signs;
- signs not intended to be viewed from a public right-of-way;
- window displays which do not constitute window signs;
- product dispensers;
- scoreboards on athletic fields;
- flags of any nation;
- government or noncommercial organization;
- religious symbols;
- commemorative plaques;
- the display of street numbers; or
- any display or construction not defined herein as a sign.
Sign Permit Application Form
- Dimensioned elevation drawings of the building on which the sign is to be displayed
- Include the size, area, height and location of the sign and the height of all lettering
- Installation details of the sign and sign structure with footing and fastening details
- Provide the weight of the sign if a projecting sign
In accordance with the Ontario Building Code, a building permit shall be obtained and a professional engineer shall provide design details and overview under the following circumstances:
- A ground sign that exceeds 7.5 metres in height above the adjacent finished ground;
- A projecting sign that weighs more than 115 kilograms;
- A roof sign that has any face that is more than 10 square metres; and
- A projecting sign attached in any manner to a parapet wall.
All signs within the Collingwood Heritage Conservation District shall:
- conform to the requirements of the Downtown Collingwood Heritage Conservation Plan, as amended.
- face a street or public lane
- have only one sign per business shall be installed on the exterior of the building that faces a street and must conform to other parts of this By-law.
- A fascia sign in the Collingwood Heritage Conservation District shall be erected no higher than the upper limit of the first storey of a building, and no higher than the upper limit of the second storey in all other areas (subject to Section 13.6).
One sidewalk sign per Collingwood Heritage Conservation District business frontage is permitted according to the following provisions:
- sidewalk sign shall not exceed 0.75 meters in width or 1.0 meters in height including the sign frame and shall not exceed 0.75 meters squared in area including the sign structure;
- sidewalk sign shall not be illuminated;
- sidewalk sign shall not protrude onto a sidewalk or boulevard a distance of more than 1.0 meters from the façade of the building and be affixed to the façade of the building or is constructed of a solid material or is weighted down to ensure the sign cannot be easily moved by natural causes;
- shall not be displayed at any time that may interfere with the safe plowing or removal of snow; and
- only one (1) sidewalk sign is permitted per business.
A summary of the typical fees and charges are listed below. Additional fees may apply.
Permanent Signs on Private Property
|Fascia Sign||$3.25/ft2 (minimum $100.00)|
|Ground Sign||$3.25/ft2 (minimum $100.00)|
Temporary Signs on Private Property
|Maximum 15 day display period||$55.00 for each display period|
|Maximum 30 day display period||$115.00 for each display period|
|"A" Frame Sign (sandwich board) removed daily||No charge|
Sign By-law Variance Fees
|Description||Variance Application Fee|
|Sign Variance Application Fee||$570.00|
|Sign Variance Application Fee: Sign within the Heritage District||$850.00|
When a sign does not comply with the regulations of the Sign By-law, a Sign Variance may be applied for. It is recommended that staff be consulted prior to applying for a Sign Variance. Authority to approve or deny proposed variances has been delegated to the Chief Building Official.If approved, the applicant will be required to apply for a Sign Permit from the Building Services Division. If approval is not granted, the applicant may appeal the decision to Council.
Once the application is received, staff will review consideration of the sign variance request by Council. The application for a sign variance can be found below. Please submit your application to the attention of Building Services.
Criteria for Approving a Minor Variance
Approval is based on whether the requested variance(s) adhere to specific criteria that ensure the general intent and purpose of the Sign By-law is maintained.
The proposed Sign Variance(s) is evaluated using the following four criteria:
- Are there are any special circumstances or conditions applying to the land, building or use referred to in the application
- Would strict application of the provisions of the By-law in the context of the special circumstances applying to the land, building or use, result in practical difficulties or unnecessary and unusual hardship for the applicant, inconsistent with the general intent and purpose of this By-law;
- Are there special circumstances or conditions that are pre-existing and not created by the sign owner or applicant; and,
- Does the sign that is the subject of the variance alter the essential character of the area in which the sign will be located?
Number of business days to provide the status of application:
- 5 Business Days
Submit the complete permit application and pay fees online to Building Services using the Public Portal.
Application is reviewed for completeness, compliance with the Sign By-law, Building Code and Applicable Law. Application review comments are provided during application review. Permit issued when review is satisfactory. Installation of sign(s) may begin, and inspections scheduled. Building Inspector reviews installation of sign and a final report issued.
Please DO NOT include any personal information on your Building Plans (e.g., the homeowner’s name or phone number). Building Plans submitted for Permit are subject to disclosure in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).