This type of billboard has copy or messaging that changes electronically. Electronic billboards are prohibited according to the Sign By-law (referred to as “changing copy signs”). But you can install these types of billboards in certain areas of the City under specific conditions.
To understand how applications for electronic billboards are evaluated, refer to the Guidelines for Electronic Billboards.
You’ll need to apply for a sign permit and a variance to the Sign By-law. Applying for a variance does not guarantee that one will be granted.
Apply for a sign permit
First, review the guidelines for electronic billboards to make sure your billboard meets all of the requirements. Then follow the steps to apply for a permanent sign permit.
Once your sign permit application reaches the department review phase, the Sign Examiner will send you comments explaining that you need to apply for a variance as well.
Apply for a sign variance
You’ll need to attach a sign variance application to your existing sign permit application using the ePlans portal.
Complete and upload the following documents. The Guidelines for Electronic Billboards outline all of the information you need to include in each:
- Waiver from the property owner
- Urban Design Impact Assessment
- Sign Variance Application Form
- Letter explaining why you need a variance
After you upload everything, visit the Planning and Building customer service counter in person to pay the non-refundable variance fee of $1226. The counter is located on the third floor of 300 City Centre Drive and is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you’re applying for a variance for a sign that’s already installed, the fee will be $1500.
After paying your fee, you’ll need to upload your receipt to ePlans and complete the “applicant resubmit” task.
If the variance is approved, we’ll issue your sign permit.
If your variance is refused
We’ll send you an email explaining why your variance was refused. If this happens you can either cancel your application, revise and resubmit it, or ask to appeal the decision to the Planning and Development Committee for their consideration.
If you request an appeal, we’ll advise you of the date the committee meets. If you want to speak at the Planning and Development Committee meeting, please email email@example.com.
If you need more information about variances for electronic billboards, please call 311 (905-615-4311 outside City limits).