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Permanent sign permits

Permanent signs include billboards, ground signs, or signs attached to buildings (fascia signs).

To install a permanent sign you’ll need to apply for a sign permit to make sure it complies with the Sign By-law and the Ontario Building Code.

What it costs, how long it takes

It usually takes about six to eight weeks to get a permit.

The cost will depend on the number of signs you’re installing and the size of each sign’s face. The size of your sign is measured by the square metre area of the sign’s face.

A permanent sign will cost $34 per square metre plus $55 per sign. The minimum fee is $385.

When you submit your permit request you’ll need to pay a deposit of $275. This will be credited towards the total cost of your sign permit.

Check the Sign By-law

Before you start a new project, check the Sign By-law to find out what the restrictions are on the type and size of the sign you can build in your area.

Gather drawings and documents

You’ll need to submit the following drawings and other documents as part of your application. Your drawings should clearly show the locations and size of all existing and proposed signs. Drawings must be to scale, and should use metric measurements.

Site plan

The site plan must include the following information:

  • Sign location(s)
  • Road locations
  • Building location
  • Setbacks from proposed sign(s) to property lines (ground signs)
  • Nearest major intersection
  • Property line locations
  • Setbacks to parking areas/driveways (entrance/exit)
  • Indicate unit location and which building face the sign is to be installed on (fascia signs)
  • Key plan that shows the unit’s location in the building

Elevations of your sign(s) and buildings

Fascia sign:

  • Dimensions of building face (height and width of unit/building)
  • Location and dimensions of existing and proposed sign(s) on building elevation(s)
  • Sign graphics (message)
  • Illuminated or not

Ground sign:

  • Overall height and
  • dimensions from
  • grade
  • Sign graphics (message)
  • Illuminated or not

Cross sections and structural details

  • Wall construction
  • Materials used in sign construction
  • Method of connection/anchorage to wall or column (type and size of fasteners, spacing between fasteners, length of fasteners)
  • Weight of the sign

Additional documents

  • A letter of authorization from the property owner
  • Commitment to general review (if applicable)

Check for additional approvals

Depending on the location and type of sign you’re installing, you may need other approvals before your sign permit can be issued:

Zoning Certificate of Occupancy

All sign applicants must have a valid Zoning Certificate of Occupancy. The zoning certificate must be approved for the same location as your sign permit.

Signs next to a provincial highway

If you’re installing a permanent sign within a quarter mile (0.40 km) of a provincial highway like Highway 401 or 403, you may need approval from the Ministry of Transportation.

Signs next to regional roads

To install a ground sign next to a regional road, you’ll need approval from the Region of Peel.

You can apply for a permanent sign permit online through the ePlans portal.

1. Create account and permit request

Start by creating an ePlans account. Then log into ePlans and follow the steps to submit your sign permit request and pay the administration fee.

2. Upload drawings and documents

Shortly after submitting your permit request, you’ll receive an email from the City that includes your temporary project number and an invitation to upload drawings and supporting documents.

3. Pre-screen review

After you upload your drawings and documents, we’ll do a ‘pre-screen’ review to make sure the minimum requirements are met. This process usually takes three to five business days.

If everything is correct, we’ll let you know what additional fees need to be paid. You can reference the Permit Fee Schedule for a general idea of the charges.

If we still need more information, you’ll receive a “pre-screen corrections” email. You’ll need to make all of the pre-screen corrections in order to move ahead with the application process.

4. Your application is created

Once your request passes the pre-screen review and you have paid the fees required, your application will be created and we’ll email you a new application number.

5. Department review

Your application will be sent to the review group to make sure it meets the building code, sign by-law and other applicable approvals. If your application is complete this review will take about two weeks.

When the review is complete, the status of your application will be updated to either “approved” or “withheld.”

If your application is “withheld” you will need to resubmit revised or additional information. You can review our feedback in your “Project status report” in ePlans. We’ll send you an ‘applicant resubmit’ email telling you what to do next.

Resubmitting your application could add two weeks to the permit process.

6. Download approved drawings

Once your application is approved, you’ll be notified via email that your permit and drawings are available to download in ePlans.

Check your application status

Check the status of your building permit application by visiting “Project info” in ePlans. Learn how to check your application status in ePlans.

Your “workflow – project status report” provides real time comments from the review groups. This report will outline what additional information you will be required to submit. You will not be able to submit any additional information until all of the review groups have completed their review. Learn how to view your project status report.

If your application has been withheld, we will send an email telling you what to do next. Until you receive this email you cannot upload any additional information or respond to any comments in ePlans.

Due to COVID-19, payments for sign variance applications can only be made by electronic funds transfer at this time.

Your sign permit application will be reviewed by a sign examiner to make sure it complies with the Sign By-law. If your application does not meet Sign By-law requirements, you can either revise your application and re-submit it or apply for a sign variance.

A variance is an exception to the by-law, and is only granted for very specific circumstances, such as a pre-existing condition applying to the land or the building.  Applying for a variance does not guarantee that one will be granted.

It is strongly recommended that you design your sign to comply with the Sign By-law whenever possible.

Application process

1. Submit variance application

To apply for a variance, you will need to upload all required documents into your existing sign permit application and complete the “Applicant Resubmit Task” in ePlans.

You will also need to email the completed Electronic Payment Information Form to pb.eftpayment@mississauga.ca.

If you’re applying for a variance for an electronic billboard, additional information will be required.

2. Application reviewed

Urban Design staff will review your application. If additional information is required we’ll contact you.

3. Decision

If the variance is supported, staff will notify you. If all other outstanding items such as structural comments have been addressed, your permit will be issued.

If the requested variance cannot be supported, staff will notify you. You will be given an opportunity to resubmit an acceptable proposal.

If an agreement cannot be reached, you will be notified of the refusal, and any applicable review comments. You will then have a few different options:
  • Amend the proposed sign to comply with the Sign By-law
  • Cancel the application. Variance fees are non-refundable. Other fees are subject to the refund amounts outlined in the Building By-law and/or Fees and Charges By-law.
  • Request an appeal of the decision to Planning and Development Committee (PDC) for a final decision. If you request an appeal, staff will prepare Corporate Report for the PDC. You will be advised of the Committee meeting date. You will also have the opportunity to speak before the PDC if you wish.

Documents you need

Fees

Pay the non-refundable sign variance fee of $1226 by electronic payment. If a variance is required for an existing sign installed without a sign permit, a fee of $1500 is applicable.

Once you’ve received your permit and are ready to install your sign, you’ll need to schedule an inspection or multiple inspections by a City official. This is to make sure the sign is installed as per your permit and the Sign By-law.

  • Fascia sign inspections must be scheduled after the sign has been installed
  • Ground signs must be inspected twice. The first inspection should be scheduled when you’re ready to construct footings and the second inspection after the sign’s been installed

Sign enforcement and penalties

The City may remove your sign if it’s unsafe or violates the Sign By-law. You may also be fined up to $5000, excluding costs.

Contact us

If you have any questions or need help, please call 311 (905-615-4311 from outside City limits) or email public.info@mississauga.ca.