Review of Permanent Sign By-law Update

As part of the in-progress review of the Permanent Signs on Private Property By-law, the City has posted three additional signage-related issues papers on and would like your input on the eight discussion papers posted by January 13, 2016.

Distinctive Areas
There are areas of Ottawa that are distinctive in their nature and use. They may warrant different (more restrictive or less restrictive) sign rules to reflect their unique character. An example of an existing current special signage district is the Canadian Tire Centre. This paper highlights and seeks public input on several other areas that may be potential candidates for differentiated treatment in terms of sign regulations.

Illuminated signs communicate information about businesses to the public and assist in after-dark wayfinding to those businesses. At the same time, they can have a substantial impact on the way streets and communities look and, if not properly regulated, can distract traffic and be a nuisance to adjacent properties. This paper invites public input on how the City can achieve balance among these factors in the By-law.

Compatibility of Signs with Land Use
Signs should be compatible with their surroundings while reflecting the different needs of particular settings. The current By-law incorporates a graduated approach to sign permissions from the most restrictive in residential and other sensitive areas to the most permissive in the more business-intensive commercial and industrial zones. New technologies, new types of developments and new priorities articulated in the City’s updated Official Plan raise questions as to how sign rules can best be linked to land uses. This paper outlines some of the issues and seeks public input on them.

How can you be involved?
You can find these papers and other information on the By-law review project web page at We encourage you to review the information posted and submit your comments by email:, or telephone: (613) 580-2424 ext. 12448.

When do we need your input?
We invite you to provide your input on the discussion papers by January 13, 2016.

Looking forward?
Recommendations for proposed changes to the by-law will be posted to the website for input during February and March 2016. A report and new by-law will be considered by Committee and Council in June 2016. Those stakeholders who have provided input during the review will receive notice of the Committee meeting with a copy of the staff report.

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