Sign permits


The City of Kitchener’s development services have been impacted in a number of ways by the COVD-19 pandemic. For current information on how the service outlined on this page has been impacted, visit our  COVID-19 page:

Our sign by-law regulates the locations, sizes and types of signs that are installed within our city. These guidelines ensure all local sign installations are safe, structurally sound, visually appealing, and do not impede visibility.

Permanent signs: If you want to install a permanent sign, please read our submission requirements before submitting a permanent sign permit application.

If your sign does not comply with these submission requirements, please follow the Sign By-Law Variance Process outlined below.

NEW: The Ontario Building Code now requires the following signs to be designed by a Professional Engineer

  • All types of projecting building signs (including fascia) weighing more than 25 kg (55 lbs)
  • All freestanding signs greater than 1.8 metres (5.9 feet) above ground level
  • For more information, see Building Services Notice
Portable signs
Portable signs may only be placed in approved locations. A maximum of six permits may be issued for any one business or use per calendar year. To apply for a permit, complete our portable sign permit application.
Temporary signs - banner and inflatable
A maximum of six permits may be issued for any one business or use per calendar year. To apply for a permit, complete a temporary sign permit application
 Sign By-law – Variance Process
If your sign does not comply with the standard requirements of a permit, you will need to submit a variance request. That process is as follows: 
  • Applicant completes and submits an application form with the applicable fee to the City of Kitchener Planning Division
  • Notice of the application will be posted on the city’s website
  • All property owners within a 120 metre radius receive written notice of the request and are given the opportunity to express comments 
  • Planning staff will circulate and receive input from other departments or agencies deemed to have an interest in the application
  • In cases where the variance request is deemed minor and there are no concerns, the process will take approximately 4 weeks to complete
  • Approval may be subject to conditions, which must be fulfilled in order to finalize the variance
  • If there are any objections, staff will attempt to address the concerns or seek a compromise with the applicant
  • If the concerns cannot be resolved, or if staff do not support the requested variance, community members or the applicant will have the opportunity to appeal the staff recommendation to City Council
  • If in the opinion of the delegated authority, a variance request is deemed worthy of consideration but not minor, the application will be processed as a by-law amendment that would be considered by Council (decision on amendment requests would be final with no further appeal) 

Please email with your sign and zoning (occupancy) certificate inquires and applications.  Staff are currently monitoring these emails and will get back to you as soon as possible.   Payments are to be sent via mail or courier to City Hall attention: 6th Floor, Planning Division referencing the type of application.


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