Sign Permit

COVID-19 Update: Sign permit applications can be made by mail, courier or drop-off to 225 East Beaver Creek Road, ground floor.

Richmond Hill's Sign By-law 52-09 sets the size, location and number of signs allowed on any property, business or at special events in our community.

Signs Requiring a Permit

Temporary Signs

Temporary signs refer to signs that are not permanently attached or fixed to a structure or surface.

Apply for a temporary sign

List of temporary signs

Charity sign - $60
Charity signs are signs located, erected or displayed on Private Property to advertise non-profit or charitable event by a non-profit organization, charity, place of worship, public school board, or separate school board. A Charity Sign is only valid for 14 days. You will find a list of pre-approved locations within the City of Richmond Hill listed on the Application form if you decide to apply.
Development sign - $273
Development signs are signs where Copy shall display: (a) the name or registered trademark including logo, crest or seal of a builder or developer of a development as defined and approved pursuant to Section 41 of the Planning Act, resulting from a Plan of Subdivision approved pursuant to Section 51 of the Planning Act, or a combination thereof; (b) directions to a development as defined and approved pursuant to Section 41 of the Planning Act, resulting from a Plan of Subdivision approved pursuant to Section 51 of the Planning Act, or a combination thereof; (c) information pertaining to the business occupant of a Premises of an approved development pursuant to Section 41 of the Planning Act, or (d) a combination thereof of (a), (b), and (c); and (e) "Development" shall mean such a development described in (a), (b) and (c).
Election sign - $273
Election signs are signs that advertise or promote the election of a political party or a Candidate for public office in a federal, provincial, or municipal election.
Mobile sign - $118

Mobile signs are designed to be capable of being readily moved from one location to another and is usually built on a trailer or other solid platform and may include wheels. A Mobile Sign is only valid for 21 days.

Portable sign - $118
Portable signs are a free-standing Sign located, erected, or displayed on but not permanently anchored in the ground and includes, but is not limited to, Signs commonly referred to as A-frame, T-frame, sandwich board. This does not include an Inflatable Sign or a Mobile Sign. A Portable Sign is only valid for 21 days.
Permanent Signs

Permanent Signs are signs that are affixed to the ground or buildings.

Apply for a permanent sign

List of permanent signs

Awning sign - $248
Awning signs are located, erected, or displayed on an Awning and having a face thereof on a plane approximately parallel to the plane of such wall to which the awning is attached to and shall not include a Canopy Sign.
Canopy sign - $248

Canopy signs are located, erected, or displayed on a Canopy and approximately parallel to the plane of such Canopy and shall not include an Awning Sign.

Entrance feature sign - $248

Entrance feature signs are located, erected, or displayed on Property or Premises, at the entrance of a Development in a residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional Zone for the purpose of identifying the Development.

Ground sign - $248
Ground signs are directly supported by one or more uprights, poles, or braces, or located on a structural base placed in or upon the ground and does not include a Flag Sign, an Inflatable Sign, a Mobile Sign, or a Portable Sign.
Menu board sign - $248

Menu board signs are located, erected, or displayed as part of a drive through facility for the purposes of displaying or ordering products or services, or a combination thereof available at the drive-through business.

Mural sign - $192
Mural signs are any type of display or artistic endeavor that is applied as paint or film, or a sculpture to any external wall or other part of a Premises or structure, but shall not include any stained glass window of a Premises.
Projecting sign - $248

Projecting signs are attached to and projecting from a Premises wall or attached to and hanging from a soffit.

Roof sign - $248
Roof signs are supported entirely or partly by the Roof of a Premises or structure.
Sign package or sales trailer - $1,191
Sign package or sales trailer include all permitted Flag Signs, Ground Signs, Portable Signs, and Wall Signs.
Wall sign - $248

Wall signs are attached to, marked or inscribed on, located, erected or placed against a wall of a Premises and having the exposed face thereof on a plane approximately parallel to the plane of such wall and may include display boxes, but shall not include an Awning Sign, a Banner Sign, a Canopy Sign, a Mural Sign, or a Poster Sign. A Wall Sign shall not be supported by the Roof; the ground or a combination thereof.

Required Documents for Applications

 The documents which you are required to submit will depend on the type of permit application.
Temporary Signs

Mobile Sign - requires an authorization letter from the owner

Portable Sign - requires an authorization letter from the owner

Charity Sign - requires an authorization letter from the owner if the sign is being placed on private property

Election Sign - does not require additional documentation

Development Sign:

  • Site Plan – showing location of proposed sign with respect to parking layout, driveway, property lines, traffic lights and buildings
  • Elevation View – dimensioned drawings showing tenant’s business premise, proposed location of sign, area and graphics / wording on sign
  • Ground Sign Foundation Details - only required during Ground Sign Applications
  • P. Eng. (stamped) Design – Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Ground Sign Structure. Foundation and Connection Details (only required if sign is greater than 7 feet above grade)
  • Connection Details/Sections indicating sign weight, spacing size, strength and # of connecting screws bolts, and/or shields, thickness and strength of attaching member, description of existing building component sign is being attached to
  • MTO Approval – only required for Signs adjacent to Highway 404 (416-235-5385)
  • Written consent from Condominium Corporation or Property Owner
  • Proof of Site Plan Approval & Execution
Permanent Signs
  • Site Plan – showing location of proposed sign with respect to parking layout, driveway, property lines, traffic lights and buildings
  • Elevation View – dimensioned drawings showing tenant’s business premise, proposed location of sign, area and graphics / wording on sign
  • Ground Sign Foundation Details - only required during Ground Sign Applications
  • P. Eng. (stamped) Design – Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Ground Sign Structure. Foundation and Connection Details (only required if sign is greater than 7 feet above grade)
  • Connection Details/Sections indicating sign weight, spacing size, strength and # of connecting screws bolts, and/or shields, thickness and strength of attaching member, description of existing building component sign is being attached to
  • MTO Approval – only required for Signs adjacent to Highway 404 (416-235-5385)
  • Written consent from Condominium Corporation or Property Owner

Signs Not Requiring a Permit

View the information below about each type of sign, for which you don't need a permit in Richmond Hill.

Address sign
Address signs are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. These signs must follow Section 6.2 of the Sign By-law.
Agricultural sign
You don't need a permit for agricultural signs advertising the sale of farm produce grown on the same property where the sign is located, erected or displayed. These signs are allowed in agricultural zones of Richmond Hill and are also allowed in any Oak Ridges Moraine zones according to By-law 128-04.

These signs must:

  • Have a maximum sign area of 3 m2
  • Be a maximum of one double-faced sign or two single-faced signs per private property
  • Be removed within 24 hours of the date when the advertised produce is no longer available for sale
  • Have a maximum height of 1.83 m for a ground sign

These signs can be non-illuminated or externally illuminated

Banner sign
Banner signs are allowed in all zones, except residential zones of Richmond Hill. These signs must follow Section 6.4 of the Sign By-law.
Commemorative sign
Commemorative signs are plaques or corners stones of a non-advertising nature. These types of signs are allowed all of Richmond Hill's zones. They must have a maximum sign area of 0.20 m2, be located, erected or displayed on a premises wall and can be non-illuminated or externally illuminated.
Community special event sign
Signs advertising community special events are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. These signs must follow Section 6.4 of the Sign By-law. 
Contractor advertising sign
Signs advertising the contractor doing landscaping, repairs, renovations or maintenance on a property or premises are allowed in all zones. These signs must have a maximum sign area of 0.30 m2 and must be removed from the property within two days after the project is completed.

These signs can't be illuminated.

Directional sign
Directional signs are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. You can have a maximum of eight directional signs per property. These signs must:
  • Have a maximum sign area of 0.50 m2
  • Have a maximum height of 1.20 m for direction signs in the form of a ground sign
  • Non-ground signs must only be located on the first storey of a premises
  • Not include a business or organization registered trademark, logo, crest or seal that takes up more than 50 per cent of the sign area

These signs can be non-illuminated, externally illuminated or internally illuminated.

Directory signs
A directory sign is allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. These signs must follow Section 6.5 of the Sign By-law.
Election signs

Election signs are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. These signs must follow Section 6.6 of the Sign By-law. On April 16th, 2018 Council enacted an amendment to the Sign By-law, to update Election Sign requirements. Sign By-law Amendment No. 16-18 updated definitions surrounding election signs as well as adding the definition of and regulating Third-Party Advertisements.

Flag signs
Flag signs of public education, religious, charitable or fraternal organizations are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. You can only have three of these signs per premises. These signs must:
  • Have a maximum height of 6 m, including the supporting structure
  • Not include commercial advertising

These signs can be non-illuminated or externally illuminated.

Flag signs of civic nature
Flag signs of patriotic and civic nature are also allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. These signs must be a maximum height of 6 m, including the supportive structure and can be non-illuminated or externally illuminated.
Incidental signs
Incidental signs indicating something about a specific area of the premises are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. These kinds of signs include store hours or an open sign. These signs can be non-illuminated, externally illuminated or internally illuminated.
Interior signs
Interior signs are not meant to be seen off the premises where the sign is located, erected or displayed. These signs are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill.
No Trespassing signs
No Trespassing signs are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill. They must have a maximum sign area of 0.20 m2 and can't be illuminated.
Off-site directional signs
Off-site directional signs are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill and must follow Section 6.7 of the Sign By-law. 
Pennant signs
Pennant signs located, erected or displayed by Richmond Hill or any other of its agencies, boards or commissions can't contain commercial advertising content. This also applies to commercial advertising content by York Region or any of its agencies, boards or commissions. Pennant signs that follow these rules are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill and can't be illuminated.
Public information signs
Public information signs are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill and must be in the form of a wall sign, ground sign or projecting sign. These signs must follow the rules in Table D: Provision for Signs in Industrial, Institutional or Agricultural Zone of the Sign By-law.
Poster signs
Poster signs are allowed in all zones of Richmond Hill and must follow Section 6.8 of the Sign By-law.
Real estate signs
Real estate signs are located, erected or displayed for notification that a premises or property is for sale, rent or lease. These signs must:
  • Have a maximum area of 1.20 m2 in residential zones and a maximum sign area of 3.50 m2 in all other zones
  • Have a maximum height of 1.20 m in the form of a ground sign
  • Must be removed within 14 days after the date of an acceptance offer for the purchase or lease of the property or premises

Real estate signs can't be illuminated.

Real estate open house signs

The permitted use of Real Estate Open House Signs in Richmond Hill is as follows:

  • A maximum of one (1) Real Estate Open House Sign may be displayed on each street frontage of the property where the Open House is being held (for example, if the Open House is at a corner lot then two (2) signs are permitted – one on each abutting street frontage, for all other lots one (1) sign is permitted).
  • Signs can have a maximum Sign Area of 0.36 square metres and a maximum height of 1.0 metres.
  • Signs shall be displayed only on the day of the Open House;
  • Signs may be located on the property that is for sale or within the adjacent boulevard but must be setback a minimum of 1.0 metre from the sidewalk or the road.
  • Signs must indicate the address of the Open House.

The Sign By-law also permits the erection of a Real Estate Sign on a property that is being offered for sale, rent or lease. The information displayed on the Real Estate Sign is not restricted and may include an insert advertising an open house event. 

Signs at a gas station
Signs located, erected or displayed at a gas station are only allowed in commercial zones of Richmond Hill. These signs can't be illuminated.
Signs for home businesses
Signs that identify a home-based business on a private property or premises are allowed in residential zones of Richmond Hill. You can have a maximum of two signs per premises or property. These signs can be a ground sign, wall sign, window sign or a combination of any of these. Home business signs must:
  • Have a maximum sign area of 0.20 m2 for a ground sign or wall sign
  • Have a maximum sign area of 0.15 m2 for a window sign
  • Have a maximum height of 1.50 m for a ground sign

Window signs can't be illuminated. Ground or wall signs can be non-illuminated or externally illuminated.

Window signs
Window signs are allowed in all zones, except residential zones of Richmond Hill, unless they are for a home business. You can have a maximum of six window signs per premises. These signs must have a maximum sign area of 0.15 m2 per sign and can't take up more than 25 per cent of a window, window section or window pane.

Window signs can be non-illuminated or internally illuminated.

Sign Complaints

Residents are allowed to remove illegal signs from their property. To report illegal signs at other locations please contact the By-Law Enforcement Office at 905-771-0198 or bylaw@richmondhill.ca.

Richmond Hill is not able to remove signs from Regional Roads. Illegal signs can be reported to York Region.

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