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Placement of election and political signage on City property

August 10 2015

Election signs are allowed on private property behind the sidewalk
Photograph by Zhu [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Flickr

With the federal election to be held on October 19, 2015, this is a reminder that the placement of election and political signage on City of Vancouver streets and sidewalks is regulated through the Street and Traffic Bylaw.

The bylaw states that signage is not permitted on City streets without approval of the city engineer. This includes medians, poles, boulevards, sidewalks, and the street itself.

Signs are allowed on private property and City poster cylinders

During elections, the approach the city engineer has taken over many years is to make it possible and practical for political parties and candidates to place signage on private property that is clearly visible.

The City's enforcement approach is to allow election and political signage between the back of the sidewalk and the adjoining private property.

Some of the signs may be on City property, but given that a property line can be difficult to identify without a survey, the City allows this encroachment.

Election and political material may be posted on the City of Vancouver's poster cylinders located on designated lamp standards throughout the city.

Places where signs can't go

However, election and political signage is not allowed on all other areas, including but not limited to:

  • Boulevards (the area between the sidewalk and the street)
  • Street centre medians (including on Boundary Road)
  • Poles
  • Structures such as utility or post boxes
  • Sidewalks
  • Streets

Retrieve impounded signs

Any signs or posters found in the restricted areas will be impounded and stored at the expense of the party and candidate involved.

If a sign or poster is removed by the City, it can be recovered at Engineering Services, 5th Floor, 507 West Broadway on Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Under the Impounding Bylaw, the City is authorized to charge for the removal of unlawfully placed signage on City streets. The impoundment charge ranges from $100 to $300 per sign or display based on the level of staff and equipment required for removal.

Get more information

Have questions about the placement of election signs and political signs?