Vancouver, Canada - February 18, 2010: Granville street entertainment district at night during the Winter Olympics

Signs and the City

Vancouver is changing and so have signs and technology. There are now more signs and different kinds of electronic and digital signs available.

Currently, Vancouver’s sign regulations don’t reflect changing technology or broader opportunities for community benefits such as airtime for public art, Amber Alerts, or community announcements.

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We’re now working on phase 2 of the Sign By-law review

Phase 1 of the Sign By-law review resulted in updates to regulations for signs on private property and business identification signage in 2017.

Phase 2 of the Sign By-law review will focus on the following signage on private property:

  • Billboards;
  • Third party advertising signs; and
  • Electronic signage

What's happening

Online survey

Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts as part of the Sign By-law review phase 2 online survey. 

The information you provided will help us create a draft framework for this kind of signage in Vancouver, including ideas for how to regulate them. We'll be asking for more feedback on policy options in mid 2020.


Engagement sessions

Open houses

Since launching phase 2 of the Sign By-law review in fall 2019, we’ve hosted two open houses sessions that were held on November 23 and 27, 2019.

Review the open house information displays (37 MB)

Review the consultation summary (706 KB)

Project Timeline

Here is our progress and anticipated milestones.

  • Mid 2017

    Phase 1 Council approval: Approval of new Sign By-law and relaxation process

  • 2019

    Public launch of phase 2

  • Early - mid 2019

    Stakeholder consultation: Consultation with sign and outdoor advertising industry

  • Late 2019

    Public and stakeholder engagement: Open houses and online survey

  • Early - mid 2020

    Develop policy options

  • We are here
  • Mid 2020

    Public and stakeholder engagement: Opportunities to learn about ideas for regulating advertising signs and to provide feedback

  • Mid - late 2020

    Prepare recommendations and present to Council: Proposed changes considered by Council.

  • 2021 and onwards

    Implementation of Sign By-law updates

Vancouver Sign By-law

The Sign By-law:

  • Regulates signs that businesses use to identify themselves on private property
  • Provides specifications for the size, shape and height of signs; and
  • Regulates where a sign may be placed on a building or site

Generally, more prominent signage is permitted in the downtown core area and local commercial areas, while signs in residential areas are the most restricted. 

Currently, the by-law does not regulate signs on streets, sidewalks, parks, provincial and federal lands, or signs located inside buildings that are not visible from the street. 

Sign By-law

Regulates all signs on private property, including signs encroaching over a street or lane.

Contact us

Sign By-law review - phase 2:

sign.review@vancouver.ca

Sign permit inquiries:

sign.permits@vancouver.ca