Sign By-law Review

A draft by-law was presented to Council on Monday, July 9, 2018.  Further public consultation is planned over the next several months to allow stakeholders and the public to review the by-law and provide their comments. Please review the staff report and draft by-law to find out more.

Please send your comments by email to

Why have a sign by-law?

Local businesses are important to Oakville’s economy and contribute to the town’s vibrant communities. Through the use of signs, local businesses can promote the goods and services they provide to generate business, create brand recognition within the community, and communicate broadly with the public.

The regulations outlined in the town’s current Sign By-law 2006-005 are in place to:

  • Guide the types of advertising signs that are allowed on public property and on the property of business locations;
  • Support the town’s objectives to manage visual clutter, ensure the health and safety of the public, and preserve Oakville’s unique character, streetscape compatibility and priority intended for on-site first-party signs throughout the town; and
  • Provide a balance between the town’s objectives and the advertising interests of businesses.

Why are we reviewing the sign by-law?

Sign By-law 2006-005 has been in effect for 10 years with multiple amendments that have affected the regulation of various sign types including but not limited to mobile signs, fascia signs and advertising signs. A review was initiated to ensure the town’s regulations address the needs of local businesses, while reflecting the town’s objectives and unique character.

The four guiding principles of the review are:

  1. Health and safety: The design, location, maintenance, and operation of signs should not pose a safety hazard for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians
  2. Maintaining the community character: Signs should be compatible with their surroundings, reflect the town’s unique character, overall planning and design objectives and contribute positively to a livable environment
  3. Economic development: Signs should contribute to the economic well-being of businesses and communities
  4. Respecting charter rights: Balancing of the town’s objectives with the interests of the business community by ensuring that rights of commercial expression are minimally impaired for the purposes of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

What has happened so far?

In 2017, residents and members of the business community provided input at public open houses and through an online survey. Visual display slides from the open house with key facts and questions identified by staff are available for review.

On November 7, 2016, a staff report presented at the Administrative Services Committee meeting provided details on the sign by-law review.