Sign By-law

The Town of Gravenhurst’s Sign By-Law 2023-031 regulates all outdoor signs and advertising space. This by-law ensures that signs are safe, appropriate in size, number and location, and consistent with the visual character of the Town and our commitment to preserving the dark sky. Depending on the type of sign proposed, a sign permit may be required. 

 NEW: Updates to the Sign By-law

The updated Sign By-Law 2023-031, which will repeal and replace By-law 2022-10, includes: 

  • Additional sign definitions
  • New section for Mobile Signs
  • Requirements for Sign Permits
  • Maximum number of Signs permitted to be displayed on business and store faces
  • Maintenance requirements for Legal Non-Conforming Signs
  • Sets the parameters for Permitted Signs in specific zones as per the Town’s Zoning By-law 2010-04 
 Do I need a sign permit? 

A sign permit from the Town of Gravenhurst may be required prior to installation or substantial alteration of the following types of signs:  

different types of advertising signs

My proposed sign is located in the Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) 

The Sign By-law treats the BIA as a special section and imposes a different set of regulations:

  • Signs in this area are requested to conform with the Façade Design Guidelines (see Schedule 'A')
  • Signs in this area cannot be backlit, but can be externally illuminated (i.e. Gooseneck Lighting)

How do I apply for a sign permit? 

Before you complete the application form, ensure you have the following items: 

  • Written authorization from the property owner
  • Detailed site plan with an overview of the property indicating the location of the sign (including adjacent streets, buildings, existing signs, setbacks)
  • Elevation and cross section views of the proposed sign
  • Structural detail of the proposed sign (dimensions, design, and materials)
  • Schedule 1 Designer Information (if applicable) 

If the proposed sign will be affixed to a building:

  • Drawings/specs identifying the location on the building where the sign will be affixed
  • Details about how the sign will be anchored 

All sign designs must be in compliance with the Town of Gravenhurst Dark Sky By-law as well as any other applicable by-laws and regulations. 

Note: Proposed signs located in the Hwy 11 Corridor require MTO approval before applying for a sign permit with the Town of Gravenhurst. 

For more construction details refer to section 8 of the Sign By-law.


Signs that do not require a permit 

Some incidental signs such as election signs, rezoning/development notification signs, incidental signs, and sandwich boards are still regulated in the by-law but do not require a sign permit. Before placing these types of signs please refer to the By-law and please feel free to contact the By-law Enforcement Division for more assistance.

The following signs are not permitted 

  • Abandoned or Obsolete Signs
  • Incidental Signs located on Town property
  • Roof Signs
  • Flag Signs
  • Signs attached to fencing
  • Private or Public Property Signs or Flag Signs including derogatory wording or obscenities
  • Illuminated signs in the BIA (see section 3 of the By-law for exceptions)

Submit a complaint about a sign

Sign complaints may be submitted using the Town of Gravenhurst Complaint Form. Please provide the relevant information and you will receive an update from an inspector.  

Is there funding available to improve my business sign?

Yes! The Community Improvement Program includes tax incentive grants for qualified projects. Façade and Streetscape Design Guidelines are in place to create a more cohesive and inviting look and feel in the designated urban area.

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