Rules for Election Signs


In order to put up election signs in Markham, candidates and third party advertisers need a permit from the City of Markham.

Election signs are regulated by both local and regional municipal bylaws:

  • Markham Election Sign Bylaw 2018-8
  • Markham Sign Bylaw 2002-94
  • York Region sign Bylaw 2015-36

The City of Markham administers and enforces election sign rules in Markham.

Election sign icon

Apply for an election sign permit

Candidates and third party advertisers can purchase one or both of two election sign permits, depending on where they want to post their signs:

  • City of Markham Election Sign Permit: $255 fee (non-refundable)
    • For private lawns and designated local road intersections:
  • York Region Election Sign Permit: $270 fee (non-refundable)
    • For designated regional road intersections in Markham

Both permits can be purchased from the City of Markham online and by appointment. 

Send completed application to electionsigns@markham.ca to book your appointment.

Election Sign Information Sessions

Campaign volunteers and members of the public are invited to learn about election sign rules for the 2022 Markham Municipal Election.

Attend one of the following sessions:

Tuesday, August 30, 2022
7 to 9 PM
Hosted on Zoom

Register Now

Thursday, September 15, 2022
7 to 9 PM
Hosted on Zoom

Register Now

Dimension Maximum Size
Sign area 1.49 square metres (16 square feet)
Height 1.22 metres (4 feet)
Width 1.22 metres (4 feet)
Height off the ground 2 metres (6.6 feet) above the ground

Election signs can’t be designed in a way that could confuse, distract, or mislead traffic, or in any other way threaten pedestrian or driver safety.

Signs can’t:

  • Light up
  • Have flashing lights, reflectors or rotating parts
  • Use words, phrases, symbols, characters, light or other design elements that imitate a traffic sign or signal (e.g., ‘Stop’, ‘Look’, ‘One Way’, ‘Danger’, etc.)

Outside of the above, election sign content is not regulated by municipal bylaws. Complaints about libel or hate speech on election signs are investigated by the York Regional Police under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Election signs are allowed on private property if:

  • The candidate or third party has purchased the proper election sign permit from the City of Markham
  • The sign is put up within the permitted posting period for the election
  • The property owner or occupant has given permission for the sign for the sign to go up
  • The sign is planted in the ground (e.g., not on a wall, window, fence, utility structure, tree or natural object)
  • The candidate or third party advertiser only has one election sign posted on the property
  • The election sign doesn’t interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic safety
  • The sign doesn’t interfere with a fire escape, fire exit, door, window, scuttle, skylight, flue, air intake, or exhaust
  • The sign doesn’t stop or impede emergency workers from accessing any part of a building (including emergency water connections and/or fire hydrants)
  • If it’s a rural residential area or a farm, the sign is on the part of the property that is being maintained as a residence
  • The property doesn’t border a restricted street within a Heritage Conservation District;

Election signs are allowed on public boulevards bordering the front yard of a private residence, unless the residence is within a Heritage Conservation District. Permission is needed from the property owner or resident whose home borders the boulevard. Election signs are not allowed on public boulevards to the side or back of private residences.

 

Election signs are allowed on public property if:

  • The candidate or third party advertiser has purchased the proper election sign permit from the City of Markham
  • The sign is put up within the permitted posting period for the election
  • The sign is put up at a designated intersection, and is:
    • Within the candidate or third party advertiser’s electoral district
    • Within 50 metres of the corner and outside the corner’s sight triangle
    • At least 10 metres back from a driveway or parking lot access point
    • At least 5 metres back from any bus stops, bus shelters, and fire hydrants
    • At least 3 metres back from the curb, road shoulder or edge
    • At least 3 metres back from a school crossing
    • At least 1 metre back from any sidewalks
    • Planted in the ground (e.g., not on a wall, window, fence, utility structure, tree or natural object)
    • Not between a curb and a sidewalk
    • Not on a traffic island or median strip
    • Not on a corner where the neighbouring property is a City of Markham facility (e.g., community centre, public library, etc.)
    • Not on a corner where the neighbouring property is being used as a Voting Place
    • Not blocking safe pedestrian or vehicle movement
    • Not blocking City maintenance work

If an election sign is put up in conflict with the City’s bylaws, the sign will be removed and held until after the election.

  • Candidates and third party advertisers who have a permit can put up election signs  starting September 26 at 10 AM
  • Signs that are not recovered by the candidate or third party advertiser  within 72 hours after Final Voting Day (October 24) are removed by the City of Markham
  • Signs  are removed by the City if:
    • The sign is placed in a non-permitted location
    • The sign has been removed from the ground or is in disrepair
    • The sign poses a public safety hazard
  • Candidates and third party advertisers will be charged a $26 service fee for any sign that is in violation of the City’s bylaws. 
    • Candidates and third party advertisers whose election signs are removed by the City receive weekly reports that will include:
      • The location of any removed signs belonging to them
      • The reason why a specific sign was removed
      • The total infraction fees they owe to the City
  • Signs that are removed by the City are held until after the election
    • Candidates and third party advertisers are notified of where and how they can get their election signs back
    • Election signs that are not recovered by the owner are disposed of by the City
  • Election signs are private property. Complaints about vandalism, theft, or tampering are reported to the York Regional Police


Safety precautions

When installing and removing election signs, remember to take proper safety precautions to support both your own and public safety, such as: 

  • Wearing bright and reflective clothing (e.g., traffic vests) and safety footwear
  • Putting up and taking down election signs outside of peak travel times (e.g., between 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM)
  • Parking your vehicles  in a way to minimize the impact  to pedestrians, and cyclists, and other motorists
  • Staying clear of any maintenance or construction
  • Securing your signs firmly in the ground to protect them from being blown away
  • Candidates are allowed to put up elections signs at their campaign office, except for mobile, portable, and banner signs
  • A single election sign displaying the words “Campaign Headquarters” can be placed on private property
  • Signs may be placed on a candidate’s campaign office once the candidate has filed their nomination with City Clerk

After the election, candidates are encouraged to recycle coroplast (corrugated plastic) election signs at the York Region Waste Depots listed below. Only coroplast campaign signs are accepted (plastic film signs are not accepted). Please remove any fasteners, wood or metal stakes and wires before dropping-off.

Signs will be accepted at these locations for up to 7 days after the election.

Elgin Mills Community Environmental Centre

1124 Elgin Mills Road East,  Richmond Hill, Ontario
1.866.665.6752

Day Hours of Operation
Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Thursday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Sunday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Closed civic and statutory holidays

 

McCleary Court Community Environmental Centre

130 McCleary Court, Concord, Ontario
1.866.665.6752

Day Hours of Operation
Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Thursday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Sunday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Closed civic and statutory holidays

 

Georgina Waste Transfer Station

23068 Warden Avenue, Keswick, Ontario
1.866.665.6752

Day Hours of Operation
Monday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday Closed

Closed civic and statutory holidays

 

For election sign-related inquiries, contact ElectionSigns@markham.ca.

Complaints

To file a complaint about an election sign, contact ElectionSigns@markham.ca.

Elections Markham
Markham Civic Centre
101 Town Centre Boulevard
Markham, Ontario, L3R 9W3
905.477.7000 x8683 (VOTE)
vote@markham.ca

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