Oshawa launches sandwich-board sign pilot project


Published April 6, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Sandwich-board signs are set to line the sidewalks of downtown Oshawa this summer in the ongoing pilot project designed to give local businesses a new, more affordable advertising opportunity.

While some businesses have long been able to put up sandwich-boards on private property, many small business do not have the space for such an advertisement.

The pilot project permits businesses in the downtown core, zoned as the Central Business District (CBD), to put signs out on the public boulevards and sidewalks to promote their businesses.

The CBD encomassses the area along William St to the north down to John St to the south. It is bound by the Oshawa Creek on the western side and along Division St until Kings St before, zigzagging to Charles St until Bruce St where it reconnects with John St to the east.

Outside the main core, two sections of Simcoe St are included in the CBD until Adelaide Ave to the north and Olive Ave to the south.

A map of Oshawa’s Central Business District.

The pilot project kicked off in December 2020 following years research by the city. Legalizing sandwich-board signs downtown was an issue identified in the 2014 Downtown Plan20.

This plan was undertaken to update the downtown from 2005 as the city had since changed greatly. The goal was to provide a boost the ongoing revitalization efforts, which saw the construction of the Oshawa courthouse and the GM centre, by 2020.

Part of this plan was a three-year sandwich-board pilot run from 2017 to 2020. As the pilot was set to wrap up in December 2020, the city extended it an additional three years until April 2023.

The pilot allows one sign per business unit, including businesses in an upper floor. Signs need to abide by a 20-point regulation list specifying a sign height of 1 m, that signs must lack lights or moving parts and must display a permit sticker among other restrictions. The full list can be found on the application form.

Any business within the CBD can fill out an application form to allow the signage at anytime. However, the city encourages business owners to reach out to the city’s Planning Services department prior to completing the form. Planning Services will conduct a consultation to assist the application.

The pilot lasts until April 2023 when sign permits will expire.


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