Infrastructure Project Signage Guidelines - Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why a new infrastructure signage program?

Placing signs at construction sites is a long-standing practice to communicate key project details to the public. Through project signs, Canadians can easily recognize where infrastructure investments are being made in their communities and the benefits of those investments.

The Government of Canada is committed to increasing transparency in how it delivers its programs. The new signs will tell the story of how all-levels of government are working together to make investments that improve quality of life, create opportunity, and make our communities great places to work, live and raise a family.

  • The approach and designs were developed through a consultative process with provincial, territorial and municipal partners.        
  • The approach will reduce the number and cost of signage at construction sites by combining signs of each order of government into one, and will offer digital alternatives to reflect how Canadians like to receive information today.
  • The new sign designs will be more informational in nature, providing key details about the project, its benefits, cost and timelines, and identifying the funding partners that made the project possible.
  • Design options will better reflect the diversity of communities and the broad range of infrastructure projects being funded.

Q2. How was the new signage approach developed?

The new signage program was developed through a broad consultative and collaborative process involving all provincial and territorial governments, several municipal associations, and many federal departments.

Q3. What federal programs does the new signage program apply to?

These guidelines apply to all federal infrastructure funding and transfer programs outlined in Investing in Canada: The $186 Billion Long-Term Infrastructure Plan, including any new signs being installed for previous infrastructure application and transfer-based funding programs.

Q4. When does the new program come into effect?

The new guidelines will come into effect on February 17 and will replace any previously issued signage guidelines.

Q5. Is there an obligation to install these signs at all federally-funded project sites?

The Government of Canada takes a flexible, common sense approach to infrastructure signage, allowing project managers to select the right type, size and nature of signage to use based on the project’s specific nature. This recognizes that physical signage may not always be the best option. In some instances, an interior sign placed in a lobby or installing a sign in a community gathering place may be a good alternative to an exterior sign. Not all projects will require a sign. For example, a sign may not be required because a project is of short duration or is located in a remote area where signage would not be visible to the public. As well, several similar projects that are in close proximity to each other could share a single sign.

Q6. How do project managers decide on the right size, number and material for a sign?

The size and type of sign produced for each project varies based on the project parameters – location, public access, visibility concerns, project size and scope and duration. The signage guidelines include specifications guidance. For interior signs, the size would be relatively small but the signs for high-speed highways would be much larger to make them easier to read as cars pass by. Many community infrastructure projects with exterior construction sites require a sign that will withstand the elements for several months or years.

In most cases, only one sign is required. However, project managers are free to install additional signs if warranted. For example, for highway projects, normally two signs are installed – one for each traffic direction.

Q7. How long will signs need to stay up?

Signs are normally installed 30 days before construction begins until 30 days after construction has been completed.

Q8. Who pays for the cost of the signs?

This is a joint multi-partners sign, and any related costs are eligible project expenses. As such, they are cost shared in accordance with the agreed funding formula outlined in the project or program’s contributions agreement.

Q9. Will any existing signs have to be replaced?

We will not seek the replacement of existing funding recognition signs. However, if an existing sign is damaged, it would be replaced with one of the new design.  

Q10. Will signs be required for projects that have already started?

A number of factors will weigh into that decision, including how long it will still be under construction, its size, location, duration and accessibility. Each project manager will make that decision based on guidance contained in the new signage guidelines and the specifics of the situation.  We will not seek the replacement of any existing recognition signs.  

Q11. What do I do with the sign when the project is completed?

The sign should stay in place for 30 days after the public begin to use the infrastructure for its intended purpose. After that, the sign should be removed and recycled.

Q12. If I use a digital sign, do I still need to use a physical sign on my construction site?

Digital signs should be used to compliment physical signage at construction sites. However, where physical signage is not appropriate, for example for study, report or remote project, or where the project is of short duration and low cost, digital signage could be used as an alternative to physical signs.

Q13. Do I have to have sign designs and content approved?

The guidelines will help project managers select the best design background, icon, and content for the information panel. There is no requirement to get federal approval on the sign layout. However, if there are questions, the project manager can contact either the provincial or territorial fund manager, or contact Infrastructure Canada directly at the contact information provided at the end of this section.

Q14. Do I have to report on sign installations?

Sign installations should be reported through your regular program update reports. In many instances this is just a check box.

Q15. Where can I get additional information?

You can find more information on the website ( The site includes the signage guidelines and graphics files. If any additional questions remain, you should contact your respective provincial or territorial fund manager or Infrastructure Canada:  

Telephone Infrastructure Canada: 613-948-1148
Toll Free Number: 1-877-250-7154
TTY: 1-800-465-7735 

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