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  • 15 Jun 2020 12:53 PM | Anonymous

    Every construction project comes with its own set of risks – from fire and water damage to equipment theft, slips and falls, cyber-attacks and even infection control.

    These risks not only vary in size and complexity but can also evolve over the course of a project. That’s why having proper worksite policies and procedures is so critical to avoiding hazards and potential accidents.

    To help your members keep workers safe and their projects running smoothly, we’ve developed the following risk management resources addressing common exposures:

  • 25 May 2020 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    On May 14, 2020, the government announced that it was lifting limits on construction activities that can take place under the List of Essential Businesses established under the Emergency Order (O. Reg 82/20). This means that all construction activities or projects and related services that support construction activities or projects, including demolition services, can commence or restart as of May 19, 2020.

    The amended regulation (O.Reg. 223/20) can be found here:

  • 19 Mar 2020 1:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Permitting Update:

    City of Toronto (Updated May 7, 2020):

    • All building, sign and zoning permit applications received prior to March 17 are being reviewed and issued where possible.
    • New building permit applications are being accepted electronically and staff are evaluating the timeframe for review and processing.
    • For more information on electronic submission of sign permit applications please email:

    Also, re: Building (and sign) permits and Provincial regulations:

    • The issuance of a permit by Toronto Building does not relieve the permit holder of the need to determine whether the construction is permitted to proceed in accordance with O.Reg 82/20 as amended.

    London - NEW E-Portal (Updated April 1, 2020)

    The City of London’s Building E-Portal has now re-opened and are accepting and reviewing new sign permit applications.

    Please note, submission through the E-Portal is currently the only available way to apply for a sign permit.

    The City’s Sign Permit Resource is:


    City of Ottawa is working ½ from home and ½ from the office.  At this point the counters are shut down and they are not processing payment. 

    Please note that Waterloo has listed Building permits and inspections under essential services and continue to review/issue them at this time.

    Hamilton is processing permits online.

    St. Catharines

    St. Catharines, as of last night, are still accepting mail in permit applications.





  • 19 Mar 2020 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Work Sharing Program:

    Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers.

    The Government of Canada introduced temporary special measures that extend the maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada for those businesses affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19.

    For more information and to see if you are eligible visit Government of Canada site:


    Coles Notes on what you need to know now:

    What is It?

    ·         Effective March 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021

    ·         Designed to help employers & employees avoid layoffs where there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer

    ·         Income support to employees who are eligible for Employment Insurance Benefits

    ·         Employees work a temporary reduced work week, while employer recovers


    How Does it Work

    ·         Employer & employees must agree to participate in a Work sharing agreement and must apply together

    ·         Employees are to receive a copy of the Employee Annex before submitting the application

    ·         Demonstrate a recent decrease in business activity of approximately 10% 

    ·         Sales & Production figures over the last 24 months up to and including last month prior to submitting

    ·         Demonstrate that the work shortage is temporary & beyond their control - not cyclical/recurring shutdown

    ·         Submit and implement a recovery plan designed to return the Working Sharing Unit (WSU) to normal hours by end of agreement

    ·         Work reduction must be between 10% (min) -1/2 day to 60% (max) - 3 days

    ·         Work reduction can vary depending on available work, as long as the work reduction on average over the life of the agreement is between 10% - 60%

    ·         The proposed reduction in work hours should correspond with the number of anticipated temporary lay-offs

    ·         Minimum of 6 weeks to a max of 26 weeks - extended to 38 weeks and extended again to 76 weeks

    ·         If the business does not recover as expected and an employee is laid off during or at the end of WSA, the employee can apply to transfer the claim to regular benefits

    ·         Benefits are not reduced by Work Sharing


    Work Share Benefits:

    ·         No waiting period, however, may take a few weeks after employer has submitted the First Utilization Report

    ·         Employer may request employee to work on a work Sharing Day

    ·         Statutory holidays are the responsibility of the employer


    Work Sharing Unit:(WSU)

    ·         A group of core employees who have greed to participate in the Work Sharing program & reduce their normal working hours

    ·         WSA may include>1 WSU

    ·         Includes those in a single job description or who perform similar work

    ·         Hours must be reduced equally in a WSU (same % reduction)

    ·         Should not include employees who need to help generate work or those who are essential to the recovery of the business

    ·         Minimum of 2 employees in a WSU

    ·         Employees in the same job description cannot volunteer to participate while other decline & continue to work normal hours

    ·         Members of WSU who do not qualify or choose not to accept EI are still required to reduce their hours of work on a equivalent basis

    ·         Employer may request employee to work on a work Sharing Day



  • 2 Jan 2020 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On December 13, 2019, the Ontario government filed Ontario Regulation 430/19which amends Ontario Regulation 268/18 made under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 with respect to the sign requirements for employers and proprietors. The Regulation comes into force on January 1, 2020.

    If you are an employer or owner (proprietor) of an enclosed workplace, an enclosed public place or other smoke-free and vape-free places as described in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 or Ontario Regulation 268/18, you must post enough of the individual (tobacco/e-cigarette) signs OR combined (tobacco and e-cigarette) signs at each entrance, exit and washroom to ensure that employees and the public know that they cannot smoke tobacco or cannabis (medical or recreational) or vape anything there.

    If you are an employer or owner (proprietor) of a hotel, motel or inn, you must post the individual (tobacco/e-cigarette) signs OR combined (tobacco and e-cigarette) signs in every “non-smoking” or “non-vaping” guest room.

    The Regulation specifies that it is now sufficient “to copy the information and informational symbols on such a sign without copying a Trillium or ‘Smoke-Free’ logo in exact fashion, or copying it at all.” Corresponding changes are made throughout Ontario Regulation 268/18.

    For more information on the regulation and to download PDF copies of required signs, click here.

  • 18 Nov 2019 8:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The OSA is built of super talented sign companies, much like your own, and we’d like to showcase your great work!

    We’d love to display your brightest and best sign projects on our OSA home page for the duration of 2020.

    All we need from you is to send us ( email address below ) 5-6 images of your brightest and best finished projects.

    Eligibility and requirements:

    • Open to OSA members only
    • Digital images must be a minimum of 300 dpi in resolution, large enough for layout (minimum 4 x 6 inches or 1200 x 1800 pixels) and formatted as .jpg or .png files. 
    • Signage categories we are looking for: Building signage, commercial tenant signage, digital signage, display graphics, fascia signs/channel letters, freestanding signage, historic signage, illuminated signage, wayfinding signage, unique signage and vehicle graphics. 

    Judging criteria:

    • Creativity
    • Appearance
    • Sign type (Note: ideally, we would like to have a wide array of sign types represented on home page)

    Entries will be judged by OSA’s Social Media and Communications Task Force and the OSA Board of Directors.

    Deadline to submit: December 9, 2019

    All entries are to be submitted electronically by December 9, 2019 to Karin Eaton at

  • 5 Nov 2019 9:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Committees are critical association mechanisms for involving its members, tapping into their specific expertise, ensuring that different perspectives are incorporated and for cultivating volunteer leaders.

    As we are looking to the year ahead, we'd love to involve new voices in our committees.

    Skills Ontario: Career Exploration Showcase Task Force
    Objective: To develop material (with a hands-on component) to showcase at the May 6-7th 2020 Skills Canada Career Exploration Showcase and to help OSA staff man the booth on the day of.  The key objective is for us to showcase the exciting and diverse career opportunities in the sign industry.   

    Social Media & Communications Committee:
    Objective: to develop visually attractive content that promotes the work of the Ontario Sign Association: benefits, events, professional development.  The content is primarily to be distributed via social media channels and e-newsletters.

    Education Committee
    Objective: To develop programs that respond to the educational need of the Chapter members and others.

    Membership Committee
    Objective: To conduct member campaigns with a goal of increasing Chapter member participation levels and communication strategies to bring added value.

    Government Relations Committee
    Objective: To provide vision, direction and leadership in developing initiative to educate, monitor and review legislation as it pertains to the regulation and activities at the municipal, provincial and federal level.

    Time commitment: 1 to 2 hours a month. 

    While Committees meet monthly or bimonthly, task forces are set up to deal with a specific task/event and then are done after the task/event is completed. 

    If you are interested in joining or would like to talk further about the type of work committees do, please connect with Karin at or 905.482.4942

  • 20 Sep 2019 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Ontario Sign Association is pleased to announce the launch of the Standard Engineered Sign Drawings Program in partnership with Sign Spec Canada.  

    Background: Municipalities around Ontario are requesting more and more sign designs to be reviewed by engineers prior to submission as part of the permit documentation submission.  From the industry’s perspective, the sign design requirements are often too complicated for small sign companies or the general public to navigate. Costs typically range from $400 to $600 per sign for reviewing and stamping a sign design and takes approximately one week to have completed.   From the municipalities’ perspective, they are having to put on hold a high percentage of incomplete sign permit request submissions due to missing or incorrect technical detail on the drawings.  As such, some municipalities are starting to offer fast track processes for permit request submissions if a P.ENG has stamped and reviewed the sign design. 

    To fill this gap, the Ontario Sign Association is launching the Standard Engineered Sign Drawings Program in partnership with Sign Spec Canada (SSC), a new business formed by two industry veterans: the owners of Signature Engineering (Chris Sharpe) and Signum Engineering (Marc Carriere).  This program will provide members with access to engineered drawings of the most often used sign types at a discounted price. 

    Program: Based on our consultations with the City of Toronto on the types of permits they receive, we have identified the most often used sign types: fascia boxes, channel letters, and pylons. Our program will provide sign companies with a selection of standard sign drawings which can be used to accompany sign permit applications.

    City of Toronto has been supportive of this program, and from the association’s perspective, our program will enable the City to fast track the permit process for applications accompanied by these drawings.  Ideally, these drawings will form the platform for future versions of the drawings that would be used elsewhere in Ontario and Canada by the Sign Association of Canada.

    Members: Watch your inboxes on the latest news. We will be holding webinars and in person presentations later this year and early in the next year to give you a step-by-step overview of how the program is going to work. 

  • 30 May 2019 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    City of Toronto has been reviewing the sign variance program over past few months and would like to discuss their findings and the plan forward with our members. 

    Here are the meeting details:

    What: Meeting with City of Toronto Sign Unit Staff to discuss making Sign Variance and Signage Master Plan Applications

    When: June 24th from 9:30am to noon.

    Where: Etobicoke Civic Centre, Meeting Room 3

    Who (Target Audience): Anyone who makes Sign Variance or Signage Master Plan applications in Toronto.

    Contact: Any inquiries should be directed to Michele Blackwood of the Sign Bylaw Unit at 416-392-4231 or  

    Please RSVP to Michele Blackwood at 416-392-4231 or   

    We recommend this session to anyone who does signage work in Toronto as this is a good way to meet the City of Toronto sign bylaw unit staff and get to ask any questions that you have pertaining to sign permits.

  • 27 Mar 2019 1:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A guiding objective for the Ontario Sign Association is to contribute to the operational effectiveness and viability of the sign industry in Ontario and to be the provincial voice of authority on regulatory matters. As such, along with the Sign Association of Canada's Government Relations team, the OSA has been in discussions with City of Toronto to produce a standard set of sign type drawings, which, among other benefits, would help fast track the sign permit application process.

    On March 19, 2019, the Ontario Sign Association posted a Request for Propoal (and sent it out to the membership) seeking an engineering firm to produce drawings of standard sign types. These drawings would be used exclusively by Sign Association members to accompany permit applications to the City of Toronto.

    This is the first step in a process whereby the City will fast track the permit process for applications accompanied by these drawings. Each drawing would be used multiple times by Sign Association members over a period of multiple years. Going forward it is likely that the number of drawings will increase.

    Ideally, these drawings would form a platform for future versions of the drawings that would be used elsewhere in Ontario (we have had discussions also with other interested cities in Ontario) and Canada by the Sign Association of Canada.

    The RFQ period will close on April 9, 2019.  We will keep our members posted as this process progresses.   

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