Please note the following is a summary of information from associated government websites. It is meant as a guide to assist in placing election oriented advertising campaigns. It is for reference only as is not an official interpretation of the governing legislation. The official documents and legal counsel should be consulted to ensure accuracy.

Governed by the Ontario Election Finances Act

  • Political advertising is defined as advertising in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium with the purpose of promoting or opposing any registered party or the election of a registered candidate.
  • It is permissible for such an advertisement or announcement to contain the name of the candidate and/or the political party, to include a picture of the candidate and/or the logo of the party and must not contain any slogan, motto or other wording promoting the candidate or registered party, or opposing another candidate or registered party, such as “join the winning team,” “work for continued good government,” “our candidate is best qualified,” etc.

Limits on Time

  • In all elections there is a blackout period imposed on the day before and of polling day.
  • In by-elections and general elections an additional blackout period is imposed that begins 22 days before polling day and ends at midnight two days before polling day.
  • A blackout period restriction on advertising does not apply to fund-raising activities or campaigns and conventions carried on or held in relation to contested constituency nominations for endorsement of official party candidates provided the advertisement content conforms to the guideline above.

Limits on Rates to be Charged

  • During an election campaign, persons or corporation shall charge a party, constituency association, candidate or third party registered under this Act, or any person, corporation or trade union acting with the party’s, association’s, candidate’s or third party’s consent, an advertising rate in any medium that is the same amount for equivalent advertising space or time during that period.

Authorization of Political Advertising

  • All political advertising in any form shall make reference to the name of the registered constituency association, registered political party, registered third party, person, corporation or trade union authorizing the political advertising.

For the complete Ontario Election Finances Act, visit: 

Amendments current as of December 2015
Date of OMAC Update: March 2016


Governed by City of Toronto Municipal Licensing & Standards

Municipal Elections Act, Chapter 693

  • The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 does not contain restrictions on when a candidate may or may not advertise. However, the candidate must have filed their nomination paper before spending any money and the amount they may spend on their campaign is regulated.
  • An election sign may be displayed on an illuminated billboard provided that each billboard has been installed under the authority of a permit issued under the applicable sign by-law.
  • Timing
    • Election signs shall not be erected or displayed for a federal or provincial election until the day the writ of election is issued.
    • Election signs shall not be erected or displayed for a municipal election until 25 days prior to voting day.
    • Election signs shall be removed within 72 hours after the completion of voting on voting day.
  • Use of City of Toronto logo.
    • No person shall display on any election sign a logo, trademark or official mark, in whole or in part, owned or licensed by the City.

For detailed information, visit:
Amendments current as of August 2012
Date of OMAC update: March 2016


Governed by City of Ottawa Municipal Elections Act 

The Municipal Elections Act, does not address where campaign signs may be located or regulations on election advertising.  The regulation of signs may fall within the jurisdiction of the local or upper-tier municipality or, when signs are placed near a provincial highway, the Ministry of Transportation. Candidates should check with the municipal clerk to determine any sign by-law requirements. These regulations in most cases pertain to temporary signage. 

For the city of Ottawa elections legislation, visit:

For the complete Municipal Elections Act, visit:

Amendments current as of June 2012
Date of OMAC update: December 2013