Signage Guidelines

1.0 Introduction
2.0 Guidelines for Tenant Identification
3.0 Guidelines for Business Signage Types
4.0 Guidelines for Sandwich Boards
5.0 Guidelines for Special Conditions
1.1 Intent
Granville Island is being redeveloped in a way that respects and builds on its industrial past. The character of streets, buildings and waterfront structures reflects this simple, bold, almost ‘matter-of-fact’ design vocabulary.
Signage and other graphic forms on Granville Island are important not only for identification but as a design component in the overall ambience and character of the place. The guidelines contained in this document have been developed to assist both the tenant making an application and CMHC.
1.2 Signage Approval
Any person wishing to erect a sign on Granville Island must first receive the necessary approvals. This process includes an approval by the CMHC Administration Office and any requirements the City of Vancouver may have through the Vancouver Sign By-law.
1.3 Submission Requirements
In making your application to CMHC please provide as many details as possible.
The material should include:
The type of Sign
 Roof Ridge / Sloped Signs
 Projecting Signs
 Fascia Signs
 Façade Signs
 Awning Signs
The shape and dimensions.
Please refer to the appropriate size given in the description of each type below.
• Materials and methods of construction.
• Details of the support for the sign.
• The wording and graphic style.
• Colour(s).
• Type of lighting, if applicable.
• A photo or graphics if possible.
• A digital copy of the Landlord’s Consent form can be obtained from
• Once your material is ready please email our Granville Island Tenant Coordinators
Several properties on Granville Island are comprised of one or more structures and are considered to be ‘key’ uses in that they have a high number of daily users and visitors. It is appropriate that they have major projected identification signage.
• Bridges
• Creekhouse
• Foreshore
• Granville Island Brewery
• Kids Only Market
• Ocean Concrete
• Pier 32
• The Public Market
• The Maritime Market
• The Granville Island Hotel
• The Keg
2.1 Roof Ridge / Sloped Signs
Signage which is appropriate for buildings on Granville Island often viewed from high-rise buildings and by pedestrians on the bridges. These signs could be comprised of very large letters painted on the roof surface.
These signs must reflect the style and construction methods of the original roof signage that was located on buildings around Granville Island when it was an industrial area.

3.1. Projecting Signs
Projecting signs are encouraged for individual shops. This form of signage creates attention along the aisles through the variety of rhythm of signs are right angles to the storefront. From a distance these signs can be seen more easily than fascia signs. This form of signage is the most commonly used on Granville Island.
3.1 a) Limit on one (1) projecting sign per storefront side.
3.1 b) Sign Construction and Placement:

  • Size to be a maximum of 30” x 30”.
  • Minimum clearance to underside of sign is 7 ½ feet.
  • Graphics to contain the shop’s name only; no description of service or
    product. Signs should be focused, clear, and easy to read. This can be achieved through appropriately scaled lettering, simple graphics, channel letters, and colour contrast.
  • The sign’s design, material, construction, scale and method of support, must be compatible with the architecture on which the sign is to be attached.
  • Painted wood or steel support brackets and hangers are the preferred structural support method, however in some cases chain and cable is acceptable.
  • Illumination by front-lighted incandescent only. In some special cases,
    neon lighting will be considered.

3.2. Fascia Signs:
Fascia signs are desirable for upfront shop identification. The signage should be seen as an integral part of the design and detailing of the shop fascia rather than as an applied object.
3.2 a) Sign Construction and Placement:

Limit of one fascia sign per storefront side.

Size to be a maximum of 10 square feet and of proportion to a maximum
of 10:1; length to height.

Graphics to contain the shop’s name only; no description of service or

Maximum height of upper side of sign is 9 feet in line with the lintel pipes
of the Public Market.

Illumination by front-lighted incandescent only. In some special cases,
neon lighting will be considered.

3.3 Façade Signs:
Façade signs painted directly onto the finish material of a building are appropriate for building identification. These existed in the industrial days of the Island. They should be located high on a façade and be bold in design. A positive example of this form is the Arts Club Theatre.

3.4 Awning Signs:
Awnings are light, detachable or retractable structures that provide weather protection along storefronts and businesses. Signs located on the front, side or soft fringe of an awning, or on a circular awning are called Awning Signs.
3.4 a) Sign Construction and Placement:
-Minimum clearance of 9’ (2.75 metres)
-Is on the exterior front or side face of an awning, and projects no more than 5.0 mm from the face of the awning
-Has a copy area on the front awning face no greater than 40% of the area of the front awning face
-Has a copy area on each side of the awning no greater than 80% of the area of the sides of the awning (taken from CoV Signage Bylaw Part 9: Commercial, Mixed Use and Industrial Sign District)

4.1 a) Sign Construction and Placement
i. Shall be comprised of two flat panels that are hinged at the top and connected across the bottom to prevent splaying
ii. Shall have no single panel in excess of 60 centimetres or 24 inches wide nor have an overall height in excess of 90 centimetres or 39.5 inches.
iii. Shall be manufactured to a professional standard of construction, finish and graphics
iv. Shall not be reflective, fluorescent or illuminated
v. Limited to one (1) for each place of business
vi. Must allow for an unobstructed corridor between the sign and any adjacent street furniture, railings, landscaping feature or other structure
vii. Should be directly located against the building. If the property is receded from the sidewalk and you have space, you are asked to refrain from placing your board on the sidewalk. Shall not be located is any manner as to interfere with pedestrian walkways or to detour pedestrians into roadways
viii. Placed so as not to cause interference or be a hazard to vehicular traffic
ix. “Clusters” of boards are not permitted. Where multiple businesses wish to locate signage in the same location, a single collective board (a single sandwich board or free standing sign, representing multiple businesses, for example, a directory) will be permitted. CMHC expects that businesses in these circumstances will work together to find a compliant solution.
x. Shall be located fronting the place of business directly adjacent to the building facade (except for directories)
xi. Shall be removed at the close of business each day and shall not be erected again until the commencement of business on the following day.
xii. No supplemental sign, notice, flag, balloon or other decoration shall be attached to the sandwich board
xiii. Shall be fabricated of sign grade wood or metal and be free standing and self-supporting and be designed and weighted to prevent overturning
xiv. Shall not be affixed or mounted to wheels
xv. Shall be maintained and in good repair
xvi. Fittings shall be set flush with the surface of the sign. The sign shall be free of splinters, slivers or sharp projections or sharp edges
xvii. CMHC reserves the right to remove any sandwich board sign that it deems non- conforming with these guidelines.

There are a number of situations throughout Granville Island that can be classified as special signage conditions. These are predominantly instances where a project or an individual tenant requires special consideration due to a remote, difficult to find location. In these instances Granville Island has developed free-standing signage elements as part of the street hardware system.
5.1 Billboard Type
Examples of this form of signage are to be found at the Arts Club Theatre and the directory for the Maritime Market. These are instances where individual tenants require on-street identification in order for the public to have a better understanding of how to find them. In these cases the tenants are set well back from the street and this sign is a means of identifying their name and address at the street. These signs are intended to be limited in number.

5.2 Free-Standing Signs
Where remoteness is a problem and a billboard type sign out of scale for an individual tenant, free-standing signs will be permitted. These signs are seen to be limited in their application and should be designed to be in character with Granville Island’s street hardware system.
5.3 Wall Murals
Wall murals can service to identify the nature of a business or service. There are two examples of this application on Granville Island at present. In both instances the murals have enhanced a tenant’s particular situation in terms of its location or its views.
The use of wall murals is inconsistent with the industrial vocabulary of Granville Island and a conscious attempt has been made to eliminate any ‘super graphics’ in the development. Any tenant wishing to employ such graphic techniques should identify a particular need prior to initiating an application to C.M.H.C