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Tourism Directional Signs

What are Tourism Directional Signs?

Tourism Directional Signs are signs that inform the public of services, recreational facilities, tourist attractions, scenic points of interest and other such services/facilities as may be essential or of interest.

What types of organizations can apply for these signs?

A tourist attraction is defined as an establishment with the primary function of satisfying tourist needs by providing recreational, educational, cultural, scientific, environmental, and entertainment related activities. Restaurants and retail establishments are not eligible. Places of Worship are eligible for signing under a separate policy. Call us for more details.

Eligible tourism-oriented operations include:

  • Major Tourist Attractions
  • Destination Accommodations
  • Federal Park
  • Provincial Park
  • Campground
  • Conservation Area
  • Hiking Trails
  • Scenic Lookout
  • Cultural Centre
  • Museums
  • Heritage Sites/Districts
  • Historic Sites
  • Tourist Information Centres
  • Convention Centres
  • Golf Courses (Open to Public)
  • Ski Operations
  • Horse Racetracks
  • Motor Speedways
  • Sports Parks
  • Swimming Pools (Municipally Operated)
  • Fairgrounds
  • Arena/Community Centres
  • Marinas
  • Boat Launch (Municipally Operated)
  • Public Beach
  • Zoo
  • Performance Theatres
  • Casino
  • Interpretation Centres
  • Themed Attraction
  • Farmers Market
  • Go-Kart Tracks
  • Snowmobile Trail Access Points
  • Riding Operations

Operating Criteria:

  • The operation must serve transient customers and be open to the general public.
  • The operation must comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal legislation.
  • The operation must be accessible by a road open to public traffic.
  • The operation must be open to the public at least 12 consecutive weeks per year, unless otherwise specified in the specific policy criteria for that type of operation.
  • The operation must be open at least five days a week during its operating season, unless otherwise specified in the specific policy criteria, on advertised set days and times.
  • The operation must have a reception structure - such as a controlled gate, staffed reception and orientation point, or permanent interpretation panels or displays.
  • The operation must advertise its location, season and hours, contact information, and facilities either in tourism publications, or in publicity material regularly distributed through Ontario Regional Tourist Information Centres.

What is the purpose of Tourism Directional Signs?

The many attractions and visitor services within Durham Region are important to the Region's economy. Durham attracts over two million visitors every year. Tourism in Durham Region generated 2,700 jobs and almost $160 million in revenue in 2001. Tourism Directional Signs highlight and direct visitors to attractions and thus increase the visibility of these attractions to both travellers and area residents.

What do the signs look like?

Tourism signs convey their message by the appropriate legend or symbol, colour and shape. All signs have a reflective blue background with a reflective white legend, symbol and border. This format is the standard for use in Ontario, and is similar to tourism sign formats used across Canada and the United States, which aids motorist recognition. A standard symbol set, established by the Province, is used. Signs with custom logos are not permitted. See examples of Tourism Signs

The Region reserves the right to group signs on support assemblies at its discretion. Venue names are supplied by the tourism operator. Venue names are displayed as fully as possible within the limitations of sign size and font requirements. Priority is to be given to venue name over its descriptive category (e.g. " Durham " is the most important element of "Durham Golf Club"). Where necessary, common abbreviations or short forms may be used. Installation of non-standard sign size or additional panels is not permitted.

How much do the signs cost?

  • 30 cm x 120 cm signs (for roads with speed limit of 60 km/h or less)
    $330.00 per sign + GST
  • 45 cm x 180 cm signs (for roads with speed limit greater than 60 km/h)
    $500.00 per sign + GST

Applicants are also responsible for an annual maintenance fee of $100.00 per sign + GST, invoiced on the anniversary date of their agreement.

On which roads will my signs be posted?

Approved signs may be posted on any Regional Road; however, there are only so many suitable locations and the signs will be located on a first come, first serve basis. We will work with you to determine appropriate routes. For signs located on local roads, application must be made to the appropriate local municipality. Signs requests on Provincial (King's) highways may be made by contacting Canadian TODS Limited at 905-851-1322 or 1-800-263-9333.  The Works Department works closely with Canadian TODS, and have found that their eligibility and other criteria are similar to ours.

How do I apply for a Tourism Directional Sign?

Contact the Region of Durham Works Department at 905-666-8116. We will mail you an application form and copy of our complete Tourism Signing Policy and Agreement.