Civic Addressing and Street Naming
In an emergency – we can’t help you if we can’t find you! Know your Civic Address!
In an emergency you need to be able to relay to the 911 operator the civic address of your location. A civic address is comprised of three parts: a civic number, a full street name and the municipality.
For example, 1410 Church Street West, Norfolk County consists of:
- A civic number – 1410
- A full street name – Church Street West
- A municipality – Norfolk County
Civic Address = 911 Number = Fire Number
Ensure Your Civic Number is Clearly Visible
- It is your responsibility to ensure that you are able to see your civic number sign from the road while travelling in either direction.
- In urban and hamlet areas the property owner is responsible for posting the civic number.
- In rural areas a standard green reflective sign is required. It is the owners responsibility to maintain this sign.
- Remove obstructions – trim back bushes, trees and weeds.
Civic Addressing Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Civic Address?
- What is the difference between a Civic Address and a 911 number?
- Why don’t I use my Community name in my Civic Address?
- What is my Postal Code?
- What is my Rural Route?
- Everyone refers to my road by one name, but the sign at the end of the road has a different name on it. Which one should I use?
- Do I need a Civic Address?
- How, when and where do I apply for a Civic Address?
- Is there any way to change my Civic Address?
- Do I need a green Civic Address sign?
- How much does a Civic Address cost?
- My green Civic Address sign is damaged or missing what do I do?
- I’m a Developer and would like to know how I go about picking street names for my proposed subdivision?
- What is the process to change a street name?
A civic address is a combination of a building number (which sometimes includes a unit number, suite number etc.) a street name (which can include a prefix direction, name, suffix and type) and the lowest legally recognized jurisdiction. A couple of examples are:
- 45 Maple Street, Norfolk County
- 17 West Church Street, Norfolk County
- 120 Highway 6, Norfolk County
In Norfolk County your civic address is what you must provide to the 911 dispatch person in case of emergency. In essence they are one in the same thing; however this is not necessarily the case in other jurisdictions.
This is a rather difficult concept to explain, but it has to do with how an area is defined legally. If we take a community such as Delhi we can easily describe where it is located but its boundary is not a legally defined line. For example where does Delhi stop and Windham Township start? The only current legal boundary within Norfolk County is the Norfolk County boundary.
Norfolk County does not assign or manage Postal Codes. To find out what the proper Postal Code is for a given property, you should contact your local Post Office.
Norfolk County does not assign or manage Rural Routes. To find out what the proper Rural Route is for a given property, you should contact your local Post Office.
Everyone refers to my road by one name, but the sign at the end of the road has a different name on it. Which one should I use?
Throughout history many roads have been known by several names, for example McDowell Road East which runs from the hamlet of Hillcrest to Forestry Farm Road has been called “West Street”, “Regional Road 1”, “The Ninth” etc. and although many people may know this road by one or more of these names, in an emergency if you dial 911 the only name that the dispatcher will recognize is its official name (the name posted on the signs located at intersections) McDowell Road East. It is for this reason that we encourage people to use only the official road name.
If you own a property which contains a dwelling(s), or has a phone line, you must have a Civic Address. If you own a property which contains a building in which people spend time (e.g. working in a barn) you should have a Civic Address. If you have a vacant piece of land a civic address is optional.
If you would like to apply for a new Civic Address because you are planning to build on a vacant parcel of land, this is dealt with as part of the building permit process. The building inspector can provide you with a copy of a Civic Address Request Form or it can be downloaded below. On the form there are several areas that need to be filled out with information, and a sketch showing the lot layout of the property for which the Civic Address is being requested. A sample sketch will be included with the form.
If there is a problem with your address and you would like to inquire about changing it, please contact Norfolk County staff by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 519-875-4485 ext. 1827 to discuss possible options.
As a general rule, rural properties require a green sign and post and urban properties do not, although hamlet areas can be difficult to be sure as some have signs and some do not. Looking around at neighbouring properties would provide a good indication, but it may require contacting county staff to be positive.
If a green sign and post are required there is a fee of $103.00 to cover the cost of manufacturing and installing the sign. If no sign is required there is no fee.
If your civic address sign has been damaged or is missing you should contact customer service in the Norfolk County Delhi office 519-582-2100 to arrange for a replacement.
I’m a Developer and would like to know how I go about picking street names for my proposed subdivision?
During the planning process, sometime after draft plan approval and before servicing agreement is signed, you will be required to select street names from a pre-approved list of street names. This road name registry is a compiled list of potential street names which have local historical significance. Included in the list are names of veterans, prominent local individuals from the past, local rare and endangered species and other features of local historical significance. Final street names including any prefixes and suffixes will be approved by the Civic Addressing Coordinator and must follow standards as set out by the Civic Addressing By-Law 2018-37.
Once a completed Request For Street Name Change Application has been submitted to the Civic Addressing Coordinator, along with a petition showing support from at least 80% of the property owners fronting along the subject street, Planning Staff will initiate a report to council on behalf of the person requesting the change. Planning Staff are required to make comments within the report which may or may not support the proposed street name change. It is recommended that the person requesting the change of street name be present at the Council meeting when the report is brought forward. All costs associated with the renaming will be the responsibility of the applicant. For more information on changing a street name please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-875-4485 ext. 1827.
- Know Your Civic Address Poster
- Civic Addressing By-Law 2018-37
- Civic Address Request Form
- Request For Street Name Change Application
For more information about Civic Addressing or Street Naming within Norfolk County please contact email@example.com or call 519-875-4485 ext. 1827.