Back in July 2008, I bemoaned the City of Toronto’s lack of decent signage for public notices related to development applications. Having spent a fair bit of time in Vancouver over the years, I was pleased to see their civilized and well-thought out development signs (see the last photo of this post) and wondered how a city like Toronto — which prides itself on being the design capital of Canada — could get away with such shoddy graphic design.
A few days after I made that post, City staff contacted me saying they were reviewing the template design of the signs and would hopefully have a new option ready for the spring of 2009. Lo and behold, a few weeks ago I started to see them pop up (the above photo is at an abandoned car dealer lot at King West and Shaw; see a larger version on our Flickr account).
The new design does everything a public notice should do: it’s organized, the text is in upper- and lower-cases making it easier to read, and a diagram of the site’s plans is included (though I would argue that the image needs to be much more visible). Just look at the two photos below to see the remarkable difference.
Focusing on a thing like a template design for a sign may seem a bit petty, but these small details can be fixed quickly and inexpensively and can help the City improve how it communicates with its residents. And, with all the gloom and doom surrounding the city government these days, it’s nice to see some good things develop.
On Bay just south of Bloor
On Yonge at North York City Centre
Vancouver development public notice