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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

A little more ad creep

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Some of our readers have been emailing us about the new Pattison ad pillars (NOW magazine had a small piece on them this week). The structures are new, but in most cases they are just replacing already existing, but dilapidated, ad pillars. The previous ones were very low-tech, with brown metal frames, located on private property. The ads displayed were sometimes years old, or the space was illuminated but empty of signage. These new ones stand out because the structures are bigger (12 feet tall) yet the ad space hasn’t changed. And if memory serves me correctly, Pattison seems to have added a few more to the already existing locations. For instance, the parking lot on the south side of Queen Street West, just east of Bathurst, used to have one or two of these displays, but now has three.

Sadly, residents do not have much leverage with these babies. If concerned readers want to do anything about this they could contact the offices’ of Joe Pantelone or Olivia Chow’s replacement Martin Silva (Chow’s City Hall staff is still intact after her federal election victory). The only effective avenue to challenge this new venture is procedural: did Pattison obtain legal variances from Community Council to install the additional new displays? If you do not wish to take this on yourself, maybe contact/get involved with the Toronto Public Space Committee, the city’s visual pollution watchdog.
photos courtesy Martin Reis