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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Dept. of Funny Signs: Common Sense Unleashed

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I spotted this sign at the Scarborough Bluffs last weekend, not long after ignorantly (but gleefully) breaking rule #2. I’m generally not a huge fan of signs detailing what activities are prohibited in public space, but rule #4 seemed particularly unreasonable…



  1. My favourite signs in Toronto are the ones along the pier at Harbourfront, reading “Caution: Water’s Edge.”

    Only in Toronto would public money be spent to warn people of the presence of the 14th largest lake in the world.

  2. On the contrary, it’s not unreasonable. I rather think it’s particularly reasonable.

    Now, I just need to come up with an ultralight material for dog leashes that can unspool over 2.4km.

  3. Three thoughts:

    – #2 is stupid…I assume it is out there by lawyers… reminds me of the signs on the waterfront trail where every single bridge says “Bicyclists must dismount”.

    – I think I’ve been knocked off my bike by dogs on leashes that long.

    – I wonder if there really is that bylaw. I know of city signs that have been checked out before that refer to bylaws that are long non-existant.

  4. A leash law conditional on lack of comprehension of #1 and #4 is overdue. Motorholics MUST to be leashed and CURBED.
    I can accept Parks and their subs but why should bicyclists and pedestrians be expected to bail from the trail for the benefit of ctv and global media vehicles? Why is the Palais Royale STILL using motorised vehicles on MGT? Why are pocket motorcycles still encountered on north sections of the Humber trail (north of Albion)?

  5. I’ve been in Vancouver the past two weeks and I couldn’t help but notice the fetish-levels that TransLink takes in letting the public know where a fare-paid zone begins and ends.

    Alright, I can understand the importance of this at a SkyTrain station, but does anyone out there actually need a decal on a bus door saying, “This vehicle is a fare paid zone”?!?

    Then again, this is the west coast! 😉

  6. About 50 years ago I was waiting for the 106 bus in Montreal and this rather vacant lady apprached the bus stop with an equally-vacant little white dog on about 50 feet of clothesline.

    ( This was long before those spring rewinding dog trollers they have today, similar to the trolley rope rewinders on the back of streetcars and trolley busses if the trolley jumps the wire. )

    Anyway, this dog had to be dragged as it insisted that it was it’s Dog-given right to sniff and annoint every item on the block.

    Finally, after minutes of pulling and dragging, the lady makes the corner of Upper Lachine and Melrose where four lanes of speeding trucks, airport taxis and commuters were racing past in unending lines inches from the curb, this before the Turcot Interchange and the 401, so all major East West 2/17 traffic funnelled past this location to/from Windsor-Toronto the Good-Kingston-Ottawa.

    Just as I thought the dog might take it into it’s pea-sized brain to exercise the full length of it’s 50 feet of rope in the opposite direction of being dragged from post to gate to hydrant, it took off at 30 mph, the rope almost smoking on the concrete.

    The lady never noticed and I yelled to step on the rope as the dog sped like a furry bullet into traffic.

    Yes, it was hit.

    The 106 came and I left.

    Some people should not have dogs, nor ropes, let alone 2.4 Kms of same.

  7. From the bus yesterday, I spotted two signs on the road that leads west from Don Mills Rd. into the valley just south of the Ontario Science Centre. (The road also leads to OSC staff parking, or it did anyway.)

    One sign was the city’s bicycle route marker. The other had a bicycle in a big red slash/circle, as in “no bicycling”. I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of this. But it’s a bit reminiscent of this:

    (Note, the “Facility of the Month” series both amuses me every month, and makes me despair of the thought processes of bureaucracies.)

  8. That sign’s been there forever. I recognise it from my youth spent walking my grandmother’s dog on the bluffs, 20 years ago.

    At the time you could pick up a 2km leash at the hardware store at Kingston and Midland. It was bulky but fantastically convenient: you could sit on one of those brown benches overlooking the bluffs, let the poodle mosey off into the brush, and use the hand-crank to reel him in after half-an-hour or so. You’d get a real work-out if he’d gone down the cliff face, mind you, and the line had a way of snaring shore birds and local children. They’d banned the things by way of by-law by the time amalgamation rolled around.

  9. Ivor – Wow. I guess the joke’s on me if it’s actually a legit sign. Guess the truth is stranger than typos.