Really City Hall, More Electronic Billboards?

Yesterday, while killing time on Twitter, I came across these two tweets by local writer Jonathan Goldsbie:

Goldsbie_Tweet1

Goldsbie_Tweet2

My first reaction was, “WTF?” but then I thought, “Maybe this proposal isn’t as stupid as I’m imagining” and I clicked on the first link. It opened up this:

City_Electronic_Signs

“WTF?” was the right reaction, especially when I opened the second link and saw this map:

TO_Map

There’s a lot of orange on that map, including orange where I live. Thankfully, because of the various 30 meters exclusions, I don’t think a “sign displaying static, mechanical or electronic static copy” will be popping up outside my house anytime soon.

But if this recommendation is approved, such a sign certainly could appear outside of someone else’s home and that would really, really suck. Oh sure, the residents could get blackout curtains to keep the light from their new neighbour out but maybe those people would like to, at some point, open those curtains and let sunlight, as well as fresh air in.

When it comes to public advertising, I think I actually have a pretty relaxed attitude towards it. I have no problems with ads on the TTC or with all the video ads in Yonge-Dundas Square. But this proposal means that electronic ads could pop up in neighbourhoods where they will look tremendously cheap, tacky and out-of-place (in addition to being annoying to residents). We already have enough of those qualities in this city, why do we need more?

This proposal is still very much that, a proposal, and with all the other stuff going on at City Hall, who knows that will come of it. Councillor Adam Vaughan has already stated that he won’t be supporting this idea. I’m hoping that the majority of city councillors feel the same but if this proposal is tied to making a “quick” or “easy” buck, I can see it passing. And then we can be treated to glowing ads as we make our way down Augusta Avenue.

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