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Toronto wraps traffic boxes in art to fight graffiti

Posted by Derek Flack / March 25, 2014

Toronto graffiti wrap traffic boxSometimes the City of Toronto gets its graffiti abatement strategy right. Take, for instance, last year's project to spice up 20 traffic signal boxes around the city with murals from prominent street artists. Not only did this initiative add some unexpected art to what are otherwise urban eyesores, the presence of finished work has served to dissuade others from tagging up the utility boxes. Unlike this little bit of idiocy, everybody wins.

Building on that program, today the City announced that it plans to adorn additional traffic signal boxes with what's being referred to as a "graphically attractive, synthetic wrap." That's not the most promising description (graphically attractive?), but things get a bit more auspicious when you learn that artists commissioned to design the wraps are Gary Taxali and the late Moira McElhinney.

Toronto graffiti wrap traffic boxPart of the "Outside the Box" program, the wraps are designed not only to discourage tagging but also postering, which is also graphically unattractive but most people's standards (I kind of like the clutter). The designs are quite as stunning as the murals from last year, but presumably the wrap can be rolled out on a wider scale should the first run of 15 be successful.

Toronto graffiti wrap traffic boxWhat do you think? Is Toronto slowly learning how to manage graffiti?

Discussion

20 Comments

Dimitri / March 25, 2014 at 02:53 pm
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I like to wrap boxes in my art too, hurr hurr
Jules / March 25, 2014 at 02:56 pm
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I would still tag over the wrap.
Your mom replying to a comment from Jules / March 25, 2014 at 03:23 pm
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Jules / MARCH 25, 2014 AT 02:56 PM
I would still tag over the wrap.


Don't be a disrespectful a-hole.
Love, Mom
Jo / March 25, 2014 at 03:31 pm
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Love this. Unfortunately, there are jackasses running around the city tagging this stuff regardless. It looks like shit and is nothing short of rude and disrespectful.
iSkyscraper / March 25, 2014 at 03:41 pm
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Nice, certainly worth a shot. (Won't people be tempted to peel the wraps like birch bark though?)

Toronto still needs to learn from NYC when it comes to how to do graffiti removal:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/cau/html/graffiti/graffiti.shtml
Parker / March 25, 2014 at 03:44 pm
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Yes!!!!! Nice one, Toronto.
Alex / March 25, 2014 at 03:46 pm
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I thought graffiti was art... Why didn't they just commission better graffiti artists to do over the boxes.
TAGS ARE LAME / March 25, 2014 at 03:55 pm
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PEOPLE THAT TAG ARE LAME. ARTISTS ARE COOL. TAGGERS ARE NOT ARTISTS. JULES IS DEFINITELY LAME. www.lameassjules.com
IheartTO / March 25, 2014 at 03:55 pm
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@Alex- they did that last year and looks like they are doing 30 more this year too.
Spock / March 25, 2014 at 04:01 pm
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I swear I saw one that looks like a drunken Rob Ford. How was that commissioned by the city?
en@me.com / March 25, 2014 at 04:01 pm
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graffiti looks better than these lame wraps

just another step in the condification of toronto
RJ / March 25, 2014 at 05:16 pm
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Aren't Tags just like Art?
akswun replying to a comment from Jules / March 25, 2014 at 08:38 pm
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lol Ace....
MC / March 25, 2014 at 11:42 pm
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It used to be that murals and art were "respected" by the third-grade dropouts known as "taggers". Now, even elaborate murals are getting defaced.
jar / March 26, 2014 at 12:00 am
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This looks great. nice how they are using worldwide artist.
juepucta / March 26, 2014 at 04:31 am
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Taxali FTW
doltbomb / March 26, 2014 at 08:35 am
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yea, cite the home of modern graffiti as an example of how NYC is, 'doing it right' when it comes to graffiti removal, because they have a web site. lol.
asgdsdga / March 26, 2014 at 09:41 am
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that is not art
dafuqstonr / March 26, 2014 at 11:43 am
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If they commissioned graff artists to rock these more, they'd have solved the "problem".
A great example are the ones painted by Mediah, it's appealing to both graff artists, and ordinary people.
Baqalee / March 26, 2014 at 02:49 pm
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Just over 10 years ago, the alleyways around Queen and Spadina were filled with diverse examples of street art one could explore for hours.

Then a radio station held a couple big "graffiti" contests and the entire area from Spadina to Augusta was painted over and covered in a series of oversized tags, which are all done in a very similar style.

What was a fascinating outdoor art gallery is now just a wank fest of BS.

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