I am not a fan of most advertising. It tends to be ugly, blatant, and rarely takes into consideration the surrounding environment. I have no problem with the posters plastered on phone poles and under bridges - on the contrary, I think they fit well into the urban aesthetic. But I hate billboards, I hate those massive posters that hang from the side of buildings, but more than anything, I hate, hate HATE what the city has done to the previously adorable streetcar.
The appealing red and white streetcar, so cute, so classy, so downright friendly looking; the ads on the side aren't enough, no, advertisers grease the palm of the cash-strapped Toronto Transit Commission and what happens? Suddenly a giant Mars bar is rolling down the avenue. A yellow pages car looks like a sponsored school bus. Garish advertising rolls down the street, offending passerby as the passengers are bombarded with erectile dysfunction advertisements and television ads.
What baffles me is how the City Council can be talking about bylaws to restrict postering and yet still consider this embarrassment to our transit and those rumoured garbage cans that will be yet larger than the current bins cum billboards that currently litter the streets without batting an eye. Posters are clutter and somehow these rolling ads fit completely with the city's identity? What does that make us? Pardon the language, but as far as I'm concerned, the city's whoring as much public space as possible, and not even for a lot of money (we still had a fare hike on the TTC, the Mayor is still fighting for more provincial and federal funds). And yet the people who live here (rather than the larger corporations) are being restricted in their use of space?
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