great outdoor advertising toronto

Grocery worker finds success with side hustle selling billboard ads in Toronto

Billboard ads have become a successful side hustle for a grocery warehouse worker in Toronto who's also a dad.

Chris Morren went back to his roots in billboards by starting up Great Outdoor Advertising a few months ago.

"I used to be in the billboard business, mostly large scale, hand-painted third party murals in downtown Toronto, from 1994 until 2000," Morren tells blogTO.

He sold the billboard business for $60,000 to pursue other opportunities, and worked for GO Transit until he was let go in 2011.

"It put me into a depression because I had four mouths to feed, including my own," says Morren.

For the last 10 years, he's been an order selector in a cold perishables grocery warehouse, where he continues to work and spends half his tim in the freezer. Now, he wants to work with what he considers slightly manic depressive tendencies and show his kids (who are 10 and 12) that he can do more.

When he started up Great Outdoor as a one-person proprietorship billboard business a few months ago, he approached numerous advertisers including Minto, which is doing a couple of big projects in the Long Branch area of Toronto.

Even though they'd never heard of him before, the company put their confidence in Morren and gave him a three-year contract for two billboards in Long Branch. Morren's first posters for Minto were installed on Jan. 31.

He still only puts in a few hours a week at the billboard business and isn't planning on leaving his current job, as he needs the benefits and stability.

"I am over the moon to finally show my kids that I can do more than pick boxes," says Morren.

This is the first billboard location for Morren, but he's hoping to get more in the future.

Lead photo by

Chris Morren

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto expected to see way more thunderstorms than usual this summer

Toronto lost nearly 4,000 businesses last year but it's not all bad news

Toronto may be getting a cool new solution to missing your package deliveries

Ontario driver avoiding RIDE check was hiding thousands of pot plants in their car

Toronto officials warn of potential monkeypox exposure at two popular nightclubs

Driver shows the aftermath of an unruly and abusive Toronto-bound Lyft passenger

2022 is the year of carjackings in Toronto and John Tory is asking for help to address it

Toronto TV icon posts explosive video detailing rampant workplace sexism