toronto billboard

A new type of billboard is coming to Toronto and people will probably hate it

If you're one of the many residents of Toronto who have been annoyed with the overwhelming number of ads taking over the city, get ready to see even more — and on a bigger scale, too — thanks to a new move by city council.

Though there's no telling yet if they will bear the much-loathed sports betting advertisements that have been absolutely everywhere lately, Allvision Canada (on behalf of Metrolinx) will soon be able to take over a new, "super-sized" type of digital billboard in the city, targeting drivers on Highway 401 near Leslie St., to start.

The new signage will contravene the current city bylaws for billboards, exceeding usual size limits by a whopping three times, with two panels of around 62-metres square (more 14 m by more than 4 m) set up in a v-formation.

Though local councillors fought against the application that was filed for an exception to the rules, council has now ultimately approved the amendment, with the ads set to take over Metrolinx rail corridor space at the 401 and Leslie, and also at two different corners of where the 400 and 401 meet, and along the Galt Subdivision of CP rail.

"Have you ever driven along the 407 or the Gardiner Expressway and wondered about the super-sized billboards you whiz past? It may seem like they're just slapped up anywhere, but there are limits on billboard signage here in the City. Right now, however, there's an application to put a super-sized digital billboard in a prohibited area," Ward 17 Councillor Shelley Carroll wrote in a blog post last month.

"I don't really mind these giant digital billboards when they're out on the 407. There's such a large green buffer surrounding the highway that they don't compete with many distractions. Here in the city, I despise them. On a high-volume highway in a densely populated area, these billboards are so distracting that they can be downright dangerous."

While the city's signage regulations are actually quite complicated when you start looking into sign districts, size and location permittances, it seems that they can be easily bypassed.

No word yet on exactly when we can expect the new billboards will appear.

Lead photo by

Paul Flynn

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