Toronto is finally getting its first development sign in a language other than English
It seems a parody sign erected by a community grassroots organization in Chinatown last month had the intended effect, because the city is about to put up its first development application sign in a language other than English.
City councillor Mike Layton tweeted about the new sign earlier today, indicating that it will soon go up on Spadina Avenue.
I'm told this is a first for Toronto - a development application sign in a language other than English. This is going up on Spadina. Thanks @chinatownFOCT for challenging city to do better. pic.twitter.com/QLh9kb3WxB— Mike Layton (@m_layton) December 10, 2019
Plans for a 13-storey, mixed-use building designed by Montgomery Sisam were submitted to the city a few months ago. If the project goes ahead, it could mean the closure of more than 10 longtime Chinatown businesses, including the beloved neighbourhood staple Rol San.
The project would span two main buildings at 315-325 Spadina Avenue and re-zone the stretch of Spadina between D'arcy and Baldwin Streets.
The city's new sign is set to be erected in front of the 315 Spadina Court building.
The #FOCT parody sign is now up at the corner of D'Arcy and Spadina, just a few steps down from the official @cityoftoronto development sign. Ours looks a little different tho ~ #flyingbokchoy #KeepChinatownTO pic.twitter.com/xkoFPAGsrp— Friends of Chinatown TO (@chinatownFOCT) November 14, 2019
FOCT's stunt aimed to question how the potential new development would impact the lives of Chinatown’s residents, families and business owners.
On top of that, the bilingual parody sign pointed out the fact that the city's sign would be illegible to many of the residents it was intended to inform.
"Language inaccessibility keeps non-English speaking, immigrant and newcomer communities in the dark about potential changes to the composition of the neighbourhood," Amy Lam, an FOCT organizer, said at the time.
It seems the city heard FOCT's message — or at least part of it — loud and clear.
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