fake development proposal sign toronto

Fake development sign trolls area with giant tower in middle of Toronto park

Residents near Midtown Toronto's Oriole Park are being trolled with their own neighbourhood nightmare, discovering a fake development sign showing a skyscraper sprouting from the middle of the popular park along the Beltline Trail.

Posted on the south fence of the tennis courts, facing Frobisher Avenue, the sign depicts an alarmingly tall tower looming high over the neighbourhood.

At first glance, this is a very convincing copycat, matching the proportions and design of official signs to a tee. But there are some pretty obvious clues that this is a fake upon closer inspection.

Official City-posted development notice signs include statistics about a new development like its proposed height and floor area. The fake sign doesn't have this because, well, it's fake.

If that wasn't a tip-off, the developer's name is a dead-end, the link to the City's Application Information Centre leads nowhere, and the file number on the sign is invalid.

The phone number and email addresses listed are both for John Tory's office, and no City Planner by the listed name exists.

This isn't the first time we've seen trolls post satirical signs poking fun at the condo craze, with a string of 2016 "art installations" depicting condo additions to Casa Loma, the CN Tower, City Hall, University College, OCAD U's Sharp Centre for Design, and maybe most ridiculously, a condo tower on top of the already huge condo tower at One Bloor East.

Granted, those were pretty clearly a fun prank even to the most casual observer. The sign at Oriole Park seems more likely to fool the unsuspecting passerby, lacking any visible humour.

The ruse may have ruffled the feathers of some in the community, with another nearby sign vowing to fight the development, even going so far as to organize a town hall for area residents.

Ward 12 City Councillor Josh Matlow tells blogTO, "Assuming they're not the same person, the person who placed the poster may have been scared by this fake development notice."

Matlow feels this is a cheap shot at the community, saying that the sign "certainly comes across as deliberately deceptive."

"I don't like my community being lied to," Matlow states. "It's dishonest and unfair to people to provoke a bogus controversy at a time when peoples' focus is on just trying to stay healthy and get their kids back in school."

"People have enough to worry about these days without having to be concerned about a fake development proposal taking over their park. Whoever is doing this has put a lot of effort into it. It costs money to make something like this."

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