Monday, December 7, 2009

Toronto Passes Strict Billboard By-law and Tax

After several years of study and considerable debate, Toronto finally passed a billboard tax and strict new sign code to regulate billboards.

Illegal Signs.CA has a good synopsis of what the sweeping victory means for Toronto's landscape. The new by-law limits digital technology and will make it very difficult for new billboards to be erected. The inclusion of heavy fines should also force the removal of hundreds of illegal signs in the city-- previously, operators of these signs would simply ignore the law because of weak penalties and lack of enforcement. The tax is expected to raise $10.4 million annually, and the revenue will help the city enforce the new by-law. The expectation is that the number of billboards in Toronto will be halved over the next twenty years.

Big Billboard will seek to overturn the Council's action, of course, but the supporters of a beautiful Toronto are ready for the challenge.

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