The wheels of city hall turn slowly and that’s not a bad thing. At yesterday’s meeting of Toronto City Council, the fate of the video billboard slated to replace an existing one at Weston and Lawrence came up for a vote. There were several others situated on rail lands being voted on but thanks to a vigorous response from the Weston community, Toronto’s Planning and Growth Management Committee recommended that our particular neighbourhood eyesore remain as it is. Several others were allowed. Council also managed to limit the hours of video billboard illumination from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm and increase the amount of non-commercial messaging from a measly 1.5% to 5%. The full text of the motion and amendments is here.
The lesson for voters is that if we don’t want our community to be degraded, we need to continue to speak out loudly and clearly. If a community is degraded, corporations don’t care (Pattison even wanted their billboards to be tax-exempt).
That’s why vigilance and a vigorous response to elected officials is our best defence against corporate greed.