Digital highway sign debate: Visual pollution or better aesthetics?

Planning and Growth Management Committee, Sept. 8, 2016

City Councillor says proposed changes to sign need to be considered outside bylaw. Jorg Cieslok, president and CEO of Cieslok Media, came to City Hall on Thursday to advocate for changes to a sign at 2 Strachan Ave. on Exhibition grounds, a change that city staff are not supporting. “This, in my opinion, is not at all in the public interest, with the exception of the additional revenue that it would generate at Exhibition Place,” Chair of the Planning and Growth Committee Councillor David Shiner said. Local Councillor Mike Layton says he does not support the sign, but conceded the company has gone far above and beyond in terms of meetings with the public. For Committee member Councillor John Campbell, the issue is about the change to the look of this particular sign. “I think the staff’s mistake is they’re only looking at the context of the bylaw, they’re not looking at it in the context of what the change will bring about … I think a neater, cleaner, more modern looking sign is more pleasing to look at and has less impact than what’s there. It’s as simple as that. It’s about aesthetics.” Currently, the sign is broken into three sections with one of those displaying motion video advertising. The proposed sign would have one single image across the whole sign. “We’re reducing not increasing the light emission,” Cieslok said. The proposed terms of the sign would see it turned off between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.