Toronto sign

April 12, 2016

Signifying Toronto? This week the idea of creating a mobile version of the popular Nathan Phillips Square “Toronto” sign  was discussed at the Economic Development Committee. The move follows a lawsuit filed against the city by a brand consultant who says the sign was his idea, and perhaps as a result, city staff explained the visual history of the sign at committee. City Centre Mirror’s David Nickel has a clear summary of the discussion that took place. CBC’s Errol Nazareth reported the sign could cost $150,000 for maintenance until the end of 2016, and a new mobile sign would set the city back $200,000.

The issue resulted in some interesting takes. The Toronto Star endorsed maintaining the sign in an editorial this week. The Toronto Sun’s Mike Strobel poked fun at city bureaucrats in an open letter to councillor Norm Kelly. And as The National Post’s Chris Selley wisely remarked, “If tourists really are going out of their way to see that sign, I’m not sure it speaks well of the attractions we’re offering them.” If more public art at Nathan Phillips Square is something that councillors and city staff want to consider, artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins, interviewed this week by Ilana Altman in Spacing Magazine, offer insight into the design and planning process.

Inspiration for the Toronto sign shown at the Economic Development Committee this week.
Inspiration for the Toronto sign shown at the Economic Development Committee this week.