We’ve followed the hard work of IllegaSigns.ca before and now they’ve helped Toronto city council win a case in court against billboards companies. The Ontario Supreme Court ruled that Toronto has the right to take down illegal billboards primarily because there is a large public outcry. This is a far cry from banning billboards (like in Sao Paulo), but this a huge step for Toronto.
Because Strategic Media’s case against the City was brought for the purpose of delay — so they can earn revenue from their illegal billboards while their frivolous case drags through the courts — this represents a complete victory for Toronto.
Here are some highlights of the decision, which basically proves that being a pest really pays off:
- “The City has been inundated with complaints since 2006 from a public interest group regarding the proliferation of signs in Toronto’s downtown core. Moreover, in the process of harmonizing the various sign by-laws, the City received public input to the effect that there are too many signs and regulation of the City’s streetscape is inadequate. Thus, the City argues, there is evidence of actual public interest in this issue and harm to that interest if the injunction is granted.” Paragraph 33
- “While I can assume that the public interest favours compliance with the existing sign by-laws, there is also evidence of specific public interest in this case in the form of the complaints by a public interest group and the comments obtained by the City in the process of harmonizing its sign by-laws.” Paragraph 40