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 â€” so they can earn revenue from their illegal billboards while their frivolous case drags through the courts â€” 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 Torontoâ€™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 Cityâ€™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