City wants to replace Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square
Published Thursday, August 29, 2019 1:01PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, August 29, 2019 6:54PM EDT
The city is looking to replace its iconic Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square with a brand new, more durable version.
In a statement issued Thursday, officials said that the sign, which was installed in July 2015 for the Toronto pan American and Parapan American Games, was meant to be a temporary structure.
“Although it was only built to last a few weeks, in response to the sign's popularity the City extended its presence on the square indefinitely and it has become a Toronto landmark,” the city said.
Over the last four years, the sign has become a popular spot for tourists and local residents alike. No matter the weather, at least a couple dozen people can always be seen gathering around the sign, which has the potential to light up in different colours depending on special events.
“I don’t think anyone could imagine Nathan Phillips Square without the Toronto Sign now,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a tweet.
According to city officials, it has cost Toronto about $400,000 to maintain the sign since it was first installed. Brad Ross, a spokesperson for the city, said that the sign is not as water resistant or graffiti resistant as it should be. He also said the lighting infrastructure inside the sign needs to be upgraded.
“Only after the CN Tower and the Toronto Eaton Centre is something more visited in Toronto than the Toronto sign,” said Brad Ross. “We need to make it a permanent structure.”
The city will issue a Request for Proposal next week to begin the process and hopes to have the new sign installed by the end of the year—in time to ring in 2020.