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Toronto to consider limiting number of signs on private property

Toronto residents with more than one sign on their lawn, like those reminding drivers to slow down or protesting budget cuts, may soon have to choose between the causes they advocate for.

City staff have proposed new limits on what are described as “advocacy signs” in a by-law review.

If passed, residents won’t be able to have more than one sign on their property that “advances a point of view and is not for a commercial purpose.”

“The proposed regulations for advocacy signs balance the ability of Toronto residents to display content related to civic causes with the need to consider the safety and neighbourhood impacts of these signs,” the report published May 16 read.

The amendments would extend to home builder identification and contracted services signs as well, both of which would also be limited and only permitted during construction or 30 days after it’s been completed.

It's unclear if there is a limit on how long an advocacy sign can be displayed on private property.

Election signs, third-party signs, posters, and several other types of signage were not considered under in the review.

Speaking to Newstalk 1010’s Moore in the Morning on Thursday, Coun. Shelley Carroll, who represents Don Valley North but lives in Don Valley East, said “the big controversy” is the number of advocacy signs she’s seeing in her area.

“Should you limit it to one [advocacy sign] per lawn? I definitely think you should because you should see this neighbourhood right now,” she said.

“There are people who have lined their lawn with [these signs], almost like you would little flags on Canada Day. They’re just everywhere. I think, after a while, people get to a point where [the signs are] just meaningless because there’s so many of them.”

The by-law review is set to be considered by the Economic and Community Development Committee on May 31. Top Stories

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