Personally, I love the 3D TORONTO Sign. It’s interactive, it’s jovial, and it challenges Toronto’s reputation as a city that is undistinguished and staid. True, it’s hard to put a dollar value on likes and shares on social media, but there is value in that level of awareness. Economics should not be the only concern. The people of Toronto are engaged with what’s happening in Nathan Phillips Square in a way that hasn’t been seen since Henry Moore’s Archer was unveiled in 1966. They are bringing family and friends down to view 3D Toronto and that’s enriching the neighbourhood by bringing awareness and foot traffic to the area. These are benefits that need to be taken into account by the city, not just the bottom line of how much it costs in maintenance.
The city should also seriously look at funding the sign through sponsorships and advertising opportunities to offset the cost of maintenance. Currently, according to the city website, there is still no draft policy around sponsoring a custom lighting display of the 3D Toronto sign, which to my mind is a missed opportunity.
If you agree and want city council to start moving on an official policy and maintenance plan, contact your city councilor. You can find the proposal drafted by the Economic Development Committee here.
If you are interested in requesting custom lighting palette for the 3D TORONTO Sign, you can find the application process on the City of Toronto website.
Sources: City News, Iconic Toronto sign starting to show wear, needs funding to survive (November 2, 2016): http://www.citynews.ca/2016/06/21/iconic-toronto-sign-starting-to-show-wear-needs-funding-to-survive/
The City of Toronto, 3D TORONTO Sign (November 2, 2016): http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=bfc0ba44d6961510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
CTV News Toronto,Report on landmark ‘Toronto’ sign referred back to staff for further evaluation (November 2, 2016): http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/report-on-landmark-toronto-sign-referred-back-to-staff-for-further-evaluation-1.2956593
Global News, Ontario man launches $2.5-million lawsuit over TORONTO sign, (November 2, 2016): http://globalnews.ca/news/2140394/designer-claims-idea-for-toronto-sign-was-used-for-pan-am-games-without-permission/