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Post: City to sell old street signs at $10/ea

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wyliepoon

Guest
Link to article

City plans to sell old street signs for $10 each
2,000 to 2,500 replaced each year

James Cowan
National Post

Friday, February 09, 2007

Mr. Giambrone warned many of the signs decommissioned by the city are in dismal condition and may not be suitable for display.

"Some of them are pretty rusted. They've been up for 40 or 50 years literally -- I'm not sure if I'd want them up on my wall," he said.

The city will not sell any old signs with sharp or rusted edges.

The average street sign lasts between 10 and 12 years, according to Mr. Stopnicki. Despite the signs' long life, the city currently replaces 2,000 to 2,500 signs per year. Each sign costs between $50 and $60 to manufacture and install.

In addition to replacing damaged or faded signs, the city loses many signs to theft. Selling used signs may deter people from stealing the signs from their poles, according to Mr. Stopnicki. "That will hopefully be one of the results," he said.

City councillors will also be asked next week to approve a new look for Toronto's street signs. The new design features an upper curved segment marked with the city's logo, a middle section with the street name in white print on a blue background and a bottom section that identifies the nearest street address.

The signs can be modified to feature the logo of a local Business Improvement Area or the name of a neighbourhood instead of the city logo. The signs can also be manufactured using brushed steel for their upper and lower segments.

Mr. Stopnicki said city staff and residents at public meetings all endorsed the new design.

"This design was the one that everyone liked," he said. "This is very functional, it looks very modern."

The new signs will be installed over time as existing signs wear out.

Frat boys of Toronto, put down your hacksaws: You will soon be able to buy old street signs to decorate your rooms.

City staff have proposed selling decommissioned street signs to the public for $10. The idea was first raised last year during a series of public meetings about proposed changes to the city's signs, according to Robert Stopnicki, a director with transportation services.

"Many people were asking what we did with the old signs and saying 'I would love to buy an old sign from my street," Mr. Stopnicki said. "One woman wanted to buy a sign for the street where her children were born."

The city currently throws away its signs when they become damaged or too difficult to read. Under the new plan, the old markers will be saved after they are decommissioned and put into storage at the city's sign shop on Toryork Drive. A list of available signs will be posted on the city's Web site and interested residents will be able to order them by e-mail. Any signs that are not claimed after one year will be discarded.

Mr. Stopnicki noted Ottawa already sells its old street markers to the public.

Councillor Adam Giambrone, vice-chairman of the works committee, said he supports the idea of selling secondhand signs. "I've had a lot of requests from people," he said. "It's not going to be a big money generator for the city. It's just something people seem to want."

*****

When I went to Chicago, I visited the city store located at the Water Tower. They had a good selection of old street signs and L station signs on sale. Always the compulsive buyer, I bought an L station sign right on the spot, which now hangs on a column in my house.

I think the TTC should also get into the act of selling old signs.
 
G

ganjavih

Guest
Cool, I won't have to steal them anymore. It's cool that they'll be available online... I wouldn't mind picking up a few more. I have one hanging on the wall of my Montreal pad. Visitors are shocked and dismayed upon seeing it.

torontosign.jpg
 
A

Archivistower

Guest
What I want is one of the metal PATH maps that appear throughout the system. They are in need of updating, I would love to get my hands on one.
 
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TdotTrickyRicky

Guest
Why wouldn't they auction off the signs? I'm sure they could get more than 10 bucks.
 
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The Burgher of TO

Guest
I'm definitely going to pick up a couple of those. It's funny, I was having breakfast a couple weeks ago and out the window I saw a crew changing the street signs at Carlton/Church, and I was really tempted to go over and see if I could talk them into giving me one of the old Carlton signs.
 
W

wyliepoon

Guest
More from the Post

Link to article

Councillors sign off on new street markers
'New and improved'

James Cowan
National Post

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Toronto city councillors yesterday endorsed a new look for the city's street signs, with at least one councillor regretting they could not keep the old.

The works and infrastructure committee voted in favour of the new design, which features a curved upper section marked with the city's logo, a middle section with the street name in white print on a blue background and a bottom section that identifies the nearest street address.

The signs can be modified to feature the logo of a local business improvement area or the name of a neighbourhood instead of the city logo. In business areas where a classier street marker may be required, the signs can also be manufactured with upper and lower segments made of brushed steel.

Toronto has previously attempted to eliminate the mishmash of signs left over from when the new city was amalgamated from six municipalities in 1998. A marker based on the oblong signs in the old city of Toronto failed to gain public support when it was introduced two years ago.

Roberto Stopnicki, a director with transportation services, said residents of other former municipalities, such as Etobicoke and Scarborough, objected to having Toronto's old sign design imposed upon them.

"We tried to find a sign that was a combination of all of their signs and, of course, somebody wasn't happy no matter what we did," Mr. Stopnicki said. "So we decided to start with a new and improved sign."

But Councillor John Parker yesterday questioned whether it was wise to abandon tradition. He argued Toronto's old signs, made of cast iron with an acorn protruding from the top, are a well known symbol of the city.

"If I was choosing signs for Orlando, I'd buy the new design in a second," he said. "But in Toronto, we have a sign that is so classic and distinctive that I'd be sorry to lose that."

The new signs will be installed as existing signs wear out. Toronto replaces between 2,000 and 2,500 of its 75,000 street signs each year, with the average marker lasting between 10 and 12 years. Each sign costs between $50 and $60 to manufacture and install.
 
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spmarshall

Guest
I guess they did not make any changes from the "consultations". The Toronto logo on the signs is really redundant (but Toronto loves redundant stuff like subway announcements, doesn't it?). I guess to remind you out at Weston and Fermar that you're not yet in Vaughan.

Signs008.jpg
 
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MetroMan1000

Guest
I like it! .... although I would get rid of the word Toronto... that's kinda tacky. We know we're in Toronto duh! I'd leave the Toronto logo above though.

I like how it pays homage to the signs of yesteryear but dares to be modern. I much prefer these over the flimsy signs that began being rolled out but public outcry prevented from becoming the norm.

On second thought, I think the word Toronto will be replaced by the name of the district (i.e. Fashion District).

EDIT: Oops, this last bit is in the article.
 
B

building babel

Guest
The new street signs are a great example of Toronto in full dithery, henpecked trying-to-please-everyone mode: The Toronto logo at the top can be replaced by the logos of pumped-up local BIA's ( who are also increasingly flexing their muscle to dictate how our collective public space is used ) and there's a deluxe brushed steel treatment for "classy" BIA's that, presumably, want to generate sign-envy among the lesser BIA's.

Reminds me of when British Rail had first, second and third class carriages up until the 1950's.
 
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ganjavih

Guest
I'd be happy if they just kept these:

200px-College_street_sign_Toronto.jpeg


But the new ones are still better than these 'cheap cardboard cutout souvenir store-style' ones which are just awful:

new_toronto_street_sign.jpeg
 
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spmarshall

Guest
Many of the latest "cardboard" signs are smaller for the minor streets - finally addressing one of many flaws - the one-size fits all signs had a terrible scale for local intersections.
 
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TdotTrickyRicky

Guest
Building Babel,

Why don't you join your local BIA if you are so displeased? BIA's are open and accountable with elected board members developing initiatives for the benefit of all local residence. I don't think the fact that they don't have in their mandate a foreign policy or initiatives to end world hunger is enough of an argument to paint them as an evil empire. I'm sure however that their annual flower planter watering budget somehow oppresses the poor.
 
M

Mystery White Boy 66

Guest
These look horrible. The old ones are gems but anything old in Toronto is unacceptable. When will this city start taking pride in its history?
 
S

spmarshall

Guest
The city did decide to maintain and retain the white globe lamps where possible, at least. The "Toronto style" lamps will remain. (They were found all over southern Ontario - Peterborough, Fort Erie still have a few left, Brampton had a smaller version too).

In the late 1980s and 1990s they were slowly replaced by the high-pressure sodium suburban standard lights. In the 1970s, there were some of these lights of the acute high-angle variety (that has made a comeback of sorts in Brampton and Burlington, used on new utility poles). New lights, like the ones on Spadina or going in on St. Clair, are new designs, but are still white lights.

I will gladly purchase some old signs, and they will be around for a long time to come as things like this usually take place over a glacial period.
 

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