The art may be coming down (see below), but something far more controversial will be going up:

…the Squamish Nation (intends) to erect 13 10′ by 36.5′ billboards near the exits of three of the bridges leading in and out of downtown Vancouver. Because the base of each sign will be planted firmly on reserve land, strict municipal sign laws won’t apply. That means the billboards, which will rotate and glow 24 hours a day, will be bigger, brighter and more visible than anything else in the district.

 As The Tyee reports here, they won’t be going up without protest:

Organizers for a group called Citizens for Responsible Outdoor Advertising (CROA) plan to suspend a giant jet-black sign from a crane looming over the north exit to the bridge sometime in the next two weeks. If all goes as planned, the sign will bear a single boldface word: SEX….
“We must display in an unquestionable, unequivocal way that we don’t want these signs,” Wayne Hunter, the man behind CROA, said Thursday.

Thanks to PT reader Lorin Gaertner, here’s a  story in the International Herald Tribune on Sao Paulo – a city going in the opposite direction:

Come the new year, this city of 11 million, overwhelmed by what the authorities call visual pollution, plans to press the “delete all” button and offer its residents unimpeded views of their surroundings.

Sao Paulo before:
Sao Paulo before
That was back in December.  Now that the rule in effect, Tony de Marco has documented the sight of a city stripped bare of commercial visuals. 
Sao Paulo after
You can see more results here.


  1. And remember that Vancouver itself is on Granville Street downtown reversing the trend with policies to support “garish” neon that was practically abolished decades ago.
    Personally, I see nothing wrong with the billboard at Main and Broadway, either. It’s really the City seeking to standardize landscapes and strip visual character if the view doesn’t comply with its criteria for “pretty”.

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