The Billboard Peril

The Billboard Peril

The Fire and Light Committee of the Toronto, Out., City Council is being deluged with protests against the plagues of big advertising signs wherever there is a chance of their being erected. It appears that these blotches upon the horizon cannot be prohibited, although they can be regulated, and the cry goes up for the city architect and Fire Chief Thompson to interfere. The latter, especially, it is claimed, can at all events modify the evil, as no such billboard can be legally put up without his passing upon it and seeing whether or not such sign, if of wood, measures more than two feet from top to bottom, the law also prescribing that “no sign or advertising device of any kind shall measure more than 10 feet from the cave of any building with a pitched roof. Some of the signboards men are apparently trying to evade the law. One on a vccant lot is over 20 feet high, and if it should be set on fire would imperal the safety of a church and other buildings across the street. The billboard extends across nearly two lots. The by-law relating to the limit of 10 feet in height in that and similar cases is evaded by erecting 10-foot boards in tiers, with a platform between each tier. Chief Thompson on being asked about this said: “If that is so it is contrary to the by-law, and such billboards should come down.” From a fire preventive and fire protective standpoint the danger of allowing such billboards to be erected is obvious.

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