Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Portable signs in Canada: why so prevalent there?

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,571
    Blog entries
    3

    Portable signs in Canada: why so prevalent there?


    Portable signs were the visual bane of many communities in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, except in perpetually 20-years-behind-the-times suburban Buffalo, and classic "towns next door" of a more RUGGED! nature, portable signs are a far less common blight on the American landscape than they used to be 15 or 20 years ago. Many communities ban them altogether, and a growing number of communities are enacting bans.

    When I cross the border to Canada, though, it seems like it's 1990 all over again, at least when it comes to portable signs. They're everywhere in communities in the Golden Horseshoe. Several years ago, Nerudite posted photos of strip commercial areas in the Edmonton area, many showing multiple portable signs.






    Portable signs in Canada take a somewhat different form than those south of the border. In the US, the remaining signs take the form of the classic "reader board", many with a top-mounted arrow. The background is usually white or off-white; the changeable copy black. In Canada, the background of portable signs is usually black, with the changeable copy being white and fluorescent colored.

    In the Buffalo area, I've seen both American-style white and Canadian-style black portable signs. I haven't seen the Canadian-style portables anywhere else in the US.

    So, Canadian Cyburbians: why do you think portable signs might be more common north of the border?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    202
    My eyes, my eyes!! It would be painful for me to see this type of sign pollution on a daily basis.

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,571
    Blog entries
    3
    FWIW, a comparison of American and Canadian-style portable signs. Both are in the Town of Tonawanda, a Buffalo suburb where portables are still permitted. (Like I said, the 1980s still live on in Buffalo. Still, portables are even more common on the other side of the Niagara, and almost all are of the latter design.)

    American style portable:



    Canadian style portable:

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Cyburbian drucee's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    229
    Those signs are made in Canada, mostly by a company called Canamex Promotions, and the sign-rental business is huge there. The US only got them in the last couple of years, and they're starting to become widespread here. In both Canada and the US they're far more common in exurban or newer suburban areas, and rarer in older suburbs or richer communities. I drove out of Minneapolis on U.S. Highway 12 yesterday and noticed a slew of these signs in the exurban and rural towns of Delano, Howard Lake, and Cokato.

    Canadian signs are generally more interesting than those in the US... when I was in Toronto for the first time in 1999, one of the first things I noticed was the proliferation of sandwich boards on the sidewalks. In the suburbs, you see a lot more custom municipal billboards, more small billboards (very few of the towering ones that we have on our interstates, especially in Texas) and more creatively designed street signs.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 19
    Last post: 03 Mar 2014, 5:38 PM
  2. Replies: 14
    Last post: 18 Aug 2013, 3:15 AM
  3. Why are TIFs prevalent in the US but not in Canada?
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 10
    Last post: 22 Nov 2010, 9:10 PM
  4. PODS - Portable On Deman Storage
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 10
    Last post: 16 Jun 2004, 2:42 PM
  5. Temporary or portable garages
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 19 Mar 2001, 7:14 PM