We have serious, chronic problem with graffiti, particularly on laneways backing commercial properties.
The City of Toronto by-laws state that it is the responsibility of property owners to remove graffiti. If property owners do not do it, then City will remove the graffiti and the cost will be added to the tax roll. Read here for the full story.
Some property owners have commissioned murals on their buildings and fences in an attempt to discourage graffiti tagging but this is not always a successful strategy and the property is tagged anyway.
Officers from 51 division have conducted paint-out projects, some with our association and some with area high school students (as part of their community hours required for graduation). This helps, but the problem is escalating and such programs can't keep up with demand.
Canada Post redesigned its mail boxes, cleverly replacing the plain red with graphics that discourage graffiti; this technique has been quite successful. And recently, several neighbourhood Bell Canada boxes hav had mural/artwork applied to discourage tagging. It remains to be seen whether graffiti taggers will respect mural/artwork installations.
What we are Doing
- We have asked 51 division officers to step up enforcement, however, they say that they really need to catch taggers in the act.
- We have approached Pam McConnell, asking if City Council can enter in discussion with the judiciary system to come up with appropriate sentencing for graffiti taggers that includes removing and painting out graffiti. At present, there is no meaningful sentencing for this vandalism.
- Our association has secured a 20% discount on services from Metro Graffiti Services (with a minimum of 5 instances at a time). All you need to do is take a photo of the tag, provide a description of the size and the exact location of the graffiti and email it to email@example.com. Mention Metro Graffiti Services in your email. We’ll help coordinate the rest.
- We encourage property owners to adopt "vertical gardens" on their buildings and fences to limit the amount of exposed space which attracts graffiti. Click here for images of green walls. And here is a link to a landscaping company called Livewall that specializes in vertical gardening http://livewall.com/
- We have made contact with the folks handling the Bell Box Mural Program and have asked that the boxes in our area be added to the program. Many Bell Boxes are tagged with graffiti and painting them with murals make them more attractive and less likely to be tagged. Here is a possible before and after shot of Bell Boxes at Seaton and Shuter that we hope to have painted in 2014.