The notice—which declared the supposedly upcoming conversion of the Old City Hall into a complex featuring a residential tower and a four-storey parking area—was erected by self-styled “urban interventionists” Glo'erm and Tuggy, CBC News reported.
The sign was meant to “spark conversation” about the future that the housing industry’s frenzied pace would lead Toronto to, according to one of the artists who declined to be named.
“It is a piece of satire asking the public and the city to take a critical look at many of Toronto's recent development projects,” the artist wrote in an email to CBC.
He maintained that the mock proposal—intended to be just the first of many planned installations, including a 30-storey condo complex in place of the iconic Casa Loma—was not meant to mislead the public, but rather decry the “countless examples of condo towers being naively plopped on top of historic buildings as if this could preserve their elegance and our tie to their history, despite these additions.”
The artist added that the Old City Hall notice was specifically designed to be as convincing as possible to illustrate “how poorly these signs serve Torontonians as a means of notifying them and seeking their feedback about changes to be made to the urban environment.”
“In this sign's ability to disappear from view despite its controversial content, the audience is made to ask what other changes might be underway in the city unbeknownst to me?”
A proposal announcing the development of a 90-storey condo on top of a heritage building in Toronto went up over the weekend. Fortunately for a city already experiencing record levels of demand and price growth, however, the sign was just a clever practical joke by two local artists—albeit a prank that highlighted the intensity of development in Ontario’s capital.