We know this pole is located in West Queen West, but that's about it.
Say hello to Toronto's new info pole, or as Astral Media describes it, Freestanding Message Centre No. 105.1.
It's the latest piece of street furniture (clunky benches are already out) rolled out as part of the grey swoosh streetscape facelift. 500 of these suckers (and 2000 wall mounted versions) are meant to fix, in Astral's words, the "poor public appearance of our streets" and deter damage to light columns, paper boxes, waste bins, phone booths, bus shelters, and so on.
Will they be effective? Or perhaps the better question is, will they be effective as public message centres? That, lest we forget, is the intended use. They've specifically been designed as free message centres for citizens' information - think garage sales, charity bachelor auctions and lost cats.
But if you look closely at the photo above, the space is already filled with "This Advertising Space For Rent" signs.
Initially Astral Media stated the poles would have a "branded header panel identifying the function to ensure that the public clearly knows that these panels are for public use." But the only marker that can be seen above is one simply identifying the neighbourhood as West Queen West. That doesn't help clarity, and it looks like the purpose has shifted to include anyone with something to sell.
"The pillars are for any poster," explains the city's Municipal Licensing and Standards Manager Frank Weinstock. "It can be a show, it can be commercial, it can be a lost pet - any poster can go on those kiosky things."
There are certain limits, like size, how long they can stay up, overlapping and how many copies of the same event can be on one column.
He goes on to explain that community related stuff like bake sale posters, or lost cat signs can still go anywhere, like lamp posts.
Which brings the issue back to how this is going to affect poster saturation in Toronto.
"Municipal Licensing and Standards has passed what's called a postering bylaw. In order for that to happen the city had to provide alternative posting locations. Once we've rolled out these column equally around the city, we're permitted to enact the bylaw," explains Weinstock.
So while these pillars are for everyone, including blockbuster movie hucksters and megaclub promotions, expect a crackdown on anything that falls outside the message columns.
Take note indie bands, this means you could see a repeat of what happened to Spiral Beach, a small band slapped with a ridiculous $1470 fine for homemade concert flyers on garbage bins, if you poster on anything except the city-approved message poles.