Vehicle Wraps with Curb Appeal for Property Guys

Just recently the vehicle wraps dept. at Sign Source Solution got a phone call from Canada’s fastest growing and most disruptive real estate sales solutions company to help them make thousands more brand impressions per day. Property Guys came to us directly (without going through any marketing middlemen) to secure the best price for a car wrap. Working together we collaborated for one whole week to finalize a design, print the vinyl and shape this compelling mobile billboard that will certainly distract drivers and impact thousands of homeowners in every residential community it visits.
Property Guys vehicle wrap

The initial design was supplied by Property Guys head office in downtown Toronto. Sent electronically, the artist’s hopeful vision was digitally copied onto the vehicle template by our designers. The schematics then went back and forth a few times until this final arrangement was approved. Everyone likes how loud and busy this looks – its very visually disruptive.

The installation process began with production of the graphics; it took one whole day to print and laminate and prepare the 3M vinyl for application. After that was completed our team spent the better part of the next two days applying the material to the car. But we didn’t rush the process – great art takes time.
Propert Guys sign
These bright colours should remain this sharp for no less than five years regardless of how the car is stored, or how hot it gets in the summer or how frozen it gets with the wind chill in the winter (Temperature range is -60 Degrees C to +107 Degrees C). We use 3M U-180cv3 vehicle grade vinyl and Gloss Overlaminate 8518 for the most durable results modern science can provide – most or our wraps are still quite bright and sharp with good contrast after eight years or more!

As Canada’s largest private sale franchise network, Property Guys already has its hands full disrupting the real estate industry and is now winning big slices of Canadian mortgage industry market share away from our nation’s biggest banks. This wrap will be another device in their marketing arsenal to help impact homeowners and win the hearts of minds of more consumers. On that note, we hope to do all the company’s wraps and thereby help this nimble young organization change these tired business niches and thereby make life better for all Canadians (except perhaps real estate agents).
Propery Guys sign outside house for sale

Sign Source Solution Prints Business Banner for Toronto Physiotherapist

Inserting grommets in a banner

In mid November 2016 Toronto physiotherapist Damian Wyard of Pilates4Physio requested and received a small vinyl trade show banner to display at Hogtown Wrestling’s Need for Speed live wrestling show in Toronto. Damian needed the banner in a hurry to showcase his expertise and reassure the wrestlers whom he was about to meet for the first time that he was a top rated medical professional and they could relax around him. That’s a job for Sign Source Solution, and we turned this project out in twelve hours so it’d be up and ready for Damian at the wrestling show.

The banner was grommeted to allow more display options, but if you look carefully at the pictures from the 11 Nov show you can see the event staff ignored the grommets completely. It appears they used thumbtacks to pin through the material which of course damages the banner permanently.

Damian Wyard MSc PT

Damian Wyard has been a registered physiotherapist for 13 years and is today a Pilates rehabilitation instructor with over 20 years’ experience. The medical professional volunteered to help out behind the scenes by offering massage and sports therapy to the battered #HogtownPro athletes. The stars of the show give 110 percent when in the ring as they strive to make an outstanding Roger’s TV show product; they are so motivated to grow the popularity of their wrestling league that they become very prone to injury because of their adrenalin fueled exertions. Damian volunteered to give their sore arms and legs some comfort and that meant he needed a business banner to reinforce his credibility beyond his professional certifications as both a Pilates instructor and a registered physiotherapist.

Damian Wyard is a registered physiotherapist

Pilates4Physio combines these two disciplines for long term sports therapy and this message is well received by athletes and business executives alike; Damian has a busy little studio at 134 Adelaide street east (between Church and Jarvis) in the heart of downtown Toronto. He’s also getting quite popular in the press as more and more reporters are finding his therapeutic fusion to be a fascinating evolution in physical fitness. In summary, we expect our banner will be flying at every appearance this medical professional makes for the next ten years.

On Friday Nov 11th Pilates4Physio was Helping Hogtown Wrestlers

It warms our hearts here at Sign source Solution to see all the wrestlers making their entrances and exits in front of the roll-up banners we made last month – read Sign Source Solution’s blog post about making event signage for Hogtown Wrestling.

Nov 11th 2016 HogtownPro Live Wrestling show was by all accounts a really-well performed live wrestling spectacle. The league is enjoying a mini Golden Age right now, attracting a lot of international talent and celebrities from across Canada. Friday November 11th event showcased the acrobatic maneuvers of Speedball Mike Bailey and you can read all about the show and the myriad backstories on the Hogtown Wrestling blog. Good luck Damian Wyard, we’re rooting for you. Let us know if you need anything else in your rise to the top

Custom LED Interior Lobby Sign for MRI Software

blue LED illumination sign

The designers and installers at Sign Source Solution are quite proud of a recently commissioned and delivered lobby sign for MRI Software. This local company is a global organization with clients on five continents. They offer business management software solutions to the global property management industries, and they needed an iconic sign at their front to ‘en trance’ visitors (and staff).

As a leading provider of real estate enterprise software applications and hosted solutions, MRI called us and asked our team to create a custom interior sign for their office lobby that would positively impact visitors and staff. This is quite an honour because this company venerated and very well respected in its field.

It’s hard to imagine that a software company could be older than the personal computer itself, but MRI Software celebrated it’s fortieth year in business in 2011.

MRI Software, then called Management Reports Incorporated, was founded in 1971, in Cleveland, Ohio, by Fred and Sid Goodman. These men built the company around their vision of providing timely, accurate reporting to the global property management industry. Through the technological innovations and paradigm shifts of the next 45 years, this vision has remained at the core of MRI Software’s promise to its customers right up to this summer when they contacted us for some impressive interior signage.

software company  staff

With their business and their core values in mind, the designers at Sign Source Solution crafted this sign for the interior lobby of the MRI Software head office. We made a blue LED illumination sign with brushed aluminum vinyl face, and with the grain of the brushed aluminum being aligned horizontal before being laminated onto 1’ inch thick acrylic.

Our technicians grooved channels inside the acrylic from the back and inserted strips of Blue LED Lights.

Then out on the site, our installers ran the wires inside the wall and connected to a power supply in the ceiling for a nice and clean look on the surface.

MRI Software exists to enable the real estate industry to improve where people work and live. And Sign Source Solution exists to help improve the branding and how society perceives MRI Software, and every business for which we make sign solutions. Call today to discuss your business needs.

Enter Sign Source Solution 2016 Halloween $200 Gift Card Giveaway

Sign Source Solution loves Halloween! All of the designers, printers and installers around here agree that October 31st is the best non-holiday holiday (we don’t get the day off) because it challenges people to get creative with their costumes, and tweak their crazy side. This is the one day of the year that everyone can play another character, and go crazy. Some people go all out and adopt ‘alter-ego’ personas for parties and while parading about trick-or-treating with their kids. We’ve noticed that what people choose to be on this evening sometimes reveals what they’re most scared of, or what they think is cool, or who they really are in life. That’s what makes Halloween so amazing!

So we’re hoping you will all choose to design and assemble an amazing costume this year and get in the habit of being creative at home and in your business. Please stay tuned to see what the folks here at Sign Source Solution put together for themselves for the 31st (a Monday?). And you will see that our creativity leaps off the page, and manifests itself as living art, both here in the office and in our business.

Sign Source Solution offers your marketing people the most professional custom signage for your company; our goal is to make your organization grow because your signs impact consumers and resonate in the marketplace.

$200 give away sign contest

Why Orange and Black for Halloween?

Traditionally designers favour orange and black colours for all Halloween related artwork. Do you know why orange and black are so often associated with the occasion? Well besides being the color of autumn, orange signifies endurance and strength and pumpkins! What about black? Well that’s the ultimate scary thing – blackness or nothingness. Many cultures associate black with death. An absence of light, black is the opposite of goodness and benevolence. So orange and black for Halloween are symbolically representing ‘strength in death’.

Thinking about ‘revamping’ your old Halloween office party decorations?

How do you make scary stuff that still imparts the strength and character of the company and respects the office sensibilities? How can you improve upon the scary witch and the black cat decals on blank office walls? Come talk to us for amazing decorations.

Cats, Pumpkins, Witches and Pirates – every decade there’s a new monster, and as time passes old monsters fade away and are no longer found in printed party posters or any holiday iconography. A good example is found in older pop culture monsters, Vampires, Werewolves and Frankenstein – these creatures no longer resonate and have been replaced by evil clown, crazy Pokemon and … The undecided voter (Ken Bones in signature red knit sweater).

Enter the Sign Source Solution $200 Gift Card Giveaway

This Halloween, to celebrate our favourite holiday, Sign Source Solution invites you to check out our products and services at our website and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can win $200 Gift Certificate from Sign Source Solution!

There’s nothing to it – just follow Sign Source Solution on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Contest starts October 12th finishes October 30th by following this link you can ENTER NOW

Sign Source Solution Makes Sports History with Hogtown Wrestling Event Signage in Toronto

employee from sign source solution holding sign

In early October 2016, Sign Source Solution had a unique opportunity to play a big part in the transformation of a small wrestling league here in the city. We printed event signage, banners and a 6×6 media wall in advance of a live wrestling event by Hogtown Wrestling in Toronto.

Hogtown Wrestling is the name of the new organism that emerged from the collapse of Victory Commonwealth Wrestling which was a market leader for live wrestling events. The Canadian amateur and Triple A circuit leagues grew more popular all across North America after the commercial success of the movie, The Wrestler in 2008. Founded one year later in the summer of 2009, the VCW organization grew from six to eight to a dozen skilled performers in less than a year. These athletic ‘actors’ each square off against one another in bouts once a month in a long term quest for the Title; the championship is embodied in a thick golden-buckle leather wrestling belt. Hogtown Wrestling uses the same venues, the same announcers, performers and sponsors, and even uses the same wrestling belt as their trophy, but they needed new banners and newly branded backgrounds for their Rogers TV show.
hog town wrestling

The print job was rushed from the start. It all happened extraordinarily quickly and I’m sure we ‘saved some bacon’ at the Hogtown club by turning it around on time. From their initial phone-call we learned the new organization’s first show was scheduled for Saturday Oct 1st 2016, and we got that call on Weds Sept 29th at about four thirty pm.

hogtown media-wall sign

Jason Nadler, the founder of the new Hogtown Wrestling League sent us some simple designs which we thought were a little outdated, but he was in no mood for changes. He didn’t have the time or bandwidth to consider any fresh designs, so we rushed the job through the system and were done everything by Friday at noon.


Vanessa, a designer here at Sign Source Solution and this particular account manager reports, “In this case the client provided the artwork so we received the files and once I’d checked the resolution and size were correct, I set the files ready to print.” She continues, “The files were high resolution jpg’s (300 dpi) which means they were big enough for large scale printing. Our printer is HP Designjet L26500. The material we selected is standard gloss banner 13 oz, 38” roll for the smaller banners, and we changed it to 60” roll for the large ‘media wall’ banner. It took around two hours for printing in total and around another hour trimming and setting up the banners in the hardware (rollup banners) and putting the grommets in the media wall.”

first hog town wrestler

Having the new banners and the media wall printed and on display at the initial wrestling event added more confidence to the administrators and announcers who started the show by announcing the name change and the birth of the new Hogtown Wrestling League. The performers must have also felt immense pride knowing they’re part of something tangible and ‘visible’. And of course the audience was branded, from start to finish, by watching performers walk in front of the banners as the entered and exited the ring.

These banners are collectible. When the Hogtown Wrestling League evolves more sophisticated banner designs, which we would happily provide, we’ll take these iconic first drafts back and keep them in our museum for posterity – the first ever Hogtown Wrestling banners are sure to be collectible!

Sign Source Solution Helps Terry Fox Runners Cure Cancer in Thornhill

terry-fox-run-toronto 2016

The 2016 Thornhill Terry Fox Run is a non-competitive event where people get together as individuals, families, and groups to raise money for cancer research in Terry’s name. Its one day of the year set aside to celebrate Terry’s legacy and help keep his dream of finding a cure for cancer alive and properly funded.

The Runs take place all over Canada, in over nine thousand different communities across the nation every year, and are accessible to anyone who loves to run for fun and charity. Participants can stroll, walk, blade or bike, but most of all have fun while raising funds for cancer research.

One of those nine thousand communities is Thornhill Ontario, and Sign Source Solution has been supplying the local organizers with signage for the past two years.
This past summer, for the 2016 run we have printed and donated event signage, a roll-up banner, a Thank you sign with the updated list of sponsors and supporters, and ten encouragement cards which are signs staked into the ground along the route with helpful messages encouraging runners toward the finish line. Also donated was a sign for the registration table, and one thousand or so business cards for the Thornhill TFR Coordinator Blaine Sikich to press into the palms of helpful supporters.

About half of the signage we donated last year was reused at this year’s event. That included a large route map sign and a ‘cut out sign’ of Terry Fox in his iconic roadside pose. The medium sized wooden A-Frame sign also made an appearance this year, and other miscellaneous signs directing parking and pointing out nearby public restrooms.

So it was with some satisfaction we received the report from Blaine Sikich, the Thornhill Terry Fox Run Coordinator who wrote “We had a tremendous day with over 650 participants raising over $80,000 for cancer research… There were great compliments on the signs.”


For millions of people worldwide, (not just Canadians) Terry Fox is the face of cancer research. His Marathon of Hope inspired a country, and The Terry Fox Run, now in its fourth decade, continues to motivate people here in Canada and around the world. To date, over $650 million has been raised in support of Terry’s cause.

Terry’s vision and courage have helped to transformed cancer research in Canada, establishing a new attitude and threshold regarding what kind of investment was necessary to support effective cancer research.

So it warms our hearts to know once again we helped over six hundred charitable souls in Thornhill help all humanity in Terry’s name.

The Triumph of Creating and Installing an Illuminated Channel Letter Sign for a Business Tower in Markham

Sign Source Solution had a couple of really proud moments near the intersection of Hwy 404 and Hwy 407 in August 2016 when a commercial crane hoisted up two huge business signs that we designed and created to the top of the eight story building at 123 Commerce Valley Drive in Markham. We love it when a plan comes together! On that stormy Friday afternoon we knew for sure we’d just put our client on the map, and made a monument to fix their location more firmly in the minds of millions of passing motorists forevermore.

A big task like this takes an experienced and well staffed sign company a very long time to accomplish; this project was first initiated back in August 2015, one year ago this month, when we were first approached by the tenant to bid on the job. After we got the gig we set about educating the client executive body on just what’s involved in making and installing big signs on buildings. We needed them to understand that this is not a simple task, and indeed this complicated logistical recipe involves a lot of planning just to get everything lined up perfectly with all the different people involved. Readers can just picture the dozen or more well paid professionals who contributed something to this project. Start by imagining the sign’s designers, a structural engineer, two sign permit bureaucrats, various manufacturing agents, installation team leaders, grid assemblers inc a highly specialized welder, a window mullions construction specialist, and a roof parapet wall composite structural engineer.

We Fashioned Two Identical Forward Illuminated Channel Letters Signs

Acklands Grainger assembled before install

The signs, there are two – one facing east and another facing south are what we refer to as a forward illuminated channel letters sign, and in this case because they’re illuminated also means they’re powered and that’s another maintenance factor. The sign has white faces over a white return mounted on a grid and so even small LED lights create a massive white glow.

The Grid: Our design solutions team had to create an aluminum grid below the lettering because all sides of this building are made entirely of glass. The grid was the solution to our biggest challenge, and once engineered we measured and manufactured a sturdy aluminum grid, and then mounted the channel letters onto this frame. Then we raised and secured this metal grid in between the window mullions being especially careful not to shatter the glass, or block the view from inside, or leave the sign mounts in such a way as to interfere too seriously with the necessary window washing apparatus.

The signs each weigh approximately 1100 lbs despite being constructed from a lightweight synthetic material that will never rust or oxidize, especially where it attaches to the aluminum frame.  High quality LED lights, designed to illuminate the sign for many years to come and yet have a very low electricity consumption and minimal maintenance requirements, were affixed inside the white letters. We extended the transformers wires up to the roof top and there installed the actual LED transformers in a weatherproof box for ease of maintenance (instead of having the transformers inside or behind the sign below).

The installation procedure was designed by our in-house engineer, who certainly earned his pay navigating bureaucracy in this endeavour to be sure. He had to run the concept by M.T.O., the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and get their approval as all commercial signs over a certain size facing any of the 400 series highways always require a permit. This sign is facing 404 to the east and 407 to the south and is highly visible. After that we applied for a sign permit with the City of Markham, and our engineer had to go meet with the City of Markham’s civil engineer to explain our sensitive installation process in order for us to secure their permit. And it didn’t end there. After that we still had to float the concept past the Base Building Engineer for his necessary stamp of approval.

Actual installation of the heavy signs presented yet more challenges. First in a busy construction season in the GTA, we had to schedule a large enough crane to reach to the top of the eight story building – a pricey proposition in any market, and demand for construction cranes in the GTA is red hot at present. ‎Also the building administrators needed 48 hrs to block off the area where the crane needed to go, in two different places, so we could do both signs in one day. We had to watch the weather, wait for delays at the crane company, and time our installation so as not to interfere with an expensive roof repair also happening on site.

Acklands Grainger - Aug 2016
Due to the exigencies of the property’s physical layout, and owing to the fact that the heavy hoisting equipment was not allowed to set up on top the underground parking garage, the crane’s arm could not easily get close to the building, or raise the load at its optimal angle. And as anyone knows, if you’ve ever tried to extend your arm for a long time, holding something heavy, even the slightest breeze can affect a resonating bounce. In this situation, the worst case scenario would be to see the sign bounce into the very breakable glass siding of an eight story commercial building… With that in mind we all held our breath as each heavy sign was hoisted aloft.

And thank goodness everything went as planned. August 05th 2016 was a rather ominous weather day with dark storm clouds on the horizon and steadily increasing wind gusts. But true to form, our handpicked team of installers quickly and safely adhered the sign to the building with great speed and precision. On this day their specialized skills were only rivaled by Indy 500 racing pit crews, or perhaps more accurately, NASA astronauts building a space station.

At 9pm on Monday August 8th 2016 in a brief ceremony held at dusk in the empty parking lot, the two signs were set alight, to punch a hole right through the night and take their place in the constellation of building signs that paint the Markham skyline in the summer of 2016.

We Got a Government Job! Vehicle Wrapping for The People

Not all vehicle wraps are done for advertising and marketing to increase sales, but sometimes they are done for safety and accountability – either way they still impact the public.

Sign Source Solution vehicle wrapping is proud to present the first images of the freshly decorated Special Investigations Unit mobile command center Commissioned by the Province of Ontario. This is the first vehicle wrap that Sign Source Solution has ever done for the government, and so this is a matter of pride for us. We have done signs before – see our earlier blog report about the business signs along Hwy 7 – but this is our first vehicle wrapping project.

We responded to a request for proposal and we won the bid!

The Province of Ontario allowed vendors to submit bid tenders – they requested proposals for decals for a fleet of recently upgraded white SIU vehicles.
Supply Chain Goods Ontario

Supply Chain Management. The official request reads as follows, “To provide artwork, design and install vehicle (non-reflective) graphics on 4 Ford E450 trucks with fabricated boxes on front, both sides and rear. Measurements of trucks and SIU logos are attached. Logos and lettering must be in both English and French and include contact information on both sides as follows:



Trucks to be numbered individually in front of rear view mirror on both sides with 09; 10; 11; 12.”

We applied 3M 40c vinyl decals to the factory white painted exteriors of the vehicle seen in the pictures. There can be no discolouration. Our white vinyl decals must appear seamless as white on white to subconsciously communicate the clinical sterility of justice.

A Brief History of the SIU Vehicles

special investigations unit logo

The Special Investigations Unit is frequently in the news as they work high profile cases involving police shootings. This government agency investigates police. But It may surprise you to know this organization is relatively young in the grand scheme of things. The SIU is only about twenty-five years old, and so it’s still a fresh ‘design concept’ in the history of modern policing. We cannot go back one hundred years to be retro or borrow an ancient symbol.
SIU vehicle wrap

The SIU was formally conceived in mid-1980’s after a series of interactions involving guns, Toronto police and urban youth of various ethnicity raised concerns about the manner in which police shootings were being handled by senior staff at law enforcement agencies. Before the 1990s, police in Ontario investigated themselves, or other nearby police services were called in to conduct examinations of what happened. So needless to say there were some doubts about objectivity and the truthfulness of the findings of these special police task forces. In 1992 the SIU was created as an independent body to investigate police involved shootings, suspicious deaths or any shenanigans reported by the public or other agencies.

The SIU got their own fleet of vehicles in 2001 because they saw the need for their investigators to respond more quickly and to show up at areas of interest with their equipment in their own vehicle, and not in police vehicles or unmarked automobiles as had been done in the 1990s. Today in 2016, the unit has four new Ford E450 trucks designed to transport forensic identification equipment safely to and from incident locations. The vehicles are fully equipped to preserve and convey evidence back to the lock-up while reducing the risk of contamination.

The Mobile Command Unit (MCU) came into service in December 2009. This is the most interesting vehicle of all as its filled with high tech gear that only comes out when the crew is solving major crimes. Additionally, the MCU allows investigators to have a place to meet while on scene, conduct witness interviews, and maintain a visible presence independent of police.

Nataly Tucci our lead graphic designer conceived the straightforward design to be something that would stand out in any crowded crime scene. She did a fantastic job of keeping it simple and powerful. When asked to reflect on her process she wrote, “I have chosen as a principal unit graphic the crest inside the logo. It has been extrapolated to create a frame to insert the information such as initials and Special Investigation Unit. Following the crest / angle / decrescent line, all the typographic elements were alienated. Graphics elements placed on the truck were perfectly inserted in an imaginary grip, creating balance and stability providing an easy reading for drivers.”

On the risky business of combining fonts, Nataly wrote, “The typography used was the same that they had on their logos and graphic identity. I played with the thickness of the font, in order to create a proper level of perception of the information. The government fonts typically are Sans Serif fonts for Display/Logo and Serif font for special content. I combined fonts. I used Sans Serif because: It’s quite easily seen at a distance and understood in that it is simple and generally easy to read. Also I believe its beneficial in an aesthetic sense in the context of the design. Sans Serif font is labeled as modern, simplistic, minimal. I used Serif font because it makes the individual letters more distinctive and easier for our brains to recognize more quickly and it conveys a message of formality.”

On managing this creative process, we can report that the design layout stage took about four days of back and forth email correspondence, while the production itself took only one day, and the installation on the vehicle took one day to complete. Customer feedback was very good; they were happy with the outcome of the first van.

Over the next few months, we will be wrapping all of the vehicles, as they travel to and from our shop from their home bases in Kingston, Orillia, Kitchener and the SIU head office in Mississauga. The vehicles are stationed strategically throughout the province in order to respond more quickly to remote crime scenes.

Now with excellent typography this government iconography will serve to show the public the full width and breadth of our justice system throughout the Province of Ontario, which is certainly one of the most nobler applications of our printed vinyl signage in Canadian society.

A Legally Complex Commercial Sign at 1131A Leslie St.

Zoning bylaws complicate a commercial sign installation

Here’s our account of an interesting legal battle that started back in August 2015 and immediately complicated what should have been an easy commercial sign installation for Sign Source Solution. The pylon sign out front of 1131A Leslie St. is our second project with the same client and so we expected the same smooth sailing straightforward design installation experience. But Toronto City Council had other plans for our proposal.

We had stepped out of line you see, we had deviated from the normal way of doing things and so they tried to impose their will on our design application, citing some pretty illogical reasons (in our opinion, but for the purposes of this tell-all blog post we’ll just stick to the facts).

WHERE: 1131A Leslie St. is an eight storey commercial building in Toronto with 41,931 Sq Ft of office space for dentists, lawyers and investment bankers; there are many different and important businesses in this location and so the public would definitely be assisted by a monument sign out front of the premises. Such an installation is absolutely necessary to list the names and suite numbers of the tenants underneath a message board highlighting special events.
1131-Aleslie-St Toronto

When the Google Earth image of the property above was uploaded to their servers there was still no sign out front of the building. That’s because even when this most recent image was taken and posted online the sign permit was still being bitterly disputed before the courts.

Mounting the Case for a Monument Sign at 1131A Leslie St

Let’s be clear, Sign Source Solution specializes in helping small and medium sized businesses navigate local zoning bylaws. We can provide everything they need in terms of design schematics, diagnostics, timeline, and expertise in other avenues. We will even travel to appear in tribunals alongside our clients. And this is more or less what happened with the pylon sign zoning bylaw issue we encountered at 1131a Leslie St blew up into an expensive legal battle for the landlord.

The ‘McGuffin’ as Hitchcock would say, was that the owner of the building wanted to put a message board near the top of the monument sign, and not at the bottom where it might be easily overlooked. That’s because our client knows that such an elevated visual display is the best and most effective way to communicate info and showcase high priority tenants and streamline pedestrian and vehicular traffic to the site. Such a display would assist driver’s visual search for their destinations, and in our client’s experience, such a message board is key to delivering visitor satisfaction by giving them the security of knowing they are in the right place the moment they arrive.

So what we needed was a variant, because in our initial application the permit was declined for two reasons, one because the message board was on the top half of the sign – and the permit issued allowed for the ‘message board’ to occupy the bottom of the pylon sign only.

The other issue was OS (Open Space). You can’t really see it in the photo above, but the location is facing a park and the concern was that the sign, when lit up at night will affect / disturb the wildlife. Let’s be clear this pylon structure is only twenty-two feet (22’) tall and the concern was that the display area of 6’ x 6’ Message Board would have an impact on the wildlife across the street (OS).

Suffice to say the business owner objected to ruling and we set about appealing the judgement. We applied for a variance to request a sign outside the parameters set by the bylaw.

The process is rather secretive. The issues are weighed and judged behind closed doors by city councillors and other municipal politicos who have various beliefs and agendas too varied or nuanced to calculate. One thing came through crystal clear. Our variance application was denied.

The councillors would only allow a sign with the ‘read-o-graph’ at the bottom.

The cost of doing battle over commercial sign variance in Toronto can be crippling.

The first law firm our client hired came in at $300 /hr so our client soon decided to represent himself. An early achievement for him was finding a city planner who would appear in court on his behalf and cite the multitude of reasons why the judgement was irrational. But there was a cost for that too. And so in the end, after we’d researched everything and put together the best case we could muster, our customer and a representative from Sign Source Solution decided to go alone in front of the committee and present the facts. That especially sensitive event happened on Tuesday June 1st 2016 and as we went in front of the Sign Variance Committee we uncovered our own research and expert opinions.


Wes Neichenbauer (Chief Financial Officer – Rowntree Enterprises Inc.) led and challenged the Sign Variance Committee with indisputable arguments. He showed pictures of a nearby BMW car dealership which was lit up at night “like a Christmas tree”, and therefore much more of a disturbance to wildlife than our sign. Wes also displayed more than one study done in area with residents and tenants who revealed that that they desperately wanted a sign out front of the building to display their business names and help customers. Public opinion was on the side of the appellant.

Anyway there is a happy ending. On June 1st 2016 the decision was overturned and our installers went ahead with the monument sign installation exactly as requested by the client with the read-o-graph and display of graphic at the top of the pillar. The sign went up six days later, seven months behind schedule.


So now you know the story behind the sign at 1131A Leslie St in Toronto. If you have anything to add or share about this story or any other posts you read here please visit us at our Facebook page.

Making Mobile Mirages for M.E. Contracting

Here’s an exciting first look at the cars and pick-up trucks’ wrap designs that Sign Source Solution is vehicle wrapping for M.E. Contracting, a Toronto based landscaping company whose many vehicles are about to become mobile billboards visualizing their services for commuters trapped in rush hour traffic all across the G.T.A.
ME contracting vehicle wrap passenger side

M.E. Contracting specializes in upscale outdoor landscaping, and the images we put on this vehicle perfectly illustrates what the company can offer home owners looking to redecorate their property. The company redesigns residential backyards with kickass pools, impressive fences, outdoor kitchens and interlocking brick driveways, paths and patios.

Amazing vinyl wrap quality and detail

ME contracting vehicle wrap passenger side detail

M.E. Contracting is located at 63 Alness St. Unit 7, in Toronto, Ontario which is also the location of their unique and impressively large landscaping showroom. It’s the only such installation in Ontario that we know about, and its over 7,000 sq feet in area. M.E. Contracting has stuffed this facility with thousands of landscaping products and samples including a wide selection of patio stones, wooden decks, pergolas, several outdoor kitchens, outdoor furniture and even a full size fibreglass pool. This gives visiting property developers an authentic audio, visual and an especially tactile experience when shopping, and trying to visualize their dream while sourcing materials.
ME contracting vehicle wrap driver's side

In the example shown here, Nataly Tucci our designer opted to put the firm’s contact information on the front of the car, and paint the sides with soft edged images of a beautiful backyard. It’s just the kind of swimming pool scene that many rush hour commuters dream of returning home to on a hot summer afternoon, and it will certainly turn some heads and provoke some folks to call the office and make arrangements for a sales call and estimate. The gorgeous concrete in-ground pool with a stone BBQ oven and lawn chairs in the sunlight background is an inspiring scene for property owners dreaming of doing more entertaining in their backyards. As usual, the client was thrilled with Nataly’s work,

“Wow! Loved it! Thanks“, was what Keren Abu, a Partner at M.E. Contracting wrote in her reply email to these proofs.

So keep your eyes open for this image passing you on the highway soon – now you know where it came from.
ME contracting vehicle wrap rear view