Urban Hacktivists Take Over Street Ads In Toronto

Similar to a recent posting on Jilly Ballistic, the targets of this guerrilla artwork are advertisements. In general, billboards are a blight on the urbanscape. But, what if these eyesores took up space meant to provide city dwellers and visitors with useful information?

The creative team, cARTographyTO, has been responsible for hacking 35 advertisement signs (ironically named ‘Info Pillars’) all over Toronto. In their wake, ads have been replaced with playful items such as entire bikes, art maps, and even chalkboard space for public contributions.

This urban hacking has been a direct response the redesign of the city’s Info Pillars, which now offer mostly advertisements and very little actual info. Not only that, but many of the pillars have replaced valuable street trees and bike parking. They also block large parts of the sidewalk, constricting pedestrian flow.

cARTographyTO has successfully increased public awareness of the issue, applying pressure on the city to enforce the ‘public use’ of the Info Pillars.