Then & Now: Sherbourne and Bloor E, 1982 and 2016

“For an active Canada.” 1982. Image: David Cooper / Toronto Star / Toronto Public Library, Baldwin Collection, Item TSPA 0003817f.

It was made effective April 1, 1982. The federal government designated Metropolitan Toronto as a bilingual service area. With a bit less than two years beyond it and the 1980 Quebec referendum, the government’s decision to take out some of the billboards en français seulment – in Toronto of all places – was seen by some as a political move. While it was to some degree, it was also a move that also recognized the presence of a Francophone community in the Toronto area.

The advertising campaign saw 768 of the ads placed across the country, none of which were bilingual. It was acknowledged, however, that there were no English-only boards placed in Quebec. The decision to make the billboards unilingual was reportedly made to simplify the message and ensure that the advertisements were uncluttered.1Joe O’Donnell, “French signs not political: Official,” Toronto Star, April 15, 1982, A6.

It wound up a minor kerfuffle in the end.

The Rosedale condominiums, which stands on the site now, was completed in 1990.

A 1994 advertisement of the Rosedale. Source: Toronto Star, January 8, 1994, D2.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Joe O’Donnell, “French signs not political: Official,” Toronto Star, April 15, 1982, A6.

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