The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is considering reinstituting a ban on A-frame signs on Queen Street and replacing them with hanging signs or another alternative.
A-frame or sandwich board signs were previously illegal in the Queen-Picton streets area under the town's 2012 sign bylaw but council allowed their use in August 2020 in order to help struggling businesses through the pandemic.
With the province reopening and crowding on Queen Street getting back to pre-COVID levels, more space is needed for pedestrians on sidewalks, Lord Mayor Betty Disero said as council debated a motion on Sept. 3.
Disero recommended replacing the A-frame signs with hanging ones such as the sign outside Grace United Church.
“It’s a beautiful little sign that’s on a post that points the way to Grace United Church. I just think we need to start moving in that direction because on Queen Street in particular all the A-frame signs are beginning to look cluttered,” she said.
Coun. Allan Bisback supported the idea but added an amendment to have staff consult with businesses in OId Town on the matter.
Staff will prepare a report based on conversations with businesses and report to the municipal heritage committee.
Coun. Wendy Cheropita was concerned the removal of the signs would adversely affect some Old Town businesses.
"A lot of those signs are for businesses that are off Queen Street and have less exposure,” she said.
“Why don’t we have a Zoom meeting with the businesses? We can organize it through the Chamber of Commerce and make sure that everyone is invited.”
The signs were listed as a public safety hazard in the motion. Director of corporate services Kyle Freeborn said there have been no reported injuries related to the signs.
“I will support this motion because A-frame signs have been illegal in the past and I think this is a good alternative,” Coun. John Wiens said.
Evan Saunders, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report