Pan Am ‘TORONTO’ sign will become permanent attraction

WATCH ABOVE: The massive Toronto sign built for the Pan Am Games could soon be seen in other parts of the city. But the legacy project could cost around $30,000 per move. Peter Kim reports.

TORONTO – The City of Toronto intends to keep the massive 3D interactive “TORONTO” sign installed at Nathan Phillips Square for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games as an ongoing tourist attraction, despite the perceived high cost of moving it to different public spaces in the city.

Pan Am Games spokesperson Anastasia Saradoc said the 3D sign is a “Pan Am legacy piece with a multi-year life-span” that will be on display in the square until the end of the year, with future plans to display it in other areas of the city.

The massive sign is 3 m tall and 22 m long, with each letter weighing about 136 kg and equipped with LED lights controlled via Wi-Fi.

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“It’ll be here until the end of the year,” said City Councillor Norm Kelly.

“The plan is to then take the sign and place it around the city in different communities, but how we would choose the community, how long it – it would stay in the respective communities, I don’t know.”

Kelly said the specific locations for the sign have yet to be determined, but says he has had responses from the public to keep the sign at Nathan Phillips Square, “So it’s going to be quite a tug between the communities and City Hall,” he said.

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One aspect of the sign that still needs to be discussed is the cost associated with moving it, Kelly said.

“The sign itself costs about $60,000. It costs about $30,000 to put it in place,” he said.

“So the cost of moving it and placing it might play a major role in how many times you move it and where you move it to.”

Kelly added that part of the budget for the Pan Am host city, which is between $15 million and $20 million, is for “legacy projects” like the Toronto sign.

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The sign can be re-purposed for other events though, as Saradoc says the colourful sides of the letters are made with vinyl wrap that can be removed, so the letters can be re-skinned with different designs for other occasions.

With files from Cindy Pom and Julia Lennox

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