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Vacant downtown Winnipeg billboard set for a sign redesign

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WATCH: A longstanding eyesore for eastbound traffic heading into downtown Winnipeg is in for a change. Global's Timm Bruch reports. – Dec 13, 2017

It’s big, it’s old, and it’s one of the first things that greets eastbound traffic on the way into downtown Winnipeg.

The billboard on top of the Casa Loma apartment building on Portage and Sherbrook has been vacant for six years, so it comes as welcome news to many in the city that there’s plan to redesign the sign.

Come spring 2018, and barring any setbacks when the application to re-license goes to the city, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) will take control of the massive billboard.

READ MORE: Less is More: The Billboard

It was donated to the WAG by Sussex Realty, who manages the property, and will come without a price tag for the gallery until at least 2023.

“We’re going to be featuring art, photography, and promoting the Winnipeg Art Gallery,” the WAG’s Catherine Maksymiuk said. “In particular the Inuit Art Centre.

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“We’re really hoping to inspire drivers as they go by. I think it’ll be a wonderful addition to the environment.”

In 2013, the city issued a conditional use permit for the billboard, but the permit expired before an advertisement was put up.

Sussex Realty, who has managed the property since 2003, called the move a “neighborly donation” — and it’s not the first one.

On Friday, the WAG unveiled another billboard that was donated on Memorial Boulevard and St. Mary Avenue.

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