71-year-old Beaconsfield store forced to remove original sign due to city bylaw
A Beaconsfield hardware store that has been in operation for 71 years is being forced to take down its original sign because of a bylaw forbidding businesses from having more than two signs.
The Hub first opened its doors in 1948 and has been a community institution ever since, according to neighbouring businesses.
“It means something to the community,” owner Stan Rutkauskas says.
Rutkauskas purchased the hardware store in 1992 but says he never grandfathered its original sign because he thought that upon purchase of a 44-year-old business, it had already been done.
“They were there… when my mom was a kid,” Mackenzie Manitt says. Manitt works at RPM Autotech, the garage across the street.
“The sign for the Hub, that’s been there since the ’40s — shouldn’t be an issue.”
Rutkauskas adds that he doesn’t get to choose the sign he wants to hang on to because the second and third ones are Benjamin Moore signs, which, by contract, he is forced to keep.
“Originally, I had seven signs on the building. I have permits for two Benjamin Moore signs — it doesn’t say that we’re a hardware store,” he explains.
Rutkauskas says he received a letter from the city warning him that he would be fined and that he had to pay the amount by a deadline. Upon discussions with the city, the deadline was successfully extended, but Rutkauskas and the city have yet to come to an agreement on the store’s signage.
The City of Beaconsfield says that before discussions can be held about its signage bylaw, the owner of The Hub has to comply with the bylaw and remove the 71-year-old sign.
According to city officials, Rutkauskas has repeatedly refused to comply with the 2012 bylaw.
As of June 1, the sign will be covered. Rutkauskas hopes he can eventually come to an agreement with the city.
—With files from Billy Shields
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