Yesterday and last night, a group of artists and activists working throughout downtown removed ad posters from street-level advertising pillars, and painted billboards with whitewash. In place of the ads, they posted artwork.
The project, known to participants as the Toronto Street Advertising Takeover, or TOSAT, had been months in the making, and was highly organized. All involved were operating under strict secrecy.
The group planned to hit forty-one advertising pillars, and twenty to twenty-five 10′ x 20′ billboards. Most of the ads chosen for this treatment were property of Pattison Outdoor Advertising, an ad company that maintains many advertising signs of various types in Toronto. Billboards owned by CBS and Astral Media were also hit. TOSAT organizers claim that they specifically targeted ads that were illegal. Torontoist cannot say with certainty that any of them were.
Here are some pictures of the results. [ : And here’s how they did it.]
All photos by D.A. Cooper/Torontoist, unless otherwise noted.