In September 2020, a new 3D TORONTO Sign was installed at Nathan Phillips Square.

A more durable replica of the original (installed in July 2015 for the Toronto 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games) the Sign is illuminated, stands 10-feet tall and features a designed vinyl wrap on the outer edges of the of its letters.

The current vinyl wrap is an artwork titled Patterns of the People, designed by Toronto artist Danilo Deluxo McCallum to honour the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD). The artwork is part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021.

September 25 – Franco-Ontarian Day

  • Green and White

September 28 – Recovery Day Toronto

  • Purple

September 29 – Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day

  • Dimmed

September 30 – International Recovery Day

  • Purple and White

September 30 – Orange Shirt Day

  • Orange

October 2 – Wrongful Conviction Day

  • White and Yellow

October 5 – HPV Prevention Week

  • Teal

October 6 – World CP Day

  • Green

October 7 – International Trigeminal Neuralgia Day

  • Teal and Blue

October 13 – World Thrombosis Day

  • Red and Blue

October 15 – In Honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

  • Blue and Pink

October 19 – Waste Reduction Week

  • Blue and Green

October 19 – International Dyslexia Awareness Month

  • Red

October 22 – National Disability Employment Awareness Month

  • Blue and Purple

October 23 – World Polio Day

  • Red, Yellow and White

November 11 – Remembrance Day

  • Red

November 12 – World Pneumonia Day

  • Blue

November 17 – World Prematurity Day

  • Purple

November 21 – National Housing Day

  • Red

November 30 – Stomach Cancer Awareness Day

  • Blue

December 3 – International Day for People with Disabilities

  • UN Blue

December 6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

  • Dimmed

December 10 – Human Rights Day

  • UN Blue

Title: Patterns for the People (POP)

Artwork by: Danilo Deluxo McCallum

The artwork design on the TORONTO Sign uses vibrant African fabric patterns as a backdrop to represent the diverse community of people of African descent in Toronto and globally.

Woven into the colourful patterns are African cultural symbols like the Adinkra Sankofa bird, which represents the importance of moving forward through recalling the past.

The inclusion of portraits of Canadians of African descent is an important statement in recognition that people of African descent are here, beautiful, bold and proud, holding Toronto accountable for justice and equity.

The City of Toronto recognizes the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African descent (2015 to 2024).

About the Artist

Danilo Deluxo McCallum is a Toronto based visual artist. He works professionally as a painter, videographer, illustrator, graphic designer, muralist and art mentor. A product of the city, the characters depicted in McCallum’s work reflect a diverse landscape of people.

For more information about Danilo Deluxo McCallum, visit deluxo.ca.

The 3D Medicine Wheel, a new addition to the TORONTO Sign, was installed on June 18, 2018 in honour of Indigenous Peoples and timed to elevate awareness of National Indigenous Peoples Day (formally National Aboriginal Day) on June 21.

This Medicine Wheel symbol was chosen, in consultation with the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, as it is an emblem of North American Indigenous cultural values, tradition and spirituality. Its four directions (East, South, West and North) symbolize completeness, wholeness, connectedness and strength.

A 3D leaf structure was temporarily added to the TORONTO Sign in 2017 to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.

 

people skate in front of an illuminated Toronto sign

  • The 3D Maple Leaf contains approximately 14,000 L.E.D. lights, approximately 152 m (500 ft.) of L.E.D. tape
  • The 3D Maple Leaf L.E.D. strips are divided in to 8 horizontal sections from top to bottom allowing for ombre blending and graduating of light colours every 16”
  1. Each letter can be moved and placed on its own
  2. Each letter is 3 m (10 ft) tall and rests on a weighted plinth (base)
  3. The full word is 22 (74 ft) long
  4. The weight of the whole sign is 9,207 kg (20,300 lbs)
  5. Each letter weighs approximately 136 kg (300 lbs)
  6. Each letter plinth (base) weighs approximately 1,180 kg (2,600 lbs)
  7. Each letter is equipped with L.E.D. lights and can transition to approximately 228 million different colours
  8. The Sign contains approximately 396 m (1,300 ft) of L.E.D. lights
  9. The letters are constructed with a steel frame, aluminum cladding and a translucent polycarbonate front and back
  10. The colourful sides are covered in a changeable vinyl wrap, so the letters can be re-skinned with different designs

The original TORONTO Sign was installed on Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto City Hall in July 2015 for the Toronto Pan American and Parapan American Games. Although it was only intended to last a few weeks, in response to the sign’s popularity, the City of Toronto extended its presence on the Square and it became a Toronto landmark.

The Medicine Wheel was added on June 18, 2018 in honour of Indigenous Peoples and to increase awareness of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.

The Medicine Wheel symbol was chosen, in consultation with Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, as it is an emblem of North American Indigenous cultural values, tradition and spirituality. Its four directions (East, South, West and North) symbolize completeness, wholeness, connectedness and strength.

A maple leaf was added to the TORONTO Sign in 2017 to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.

The TORONTO Sign has become symbolic of Toronto. According to a Destination Toronto visitor survey, the TORONTO sign was one of the top three most visited attractions in the city and it is consistently ranked as one of the most Instagram-worthy spots.

In September 2020, a more durable replica of the original TORONTO Sign was installed.

2018 to 2020 – Indigenous Symbol Vinyl Wrap

The vinyl wrap on the Sign resembles birch bark inlaid with symbols of significance for? Indigenous communities? that include: feathers, fire, inukshuk, lacrosse sticks, medicine wheel/unity pin, Métis sash, Ojibway canoe, sweet grass braid, turtle, dreamcatcher and a wampum belt. These symbols will remain on the TORONTO Sign until fall 2018 and the public can also utilize them as part of the TORONTOMOJI sticker pack for Iphone and Android available insert links.

iOS App Store
Google Play for Android


Two row wampum belt: The lines represent respect for the ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous people travel on the river of life: Indigenous in a canoe and non-Indigenous in a ship. It honours the principles of non-interference, peace, friendship and respect. The belt ends are unfinished to signify a treaty without end. (TPH Toronto’s First Indigenous Health Strategy)

 


Image of Indigenous emoji for the TurtleTurtle: The turtle symbolizes health and longevity, and plays an important role in the creation story of Turtle Island, also referred to as North America or the World.
Link: CBC – Turtle Island – wheres that?

 


Sweetgrass Braid: Sweetgrass is a gift from Mother Earth and said to be a part of her hair. The plant promotes strength and kindness. When braiding sweet grass each strand of the braid represents mind, body and spirit.
Link: Ojibwe Resources – Ojibwe Medicines


Ojibway Canoe: The birch bark canoe was the principal means of water transportation for Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands, and later voyageurs, who used it extensively in the fur trade in Canada.
Link: The Canadian Encyclopedia – Birchbark Canoe


Métis Sash:?One of the most prominent symbols of the Métis Nation is the brightly coloured, woven sash. Not only functional, the sash is colourful and identifiable as Métis apparel. The sash itself served as a key holder, first aid kit, washcloth, towel, emergency bridle and saddle blanket and its fringed ends could become a sewing kit. The sash has acquired new significance in the 20th century, now symbolizing pride and identification for Métis people.


Image of Indigenous emoji for the Medicine WheelThe Medicine Wheel: Based on Indigenous cultural values, tradition and spirituality. Its four directions (East, South, West and North) symbolize completeness, wholeness, connectedness and strength. (TPH Toronto’s First Indigenous Health Strategy)?

 


Lacrosse Sticks: Over 500 years ago Indigenous Peoples played lacrosse as a way to thank the Great Spirit. It could also be played to strengthen diplomatic alliances, support social conformity and economic equality.
Link: The Canadian Encyclopedia –?Lacrosse


Inukshuk: An Inuit stone structure often found in the arctic landscape, the Inukshuk serves as a guide to travellers on land and sea, providing comfort, advice and spatial orientation.
Link: Toronto Inukshuk Park

 


Fire: The gift of Fire is believed to be the giver of new life and is often associated with fertility.?Fire is the element that requires the utmost care and attention since it can bring new life and take life away.
Link: Assembly of First Nations – Honouring Fire


Feathers: The feather of an eagle conveys strength. The middle vane in the feather symbolizes the path that everyone walks in their life time, and every barb that comes of the middle vane symbolizes the choices we all have in life, and that every choice we make is attached to the middle or main path that we take.
Link: Silver FX – Native Symbols


Dreamcatcher: If an individual was in emotional or physical pain they could choose to go on a healing journey. This involved the making of a dream catcher. With the support of the community and healer, the individual learned how to deal with their pain as they completed their dream catcher.
Link: the Nation – The story of the dream catcher

The TORONTO Sign Celebratory and Commemorative Lighting Program offers an opportunity to:

  • Celebrate and highlight Toronto’s significant festivals and events
  • Support and elevate awareness for local not-for-profit and charitable causes
  • Celebrate and highlight significant accomplishments and series for Toronto’s professional Sports teams and amateur sporting events
  • Underscore key national celebrations, historic commemorations and days proclaimed by the City to promote diversity

Program Details

  • Each approved commemorative lighting will be rotated into the Sign’s colour sequence for a time period of 24 hours (9 am to 9 am unless otherwise stipulated). The LED lights, although always on, are not visible in bright daylight
  • Commemorative Lighting patterns will be included in rotation with the Sign’s original multi-coloured pattern
  • Multiple lighting requests (up to 4) may be accommodated on the same day. When multiple requests are scheduled together, each pattern will display for a 2 minute interval
  • There is no fee required to submit a lighting request or to light the Sign, if the request is approved
  • Staff will program the sign year-round with seasonal colour variations in addition to commemorative lighting requests received from the community
  • All requests will be considered on a first come, first served basis

The Canada 150 3D Leaf will NOT be included in the TORONTO Sign Commemorative Lighting Program. During Commemorative Lightings, the maple leaf will appear in either a neutral white, or red shade.

Please note that in the event of an extenuating circumstance, approved lighting requests may be subject to revision or delay by the City.

Requirements, Criteria and Categories

All TORONTO Sign lighting requests must adhere to the overarching criteria and fall within the established categories. Prior to submitting your request, review the criteria below.

How to Apply

All lighting requests must be:

  • In compliance with the Lighting Requirements/Criteria below
  • Made 30 days in advance of the month in which the lighting is to take place to provide ample time for review and approval. Requests should not be submitted more than six months in advance
  • Submitted in writing by email (3dto@toronto.ca) or by mail (TORONTO Sign, 6th Floor, West Tower, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, TO, ON, M5H 2N2)

Submissions must include:

A formal request on the organization’s official letterhead, including the following details:

  • The nature of the event, occasion, competition or cause
  • The eligibility category that your lighting falls in to, i.e. a not-for-profit charitable occasion, or cause, an annual marquee event or a significant national/international/professional competition
  • A signed copy of the declaration document or a clear indication in your submission that you have reviewed and are in compliance with the Declaration of Compliance with Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Legislation & City Policy
  • The history and background of the event, occasion, competition or cause
  • How the lighting will be used to benefit the event, occasion, competition or cause
  • The requested date for the lighting
  • The requested colour(s) and pattern for the lighting (i.e. colour per letter)
  • A web link to more information on your event, occasion, competition or cause
  • Where/how you will be promoting the lighting, i.e. social media, website, etc.
  • Where the TORONTO Sign’s likeness may appear in any communications materials for this occasion
  • A management representative’s signature (from the requesting organization)

Third party requests made on behalf of others:

The City cannot accept requests made by third parties on behalf of other organizations or individuals. All requests must be made by the organization itself to ensure that:

  • They are aware and approve of the Sign being lit for their event, occasion, competition or cause
  • The lighting is displayed in the correct colours/pattern that they desire
  • The lighting occurs on the correct date that they desire

Evaluation Process

All requests will be reviewed by City of Toronto staff to ensure that they clearly adhere to the lighting criteria. Requests that do not clearly meet the criteria may be brought forward by City staff to the inter-divisional TORONTO Sign Advisory Committee for final determination.

City of Toronto staff have full and final authority to implement the TORONTO Sign Celebratory and Commemorative Lighting Program criteria. By submitting a lighting request for the TORONTO Sign, the applicant agrees that the decisions of City staff are final.

Notification of Acceptance and Approval

  • Staff will endeavour to provide notification of acceptance within two weeks of the date that the request was received
  • Lighting requests should not be submitted more than six months in advance

A. Requirements and Criteria:

All 3D TORONTO Sign lighting requests must adhere to the following Overarching Criteria:

  1. Must comply with the Declaration of Compliance with Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Legislation & City Policy
  2. Must not be contrary to any City policy or bylaw
  3. Must be non-denominational
  4. Must be non-political
  5. Must be non-commercial
  6. Other than where specifically outlined in this criteria, the Sign will not be lit for individual personal occasions (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries)
  7. Other than where specifically outlined in this criteria, lighting for any specific organization, cause, event or commemoration will only take place ONCE per calendar year

All applications must comply with the above noted criteria, as determined by the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, in order to be considered.

B. Categories:

I. Festivals, events and causes

  • The Sign can be lit upon request for major* public festivals and events that adhere to the overarching criteria
  • The Sign will not be lit for commercial or corporate conferences and meetings
  • For cause-related events, the Sign will be lit for the requesting organization’s cause, not the event
  • The Sign will not be lit to profile the colour of an event’s corporate sponsors

*Special Events Office Event Category Definitions Categories A & B

II. Professional sports teams and athletes

The Sign will be lit annually for Toronto’s professional sports teams on the following occasions:

  • First home game of the season
  • First playoff game in a playoff series
  • The deciding game in a playoff series
  • In celebration of winning a playoff series
  • When hosting pro league all-star games

III. Amateur sports competitions

The Sign can be lit upon request for international amateur sports competitions that are hosted in Toronto and/or include participation of Toronto and Canadian athletes on the following occasions:

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Closing Ceremony

The Sign can be lit upon request for local amateur sports teams that are representing or have brought honour to Toronto during national/international competitions on the following occasions:

  • First game of competition
  • Participation in the finals
  • Upon winning

IV. National celebrations and historic commemorations

  • The Sign will be lit annually for Canadian national celebrations
  • The Sign will be lit annually for Canadian days of remembrance
  • The Sign will be lit annually for significant days proclaimed by the City of Toronto to promote diversity
  • The Sign will not be lit for historic commemorations and national days of other nations. (Please see the City of Toronto’s Flag Raising program for opportunities to commemorate these occasions)