Written by Cnn Staff
Watchtower, Ontario — A sign on a parking space at the height of rush hour warns against sticking your vehicle in there.
But for the unknowing driver, it was a warning that was never received.
The word “NO PARKING” was etched into the asphalt — for real.
The City of Toronto came under fire this week after the world’s media discovered a hidden blackboard advertisement for valet service Point Park at a busy Toronto intersection, advertising the company’s service.
Made in Canada
According to CBC News, a spokesperson for the city said the space had been painted onto a parking spot on the street during one of the main stretches of rush hour during winter months when street cleaning would disrupt nearby garages.
“It was one of our cheapest spots in the block that is on a month-to-month agreement,” Ron Alt told CBC.
“With the conditions of the parking signs and the access roads (so we’re safe and everyone else is safe) it just made sense to use the parking space and make it a sign.”
A screenshot of a post on Reddit showing a parking spot with “NO PARKING” painted on it
Frustrated drivers are crying foul over the “breach of trust,” using Reddit to question the reliability of the city’s digital parking signs that are meant to save time when searching for a spot in busy places like major city blocks.
“This really shows how badly the warning lights are interpreted by drivers!” wrote one poster.
Another wondered “Why does Point Park have so many signs and advertising around the city? It seems like they are just planting signs in the street to confuse people.”
Artwork better used in places where nobody is driving
Adding to the confusion, the sign was apparently painted in November, nine months before the news broke about the parking spot.
CBC News says the city is looking into who is responsible for the sign and “the upkeep of the parking spot.”
But during the extensive delays in finding any answers, Twitter users began posting gifs to the ongoing story.
Crazy new public art in Toronto: How often did you park at Point Park in the morning? #Toronto pic.twitter.com/nRyCsvM6tj — Zach Woodlee (@zachwoods) February 20, 2019
“How often did you park at Point Park in the morning? #Toronto,” wrote Zach Woodlee on Twitter.
Kunle Adeyanju added: “This is just too much at @PointParkOT and it’s PAST time the city focused on real street solutions & not continuing to support companies like Point Park.”
The city has responded to the controversy in a statement issued by Mayor John Tory on Wednesday, after a flurry of online outrage.
“The signs are not an indication of how often and with whom a vehicle may park in the area. Every year, tens of thousands of vehicles visit our city every day,” Tory said.
“We have taken action to improve traffic flow on busy streets, including signage, with the support of municipal cabinet colleagues, which guides motorists through different areas of the city.
“We use videos to help guide motorists through busy areas. It’s great that more Canadians feel safe using our city to park.”