Over the past few years, there's been a growing anti-billboard movement in Toronto. And one of the more interesting subgroups to come out of this is an initiative to use a new tax on billboards to fund public art and art education. The initiative comes up for City Hall approval very soon, November 30 and December 1, and the site BeautifulCity.ca is asking folks to sign a related petition, as well as call their councillors before the vote.
While I'm actually a fan of good, creative advertising and the work it gives creative people (what was the Sistine Chapel, after all, but one massive ad for the church?) the fact is that a lot of billboard ads are crappy, and that we need more money for art, especially art education and underserved communities. (Beautiful City also says that it could generate a 50%/$11 million increase in funding for city artists and arts institutions.) So I urge you to give the petition a look, as well as the related video below.