Removal of graffiti on private property is the responsibility of the owner. There are two bylaws that regulate graffiti on private property:
- Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 629 – Property Standards
- Property Standards and Chapter 485 – Graffiti
Graffiti is defined as one or more letters, symbols, figures, etchings, scratches, inscriptions, stains or other markings that disfigure or deface a structure or thing. The graffiti does not include an art mural. (Municipal Code, Chapter 485). Graffiti vandals use a variety of materials such as spray paint, crayons and permanent ink to deface property. Hobby knives and razor blades are used to cause permanent damage to glass and other surfaces.
Properties left unattended with respect to graffiti may promote community degradation and can result in; increased crime, urban blight, affected property values, the loss of business opportunities as well as the enjoyment of community life.
The City of Toronto has tips for keeping graffiti off your property:
- Increase lighting and visibility in vulnerable areas
- Quick removal of graffiti, is recognized as the most effective prevention of further acts of vandalism
- Installation of security cameras
- Establish neighborhood watch groups
- Restrict access to buildings and structures
- Planting climbing vines or thorny plants along building walls
- Use of murals – Consider applying for a Mural Grant from the City of Toronto
Removal of Graffiti
Without knowing the type of surface, its state of repair, the type of paint or other marker used, etc., it is not possible to recommend a cleaning material or process. We recommend consulting a graffiti specialist. See below for a list of specialists recommended by The Junction BIA or other BIAs. Some companies may offer preferred pricing – another benefit of membership.