News / Ottawa

Residents still fighting Lansdowne's massive TD billboard

The bright green TD Bank logo on the back of Lansdowne stadium conforms to all the city's rules, but residents say it's a "blight" on the heritage landscape.

Tim Leah has been fighting to get the TD Bank logo removed from the RedBlacks stadium, saying it's a "blight" on the heritage landscape of the canal.

Emma Jackson/Metro

Tim Leah has been fighting to get the TD Bank logo removed from the RedBlacks stadium, saying it's a "blight" on the heritage landscape of the canal.

Appalling. Atrocious. Offensive.

Those are just some of the adjectives residents have attached to the massive green TD Bank logo on the backside of the RedBlacks stadium.

It’s a blight, they say, on the heritage landscape of the canal: a “knife in the eye” for visitors and locals trying to enjoy the paths and waterway that run through Old Ottawa South, according to John Dance, who has been trying to remove the sign since it was installed in 2014.

“You won’t go along the whole 200 kilometre length of the canal and see anything so atrocious as that,” said Dance. 

TD owns the naming rights to the stadium at Lansdowne Park where the Ottawa RedBlacks, Ottawa 67s, and Ottawa Fury play.

After two years, Dance is still fighting for change.

“If we want to retain that UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for the Rideau Canal, it has to come down, or be severely modified,” Dance said.

He has asked Capital Coun. David Chernushenko to raise the issue with his council colleagues.

According to Dance, the 36 square-metre billboard has no business there.

It’s only 50 metres from the Queen Elizabeth Parkway, when the city’s own sign bylaws dictate billboards should be 500 metres back.

But, Lansdowne has its own sign rules – council approved a detailed plan in 2012 - and the billboard complies with every one of them, said the city's urban design manager John Smit.

Doesn’t matter, said Dance. 

“It’s still not appropriate for its proximity to a heritage site,” he said. “When you’re walking along that beautiful canal, what dominates the viewscape is that TD sign.”

He’s not the only hater.

Old Ottawa South resident Tim Leah has sent his share of letters to TD Bank, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), and city councillors.

“It just grates on me every time I go by, and I’m sure it grates on a lot of people,” he said.

Both Dance and Leah feel the community wasn’t properly consulted.

Lansdowne’s wayfinding plan was included as part of site plan consultations in 2010, Smit said, and residents could address the issue at planning committee in June 2012.

But since the billboard itself conformed to the plan, it was “not subject to public consultation,” Smit said.

OSEG’s Graeme Ivory said the sign is compliant, but “we are always open to discussing any matter” with the community.

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