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what's The history of postering?

Public postering has existed for decades. The practice rose to prominence with the popularization of hip-hop culture in America's metropolises. The idea was to offer effective and inexpensive promotion to small businesses. At first, the practice wasn't always permitted by law. However, given its affordable prices, the tactic was exported throughout the world. Over time, the corporate world took note and integrated postering into its range of activities. In certain cases, this drove the price of postering up. But, it also led to its legalization and organization into a formal industry. Montreal encourages the use of public space for cultural advertising in order to provide an opportunity for the arts sector to promote itself outside of expensive traditional media and internet platforms that are becoming decreasingly democratized.

postering's beginnings in montreal

For more than 20 years, it's been legal in the city of Montreal to put up temporary posters on public notice boards and construction site hoarding, unless the site's owner clearly displays a written notice banning the practice. This arose out of a movement from local cultural organizations that campaigned for the change, creating prime space for cultural advertising among the swath of urban media that surround us.

Section 3 of Montreal's Urban Planning Bylaws affirms that (translated from French):

(564) The placement of a temporary poster is permitted without limitation on a public postering module specifically intended for said purpose by the city of Montreal and located in the public space.

(565) The placement of a temporary poster is permitted without limitation on a construction site hoarding unless its owner forbids or limits the practice via a written signage to that effect.

Postering on City Property

Despite this 1994 bylaw implementation, the City of Montreal offers almost no public postering modules to its citizens. It was however not permitted by the city of Montreal's Urban Planning Bylaws to place a poster on other city property. Unlike in other Canadian cities, Montreal's citizens don't have public space to announce their activities, since construction hoardings have been appropriated by for-profit entities.

On July 15, 2010, in Singh c. R. (500-10-003080-056), the Quebec Superior Court invalidated the city's anti-postering bylaw, declaring it illegal and inapplicable. The decision, as set out by the Court, affirmed that if the city did not provide space for public postering by its residents, any bylaw limiting postering on public property would be an infringement on its citizens' freedom of expression.

The court gave the city six months to revise its anti-postering laws, although the municipal government never took action. The city never subsequently installed postering space in sufficient number to satisfy the court's decision. The only exception of note is in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, where a handful of postering boards have been installed. However, it's neither sufficient to respond to the entire's city's needs nor to satisfy the court's stipulations, which is why postering on the city's lampposts and electrical polls remains legal.