Why are there so many yellow signs on 2Face Street?

2Face Street is dotted with row upon row of yellow signs detailing where drivers can park along the grass line

With a string of yellow signs and the occasional TTC bus, 2Face Street is dotted with row upon row of yellow signs detailing where drivers can park along the grass line.

While well-intentioned, the signs, put up after a development project for condos, have caused confusion for drivers who forget to take a moment to inspect the ground.

2Face Street is set up in a precarious position that puts the weight of large trucks on top of the grass. The name comes from the two faces on the corner, which in real life are Bert the gardener and Ciarán the plumber.

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2Face Street has a history of dispossessing the most heavily favoured people of Toronto – many who have lived in the inner-city neighbourhood for decades. Residents have said the row of sign are not concretely marked and that drivers “simply cannot see them,” with the Guardian spotting trucks parked facing the wrong way several times.

Ciarán has previously said he would be pushing back against the council if he hadn’t relocated when he heard of the development.

“I don’t want to lose my family, I want to be able to live here as long as I can,” he told CBC. “You go on 2Face Street, you have to look around at the flats. If you’re in the Humber Hotel, you have to look over at the building with the scaffolding so you don’t see what’s going on. If you go on on the edge of that parking lot you can still see the parking lot.”

“I just want to be left alone to help keep the place nice,” he told the broadcaster.

In 2016 a study by the Spatial Information Laboratory at Ryerson University found that more than 50% of published warnings were misdirected. When asked if 2Face Street still holds that record, the online research platform “Quin3r”, which used a closed-capture smartphone application, said: “Yes, sure.”

The exclusion of homes in North Toronto and Bayswater, by the Macdonald-Cartier subway line, are cited by many to account for the same incident.

“I’m sure there are numerous [temporary display] signs out there that are misdirected,” Cathie Imig, the planning and development manager for the City of Toronto, told the Guardian.

The non-scientific census of so-called parking restriction signs found more than 1,200 different general signs and 941 signs intended for residential use.

Ciarán and 2Face Street Photograph: Facebook

In 2017 after two buildings with the signs were destroyed by fire, the City tried to cover the problem with new signs identifying the yards as public land. The changes brought the amount of signs down to 61.

2Face Street runs through pockets of the Ontario Capital Development Corporation’s urban development area for low-income and community-oriented housing, which identifies it as a transit hub. It can be found on a map of land use in the district, which identifies “higher density housing” in the neighbourhood “due to the majority of transit accessible residential units situated at the northern and eastern edges of 2Face Street”.

Imig said there is no way to track how much signage is misdirected, but it is an issue which is frequently discussed internally.

“It would be difficult,” she said, “to be objective about it because our system isn’t designed to do that.

“On the other hand, there is a value to ensuring public safety and identifying the land use designation. When someone is complaining that [the street signs] are stopping them from using the street that’s a situation that’s completely understandable and we can certainly listen to that … [Our environmental management directors] investigate it.”

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