County considers consistent signage

By Chad Ingram
Published June 19 2018

The concept of establishing aesthetically consistent signage throughout Haliburton County was discussed by members of the county’s tourism advisory committee during a June 13 meeting.

Algonquin Highlands Deputy Mayor Liz Danielsen referring to minutes from a meeting of the Haliburton Highlands Tourism Stakeholders Group noted there had been a conversation regarding signage.

“There was considerable conversation about signage and signage has historically been under the umbrella of the roads committee and I’m just kind of wondering about the crossover there and if there’s any thoughts on how that may impact us going forward” Danielsen said.

The stakeholders group consists mostly of accommodators and restaurateurs in the county and submits reports to the tourism advisory committee.

Stakeholders group member Sally Moore who also sits on the tourism committee said the discussion had come from a recommendation from a culinary exchange program last year. As part of that program representatives from Prince Edward County had visited the Haliburton Highlands making a series of recommendations and vice versa. One of their recommendations had been more directional signage in the county.

“This is just a point of discussion” Moore said. “We wanted to make sure there’s some kind of criteria and consistency to the signage that may go up . . . so we need to find out who is going to do what and I don’t think we actually know how we go about doing that.”

Dysart et al Deputy Mayor Andrea Roberts said that Bruce County had established a signage program to achieve consistency in signage for public destinations throughout its lower-tier townships.

“While our roads department looks after signage they don’t look at branding . . . the look of the sign” Roberts said. “Bruce County did a county-wide signage policy that their lower tiers accepted.”
She said that policy establishes sign colour shape size font etc. for attractions such as public beaches.

“It doesn’t mean that Dysart and Highlands East all of a sudden have to change their signs” Roberts said adding it would mean introducing a move toward conformity when it comes to signage.

Highlands East Deputy Mayor and County Warden Suzanne Partridge thought it was a conversation that needed to take place and soon.

“I would suggest that we look into this sooner than later” Partridge said. “I know in Highlands East we’ve already been talking and some of us have been pushing for uniform signage and directional signage. I’ve pointed out that the signage in the Town of Bancroft is amazing so if we want to do uniform signage across the county which is a great idea I think we need to start that discussion very soon.”

Roberts said the county would not be responsible for the creation of the actual signage for the lower tiers under such a program but rather would be responsible for the strategy itself.

County chief administrative officer Mike Rutter said the project would require considerable work on the part of staff.

“It’s a monumental undertaking” Rutter said. “I guess first of all we would need some direction from county council on whether or not to actually establish that as a priority or give us a mandate to look at it. We certainly have to work very closely with the local municipalities so figuring out a process for that if there’s an existing policy to collate that information and bring it back to county council or the roads committee or this committee. It is challenging because it kind of does cross committee mandates.”

“I’m pleased to say there’ll be no conflict in Algonquin Highlands because we don’t have a signage policy” Danielsen said.

The committee recommended that the idea be taken to the county council table. If it is approved then a draft strategy will be created and brought back to committee.