The City of Vaughan is responsible for removing graffiti found on all City facilities and public property.
- For graffiti on City property, report it online or call Service Vaughan at 905-832-2281.
- For graffiti or vandalism on hydro boxes, contact Alectra Inc.
- For graffiti or vandalism on mailboxes, contact Canada Post.
Obscene, racist or derogatory graffiti is considered a hate crime and should be reported to York Regional Police’s non-emergency line at 905-832-1221.
About the by-law
The Anti-graffiti By-law 46-2009 (PDF) prohibits graffiti on public and private property and requires all properties to be kept free of graffiti. Graffiti is a marking spray painted or handwritten on building walls or structures without consent of the property owner.
- No one must allow, cause or permit graffiti to be placed on any property.
- The owner of a property must maintain the property (including walls and fences) and ensure it is free of graffiti.
- A person, owner or corporation found in violation of this by-law will be issued a “Notice to Comply.”
- A person who is convicted of an offence may be fined up to $20,000, and up to $50,000 for subsequent offences.
- A corporation that is convicted of an offence may be fined up to $50,000, and up to $100,000 for subsequent offences.
There are steps you can take to help prevent graffiti from happening on your property.
- Clean and maintain your property.
- Install lighting on your property. Use a motion detector and install it high enough that it is out of reach – graffiti vandals prefer the darkness.
- Landscape your property. Plant shrubs, ivy or vines in front of blank walls – this discourages vandalism.
- Rid your property of litter and encourage your neighbours to do the same – a littered environment may invite graffiti.
- Remove any existing graffiti on your property.
- This will help prevent more acts of vandalism.
- Add a can of spray remover to your supplies. Having it on hand ensures prompt graffiti removal.
- Keep a record of the paint colour of exterior walls. This information will allow you to purchase more paint if required to cover graffiti.
If you find graffiti on your property, here are some ways you can remove it swiftly:
- Spray remover is most effective in removing graffiti on painted or smooth surfaces, such as glass, metal, plastic or vinyl.
- Power washing is most effective in removing spray paint on sensitive surfaces that are not painted, such as stone and cement.
- Paint is most effective in removing graffiti on painted surfaces. Cover the vandalized area with the matching-coloured paint, as required.
- A mural is most effective in deterring future graffiti. Cover the area with an attractive mural to keep vandals away.
You can also use an anti-graffiti coating or sealer on surfaces to make any future graffiti easy to remove.
Graffiti impacts a community in several ways, including:
- costing taxpayers money to paint or repair any damage that it causes.
- leading to additional graffiti and vadalism in the area where it appears.
- affecting the environment; harmful chemicals are released when graffiti is applied or when it is cleaned.
- offending or hurting individuals when it is obscene, racist or derogatory towards a person or a community. Graffiti of this nature is considered a hate crime and should be reported to the York Regional Police non-emergency line at 1-866-876-5423.