March 23, 2016

New signs will boost Wellington County identity

As published in The Erin Advocate

Erin will be getting some fancy new signs at its borders, as Wellington County tries to offer a friendlier welcome to visitors.

A new signage strategy called This Way to Wellington was approved by County Council last month. It was developed with local focus groups and a public survey by Stempski Kelly Associates, the same consulting firm that is doing Erin’s Riverwalk Feasibility Study.

The Wellington County Coat of Arms

The signage is expected to cost at least $200,000 over the next three years.

New “gateway” welcome signs will replace the simple blue ones, informing drivers on major roads that they are entering Wellington County. They will be 2.7 metres (9 feet) wide with a curved top, and Welcome to Wellington County in large letters. The background is blue, with images of growing grain, and the County Coat of Arms inset.

In case you have not paid much attention to the Coat of Arms, which is at the centre of the County logo, it features Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington, holding a sword and riding a white horse. Below that is a red cross dividing a blue background with five white dots in each quadrant, surrounded by golden sheaves of wheat. The motto is VISION VALOUR.

The welcome signs will have the name of the local municipality, such as Erin, in the lower right corner on a grey background. They are intended to complement existing local welcome signs.

Erin will get two primary signs, which means they will be mounted in an attractive rock landscaping. One will be on County Road 124 as drivers enter from Caledon, and the other will be on Trafalgar Road as drivers from Halton Hills cross the county line in Ballinafad. Each installation will cost about $6,000.

Secondary welcome signs will be the same size and design, but simply mounted on posts, and will cost $3,500 each. When the project is complete, Erin will have one of these on County Road 125 just north of Acton at the Halton Hills border, and another on Trafalgar Road north of Hillsburgh, at the East Garafraxa Township border.

There are 62 roads entering the county, but the smaller ones will not get signs. There will be 13 primary signs and 18 secondary ones.

There will also be directional signs of the same style near Erin village and Ballinafad, pointing towards other destinations. There would only be 18 of these throughout the county.

Another type of sign is called “Pay-to-Play”, meaning that businesses will pay a proposed annual fee of $250 to have their attraction featured. The number of these has not been determined, but each will cost $2,500. They provide classy-looking tourism promotion to local towns, without cluttering up the countryside with a wide variety of signs.