How can I manage graffiti vandalism?

Graffiti vandalism can quickly transform a neighbourhood. It harms local residents, organizations, businesses, and property owners. 

The faster graffiti is removed, the less desirable your property becomes to vandals. If graffiti vandalism is not removed, it can lead to more damage.

The best way to stop the spread of graffiti is to remove it as soon as it appears. 

What is graffiti vandalism?

Graffiti includes one or more letters, symbols, or marks made on public, private, or other surfaces without permission.

Graffiti is a criminal offence and is termed "Mischief" under section 430 of the Criminal Code.

View the Graffiti Bylaw

Report graffiti online

Quick reporting for graffiti in public spaces

Use this VanConnect form to alert us about graffiti.

Alert us about graffiti

Integrated Graffiti Management Program

We're committed to removing graffiti quickly from public property and to supporting businesses and communities to do the same.

The Integrated Graffiti Management Program focuses on graffiti removal, enforcement of our graffiti bylaw, and education and prevention initiatives.

Help manage graffiti

Report

Record

  • Document the graffiti by taking a picture of the entire tag or word from directly in front of the surface and include any small initials or markings around the edges of the tag.
  • Make a note of the date and time.
  • Forward a copy of the picture to the police with your contact information.

Remove

  • Your building is less likely to be targeted again if the graffiti is removed quickly.
  • Do not wait for a notice to be served to you if you are a victim of graffiti.
  • In order to control graffiti, property owners who have been served a notice by the City must have graffiti removed within 10 days.

If you do not remove graffiti from your property

Property owners are responsible for the cost of removing graffiti from their building.

We do not fine you if graffiti is not removed. However, if a property is served with a notification, and graffiti is not removed, we have the right to remove it and will recover the cost from you.

We provide resources to help you remove graffiti in a timely manner, such as the Free Paint Program.

Additional tips for managing graffiti vandalism on your property

  • Apply protective coating on your walls, which facilitates graffiti removal and preserves the original wall surface. 
  • Install motion detector lights to discourage vandals from tagging.
  • Move vehicles, dumpsters, and other items away from walls and cover pipes to prevent access to the roof or upper levels of a building.
  • Keep your property tidy. Litter, broken fences, and overgrown shrubs send a message of indifference, which can attract vandals. 
  • Work with a community artist and the City to commission a mural on a persistently targeted wall.

Graffiti resources

Remove graffiti

Find out how to remove graffiti, or tagging, from your property.

Answers to graffiti questions

Find answers to your questions around graffiti, tagging, murals, and more.

Make an outdoor mural

A mural is a painting, mosaic, or relief artwork applied to exterior walls, facilities, or structures. Both the City and the Park Board have guidelines for the successful creation of murals. If you want to create a mural, start by contacting them.

Graffiti Bylaw

The graffiti bylaw requires property owners to have graffiti removed within 10 days of being served a notice from the City. Graffiti is considered vandalism under the law when it is painted on private or public property without permission, with a minimum fine of $500.

Answers to graffiti questionsRemove graffitiAlert us about graffiti