It’s lights out at bedtime every night for a city hospital’s illuminated sign.



Under a compromise agreement, the illuminated sign atop the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre will now be turned off at 8 p.m. nightly to satisfy the concerns of some nearby residents who had complained its bright light was ruining their ability to enjoy their homes.



David Spackman claimed light from the sign was invading his living room two blocks from the hospital, but said the time restriction compromise was reasonable.

"We were looking for a way to engage the hospital in a dialogue about the sign," he said. "This should please 99 per cent of the people in the neighbourhood."

The storey-high sign, which has been illuminated for over a year, violates city bylaws that prohibit such signs along Carling Avenue from being posted above the second storey, the city’s planning committee found yesterday despite a request from the hospital to change the bylaw.

The sign must be turned off between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day.

Graham Bird, the Royal Ottawa Hospital’s redevelopment project manager, said the sign is part of the hospital’s rebranding effort and its brightness was symbolic of bringing mental health issues out of the shadows. But he agreed the sign couldn’t be kept on all night if it was disrupting the neighbourhood.

dimmer switch

  • The hospital will also work on finding technology that would allow them to keep the sign lit all night, but dimmed after 8 p.m.