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Astral Furnishes Toronto

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Astral Media Outdoor has revealed its series of urban furnishings recently designed for the City of Toronto.

After the fashion of its French colleague JCDecaux (the first to introduce this type of partnership), Astral is providing Toronto with a design service for its urban furnishings, taking on the costs of development, manufacturing and maintenance in exchange for exclusive advertising on certain structures. After responding to a call for tenders, the Quebec company was given the mandate for these furnishings over the next 20 years. The series includes bus shelters and advertising pillars (the only ones intended for commercial advertising), public benches, trash cans, newspaper vending boxes and public washrooms.

The furnishings were developed jointly with Toronto's Kramer Design Associates in accordance with the city's specifications. Everything was designed to be anti-graffiti, anti-skater and anti-sleeping.

The result is a set of curved structures in glass and aluminum (chosen for its strength and longevity) for the bus shelters and advertising pillars, aluminum and ipe wood for the benches, as well as recyclable and recycled plastic for the trash cans equipped with a lid-opening pedal like household cans. The bus shelters are outfitted with solar panels allowing them to operate autonomously.

Instead of rows of coloured newspaper vending boxes (which are part of the city's charm), the designers have created a large coreless grey shell with drawers. Thankfully, some of the old boxes will be preserved and simply joined together with a railing. 

The public washrooms, the series' pièce de résistance, are quite spacious and equipped with heated floor and children's change table. They automatically and entirely self-clean after each use.

To celebrate this major achievement, Astral brought together sales teams, advertisers and the media at a huge cinema studio in Toronto where all the items in this series of urban furnishings were displayed.

A few bus shelters and advertising pillars have already been installed, with the remainder scheduled for the upcoming months and into the next few years. As for Montreal, there is talk of 2012...

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