Graffiti makes our city seem unsafe

Graffiti is letters, symbols, marks, slogans, designs, or drawings made on buildings, sidewalks, fences or any structure, place or thing without approval. It can be made with paint, spray paint, felt pens, lava rock, knives or other materials.

Some consider graffiti art, but it's illegal and considered a criminal activity when created without permission or approval of the property owner. The majority of all graffiti is a name or tag, but some may also convey racist and inflammatory messages, which could be offensive to our residents and visitors. Graffiti of this kind can instill fear and perceptions of danger and cause social conflict within the community.

When graffiti isn’t removed immediately, it invites more graffiti, causing properties and even communities to be overrun with graffiti, other forms of vandalism and street crime. The presence of graffiti gives the impression of criminal activity and hurts our image as a safe and welcoming city. This often leads to property depreciation and may impact economic growth and tourism.

Graffiti bylaw

Our graffiti bylaw requires that as a property owner or occupant, you must remove hate and profane graffiti from your property within 48 hours and other types of graffiti within 14 days of getting a notification from us.

Report graffiti

  • Call us at 604-294-7388 or use this online form to report graffiti on private or public property.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report an ongoing graffiti activity. Do not approach the vandal.

Prevent graffiti

  • Report or clean graffiti immediately to deter vandals from creating more graffiti.
  • Inform property owners or businesses if you see graffiti on their property.
  • Install lighting around your property and use motion sensors or security cameras to increase security.
  • Plant shrubs and vines or use fences, rails and other barriers to restrict access to your outside walls.
  • Limit access to your roof by moving dumpsters and other objects away from walls and cover drainpipes and ladders to prevent vandals from climbing them.

You can call us at 604-294-7388 to get more tips on how to prevent graffiti on your property.

Steps we're taking

Anti-graffiti wrap program

Street utility boxes are common targets for vandals. The City introduced the graffiti wrap program to prevent graffiti and beautify communities. Utility boxes in the city are wrapped with decorative photos and art that's easy to clean and beautiful to look at.

Mural program

The City's mural program started in 2009. The program provides local artists with the opportunity to showcase their work while beautifying the community.

Apply for a mural

If you’re a property owner and want a mural on your building, fill out the mural grant program application and the property owner mural agreement.

The City will match the cost of your mural for up to $7,000. E.g., if your mural costs $10,000, we will contribute $5,000. Read our terms and conditions for more clarity on the initiative.

If you’re an artist and want to paint a mural for the city, contact the mural program at [email protected].

Was this page useful?