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Barbershop sign can stay following meeting with city

The Continental Barbershop on Victoria Street has a new window, a new sign — and it won’t be getting a fine.
Barbershop sign can stay following meeting with city_0
The Continental Barbershop window has been replaced and now displays a new poster board message thanking Kamloops for their support. Lise Mitra photo

The Continental Barbershop on Victoria Street has a new window, a new sign — and it won’t be getting a fine.

Owner Lise Mitra said she met with CAO David Trawin last week following news the city had threatened to fine her if she did not take down or paint over plywood covering a window on her Victoria Street storefront, which had been smashed after midnight on Canada Day.

Mitra had written on the plywood a message thanking three men who came to the rescue, tackling the person allegedly responsible for the vandalism until police arrived. The message scrawled on the plywood also encouraged reporting of crime.

Mitra earlier told KTW community services officers, formerly bylaw officers, visited and indicated the plywood covering the window was contrary to the city’s sign bylaw.

Since then, Mitra said she met with Trawin, who indicated there will not be a fine charged to the business owner. She said she was told the officers were supposed to have been coming to warn her about changing her broken window within six months.

Trawin told KTW the intent was for officers to educate Mitra on the time period for removing plywood and fixing windows but it was not communicated as well as it should have been.

“I think the issue was more the boarding up than the sign, to be honest with you,” Trawin said, noting the city does not want to see windows boarded up for extended periods but it typically gives people a reasonable amount of time to do so.

A review of the process around bylaw education and enforcement is also coming to a future city council meeting, Trawin said.

Meanwhile, Mitra said the plywood has since been removed and the window fixed at a cost of $1,400 (a $500 deductible, when insurance is factored in.)

Mitra said she has since put up a new sign on poster board thanking the citizens of Kamloops for their support and also reiterating her message around community safety. She said she won’t take it down until she decorates her store front for pride week, which takes place in late August.

“All of us downtown are so tired of having to pay, continuously pay over and over and over again for things that we have no say over,” she said, noting things need to change.