Graffiti is the illegal vandalization of property by painting, tagging or marking it up with words, symbols or pictures.

Graffiti has a negative effect on our community as it contributes to reduced property values, increased crime rates and decreased use of public facilities. Graffiti gives the impression that the community isn't cared for and makes citizens feel unsafe.

The Town of Aurora's graffiti management plan is a proactive and cooperative approach to managing graffiti vandalism and taking steps to help prevent it. By-law #6257-20.

Graffiti Vandalism on Private Property

If you are the victim of graffiti vandalism on your property or receive a Notice of Violation from Aurora's By-law Services, it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove the graffiti or to hire a service to have it removed.

How To Report Graffiti Vandalism

Graffiti vandalism creates a nuisance that can adversely affect property values, business opportunities and poses a risk to the health, safety and welfare of a community.

  • If you witnessing graffiti vandalism in progress, please call 911
  • If you see Graffiti on Town or private property, please report it to our Bylaw office at 905-727-3123 ext. 4240 or email us.
  • To report hate or gang-related graffiti, call York Regional Police at 1-866-876-5423

How To Prevent and Remove Graffiti Vandalism

The best way to stop the spread of graffiti is to remove it as soon as it appears. The faster graffiti vandalism is removed the less likely it will reoccur. The longer it stays on your property, the harder it becomes to remove and the more additional graffiti vandalism it attracts.

Reduce your chances of being vandalized with graffiti by:

  • Install security cameras or motion sensor lights
  • Restrict access to buildings and structures such as fences, storage boxes and pipes
  • Apply a protective coating on your walls to assist with graffiti removal
  • Paint surfaces in dark colours
  • Plant climbing vines or thorny plants along building wall
  • Move dumpsters away from walls
  • Keep the exterior of your property clean

It can be difficult to remove graffiti vandalism from your property. Removing graffiti involves the use of a cleaning agent and some patience. Make sure to remove the graffiti as soon as you notice it within 24 to 72 hours as the longer it is there the harder it will be to remove.

Determine the type of surface you are cleaning (masonry surfaces are the most porous and painted metal/vinyl surfaces the least.)

For very porous surfaces, allow the cleaning agent to sink in to the surface and be agitated (with steel wool or a wire brush) while sinking in. For less porous surfaces, remove the cleaning agent quickly with a cloth so as not to damage the existing finish.

There are many products available that can be used on their own or with a power washer. Do your research on the product you are using to ensure that it's suitable for the intended application. Pay attention to safety guidelines on the product to ensure it will not cause damage to the structure, the environment or to yourself.

If your building has been designated as a Heritage structure, removing graffiti can be a delicate task. For more information please contact the Town’s Planning Department.

Removal Tips for Specific Surface Types

Metal and masonry surfaces

  • Power-wash the area with a pressure washer
  • Paint over the graffiti

Wood surfaces

  • If the wood is not weathered and is sealed with paint, stain or sealer, remove it by wiping it with mineral spirits
  • Power-wash the area with a pressure washer

Plastic surfaces

  • Try wiping graffiti with a light, penetrating oil. Do not use paint thinners as they can soften the plastic and can cause clouding on clear plastic or permanent tackiness of the surface
  • If this does not remove the graffiti, you may need paint over it

Glass surfaces

  • Scrape it off. If that does not remove it from the surface, use a very fine bronze wool scrub with water and gently rub off the markings