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March 26, 2021

Canada's new cell phone towers not what they seem

There is a great contradiction underway now in the nation’s cottage countries.

Up north, or on the lakes, or wherever Canadians go to get away, many go to do just that: get away. They don’t want email, they don’t want text messages and, most importantly, they don’t want phone calls.

Yet clearly, since this is 2012 and all, phone companies aren’t going to allow its customer base to just up and leave for weeks or weekends at a time, so they adapt, erecting cell phone towers in rural areas where phone reception has been nothing more than a pipe dream.

Though, these aren’t normal towers they’re putting up …

Indeed, the latest development in No Smartphone User Left Behind is seeing big telecom providers having to get creative in putting up service towers in areas where residents don’t exactly want them.

*Bing: How to boost your cell phone reception

Instead, according to a few news reports, companies are disguising the towers as inanimate objects like trees and church crosses, to keep locals’ signal bars high but blood pressures low.

Bell, for instance, made waves last week when it announced it would put seven towers in northern Ontario, right in the middle of cottage country, disguised as white pine trees.

Only, “it’s really bizarre looking at them in the picture,” says Alice Murphy, mayor of Township of Muskoka Lakes. “It’s like a white pine on steroids.”

But Muskoka Lakes, which will get its towers in May, isn’t alone.

Much as locales in the U.S. have seen cell phone towers put up that look like palm trees and street lamps, a low-reception area of Milton, Ont., will also get a new 29.9 metre tower that will look just like a church cross.

Why 29.9 metres? Because, in Ontario at least, any structure less than 30 metres doesn’t need municipal approval to put up.

In other words, get ready for plenty more 29.9 metre structures that may not be what they seem.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...