OTTAWA - Constance Bay, it turns out, has not designated its downtown a red-light district, despite what its signs may have indicated.
A racy new roadside sign was not the product of an adults-only tourist campaign, but rather a convincing graffiti job.
The City of Ottawa sign, which was erected about a month ago, directed travellers to Constance Bay's "business district" with symbols indicating various amenities.
One square was left blank. Bad move.
Sometime last weekend, a vandal filled the blank spot in with a pair of stick figures who appear to be particularly engaged.
Don't let the saucy pair fool you, though, West-Carleton March Councillor Eli El-Chantiry said. It's business as usual in Constance Bay.
From chuckling photographers snapping pictures to e-mails inquiring about Constance Bay's new swingers' club, El-Chantiry seemed on Thursday to be tiring of all the attention the sign was getting.
He tried himself to remove the corruption, but no luck.
"When I saw it, I took a towel and some water and I could not reach it." El-Chantiry said, noting the sign stood more than eight-feet above the ground. "Then I saw someone taking pictures."
It doesn't help the councillor that the illustration looks professional enough to have been part of the original design.
"There was one spot missing; it was perfect," said Ian Glen, president of the Constance and Buckham's Bay Community Association, adding he may consider a picture of the sign for the 2010 Best of the Bays calendar.
"Everybody just thinks it's pretty funny. I don't think anybody's going to take terrible offence to it."
As of Thursday night, the defiled sign had been taken down, the city said.
The copulating couple could not be removed by usual methods without damaging the sign. Instead, it must be sandblasted back to its virgin state before it can be reposted, El-Chantiry said, and next time there will be no blank slates.
"The community centre or the Legion, whatever. Just put something there, don't leave it blank."
In city council this week, El-Chantiry assured his colleagues Constance Bay would soon be rid of the carnal defacement.
"Then (Councillor) Gord Hunter said: 'What's the big issue? I thought he was just showing her how to waterski.