The billboard in downtown Halifax reads, "We celebrate remarkable women," and solicits donations to build a women's wall of honor at Mount Saint Vincent University, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday.
"We certainly weren't looking to offend anybody," said Kelly Gallant of Mount Saint Vincent University. "We hope that it'll get people thinking about who they want to honor in their lives."
Gallant said the idea is to encourage men to make donations for the wall, which will be placed in a new building at the school.
"The focus really is women," Gallant said. "We're just choosing to share the message perhaps in a slightly different way."
Some motorists said they were perplexed by the billboard.
"Your first reaction is 'something's weird here,'" said Derrek Ord, who spotted the ad while driving. "This was just uncomfortable."