Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Kingsbrae

February 20, 2013

The Kingsbrae

This Corktown restaurant appears to be out of commission, but its sign continues to announce the business name with flair.

The primary colours are high impact and the blue and white stripes have the pulsating energy of Op Art. The personality of this sign is brash and restless.

Think of this as a zombie sign, simultaneously both dead and trembling with life.



February 7, 2013

Bacon Is The Answer

Sometimes all it takes to get attention is a sense of the absurd. Here’s a sign with something grand and ridiculous to say, and an appealingly simple way of saying it.

If bacon is on your grocery list, why not patronize a butcher shop that doesn’t take itself too seriously?


January 27, 2013


Happy 2013, my dear readers! I’m back to blogging after taking a bit of a break. It’s good to be here again.

Here’s a sign whose explosive letterforms seem ready to burst from the façade. There’s more than one mood here. The “O” looks bashful, trying to hide behind the “T”, while the “C” looks aggressive and ready for trouble.

The sign’s location beneath the shop window is ideal for grabbing the attention of pedestrians. I love the way the pipes that emerge from the sidewalk are enlisted in the colour scheme. This sign’s comic book energy is infectious.


July 31, 2012


On a hot summer day, a sign with the words “air conditioning” in it is a visual oasis. Just the thought of a blast of cool air! Heavenly.

I love the cool blue logo here, but what I love even more is the phrase at the bottom, “World of Comfort Ltd”. It suggests a sense of pride in the art of facilitating the right temperature.

I wonder when this sign was made. Decades ago I suspect. It’s a fine reminder of the wonders of climate control, no?

Great Coffee

July 23, 2012

Great Coffee

I love signs that take you back in time. Here’s one that looks like something from another era.

Look at it long enough and who knows, maybe you’ll be transported to 1950s Toronto, in the seamless way Owen Wilson’s character time traveled in Midnight in Paris.

The cartoony exuberance of the lettering is touching and the scattering of yellow stars adds extra zest.

I’m going to make a point of trying the coffee here and when I do I’ll report back. If I end up time traveling, I’ll let you know.


July 15, 2012


This wall of posters illustrates the virtue of repetition. See a word often enough and you’re likely to pay extra attention.

In this case the word is practically audible. It’s like listening to a somewhat manic language instructor.

The wonky lettering creates a playful feeling. Check out the unusual “K”. The quirky illustration is a perfect match for the eccentric appeal of the letters.

I can’t wait to try Mamaka’s spanakopita. If it’s anywhere near as flavourful as this poster, I’ll fall in love with it.



May 10, 2012


I was passing by this church recently and overheard what must have been a live band playing Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready”. I lingered for a while to listen.

I also looked up the organization’s website and found out that they provide community for people who need it.

Their sign is nothing like what you usually see on a church building. It’s also quite a contrast to the sleek condo signs in the vicinity.

These scrawled letters are unruly and untamed. At the same time they’re surrounded by brackets that contain them and embrace them.

Press Grey…

March 21, 2012

Press Grey

Recently a friend and I took advantage of the warm weather and headed out to Toronto Island for the day. I was startled by this handmade sign above the ticket machine at the ferry docks.

I guess the machine is so bewildering to some that it requires this extra explanation. There’s an eight-step process and a whole lot of parentheses.

We’d already purchased our tickets at the ticket booth, so there was no need to interact with the machine. Has anyone used the device and been successful?


March 13, 2012


This word fits neatly into the stair-like shape of the facade. I appreciate the command because it’s so open-ended: Adore what? Adore whom? We’re left to fill in the blank ourselves.

On a spring-like day in Toronto it’s easy to find something to adore. The sensation of a warm breeze on my face. The feeling of the ground beneath my feet.

What are you adoring now?

The ascending letter here also make me think of “Do-Re-Mi.” Soon I’ll be having visions of Maria Von Trapp in Trinity Bellwoods Park.


January 31, 2012


This word is part of a large mural that says “West Queen West”. This is the first “West” in the design and it’s delightful.

I always enjoy it when letters and buildings find moments of happy coexistence and this is a good example. These letters look like they’re leaping over the top of the window. The “E” seems to be having the most fun of the bunch.