old toronto street signs: as art & at auction
This past summer, while wandering about some of the older streets of Toronto, I spied and snapped a photo of an old, weathered street sign, spawning an idea for a Christmas gift for my mother. My parents both grew up on old Victorian era streets in downtown Toronto, and I thought photos of the vintage street signs that still exist on both of their streets would make a memorable, artistic present. Luckily, though my late father’s childhood home on Cameron St. was expropriated in the 1960s for a new public housing development, a vintage street sign survives to this day. My mother’s childhood home on Northcote Av. still stands, a centre point of so many fond family memories, with my grandmother having lived there for over 60 years.
A few weeks after taking these photographs I learned that the City of Toronto has been replacing and warehousing old, worn and damaged street signs that haven’t fared as well as these examples. The City has been developing a plan to divest of these signs and has long last announced that, beginning today April 28, 2014, more than 1,000 decommissioned street name signs will be available to the public.
The City of Toronto is offering the public an opportunity to purchase a piece of Toronto nostalgia by way of an on-line auction through PlatinumLiquidations.There is no list of signs going on the site, so looking for specific streets signs will be a matter of checking the site often, according to the auctioneers. Initially 100 signs will be posted for auction, with an additional number of signs (approximately 20) added each week. The signs will be displayed for 60 days and sold separately with a starting bid price of $30.00. More details on how to participate in the process can be found on the auctioneer’s website.