Sunday, October 23, 2016Mostly Cloudy 13°C

New Toronto street signs state the obvious

Posted by Aubrey Jax / July 29, 2014

toronto street signsStreet art Toronto has been lax - the same few styles again and again, with weirdo sticker art, perplexing stencils and wheatpastes, and odd fake celebrity signatures fading out of sight. Old guard graffiti freaks are growing up and, tired of being buffed, moving on to galleries, over-working their straight jobs, or (well, hopefully not) serving time - and new creative talents are spending their efforts online instead of on the streets.

That's a shame - but it's not all Anser faces (no diss to Anser, who's been a comfort for a decade now) out there in 2014. Take Denise St Marie and Timothy Walker (TIMEANDDESIRE)'s new sign installations. You might've already done a double take of these ominous signs, playing permits, urban animals, or their Recursive Series on Toronto streets this summer.

toronto street signsThe Recursive project, popping up along Queen West and in Grange Park and focused on "the mundane, the obvious and the banal," isn't new for the artists - it's part of TIMEANDDESIRE's growing sign making practice that includes deriding boring walls, creating dance-zones (Nuit Blanche), an appearance at Land|Slide last year, and installations in the US and Asia.

toronto street signsThe art-speak on their website is the usual collage of public and private space this and shifting viewpoints that, but a statement isn't necessary understand the value of these cheeky signs.

toronto street signsThe lesson? Keep your eyes on your smartphones for more updates on Toronto street art. Just kidding - but let us know when and where you see these clever pieces, and if a F*ck It sign has given you that life changing advice you needed.



Art / July 29, 2014 at 10:24 am
What passes as art today....???
Try Harder / July 29, 2014 at 10:31 am
This is just more visual distraction and clutter.
JamesVR / July 29, 2014 at 10:33 am
I'd rather see a sign with some real art on it against the queen west background like a picture of kittens playing, or of a cowboy on a horse. That would beautify and also be more attractive than these plain statements.
odd / July 29, 2014 at 11:10 am
Marc / July 29, 2014 at 11:34 am
Does Toronto ever get tired of being so snarky?
j13 replying to a comment from Marc / July 29, 2014 at 11:39 am
that's a little like the snark calling the snark snark.

just a little though.
Jug City / July 29, 2014 at 11:50 am
I farted this morning. Some would call that "art" as well. Or (f)art.
however replying to a comment from Marc / July 29, 2014 at 11:51 am
But this snark is well warranted.

These signs are beyond stupid.
guttersnipe / July 29, 2014 at 11:53 am
Was wondering who put these up as they piqued my curiosity. Thanks for letting me know.
Kash / July 29, 2014 at 11:54 am
It would put a little smile on my face if I were walking down the street and saw in my book it's a good thing.
j14 replying to a comment from however / July 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm
so only unwarranted snark is tiresome? i'm confused.

but i get confused easily, so don't mind me.
Reem / July 29, 2014 at 12:11 pm
Are we allowed to put up our own signs on city poles? I've often thought of putting an official looking no parking and no locking bikes sign in front of my place.
Andy / July 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm
Who do I sue when I'm riding my bike along the roads where the road is all broken up and I need to constantly battle motor vehicles?

I need to pay attention to the traffic lights and signs and I when I crash because I'm reading a sign that has nothing to do with anything but takes my eyes off the road because I think its a traffic sign? Who do I sue? The city?
Aglio Olivio replying to a comment from Andy / July 29, 2014 at 12:56 pm
SUING THE CITY??? Who are you Jack Layton?

"In July 1988, Jack Layton "smashed his kneecap" running into a Financial Post newspaper box on the corner of Dundas and Elizabeth. Layton launched a lawsuit against the city, which placed the box, and the Financial Post for unspecified damages, saying it was too close to the road. "
Hou / July 29, 2014 at 01:10 pm
wake up toronto! I get constipated looking at this!
Ad / July 29, 2014 at 01:13 pm
Cool so can any company put up signs along our streets.
"You're only 500 feet from Hooters"

"You're only 250 feet from Hooters"

"You've arrived welcome to Hooters"
Chris / July 29, 2014 at 01:33 pm
Approximately the same category as Stop Here On Red Signal.
SIGNS SIGNS SIGNS / July 29, 2014 at 01:33 pm
I like these because they call attention to how fucking dumb and useless 99.99% of signs are.
Serge / July 29, 2014 at 01:35 pm
How many people are you trying to offend while praising these lack luster signers?

"WEIRDO sticker art, PERPLEXING stencils and wheatpastes, and odd fake celebrity signatures fading out of sight. Old guard graffiti FREAKS?"

Geez dis all past street art contributors to put these signs up on a pedestal? Good to know what BLOGTO really thinks of street art.
Aubrey / July 29, 2014 at 02:22 pm
Hi Serge, I'm saying that barely anyone in the city is doing that stuff (which I clearly love) anymore, so it's nice to see these installations going up. Hopefully spotting these signs will teach you better reading comprehension, but my hopes are low. As an aside, if you don't like weirdos, freaks, or being perplexed, why are you reading an arts post?
Serge replying to a comment from Aubrey / July 29, 2014 at 02:47 pm
Well because I do enjoy the arts and don't consider myself a weirdo, freak, or one that's often perplexed. As artists and governments push for funding maybe if they worked a little to change the weirdo perception they may have an easier time convincing others that money invested in the arts is money well spent instead of money wasted on a weirdo.
Sandor / July 29, 2014 at 03:50 pm
Holy shit. Lighten up, snobs.
Harold Town / July 29, 2014 at 04:06 pm
True Art: Sign that reads "Mayor Ford thanks Toronto for letting him give it to you up your keesters."
Sentient Being / July 29, 2014 at 04:26 pm
I think the signs are great. They provide a little levity. But don't tell the Fords about them. And don't call them Art or Free Speech or they will be drooling to have them removed. Keep up the good work. And everyone, keep quiet about them and enjoy.
altruism replying to a comment from Sentient Being / July 29, 2014 at 04:35 pm
I would prefer if they were adverting beer and other local fare along the street. Ohhh keep quiet are we being censored now? I thought are was to be enjoyed, discussed, shared, critiqued.
McRib replying to a comment from SIGNS SIGNS SIGNS / July 29, 2014 at 04:52 pm

artMeister replying to a comment from Art / July 29, 2014 at 04:54 pm
When "artistes" vomit on canvas or squirt paint out of their cooters in a live performance and call it art, almost anything goes. Although I don't consider that art. But have a look here if you like:
Sentient Being / July 29, 2014 at 05:54 pm
I'll I meant when I said "keep quiet" was don't tell the Fords. In regards to enjoying, discussing, sharing and critiquing- Um, I believe that is what we are doing here and now.
Required / July 29, 2014 at 05:59 pm
This is a
in a blog
Dan / July 29, 2014 at 06:37 pm
WAH WAH WAAAAHHHHHHH - Typical BlogTO commenters. Do you crybabies every stop whining and complaining? Holy crap I hope there's another garbage strike just so you can all have heart attacks from overexerting yourselves with incessant crying.
Whitney / July 29, 2014 at 07:00 pm
I thought Canadians were supposed to be funny? Too bad these signs dont have more humor to them, kinda bland.
Adam / July 29, 2014 at 07:04 pm
Sorry artiste thats our public property go display your art at home or in a gallery where it belongs... ohh thats right no one would give two $@&#! to see this stuff so you have to rape my eyes with this visual clutter. These need to be removed!!!
Justin / July 29, 2014 at 07:54 pm
These are amusing enough to provide a chuckle while walking down the street. Amused by the faux-outrage in these comments.
Timothi J replying to a comment from Justin / July 29, 2014 at 08:05 pm
Simple things amuse small simple minds. Do you really get a chuckle from a sign on a corner that says "this is a sign on a corner". Their early signs were better and more chuckle worthy this new batch seems like a bit of a stretch for ideas.
carol / July 29, 2014 at 09:16 pm
Seriously - it's amusing. Relax people. Let the corners of your mouth turn up without over thinking this.
argyle / July 29, 2014 at 09:20 pm
It should have read, "If this sign falls, please put it back up."
April replying to a comment from carol / July 29, 2014 at 10:20 pm
You have to give people a reason to turn their mouths up. Do you seriously find humour in this? Do you also crack up when you see someone wearing a Tshirt with the word "Tshirt" written on it walking down the street? No problem with the placements just the statements aren't amusing at all. Tell people to lighten up all you want, but if its not funny, not amusing then its not, TO ME.
Dan / July 29, 2014 at 10:23 pm
The issue here is that this lame project never should've received its own dedicated post, once that happens it needs to be news worthy and most people don't find this mediocre project headline worthy.
What would ______ do? / July 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm
Yo Aubs!

Why no post about the new sunnyside bike park? Have you left biking altogether? No love for the MTB and BMX communities anymore? Show some love.
Aubrey replying to a comment from What would ______ do? / July 30, 2014 at 09:02 am
Hmm good point. Okay, I went back in time to July 26 and had Derek post this just for you. -Aubs
Charlie Pachter / July 30, 2014 at 09:40 am
Life as we know it ends at Eglinton, so all you posters in the 'burbs should just let your brain maggots finish their meals. Fuck Rob Ford and his minions!
The Clever Pup / July 30, 2014 at 10:03 am
During the short life-span of these signs, I find them whimsical and inventive. the whole post made me smile. Wouldn't want it to catch on tho' or else we'll be looking like a montage from Mad Magazine. (when it was still funny).
101 / July 30, 2014 at 11:19 am
But the great Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan let the world know that the medium is the message.

I like this / July 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm
I prefer the Track Toronto signs that have been popping up along Queen West. Interesting concept, even if they could do an audio history infront of historic buildings and sites that would be sweet!
Burry Signs / December 10, 2014 at 11:05 am
Need signs or printing? Call Burry Signs if you're looking for artistic signage! 416-778-7514
Other Cities: Montreal