masks hydro pole

Toronto neighbourhood upset after community display of masks disappears from pole

A community project that filled a hydro pole with a growing collection of masks disappeared overnight.

The project started in front of Etobicoke resident, Sandra Vella's home near Royal York Road and Lake Shore Boulevard.

Vella tells blogTO it started as a conversation piece for the community about three and half years ago. She nailed masks to the hydro pole that she gathered from yard sales, thrift stores, estate sales and some donations.

"I have to keep the boulevard mowed as per the bylaw so why not?" she says. "Lots of traffic and pedestrians."

masks hydro pole

A photo and comment posted to a Facebook group.

The display had grown to about 20 masks covering the pole until someone took off most of the masks on the lower part of the pole this week — leaving just seven behind.

"Neighbors and kids enjoyed taking photos under it…," Vella posted on South Etobicoke Community Group. "I am very disappointed and sad that someone would do such a thing."

Vella says she heard about the theft from a neighbour while away camping. Soon after she posted on Facebook, neighbours expressed their anger.

"Why can't people just leave what's not theirs alone?" one person wrote.

masks hydro pole

This week many of the masks disappeared from the hydro pole.

One person noted how their family enjoyed seeing the masks.

"This is so sad…I'm so sorry that this happened," another person said. "My boys and I love your masks."

Others wondered why this would happen.

"That's so upsetting," another person said. "Trying to think of why someone would do that, other than for theft or vandalism."

Still others wondered if it was the city or hydro that removed the masks but Vella says she had asked permission to hang them there.

Since the theft, at least two people have offered to donate replacement masks.

"I think that's wonderful that will really make it a community effort and show the person who did this that this shall go on," Vella says.

She plans to continue the project.

"(I'm) not going to let this person win."

Photos by

Courtesy of Sandra Vella

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Toronto neighbourhood upset after community display of masks disappears from pole