Toronto sign

The Toronto sign just got an upgrade

Notice anything different about the giant Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square this week?

In preparation for National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, the City of Toronto has added another symbol to its iconic lettered sign — this one, a Medicine Wheel before the first "T" — and it's about to add something else, too.

But first, let's learn a bit about the quadricolour Medicine Wheel, which was chosen in consultation with the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre.

Described by the city as an "emblem of North American Indigenous cultural values, tradition and spirituality," the wheel's four sections correspond to directions (east, south, west and north). They are said to symbolize completeness, wholeness, connectedness and strength. 

The Medicine Wheel was in place by Monday night, and city officials say that a custom vinyl wrap will be affixed to the outside of the Toronto Sign's letters today.

This wrap will resemble birchbark, inlaid with symbols such as feathers, fire, inukshuks, lacrosse sticks, turtles, Métis sashes, Ojibway canoes and sweet grass braids — all of which are now available as part of a TORONTOMOJI sticker pack. It will remain affixed to the sign until fall of 2018.

The Medicine Wheel will be part of the Toronto sign only until Canada Day weekend is finished, but will reappear outside City Hall in early October, ahead of the Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Legacy Celebration.

"Toronto's Indigenous roots and the vibrancy and diversity of its Indigenous communities are reflected in the Toronto Sign," said Councillor Michael Thompson in a press release announcing the project.

"In this way, we are proud to mark Indigenous presence, historical and contemporary, in Toronto." 

Lead photo by

blogTO


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