toronto strong driftwood sign

Toronto just got a new sign on the waterfront

Coming soon to every Instagram feed near you: A brand new mass of artfully-arranged driftwood on the rocks of Humber Bay Shores.

Last July, local artists Thelia Sanders-Shelton and Julie Ryan delighted the people of Toronto by building their own, unique version of the lettered Nathan Phillips Square sign on the shores of Lake Ontario.

The "Toronto Driftwood Sign," as it came to be known, was an instant hit — as was a giant driftwood sunbather (El Corazon) the same artists constructed nearby in September.

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Sadly, neither sculpture survived the harsh wind storms of this past winter. El Corazon washed away in April and the original driftwood Toronto sign had fallen apart, bit by bit, by the end of 2017.

Nothing lasts forever. I guess that's kind of the point. Plus, if the old sign were still in place, nobody would be able to enjoy the new, modified driftwood Toronto sign that rose last night where the old one used to be.

Behold, the TOStrong sign — inspired, one would assume, by the #TOStrong or "Toronto Strong" movements of support and grieving that swept the city this year following a rash of violent tragedies.

The term is most associated with the aftermath of a deadly van ramming attack that killed 10 people and injured 16 more on Yonge Street in Toronto this past April.

It has also been used in relation to the horrifying case of alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur, July's deadly shooting on the Danforth, and an atypically high number of homicide and gun violence victims in the city this year overall.

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Fitted with a peace sign inside the first "O," the sign is similar in style to last year's, which had a heart at the end, though Sanders-Shelton and Ryan have yet to take credit for the work.

People who were in the area on Wednesday night report that they saw the artists building the new sculpture, and those who've stumble upon it this morning are delighted by the new addition to Humber Bay Park.

Lead photo by

Sarah Jade


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