fake development sign ants toronto

Someone posted tiny development notices for ants to troll Toronto's condo craze

Take one part Toronto condo fatigue, add in a splash of Derek Zoolander's iconic meltdown over an architectural model of a "center for ants," and you have the latest hilarious commentary on the city's historic building boom.

Toronto artist Rodger Beck has been creating miniature versions of everyday Toronto landmarks like the Leuty Lifeguard Station and objects like iconic TTC transfer machines.

He tells blogTO, "I have a problem where I want to miniaturize everything I see. I love the novelty of tiny things."

One of his latest miniaturization projects spoofs the information notices appearing all over Toronto properties destined for redevelopment, as well as the "for sale" signs seen littering just about every residential street in the city.

Beck created a collection of these signs this past summer and planted them in locations around his east-end neighbourhood, but you'd be hard-pressed to notice them, as these micro-installations were scaled for the sightlines of insects rather than humans.

Two signs were placed showing what looks like official development notices, one in front of a new house under construction on Ashdale Avenue, the other planted in a tree stump in Leslie Park Grove.

The signs look almost identical to the official ones posted on future project sites, with some hilarious exceptions. Aside from the tiny size, an ant pictured in a hard hat is the most obvious clue that this is all a gag.

Closer inspection reveals an 87-storey floor count that would rise only 45 millimetres high. You know, because ants.

The developer? "Anthill Condo Corporation Limited." The address? "This dirthill right here." The community planning contact is listed as "Ant Johnson" with a note explaining, "I'm an ant. I don't have a phone."

The creation is just one of a handful of fake development notices to appear in Toronto over the last year or so, including a forged sign showing a tower plopped into the middle of a midtown park, and, more recently, a sign proposing a second CN Tower.

But ants aren't only building condos; they're also apparently selling houses. Beck created some ant-sized real estate signs and placed them in random spots around the neighbourhood.

He says, "one woman was approached by her neighbour asking why she was selling her house. Confused, she replied that she was not. Her neighbour pointed out the tiny real estate sign in her garden… that's when she noticed the agent in the photo."

Though Beck created this project for fun, he tells blogTO that most of his miniature creations are commissioned privately.

As for what became of the signs, Beck says that "I don't have a habit of sticking around to see the reaction, so I imagine somebody came along and took those signs home."

Lead photo by

Rodger Beck

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