Toronto’s Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Association (BIA) hopes to capture some of the city’s rapidly disappearing history by developing a sign museum near Yonge-Dundas Square, similar to recent initiatives in Vancouver and Edmonton.
Mark Garner, the BIA’s executive director, explains the plan may take inspiration from both the Museum of Vancouver’s (MOV’s) indoor exhibition of vintage neon signs and Edmonton’s free, open-air Neon Sign Museum. His group is already storing some of its area’s culturally significant signs, including those for Sunrise Records (pictured) and The Papaya Hut.
“We want to feature iconic signs in general, not just neon ones,” Garner explains. “We hope to launch a ‘pop-up’ museum this summer at Yonge and Gerrard Streets, but in the longer term, Old City Hall could accommodate a permanent collection.”