If you had to make a list of things that are undeniably “Toronto”, what would it include? Quintessential architectural landmarks like the CN tower? How about the city’s instantly recognizable skyline or our striking streetcars? Perhaps even Toronto’s diverse, defined neighbourhoods with eclectic streetscapes?
Consider, for a moment, the street signs that stand steadfast at countless corners in our fair city. The black and white metal acorn-style plates were first introduced in the city in the 1950s; prior to this launch, the various Metro Municipalities used their own branding, colours, and design for their signage. As such, the rollout of this design was unifying, creating a singular aesthetic that has become a major visual identifier of Toronto.
Recognizing the iconic, nostalgic, and artistic opportunity these street signs present, a local photographer set out to capture many of them in smartly styled black-and-white photos. Leah Illies and her partner have shot over 50 Leslieville, Riverside & Riverdale signs to date, and are beginning to do the same in the West end. Illies’ company, Hey, I Live There! Photography, is erecting a Pop-up Shop this week to exhibit these photographs – and the pride in community that they represent. In addition to offering said snaps for sale, Illies will also be accepting custom orders!
Illies started taking photographs for her landscaping company and discovered that these iconic street signs deserved their own stage- and their own venue. She has a keen appreciation for not only the historical significance of these street signs, but in their visual and artistic interest, capturing the nuances, textures and intricacies in her photographs. They are similar but diverse… much like all the streets in the East End of Toronto that they represent!
Here is a good little article about Leah, her photos and her upcoming pop-up shop event on Good Hood: Hey, I Live there! Pop-up Shop Set To Celebrate Street Signs In Toronto’s East End.
Interested in learning more? Drop by the Pop-Up Shop!
‘Hey, I Live There! Photography’
East Side POP-UP SHOP
Wednesday April 17th
5:00 – 8:00pm
Black Lab Brewing
818 Eastern Avenue
(Across from Loblaws)
For more details, check out the Facebook event page.
Thanks for reading!
Do you love the East Side as much as we do? If you’ve always wanted to own your own slice of heaven in one of the vibrant neighbourhoods east of the Don Valley, be sure to check out Riverdale’s Glebe Lofts on Pape Avenue. We recently sold A Heavenly Sanctuary In A Converted Riverdale Church. Wouldn’t one of Leah Illies’ urban photographs look stunning hung in a loft like this one?!
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000
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