On first glance, the above shot could be a generic photo pulled from our Flickr pool to accompany any article about pedestrianism/cycling/active transportation/Toronto. But look at it for another moment, and you may notice that there’s something amiss about the City’s topiary logo alongside the Gardiner…
That’s right! Pedestrianism and cycling are of only tertiary concern to the City of Toronto, and there’s no particular reason to think that the City would make a point of highlighting itself as a place where pedestrians and cyclists are especially plentiful and/or welcome.
This is how the sign looked last Friday. The first photo was taken over the weekend.
And the added icons were the work of the Urban Repair Squad, who told us, “This is an Easter present from the Urban Repair Squad to the City of Toronto and all its residents. Happy Easter!”
The thing is, this wasn’t a Photoshop job. These were actual twelve-foot-tall plywood figures that the URS lay down early Saturday on the strip of green wedged between the Gardiner Expressway and King Street West, just west of Wilson Park Road. Unfortunately, they also inform us that “The installation was taken down this Monday morning by ‘confused looking’ city staff after being enjoyed by thousands who saw it over the 48 hours it was on display.”
Oh well. At least the City is being honest that they don’t care about these things. That’s a step above the usual platitudes. They should take a tip from the TTC, which has quietly allowed the URS’s January contribution to remain in place.
All photos by Martin Reis; design mockup courtesy of the Urban Repair Squad.