Torontonians aren’t known for pomp and circumstance, but if the Spacing buttons were any indication, we like to represent our ‘hoods. Jane and Finch may want to rebrand itself as University Heights and Beach(es) residents can’t agree on the name, but for Toronto, our neighbourhoods often define us.
Other than demarcated street signs alluding to mysterious Discovery Districts and International Villages, there aren’t many emblematic civic icons that Torontonians can use to show their pride. That’s why Torontoist and the National Post are launching our Flags For All Neighbourhood Flags Contest—first stop, Kensington!
Sure, Old Cabbagetown has their cabbagey take on the Canada flag, and Church and Wellesley never met a rainbow they didn’t like, but we’re urging our combined, talented readers to come together in the same harmony that brought together our lefty, hippie-loving website and that right-wing, capitalist newspaper. We want to show our love for the neighbourhood mosaics that make our city great!
This particular contest is dedicated to our beloved Kensington Market. If the response is good, we’re planning on rolling-out contests for other neighbourhoods with bigger and better prizes. Who knows—we might even put the flags into production.
To get the creative juices flowing, we’ve come up with two of our own examples. Says the National Post‘s Steve Murray of his regal blue design (above), “One of my favourite parts about Kensington is the fact that pedestrians reign supreme. So, I wanted to show a road where people gather. I ended up making the people into a crown to also tie into King of Kensington. Is a TV reference for a flag stupid? Would you design a flag for Green Gables without an Anne reference? Hmm?”
We chose a more organic theme for our attempt. A large orange and small red berry symbolize Kensington’s history as a food market, while green leaves allude to the tree-lined residential streets. A stylized figure at the bottom refers to the artisans and creative types who’ve made Kensington home.
So, here’s the deal: over the next two weeks, submit your Kensington images, names, and brief artist summaries to [email protected], and we’ll choose a group of finalists. Readers of Torontoist and Posted Toronto will vote for a winner, who will receive an large, hand-crafted appliqué flag featuring their design (courtesy of our friends at The Flag Shop), as well as some National Post swag. The winning design will also appear in an upcoming National Post feature and in a future Torontoist post. Entries will be accepted until midnight on October 17.
If you can’t draw, don’t fret! It’s all about the ideas, and how well they could work on a flag. Simple designs and solid colours are better, preferably those that can be viewed in reverse (from the other side of the flag).
The dimensions should be 5 x 3 or 6 x 3, and if you’re proficient in a vector drawing application like Adobe Illustrator, that’s your best bet. We will also accept scanned drawings.
The Fine Print
All intellectual rights to the design will remain with the author, and by submitting, you give Torontoist and the National Post permission to publish your name, the image(s), and artist statement in any form of media, as well as the right to manipulate the image for the purposes of editorial display or clarification. Any prizes must be accepted as awarded, and Torontoist and the National Post reserve the right to disqualify entrants or terminate the contest at our discretion. Designs must be original and not include copyrighted elements from other sources. If the flags are to enter production, we suggest that winners donate their final design to the community under a by-nd Creative Commons license.