The Change We Don't Need
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The Change We Don’t Need

Photo by Alex Nino Gheciu/Torontoist.

If you’re stopping by Dundas Station while riding the rocket anytime soon, you might mistakenly think you’re pulling into Compton. A series of posters lined along the platform walls—that look like stop-motion animation from the subway cars as you pull into or out of the station—strangely resemble plate-glass windows with bullet holes punched through them. Is it a plug for 50 Cent’s new album? Good guess, but not quite.

Photo by Kelly Rankin.

It turns out it’s an ad for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games commemorative coin collection. Look a bit closer and what appears to be shattered glass is actually just a pile of change with a circular area cleared, save for an Olympic coin right in the middle.
Still, from afar it looks an awful lot like a subterranean shootout just went down. Could this be a reference to the recent presence of high-profile gun violence in Vancouver (and, to some extent, Toronto as well), drawing the inevitable attention of international media outlets? Is the mass of change perhaps a clever pun for the “change” Stephen Harper vows to effect prior to the Olympics through tougher gang crime crackdowns?
Apparently not. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the pile of coins is simply meant to look like a pile of coins.
“Excuse me? Is this a prank call?” asked a Mint marketing representative who refused to be named. “I don’t think that’s possible. You can clearly see that it’s coins. No, there’s no way. Obviously we’re a government crown corporation. When I see the advertisement, I don’t think it looks like that at all.”
Yeesh. Talk about a marketing faux pas. We’ll bet commuters will feel cool as cucumbers rolling through Dundas Station to witness what looks like the scene of a subway drive-by.
Thanks to reader Kelly Rankin for the tip.