The Blue Signs


In many corners of downtown Calgary it’s possible to see an old kind of street sign that dates back to the first half of the twentieth century. They’re invariably mounted on buildings and have been made superfluous by newer signs, which leads me to think that they’ve been preserved either by neglect or some sense of historical duty.

What’s even more remarkable is that nearly identical versions of these white-on-blue signs are found in Montreal, where they have also been overlooked or forgotten. I’ve seen one on Lincoln Avenue downtown and another on the rue de Bienville on the Plateau.


This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Sunday February 10 2008at 01:02 pm , filed under Uncategorized . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Responses to “The Blue Signs”

  • Scooter says:

    Oddly enough, the same type of sign can be found in Toronto as well, on the southwest corner of St. Clair Avenue and Vaughan Road (that’s the one I’m aware of, at least). I used to live just off of de Bienville, and so was surprised to move to St. Clair West and see those blue signs again, just a couple of blocks away from my place. I’d be interested to know the story behind them.

  • Haligonian says:

    I think this style of street sign was pretty much the norm in Canadian cities prior to the 1940s or so. Halifax has them as well. There are also some corner buildings in Halifax from the 1850s and earlier with street signs carved into their outer stone walls. I’m not sure when cities began producing signs.