New Signs in Old Montreal

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For all that I’ve written about Montreal’s street signs, I haven’t mentioned much about the signs found in Old Montreal, the city’s birthplace and one of its most important tourist attractions. Although the signs here are meant to reflect the red-and-beige colour scheme of the city’s first street signs, they are actually a recent invention, created in the 1980s with a somewhat contrived typeface that is meant to look historic.

For a long time, I had assumed that all of the signs in the old city were homogeneous, but on a recent walk around the neighbourhood a friend pointed out to me that there were two different types: one, mounted on buildings with the street name written in all-caps, and others, mounted on posts and written in an entirely different font. I can’t explain the difference between the two — maybe some of our readers can help.

But I did notice something else that was interesting: at the corner of Le Royer and St. Laurent there is a building with street names engraved into its façade. Just like the street signs of the 1950s, when English signs were place on one side of the street and French signs on the other, the street name on one side of the building was in English (Le Royer Street and St. Lawrence Boulevard) and in French (rue Le Royer and boulevard Saint-Laurent) on the other.

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This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Sunday May 11 2008at 09:05 pm , filed under Art and Design, Canada, Heritage and Preservation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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