The Lingering Ghost

On a bright summer day in 1996, Kate McDonnell was wandering through an alley in the eastern Plateau when she spotted the remnants of a hand-painted tobacco ad on the wall of an old triplex. Fifteen years later, Kate ventured down the same alley and, sure enough, the ad was still there, a bit more […]

Behind Ste. Catherine

Pigeons, a ghost ad and an old tavern sign in an alley between Mansfield and Metcalfe

East End, West End, on fume tout de même

This is what makes ghost ads in Montreal more interesting than in most places: more than just a window into the past, they reveal the city’s linguistic geography, past and present. Here we have two examples of early-twentieth-century tobacco ads revealed by recent building demolitions. One, on east-end Masson Street in Rosemont, is in French. […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Heritage and Preservation, History by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on East End, West End, on fume tout de même , , , ,

A Ghost Sign Revealed

Last week, someone named BK McCabe sent me an email about an old tobacco ad that had been revealed when a fire-damaged building was torn down on Sherbrooke Street West in NDG. Not too long after, another NDGer, Grant Martin, emailed me about the same thing. “Interestingly, one of the first results you get by […]

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Wan Chai Ghost Ad

Just off Stone Nullah Lane, in an old and quiet part of Wan Chai above the Queen’s Road, I came across this old advertisement on the side of an apartment building. Duk hau wai cheung tong yue, it reads — “Special Stomach Pills.”

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Wan Chai Ghost Ad , ,

Chinese Food Around Corner

Two generations of advertisements in downtown Boston

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Ghost Signs Around Town

Place Jacques Cartier Bienville and Berri, Plateau Mont-Royal Ste. Catherine and Stanley

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A Ghost Appears, But Not For Long

In a city with as many layers of history as Montreal, the demolition of a building usually entails the relevation of something else, like a ghost ad. I’ve written before about these old painted advertisements faded by time and the elements; they can be found in cities and towns right across North America and Europe, […]

Laneway Decor

Ghost sign behind East Hastings near Gore Posters behind Pender near Seymour Graffiti behind West Hastings near Richards

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Heritage and Preservation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Laneway Decor , , , , ,

This City is Haunted

It took me by surprise one morning, several months ago, looming four stories above the corner of Park and Bernard. An old advertisement, painted on the brick wall of an apartment building, had seemingly appeared overnight. The faint outline of words – a company name and an advertising slogan – were there, albeit barely legible. […]