Despite COVID-19, I am still going to work and going to the gym. (Zoom and Peleton are up 23% and 6%, respectively, from February 21 to March 5, presumably because there’s a belief we’re all going to start doing less of these two things.)
On my walk home from the gym today I noticed that some new wayfinding had just been installed at the corner of Church and Wellington. I’m not sure how long it has been up, but I am fairly certain it is new. Here is a photo.
The wayfinding is part of the City of Toronto’s TO360 project, which was launched in 2011 and includes everything from transit shelter maps to finger posts like the one you see here. (Don’t worry, I am confident that detailed shadow studies were conducted before this thing was erected.)
The “Astral” street furniture that we still have kicking around this city can’t be removed fast enough and so wayfinding like this is a significant improvement. I like the designs.
But I also think the project is important from a placemaking standpoint. Signage like this helps to brand the city and the places with in it. It also signals a certain degree of internationalism, because wayfinding is most useful for visitors.
So I am happy to see more of these going up.
I agree that signage brands a city in a way that signals how well a city is doing (especially if the signage is updated during a particular up-turn in the economy). Here in Detroit, indications aren’t so much signage yet. I noticed the biggest change to be light pole decorations during the winter, resembling the sphere and rays that the Spirit of Detroit holds in one hand. During the cold night preceding the Auto Show a couple years back, the decorations definitely signaled to both natives and visitors that a new dawn over Detroit was rising. I’m looking forward to seeing much more as the City gets back on its feet.