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Placemaking art

Back in 2017, when Superkul (architects) first started coming up with concept designs for Junction House, we all decided that it would be nice if we could do something to mark the important view terminus that exists with our site.

We explored a few different ideas and then ultimately landed on a rooftop neon (or neon-like) sign that would read “Junction House.” The idea was to pay homage to the old signage that used to be present in the Junction and to some of the iconic rooftop signs that still exist around the world.

Of course, the goal was never advertising. There is no economic imperative for us here. We just wanted to do something fun that at the same time could mark the entrance to the Junction neighborhood.

After proposing this idea, we quickly learned that these are next to impossible to get approved. But to their credit, the City of Toronto fully got it. We heard things such as, “look, we can’t call this art, but we like the idea and we like what you’re trying to do.” Thank you for that.

The compromise we ultimately struck was to remove the “House” part, leaving just “Junction.” This way it no longer referenced our project and instead referenced a place. By doing this, it became “placemaking.” And that is what is now baked in our site plan approval.

Fast forward to 2022, and we are now getting ready to test our first 1:1 mockup of the sign. I can’t wait to see how this looks on site.

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