Guerilla Urban Repair Squad hits Toronto


Published:

L-R: Urban Repair Squad’s Kensington speed limit sign, Kyle MacLachlan of Twin Peaks watching over the neighbourhood, and an animal rights centric stop

A group of anonymous activists known as the Urban Repair Squad (URS) is using guerrilla-style techniques to reclaim Toronto’s streets for cyclists.

Previous work has included impromptu bike lanes, sharrows and comic book–style pothole markings (“Oof! Thunk!”) across the city.

On Sept. 13, the 40 km/h speed signs in the city’s Kensington Market neighbourhood were replaced with 10 km/h signs to reflect the speed limit that the URS believes should be implemented in the pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood. 

In a tongue-in-cheek press release that the bike activists addressed to “citizens of Toronto suffering PTSD from the war on cars,” they state they had changed the signs to protect “unassuming vehicles” that enter the neighbourhood and “are accosted by droves of rebel jaywalkers, willy nilly delivery trucks and stoned revellers eating multi-culti street food.”

URS is not the first to customize Toronto’s many road signs: residents of Toronto’s west end neighbourhoods have become accustomed to their Neighbourhood Watch signs being punched up with humorous pop culture references. 

On Rideau Avenue at Lansdowne, the Neighbourhood Watch sign’s original prosaic icon has been replaced with Twin Peaks protagonist FBI agent Dale Cooper (played by a baby-faced Kyle MacLachlan), while a Wallace Avenue sign boasts the cast of David Simon’s The Wire. Elsewhere in the city, passersby can rest assured that Spider-Man, Chief Wiggum, the cast of Sailor Moon, the original Batman and Robin, even Serpico are protecting their streets. 

And, with a meta twist, a Carlton Street Neighbourhood Watch sign features The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air favourite Carlton. 

Many of the city’s stop signs have also had a makeover. In Kensington Market, someone has customized the sign at Nassau Street and Augusta Avenue to read: “Stop Rob Ford!” in memory of the infamous late mayor and, in Brockton Triangle, a stop sign bears an equally political message: “Stop Eating Animals.”

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Work Out with Monika: Getting all fired up to race dragon boats on the lake

Work Out with Monika: Getting all fired up to race dragon boats on the lake

A dragon boat consists of 20 paddlers sitting two abreast in a boat with a cox who steers at the rear and a drummer who sets the pace at the front. It is a popular team sport and Sunnyside Paddling Club is the largest dragon boat club in North America, with over 125 teams and 2,500 paddlers.
Posted 13 hours ago
Stintz on Midtown: The case for turning the bus bays at Yonge and Eglinton into a green space

Stintz on Midtown: The case for turning the bus bays at Yonge and Eglinton into a green space

In North Toronto, the availability of park space is woefully scarce. The ravine systems are beautiful but not maintained, Eglinton Park is busy day and night, and there is no other park that is similar in size and available to the community.
Posted 14 hours ago
Parent Hacks: The top four questions to answer before sending your children off for the summer

Parent Hacks: The top four questions to answer before sending your children off for the summer

As a mom of four and a veteran of sending kids to overnight camp, I often get asked the following questions from parents who are thinking about a week, two weeks, even a month of camp for their kids.
Posted 18 hours ago
Turns out comics can be funny and sober, who knew?

Turns out comics can be funny and sober, who knew?

Of course; I had snorted six long lines of cocaine just before I stepped onstage.
Posted 18 hours ago
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module