Ghost Signs in a Ghost City : Toronto on a Long Weekend

john and richmond

There is no question that I thrive on the hustle and bustle of living in a big city.

I love the people watching and the overheard conversations on the street, (like this one I caught on King Street the other day ... A male and female, about 21 years old, in front of a food shop giving out menus. Him : 'It was amazing. All these girls wanted to give me hugs, saying that I smelled good.'. Her : 'You doooo smell good.' Me : I didn't say anything but I sort of wanted to sidestep and take a whiff. lol.)

So sure, I enjoy the business of Toronto when it's in full force, but I also love it when people clear out and I get it to myself. And there is no better time to own your very own big city than on the Monday of an extended weekend in the summertime.

This was the case last weekend, when we had a statutory holiday on Monday called Simcoe Day. It seemed that almost everyone had left the city, heading to a cottage on one of the lakes up north.

Although I understand the allure of getting out of town on a summer weekend, and actually used to do it regularly myself, but the traffic is usually horrendous because there is really only one main highway to take. So it's been years since we've realized that staying in the city can also be a really nice time.

This is when I particularly enjoy taking to the streets to get photographs, that I just wouldn't be able to get otherwise. I can stop on the sidewalk and take a moment to frame my shot, without blocking the people trying to walk by. I can get pictures showing long spans of street without a car in sight. And without the cars, it is an opportunity to actually step back, sometimes out into the road to get a better shot.

The whole feeling changes when you're alone.

milgrom coats and suits 2

old mail box

old mural on old house

downtown firestation

342 adelaide street west

shangri la toronto

buildings downtown toronto

downtown toronto

cn tower

hugh mclean publications

university avenue with no t

This is University Avenue, usually one of the most traffic filled streets in the city.

One thing I really like about writing a blog is all the new things I learn by researching what I'm working on. For example, until I went to prepare this post I had never heard the term 'Ghost Signs' before, but that is what those old faded signs on the sides of old buildings are known as. They aren't only in cities though, and are also found in rural areas on old barns. There's a good wikipedia page about them here if you're interesting in knowing more about them. Do you have any favourite Ghost Signs around your place?

Thank you for taking a look. I hope you had a good weekend and that Monday is treating you well so far.
xo loulou

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4 Responses to Ghost Signs in a Ghost City : Toronto on a Long Weekend

  1. Julie says:

    I totally know what you mean, the Canada Day long weekend we decided to stay in the city. And it was the best weekend I’ve had all summer. I’d love to own a cottage one day, but I hope that they build some sort of road that can bypass Barrie when heading north. I was up north this past long weekend, but when I returned, it felt like half the city was still on vacation- I was wondering where everyone was! starbucks line up was so much shorter.

  2. Vix says:

    It looks gorgeous, I love bustling cities but I bet they’re a whole lot more fun when you can get to explore and look at your surroundings properly without being shoved aside. Love the faded advert on the side of that building. xxx

  3. Sarah says:

    Love your photos, and I’d love to see a ghost signs series. Also: I want to know how that dude smelled!

  4. Kaisa says:

    Love empty cities, they feel different for sure! xx

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