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September 13, 2004
Toronto Archives reveals "Signs of Urban Life" in new exhibit
The City of Toronto Archives invites the public to a new exhibition starting
September 20 with the opening of "Signs of Urban Life."

The exhibit consists of more than 300 photographs, posters and other records
documenting the history of visual communication on Toronto's streets and in
other public spaces from the 19th to the 21st century.

Taking both a historical and subject-specific look at the topic, the show
includes displays specific to various eras, as well as sections on postering,
graffiti, street furniture, Dundas Square, chain stores and electric/neon

"If there's one thing that quickly becomes clear, it's that modern concerns
about the proliferation of outdoor advertising are a continuation of a
century-old debate," said exhibit curator and staff archivist Patrick Cummins.
"It was common in the 19th century to find multiple rows of the same poster,
with repetition serving to amplify the message."

The growth of the city to include suburbs and a reliance on cars is reflected
in the evolution of outdoor communication, as signs became larger, brighter and
flashier. Changing values regarding religion, politics, and language are also
reflected in the exhibit.

The City of Toronto Archives is at 255 Spadina Rd., just south of Casa Loma and
a short walk north from the Dupont subway station.

The free exhibit is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information on the exhibit and City of Toronto Archives services such
as the research hall, call 416-397-0778 or visit

Media contacts:
Karen Teeple, Manager, City of Toronto Archives, 416-397-7393
Patrick Cummins, City of Toronto Archives, 416-397-0738



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