The Fate of Vancouver’s Iconic Signs


When a business dies, its signage becomes marketing fodder for another 

Iconic Vancouver signs face questionable futures after their namesakes are torn down or pass hands to new owners. Some go on to honour their rich history while others are used as tools to exploit the past. Regardless of their fate, signs are all part of the marketing artifice. The question is: how overtly so?

After reopening in 2011, Save On Meats has remained an ingrained, authentic piece of the Downtown Eastside. The Ridge Theatre on Vancouver’s Dunbar Street closed in early 2013 and its legacy will live on top of newly built glass-and-concrete condos.

The embattled Waldorf Hotel was awarded low-level heritage designation in May, but is still in danger of being torn down and redeveloped. Will the neon lights of the Waldorf emblazon the roof of another Vancouver condo project? Only time—and the developers—will tell. 

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