News   Jul 12, 2024
 1.6K     0 
News   Jul 12, 2024
 1.2K     1 
News   Jul 12, 2024
 452     0 

Renewal of the TORONTO sign

I've been around for many decades, lived in both the northeast and northwest part of the province, and was fairly directly involved in First Nations communities for a few years. I have never seen or heard of the medicine wheel symbol until I saw the article about the T.O. sign in the paper. I would hazard a guess that without an explanatory plaque, most residents and visitors would be similarly ignorant of its meaning, even if it was historically accurate to Ontario or eastern Canada. The are many examples of ancient circular structures, but it seems that, in North American aboriginal history, the medicine wheel was prevalent with the Plains Indians - I stand to be corrected. So is this an issue of cultural appropriation by other First Nations?
 
What is the purpose of the sign?

Why stop at this symbol? Surely we could find any number of other symbols that are also worthy of acknowledgement and attention that could be placed around it as well?
 
The are many examples of ancient circular structures, but it seems that, in North American aboriginal history, the medicine wheel was prevalent with the Plains Indians - I stand to be corrected. So is this an issue of cultural appropriation by other First Nations?
More like virtue signaling, IMO.
 
...and we move to the dog whistling.
I'm not advocating one way or the other, but suggesting that, without an explanation/plaque, etc., the majority of residents and visitors will think no further than an interesting (or not) design.
Part of the beauty of symbolism, particularly ones that aren't always apparent, is that is serves a point to educate and enlighten oneself of the matter. Kinda like wanting to find out why Toronto is called Toronto, as opposed to New York. As it should be noted that our city's name isn't exactly derived from the Queen's English. Hence, if anything, this is reasonably why that symbol should stay.

Beside, the ones that should be objecting to it are the original occupants of these lands. And if they don't have issues with it, then the objections then become more or less subjective at this juncture.
 
"The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be a temporary installation for the 1889 World Fair. When the Eiffel Tower was built, many eminent intellectuals of the day (including famous French author Guy de Maupassant) protested vehemently against it, calling it ‘a gigantic black smokestack’ that would ruin the beauty of Paris." From link.
 
A 3D maple leaf was added to the Toronto sign adjacent to the final "O" in December 2016 to mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.[6] The sign was modified again in 2018 to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day. The change added a 3D medicine wheel adjacent to the first "T" and new vinyl wraps for each letter consisting of a birch bark pattern with various First Nations symbols on them.[7] The wraps were removed, while the medicine wheel remains.

I guess for 2020 we should add a BLM fist symbol, maybe in another 2 years we can add the pink triangle in acknowledgement of LGBT+ community, a couple years after that we can add the cancer awareness ribbon and so on and so forth. When we run out of room, just get rid of the TORONTO letters and put more symbols there.

This is why we can't have nice things, even if it is something as banal as a tourist photo op.
 
"The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be a temporary installation for the 1889 World Fair. When the Eiffel Tower was built, many eminent intellectuals of the day (including famous French author Guy de Maupassant) protested vehemently against it, calling it ‘a gigantic black smokestack’ that would ruin the beauty of Paris." From link.
Very interesting.

The Eiffel Tower went from being a complete eyesore to most Parisians to a structure most people cannot imagine France without.
 
...and we move to the dog whistling.

Part of the beauty of symbolism, particularly ones that aren't always apparent, is that is serves a point to educate and enlighten oneself of the matter. Kinda like wanting to find out why Toronto is called Toronto, as opposed to New York. As it should be noted that our city's name isn't exactly derived from the Queen's English. Hence, if anything, this is reasonably why that symbol should stay.

Beside, the ones that should be objecting to it are the original occupants of these lands. And if they don't have issues with it, then the objections then become more or less subjective at this juncture.

And if some people are moved to that level of curiosity, with or without the sign and/or the symbol, good for them, but I suggest the vast majority will not.
 
...as most likely are not aware the origins of the name of this city either. So in the end, it really doesn't matter. As it's not really a justifiable argument to have the symbol removed from the sign.
Will the new sign just look exactly the same as the old one? Or any other upgrades planned for it?
I believe the last entry in the respective thread may have some insight to that:

 
I guess for 2020 we should add a BLM fist symbol, maybe in another 2 years we can add the pink triangle in acknowledgement of LGBT+ community, a couple years after that we can add the cancer awareness ribbon and so on and so forth.
Those are false equivalencies. Canada exists in large part because the indigenous people fought alongside the British against the French and Americans, they weren't defeated by the British in battle or otherwise conquered, and instead entered into treaties in good faith with the Euro Canadians. We're on their traditional territory, and their descendants are still here, so I see no harm in showing some respect with some inclusion on the Toronto sign. If the medicine wheel is what indigenous people of southern Ontario approve of, then it doesn't matter if it originated from elsewhere.
 
Last edited:
Those are false equivalencies. Canada exists in large part because the indigenous people fought alongside the British against the French and Americans, they weren't defeated by the British in battle or otherwise conquered, and instead entered into treaties in good faith with the Euro Canadians. We're on their traditional territory, and their descendants are still here, so I see no harm in showing some respect with some inclusion on the Toronto sign. If the medicine wheel is what indigenous people of southern Ontario approve of, then it doesn't matter if it originated from elsewhere.
Our history didn't end in 1812. Why not also acknowledge others that has a role in making the city?

Should we also have symbols from our other founding peoples, English, Scottish, etc? We can start loading it down with even more baggage. I think it would be more effective to have a plaque explaining where the name comes from than to have a symbol that has no meaning for visitors. When we get foreign tourists again, I would encourage you to ask a sample of them in NPS what they make of it.

It is what it is. It is, however, a degree of virtue signaling.
 

Back
Top