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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Iconic neon signs from Vancouver’s past find new home

Vancouver was once considered the neon capital of the north with an estimated 19,000 signs lighting up the night on streets like Hastings and Granville.

Now, some of the city’s most iconic neon signs will be making a return to downtown Vancouver through a partnership between QuadReal and the Museum of Vancouver.

The signs, including the iconic ‘R’ from the Ridge bowling alley on Arbutus Street, were unveiled at the Lumière festival in Vancouver last weekend.

Neon signs Vancouver The Post Ridge sign
Three iconic neon signs from around Vancouver will soon find a home at The Post — QuadReal’s redevelopment of the former Canada Post office in downtown Vancouver. Credit: QuadReal

QuadReal will be installing the three neon signs at the The Post once it’s complete — one of the most ambitious heritage redevelopment projects in Canadian history.

“Vancouver has long been a centre for neon and as stewards of the city’s extensive neon collection, we are enthused about displaying these signs in public spaces to foster more meaningful engagement with the artifacts,” said Mauro Vescera, CEO at the Museum of Vancouver.

The Post Loblaws CityMarket banner sign
Banner sign for Loblaws CityMarket at The Post in downtown Vancouver. Credit: QuadReal

The former post office at West Georgia and Hamilton will soon be known as The Post, home to 1.13 million square feet of office space — including Amazon — and 185,000 square feet of retail space, including a Loblaws CityMarket grocer, gym, fine dining and food hall.

“The Post will be a community hub—a place for neighbours and friends to shop or gather over coffee or dinner. The neon installation from the Museum of Vancouver’s collection provides one more reason for locals and visitors to make The Post a destination,” said Chrystal Burns, senior vice president, retail, western Canada at QuadReal.

The Post Loblaws CityMarket steps
Terraced landscaping and steps on the West Georgia frontage will offer a multitude of opportunities for gathering and relaxing. Credit: QuadReal

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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