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Vanier Type: Capturing iconic signs in Ottawa’s storied east-end neighbourhood

By Apartment613 on November 3, 2020

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Introducing #VanierType: An Apartment613 series capturing iconic signs from the streets of Ottawa’s storied Vanier neighbourhood.

You can read the continuous change of a city through its street photography. #VanierType is a close-up of a neighbourhood going through the process of change. At the same time, #VanierType is also a recording for future generations, a rendering of the current atmosphere and aesthetics of Vanier.

All of these signs were created either to attract attention or to spread a message. Some are new, while others are faded and older than “Vanier” itself—the community was known as Eastview from 1908 until 1969.

 

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Introducing #VanierType 📸 An @apt613 series capturing iconic signs from the streets of #Ottawa’s Vanier neighbourhood⠀ ⠀ In the coming weeks we’ll share this entire set and collect YOUR stories for a 📕 we’re working on! Join us in discovering #Vanier through the eyes of local photographers: @calebficner, @mercedesmventura, and @brendan.burden, all of whom live and work in the neighbourhood.⠀ ⠀ 3️⃣ ways to keep up:⠀ ⠀ 1. Follow @apt613 on IG⠀ 2. Surf the #VanierType hashtag⠀ 3. Subscribe for the newsletter (🔗 in bio)⠀ ⠀ —⠀ ⠀ You can read the continuous change of a city through its street typography. #VanierType is a close-up of a neighbourhood going through the process of change. At the same time, #VanierType is also a recording for future generations, a rendering of the atmosphere and aesthetics in Vanier.⠀ ⠀ For @brendan.burden, @calebficner, and @mercedesmventura, each walk around the neighbourhood produces a different story. Commercial signs and type can be seen everywhere, and yet #Vanier businesses remain invisible to the indifferent Ottawan and the unsuspecting tourist. They have been there for decades and have become an integral part of the familiar and transient street scene.⠀ ⠀ All of these signs were once set, either to attract attention or to spread a message. Some are new, others are faded and older than #Vanier itself—the community was known as Eastview from 1908 until 1969.

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In the coming weeks, we’ll share the entire set of sign photos and collect your stories for a book we’re working on. Join us in discovering Vanier through the eyes of local photographers Caleb Ficner, Mercedes Ventura, and Brendan Burden, all of whom live and work in the neighbourhood.

For these artists, each walk around the neighbourhood produces a different story. Commercial signs and type can be seen everywhere, and yet Vanier businesses remain invisible to the indifferent Ottawan or the unsuspecting tourist. Certain signs—like the Motel Concorde, Louis’ Restaurant, and McArthur Lanes—have been there for decades, becoming an integral part of the familiar and transient street scene. Many other have sadly disappeared as the neighbourhood has grown and changed.

Follow @apt613 on Instagram to see all the photos as they are posted. In the comments, we’d love it if you would share your experiences, memories, and thoughts about the signage and the places that are represented (as well as the ones now gone and nearly forgotten). Did you have your first date at McArthur Lanes? Tried Ethiopian food for the first time at Habesha? Grew up next to the Laverie St-Charles? Whatever the story, we want to hear it.

You can also subscribe to receive the project newsletter once it begins publication: Click here to subscribe for project updates.

We can’t wait to share these photos with you and hear your stories about Vanier, a neighbourhood with a rich history that deserves to be collectively remembered.

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