Ghost Signs: Regina’s faded connection to the past: Photo Essay

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Regina’s downtown and warehouse district home to urban gallery of ghost sign artwork

All across Regina’s downtown and warehouse district are ghost signs – “dead” advertisements and business signs that have been hand-painted directly on to the brickwork of buildings. Walk a few blocks within the core of the Queen City and you’ll likely run across one or two. But if you really take your time to look for them you can find many in some unlikely places.

Earlier this year, Ominocity ran a story on the Ghost Signs of Saskatoon, the remnants of local ads that have been sequestered into alleyways and tacked onto crumbling brick walls. Located throughout the core of the city, particularly in the north downtown and Riversdale areas, Saskatoon has a decent collection of this dead artwork.

As it turns out, Regina has quite a few as well – something that has caught the interest of ghost hunters across the world.

Sam Roberts is the founder of Ghostsigns.co.uk, a website that contributes to the research and archival of the fading remains of hand-painted wall advertising. Living in London, England, Roberts, who was working in the advertising industry, spotted a ghost sign on the building wall. The sign was advertising pen repair – something that struck him as odd. “That sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore,” recalls Roberts. “It was really faded as well and I realized that it wouldn’t be there forever.

“Once you start to notice where they are and where they reside in the urban landscape you start to spot them everywhere and they become very apparent,” says Roberts.

And many of Regina’s ghost signs can be found in the Warehouse District, that area between Albert Street to Winnipeg Street, Fourth Avenue to the CPR tracks, where you’ll find Chicago-style architecture and edifices – perfect canvases for the commerce of a time left behind.

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