Signs of old University District to be auctioned off

Funds raised from decommissioned street signs will go to local charity

Decommissioned street signs from before the University District rebranding are being sold at auction.
Decommissioned street signs from before the University District rebranding are being sold at auction.

On Sept. 11, Mayor Mark Gerretsen announced that the City will auction off 95 decommissioned street signs from the area surrounding Queen’s campus.

The signs were replaced with newer ones earlier this year as part of the City’s “University District” rebranding. At City Council on Feb. 4, the near-campus neighborhood, informally known as the student ghetto, was renamed the University District. The rebranding saw street signs within the boundaries of King, Collingwood, Johnson and Barrie Streets replaced with new signs featuring “University District” written at the top.

The project cost approximately $10,000, with the cost split between the City and the AMS.

Gerretsen said street signs seem to be popular among Queen’s students, as many of the old signs would disappear during the school year. Because of this, he decided to auction them off rather than recycle them.

“Because of the AMS’s work last year to rebrand the district, which I was very supportive of, we had all these extra signs,” he said.

“We figured, why not try to auction them off and see if we can raise money for charity in the process?”

Amongst the options are signs for Aberdeen, University, Alfred, Earl and Johnson Streets. The auction is currently open, and will close on Sept. 25.

When the Journal went to press, the Bagot St. sign had the highest current bid of $150 — a pleasant surprise for Gerretsen.

“There was never really a target. It’s already more than I expected and I think it’s great that people are getting involved,” he said.

While the signs may have extra appeal for students and alumni, Gerretsen said they aren’t solely marketing towards this group.

“I think that students and alumni might want a memento of the street that they live or lived on, but that’s not to say that it’s limited to just students. It’s for anybody who’s interested in bidding,” he said.

Money raised from the auction will go to PROkids, a city-run charity that supports sports, culture and arts for underprivileged youth in Kingston. It includes financial assistance for program registration fees, assisting with the costs for sports equipment and providing transportation.

Rachael Mostowy has decided to bid on a sign as a remembrance of her time at Queen’s.

“It’s something to remind us of our time at Queen’s even after we’ve left. When you see them you know that there is a story behind them, and I think that’s what gives them their appeal,” Mostowy, ArtSci ’15, told the Journal via email.

“Hundreds of students have walked these streets, so it’s a reminder of a legacy that each of us is part of — a connection. A street sign’s function is to give direction, so for me it would represent where I have been and where I am going, and the role the university has played in it,” she added.

To bid on a street sign, go to the link…



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