In Edmonton, Alberta eight large, neon signs are now turned on last Friday, marking the official opening of the cities outdoor Neon Sign Museum along 104 Street.
The idea originated in 2008 by city planner David Holdsworth in the "hope that the museum will draw people to enjoy the art, beauty and heritage preserved in these neon designs.” Located near Edmonton’s new downtown arena district, the project was part of the city’s revitalization and beautification project of the street. “This is just splendid,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “This is bringing alive some of our history."
The City of Edmonton Heritage Planning has been collecting the historic neon signs at the City of Edmonton Archives over the past few years, salvaging them from both demolished buildings and or old businesses. The city has four more signs it will add to the collection over the next few months, each representing a piece of Edmonton’s history. Pieces from Mike’s News Stand, XL Furniture, WW Arcade, Cliff’s Auto Parts and Canadian Furniture are a few that make up the current collection. Each of the current signs has an accompanying plaque that tell the story of the sign and it's historic role in the development of the city.
The city says it plans to locate and restore more signs for the museum to foster activity and walking traffic in the surrounding area. There is currently has enough space for 30 signs showcased on the side of the Telus building, with more to be added to nearby buildings as the museum expands.