A mission to tell Toronto’s stories through vintage neon signs


From the Toronto Star: “Wow, where did all the fun stuff go?”

Mark Garner wondered this when he returned to Toronto in 2013 to become executive director and COO of the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Association.

As a kid from Scarborough, heading downtown to the bright lights of Yonge Street was a rite of passage. “You came down every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and you were surrounded by neon.”

Garner’s renewed appreciation for colourful irradiant signs may have started with a nostalgia for the A&A Records & Tapes and Sam the Record Man of his youth, but it soon turned into something more. “I did some research and realized we are one of the only provinces that doesn’t have a neon museum,” he says. Knowing there was an important story to the told, he started the Neon Museum Toronto and he’s been collecting Toronto’s old signs ever since.

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North Apollo vintage stainless steel Yak Diner hits the road for move to new home


North Apollo’s Yak Diner on the move to new location along River Road next to Lackey’s Dairy Queen. Courtesy of Toni Taylor/Dolly’s Diner

From Triblive.com: There’s more than meatloaf and homemade mashed potatoes keeping the old stainless steel Yak Diner in North Apollo going.

The manufactured 1955 O’Mahony diner is a movable prefab building, and it has to go.

The new diner owners will hook the Yak to a semitrailer Monday to move it just a third of a mile down River Road. Its new home is next to another mid-20th century icon: Lackey’s Dairy Queen.

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Rehoboth Beach Museum granted variance to hang Dolle’s sign


During a hearing Dec. 27, the Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment approved a variance request that paves the way for the historic Dolle’s sign to be placed on the side of the Rehoboth Beach Museum. The Dolle’s sign has been in storage since being removed from its Boardwalk perch Dec. 15. CHRIS FLOOD PHOTOS

From the Cape Gazette: In what might go down as the quickest vote in board history, the Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment unanimously approved a variance request from the Rehoboth Beach Museum that paves the way for the historic Dolle’s sign to be mounted on the side of the museum’s Rehoboth Avenue home.

During a hearing Dec. 27, the board voted 4-0 in favor of the museum’s request to exceed the allowable square footage for a sign and to allow a wall-mounted sign to extend beyond the limits of the wall. The hearing, which included the reading of the city building inspector’s report, testimony from museum Board President David Mann and museum Executive Director Nancy Alexander, some brief questions from the board, and the reading of one letter against the request, lasted 40 minutes from start to finish.

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Meet the man trying to keep the art of neon alive and well in Rockford


Neon artist Jason Gough shows off some of his work on Dec. 7, 2021, at Tawdry Toast Artcade, 1210 Buchanan St. in Rockford. SUSAN MORAN/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR

From the Rockford Register Star: ROCKFORD —  The art of neon signs might be a thing of the past if not for one of the last local artists still dedicated to the craftsmanship of bending glass.

Jason Gough is a Rockford native who has been mastering the art of making neon signs for over two decades. His work can be seen all over Rockford in the windows of retail businesses, local bars and tattoo shops.

As co-owner of Tawdry Toast Artcade, an art-inspired retail space at 1210 Buchanan St., Gough hopes to eventually hold a class to teach other artists how to incorporate neon lights into their work.

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