Toronto City Hall

The importance of place and identity must be on my mind a whole lot, because I kept getting drawn to news about cities, design, and memorial.

Paul Hiebert pretends to ask what the point of city logos is in general, but actually asks whether the City of Toronto logo (“a signal of dignified, centralized leadership”) ought to be updated considering the dubious leadership and bad behaviour of mayor Rob Ford. Yes, the City of Toronto logo is bad, but that’s because it highlights mediocre architecture and bureaucracy rather than the vibrant people and neighbourhoods that actually contribute to the city’s identity. Rob Ford has little to do with why the logo sucks.

At least Toronto is not alone in having a dreadful logo. Here are eleven more Canadian municipalities that could use an update.

In related news, the City of Mississauga has unveiled a new visual identity, meant to highlight its youth (40 years young!), diversity and growth. I’m a little bored by the corporate blue (which is just one possible colour way), but the architectural and geometric properties of the icon are a refreshing change from its existing logo — yet another example of a municipal logo celebrating its city hall. If you’re interested in reading more about this rebranding strategy, the complete brand report is available to peruse online(PDF).

Finally, a bit of architecture/art fun: Famous artworks transformed into buildings by Federico Babina. I wouldn’t mind living inside a Malevich-inspired building.

P.S.: For those of you who may not have heard the news yet, I’m moving back to Toronto in a couple of weeks. While I will surely miss the great city of Montreal, I can’t wait to be home.


Toronto City Hall, 1984 by josullivan.59. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Marissa Neave

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