Manitoba

'Long live Garbage Hill': Support brews to bring back Hollywood-esque Garbage Hill sign

A Hollywood-esque "Garbage Hill" sign that was briefly at Westview Park is now getting a wave of support on social media, with even Mayor Brian Bowman tweeting about it Tuesday.

Mayor Brian Bowman tweets his support for installation

People spotted this sign on Garbage Hill on Sunday, but by Monday afternoon it was gone. Now some Winnipeggers are clamouring to get it back. (Submitted by Ivy Infortuno)

Though it came down as quickly as it went up, there seems to be a movement growing to bring back the Hollywood-esque sign that was erected on Garbage Hill.

For a short while, a "Garbage Hill" sign was up at Westview Park in the Polo Park area, with big white letters like the famous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. It's believed someone put the sign up sometime Sunday.

But on Monday, city workers took it off the hill in the park that's better known as Garbage Hill because it was a dump from 1875 until it closed in 1948.

The sign is now getting a wave of support on social media, with even Mayor Brian Bowman tweeting about it Tuesday.

"I just thought it was fun," Bowman told reporters, adding that he encourages whoever was responsible for the sign to come forward. 

"Look, I'm not sure who put it up. But if they want to reach out to the city, I'd encourage them to do so, and if they want to work through the processes, then I'll certainly do what I can to help."

Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk said she found it interesting the city wasted no time removing the sign while citizen requests for city services can take weeks to carry out.

Don Woodstock, another mayoral candidate, called on the city to return the sign.

"This sign could put us on the map," he said in an emailed statement, adding it represents "an organic, artistic initiative which should be recognized."

On Monday, a city spokesperson said the sign went up without the city's approval, so it was removed by parks staff.

Bowman said he suspects city staff were just doing their jobs. He said he only learned about the sign Monday night, after it had already been taken down. 

Many people posted photos of themselves in front of the sign while it was still up. 

And when it came down, they took to social media to express their dismay and ask for it to come back. 

Visitors voice support for sign

"I thought it was great," said Linda Cermak, who was at Garbage Hill walking her dog on Tuesday.

"It looked good and it was a great idea — everybody calls it Garbage Hill anyway. I was sad to see the city take it down," she said.

"There was probably some sarcasm to it, and maybe just a little bit of irony," said Terry Thiessen, who jogs up and down the hill regularly. He said the sign offered something fun for those who visit the park or use it for exercise.

"The irony of this hill is that nobody is garbage — people come here to get better, a better lifestyle."

Winnipeg artist Cliff Eyland said he loved the sign, and the local art world is now buzzing over who could have made it.

"It's a wonderful gesture of public generosity to do a work like that. It's also an acknowledgment that everybody in town calls that hill Garbage Hill," he said.

It was shocking that city officials rushed to take it down, he said.

"I'm astonished that the city can react so quickly to a prank like this and let so many other things slide," he said.

It's probably only a matter of time before the artist responsible for the sign comes forward, Eyland said.

With files from Meaghan Ketcheson and Bartley Kives

Though it came down as quickly as it went up, there seems to be a movement growing to bring back the Hollywood-esque sign that was erected on Garbage Hill. 2:38

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