How the 'I Love Regina' sign was quietly removed from city hall

Documents and emails released to CBC News illustrate a city administration that wanted to rebrand, but didn't feel a need to inform the public.

Signs removal prompted by 'outdated branding,' impending conference

The City of Regina removed the 'I Love Regina' sign from city hall on May 26, 2022. (Alexander Quon/CBC News)

The quiet removal of an iconic sign from the front of Regina city hall was the result of a decision to shake up the city's identity.

According to internal city documents released to CBC in response to a freedom of information request, the disappearance of the "I Love Regina" sign was all about branding.

"The sign's coming out because it's outdated branding," Craig Lederhouse, the manager of strategic communications for the City of Regina, wrote in an email to Kim Onrait, the city's executive director of citizen services. 


The documents and emails illustrate a city administration that wanted to rebrand ahead of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual conference, but didn't feel a need to inform the public.

The sign's removal was completed on May 26. 

Managers were asked for direction on whether the city should do a social media post about the sign being removed. A member of the city's communication staff wrote that, if the city did a post, it should also say why.

"Residents will ask for the answer," the staff member said.

"Let's not do social media," Lederhouse responded.

In a statement issued to CBC, the City of Regina said notifying the public of the removal or update of branding at city facilities is not a standard part of the process.

Logo, branding have evolved

The I Love Regina sign was installed in front of Regina city hall in 2004 and the logo was meant to "shift residents' attitudes toward our community and improve our city's image," according to the city's website.

It's removal came just months ahead of the 20th anniversary of the logo, which was the brainchild of then-mayor Pat Fiacco, who based it on the successful "I Love New York" advertising campaign.

One of the documents released to CBC News shows the initial briefing document presented to city councillors in 2004 and a conceptual drawing of the proposed statue.

A mock-up of the I Love Regina sign as it was envisioned in 2004.
A mock-up of the 'I Love Regina' sign as it was envisioned in 2004, according to a memo released to CBC News as part of freedom of information request. (City of Regina)

The design of the logo and the branding of the City of Regina have continued to evolve.

The documents provided to CBC News show that discussions around the sign's removal were happening as early as March 30. 

Concrete plans didn't develop until mid-May, with a sudden burst of activity ahead of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference being held in Regina at the start of June.

The removal of the sign didn't take long, despite fear that it would be damaged or destroyed as a result. It was quickly moved into storage.

City workers replaced the sign with plants.

The public began noticing the sign's removal a few weeks later. Inquiries by media resulted in a muted response from the City of Regina.

Media outlets were not provided a reason for the decision. The city would only say that the logo had evolved since its inception in 2002. 

Long terms plans for the spot where the sign once stood are still being discussed, according to city administration.

The emails obtained by CBC make reference to a full display being in place in 2023, with soil and irrigation being installed this fall.

As for the sign itself, the city has confirmed that it remains in storage at the city parks yard on Toronto Street.


Alexander Quon is a reporter with CBC Saskatchewan based in Regina. After working in Atlantic Canada for four years he's happy to be back in his home province. He has previously worked with the CBC News investigative unit in Nova Scotia and Global News in Halifax. Alexander specializes in data-reporting, COVID-19 and municipal political coverage. He can be reached at: