Retro heroes adorn Toronto Neighbourhood Watch signs
Bill Cosby, Batman and Robin, Axel Foley and other characters pasted on street signs
A cast of superheroes, 1980s action stars and miscellaneous characters such as Bill Cosby's Cliff Huxtable are watching over neighbourhoods in Toronto.
Photos of the characters have been glued to as many as 70 Neighbourhood Watch signs around the downtown core. Buffy The Vampire Slayer, RoboCop, Frank Drebin from Police Squad!, Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks and Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop are among the photos on the signs.
Andrew Lamb is responsible for 'hacking' the Neighbourhood Watch signs.
"I walked by and thought those signs would be much better with a superhero up there," he said. "The first one was a splash page — a common thing in comic books, a bunch of superheros popping out at you. Then came Batman and Robin, RoboCop, Beverly Hills Cop, and then it snowballed."
Each sign is unique to a neighbourhood, from Dupont Street south to Lake Ontario. Lamb prints out each image on a laser printer and then glues it to the sign. He glues the photos to the signs in the light of day, often getting feedback from neighbours as he applies them.
Lamb said only two people have complained about the vandalism. In fact, Lamb claimed people in the neighbourhoods are sending him locations of signs, requesting a superhero or sitcom star be posted.
But Lamb realizes not everyone admires his work. He is vandalizing city property in violation of the law so as a precaution, he uses a pseudonym. Andrew Lamb is not his real name.
"What I'm doing is technically illegal, but I don't feel it's ethically or morally wrong," he argued. "So there might be a fine some day but I kind of feel like that's money well spent. I'm not that worried about it."
Still, he hopes no one views the photos as vandalism, but a "public fountain of youth."
"I hope it's just spontaneous nostalgia and happiness," he said. "The kind of vandalism you can bring home to mom."