September 25, 2018

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Mayor urges creator of short-lived Garbage Hill sign to try again

The creator of the Garbage Hill sign has an ally at city hall.

Mayor Brian Bowman told reporters Tuesday he believes whoever made and planted the sign atop the Westview Park hill should be complimented.

“I think it was fun,” Bowman said, admitting he didn’t know it had gone up — and quickly been removed by city crews — until Monday night.

Bowman said city staff were only doing their job in taking down the sign but added he would support the original maker, or anyone willing to act as sponsor, to try it again — if they follow the rules.

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The creator of the Garbage Hill sign has an ally at city hall.

Mayor Brian Bowman told reporters Tuesday he believes whoever made and planted the sign atop the Westview Park hill should be complimented.

The Garage Hill sign faced east towards the train tracks and the Clifton Community Centre. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)</p></p></p>

The Garage Hill sign faced east towards the train tracks and the Clifton Community Centre. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

"I think it was fun," Bowman said, admitting he didn’t know it had gone up — and quickly been removed by city crews — until Monday night.

Bowman said city staff were only doing their job in taking down the sign but added he would support the original maker, or anyone willing to act as sponsor, to try it again — if they follow the rules.

"If they want to work through the processes, I’ll certainly do what I can to help get the sign back up," he said.

The sign reminded many people of the famous Hollywood sign, but was only a fraction of its height.

It was made out of wood with a Styrofoam core, and moored in post holes dug into the east-facing side of Westview Park above the roadway. The bright white sign against the dull green hill was visible from blocks away.

The park — bordered by Saskatchewan Avenue, Empress Street, Wellington Avenue and the railway lines along its eastern edge — is a year-round, multi-use area popular for tobogganing, cycling, running and walking. Dog owners also use it as an off-leash park.

The hill, said to be the highest point in Winnipeg, has come to be known as Garbage Hill, reflecting its history.

A Hollywood-esque sign on Garbage Hill was taken down by the city Monday hours after it appeared. (Mikaela Mackenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

A Hollywood-esque sign on Garbage Hill was taken down by the city Monday hours after it appeared. (Mikaela Mackenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Before becoming a city park, the area was operated as Westview Hill landfill from 1875 to 1948, and contained primarily ash and glass from the old garbage incinerator on Henry Avenue.

It’s not certain when the sign first went up, but it had been removed by mid-afternoon Monday. A civic spokeswoman said the sign was taken down because it hadn’t been installed with the city’s approval.

Support for the sign was all over social media and was featured on the evening national news.

"I’d love to hear from the person or the people who put it up," Bowman said.

— With files from Carol Sanders

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

</p><p>The sign was made out of wood with a Styrofoam core, and moored in post holes dug into the east-facing side of Westview Park above the roadway leading to the top of the hill. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

The sign was made out of wood with a Styrofoam core, and moored in post holes dug into the east-facing side of Westview Park above the roadway leading to the top of the hill. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Aldo Santin

Aldo Santin
Reporter

Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.

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History

Updated on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 6:20 AM CDT: Final

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