Here’s a good game: Who would be better at a Neighborhood Watch? Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Mr. Rodgers? The Incredible Hulk or Yoda? Captain Kirk or Mighty Mouse?
Maybe artist Andrew Lamb couldn’t decide, so he’s hired all of the above, and many, many more, for Neighbourhood Watches all over Toronto.
Neighbourhood Watch signs in Canada are usually a regular, mundane sight. But when Lamb saw many of them fading, falling into disrepair or being defaced, pasting over their red and white house/eyeball graphic with pop culture protectors of the 1980s and 90s seemed logical.
Some characters are more obvious fits: Power Rangers, Leon the Professional, Mulder and Scully. But others neighbourhoods are being valiantly protected by the mom and dad from Little House on the Prairie, Care Bears, and the cast of Kindergarten Cop.
Lamb’s art installation is scattered around the downtown core, concentrated in the west end, and it’s always a little gift to discover one of his observant signs. You can see them at Queen West, Kensington Market and College Street, to name a few neighborhoods, but with around 100 signs out in the wilds of Toronto, that’s only the beginning of the treasure hunt.