Neighbourhood Watch signs are a recognizable staple of any good and safe neighbourhood as they notify the everyday passerby that their "community is protected." You can see them on lamp posts and poles located on street corners throughout the city, and they look like this:

Photo cred. - Tyler Anderson

Pretty simple, right? but, have you ever wondered who's really doing all this "neighbourhood watching" and "community protecting"? These signs are shrouded in ambiguity as they portray cryptic and rather odd pictures of houses that contain sideways teardrop-looking things. Maybe they're supposed to represent a spotlight, or maybe the government simply has more important things to do than focus on the aesthetics of the Neighbourhood Watch sign?

However, while the city has been preparing for Toronto's 2015 Pan Am, by rolling out sports-themed condoms among other things, local artist Andrew Lamb has cleverly taken the initiative to spice up Toronto's boring and bland Neighbourhood Watch signs. Lamb's art installation, which he titles "The Neighbourhood Watch Project" began in 2012 and finally answers the life-long question of who exactly the Neighbourhood Watch is.

Throughout the past three years Lamb has completed over seventy-five different pieces featuring the likes of Super Mario, Sailor Moon, The Hardy Brothers, and Spider-Man. Unfortunately, because of the nature of street art, only some of his nostalgia-inducing works are still available to see in places like Kensington Market and Bloorcourt. All the while, his works have been immortalized on his Instagram and personal website. Here are a few of his best:

Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - DCMISM


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - DCMISM


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Photo cred. - Andrew Lamb


Lamb describes the series The Neighbourhood Watch on his website as:

a series of over 75 altered municipal signs scattered across downtown Toronto. By re-facing the now faded original graphics with images of fictional super heroes, crime fighters and do-gooders from the artist’s childhood, the project seeks to repurpose the neglected infrastructure as a public fountain of youth, immersing the viewer in nostalgic memories while retaining it’s officiality as a piece of city property.

All we can say here at Narcity Toronto is that Andrew Lamb is killing it and we hope he doesn't stop anytime soon!

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