EDMONTON- Several motorists were shocked as they made their way into Edmonton Tuesday, after a number of the City’s welcome signs were vandalized.
“I got to Gateway Park and the Welcome to Edmonton sign looked a little bit different,” said Leduc resident Alison Gyte. “Where it used to say ‘City of Champions’ now said ‘Suck it Calgary.'”
The ‘City of Champions’ slogan was covered up on six city signs Tuesday morning; ‘Suck it Calgary,’ ‘City of Speed Traps’ and ‘Road Construction City’ were among the new slogans.
“At first it made me laugh, because the rivalry between Edmonton and Calgary has, of course, been going on forever. But then I was kind of appalled,” Gyte said. “That’s not a great way to show the integrity of the city. So I was a little disappointed.”
The job was done rather professionally; each of the letters in the new slogans were individually cut, painted, glued and nailed onto the signs, which were constructed out of plywood. Whoever was responsible then glued and nailed the new signs over the originals.
“I think whoever did it is a putz. City of Champions actually is still something to be proud of,” said Ward 7 City Councillor Tony Caterina.
There’s been a lot of discussion around whether the slogan ‘City of Champions’ should be changed. However, Caterina and Gyte both say clearly this isn’t the way to go about it.
“If somebody wants to change it, go through the right channels and, you know, propose it,” Caterina said.
“I think maybe looking at a different motto/logo would be good,” Gyte admitted, “But ‘Suck it Calgary,’ probably not a good way to go.”
Not only were the signs noticed by motorists, the new slogans caused quite the stir on social media.
City crews were called out to clean up the signs. The City says all six of the damaged signs were back to normal by Tuesday evening.
“The replacement signs were affixed with a construction adhesive, so if they had waited even a day there would have been damage to the original signs. So our first priority was really, just remedying the situation,” said Holly Budd, a communications advisor with the City’s Community Services department.
The signs have now been turned over to police, who are investigating.
“They defaced City property and at some point, whether they find out who it is or isn’t, they’ll take appropriate action at that time,” Caterina added.
With files from Shane Jones, Global News.