A new friendly feud between neighbouring shops is catching on in several communities across Ontario and it has now landed in the local area.
The Roxy Theatre in Uxbridge has used their marquee sign to provide inspirational and movie quotes since the pandemic began, but last week it started a sign war, taking aim at Canadian Tire.
“Hey Canadian Tire, You want to have a sign war?” their sign read.
“I think it just breaks from the norm, breaks from our bleak environment around us and gives us something else to engage in that’s fun,” said theatre owner Cathy Christoff.
Christoff has owned The Roxy for 25 years. To say the last year’s been a struggle is an understatement, as the theatre’s been closed for months.
“We have been just barely keeping the heat on with our popcorn-to-go sales every Friday,” said Christoff.
Uxbridge Sign Wars has spread quickly throughout the community.
Just down the road at The Second Wedge Brewing Company, co-owner Joanne Richter is getting into the sign game, having a war of words with a local pool company.
“Hey Main Street Pools: We don’t mean to rip your liner, but did you fire your sign designer? You’re good at dropping name! We tried and came up lame. We even went to Lindsay but we couldn’t find any answers. (But we’re not shallow like that.),” their sign read.
“Even though we’re giving each other some pretty good digs, it’s all very friendly,” Richter said.
Despite hanging on and making ends meet, Richter says the exchange is something the business community needed right now.
“It’s been a very stressful time, it’s been hard … a lot of people are losing their sense of humour right now, but just a little something like this brings everyone together makes people kind of remember that there are human beings behind all these little businesses that are kind of struggling a bit,” she said.
In just a week, most of the businesses in downtown Uxbridge have put up signs. In fact, more than 50 have joined the friendly competition so far throughout the community.
The mayor, Dave Barton, is overjoyed, saying he loves seeing businesses supporting each other while making some creative jabs along the way.
“It’s dental offices going after candy shops, and vice versa, everyone talking about popcorn. This is encouraging us all to visit those people we haven’t visited before, to shop local and support those small-town businesses,” said Barton.
Back at The Roxy, shots were fired once again Friday, this time at Kieth’s Flower Shop.
“The scent of Keith’s flowers vs the smell of popcorn? #Popcornwins,” their sign read.
All are hoping to keep this sign war going until things can reopen again.