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Superheroes Safeguard the City

on Oct 07, 2014

What do the Care Bears, Chief Wiggum and Sarah Connor have in common? They’ve all taken on part-time jobs as Neighbourhood Watch protectors in Toronto.

Well, sort of.

Toronto-based artist Andrew Lamb has replaced over 70 Neighbourhood Watch signs across Toronto subdivisions with images of 80’s and 90’s action heroes and cartoon icons.

The Neighbourhood Watch program, something that CPAT has been administering since the 80’s, has had its trademark red logo adorning GTA signs for the past three decades with little upkeep, causing only the black lettering and a blank white canvas to remain.

So, naturally, somebody started tagging them with pictures of retro action stars.

Lamb started the art project in the summer of 2012, and as of July of 2014 had over 61 unique signs across the city, with only a few of his favorite crime fighters having been chosen to be duplicates.

So what are these signs actually doing to protect the Neighbourhoods? Well, not much – but they are gaining a ton of attention to the otherwise forgotten about CPAT program. Some of the images even gained so much attention that they made it to the front page of Reddit within just a few hours of being posted.

But what about the legality of it? After all, he is still defacing city property.

"What I'm doing is technically illegal, but I don't feel it's ethically or morally wrong," he said in an interview with CBC News. "So there might be a fine someday, but I kind of feel like that's money well spent. I'm not that worried about it."

Despite Lamb’s seemingly brave stance on the matter, he has chosen to take a few safety precautions—Andrew Lamb isn’t even his real name, but rather an alias he chose shortly after launching the project.

Whether or not he’s as brave as the stars in his signs, Lamb’s work is still a hit with the city. Check out some of his work spotted across Toronto:


Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

\Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram

Image VIA Andrew Lamb’s Instagram