One Great Country presented by Nigel Smith
A National Road Trip for Canada
Canada is a vast country.
Often we overlook the size of this country and our connections – from city to city, town to town and between remote communities – that knit together our nation.
Who has not visited other parts of this magnificent nation – from the romantic Maritimes to the glorious Prairies, from Québec to the wondrous North, from the towns of central Ontario to the spectacular West Coast – and not been struck by the similarities, love of country and sense of Canadian-ness that you find everywhere?
We have developed a concept that helps to promote a sense of nation. It will provide Canadians and tourists with a true sense of the enormity of our country and how it is deeply connected.
Simply, our concept involves placing road signs indicating the enormous distances between Canadian communities – primarily along the Trans-Canada Highway. Currently, provincial road signs indicate only short distances between larger neighbouring cities and towns.
How would it work?
Initially, we see our project as being relatively modest. Signs would be located on, perhaps, four different arterial highways in and out of each capital city. This would require four signs in each of the 13 cities plus the addition of Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. Seventeen locations in all or 68 signs in total.
Future installations could link some of Canada’s unique, and smaller communities. We could also use themes in future iterations. There are numerous communities in the country named after articles of clothing. Did you know for example, that there are 663 official places named after the moose? Maybe we should celebrate that. A larger number of places are named after colours, not to mention food, kitchen stuff and board games. And then there are those arcane and esoteric place names that dot the landscape and are true conversation pieces. Specifically, there are significant naming conventions in Newfoundland and Labrador that need to be noted. Both visiting and local travelers will find these signs poignant reminders of the size, scope, history and preoccupations of the founding societies that built this country.
We are certain these roadside signs will become landmarks and rallying points across the Canadian landscape. No other country in the world has a similar road sign program, and no other country has the opportunity to make one.
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