Monkland Tavern sign at Concordia

HISTORY

Before becoming a restaurant, the Monkland Tavern (5555 Monkland Avenue) was known as a sparse and smokey men’s bar, a favoured hangout for drinking and watching hockey. The sign on display in the CJ building on Concordia’s Loyola campus consists of exposed neon channel letters made from spot-welded metal. We estimate that it was built and installed in the late 1940s. The sign is a splendid example of ‘bastard lettering’ — a specially created script that is not based on a font or typeface. It was removed from the main facade in 2005 because it is an anglicization of ‘Taverne’ and does not therefore comport with the language laws brought into effect in Québec in 1977.

The sign had to be modified for display: several metal support struts were cut away from the back, and the last remnants of broken neon were removed for the sake of safety. The sign was put on display in early 2010 with considerable assistance from Transworld Signs.

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REFERENCES

Charter of the French Language (Wikipedia)

  • THEN: 5555 Monkland Avenue
  • NOW: CJ Building, First floor (Concordia University, Loyola Campus)
  • ADDED TO THE MSP COLLECTION: 2009
  • SPECIAL THANKS TO: Barbara Irwin