Canadian ‘sign war’ captivates the internet

Bill Mount

For the past week, the Canadian town of Listowel has been embroiled in a war of words via business signs that has captivated local residents and people around the world. It started as a battle between two businesses in the Ontario town – Speedy Glass and Dairy Queen (DQ) – […]

For the past week, the Canadian town of Listowel has been embroiled in a war of words via business signs that has captivated local residents and people around the world.

It started as a battle between two businesses in the Ontario town – Speedy Glass and Dairy Queen (DQ) – and has since spread to the entire town and even further afield.

Locals have been joining in, creating fun mottos for their business’ sign.

“There are thousands of signs on local businesses from our town alone to neighbouring towns and cities and counties,” Trevor Cork, owner of Speedy Glass, told the BBC.

He decided to challenge DQ to a sign war after seeing a similar attempt in Virginia that had gone viral.

“It absolutely blew up,” he said.

“It’s been so uplifting. There hasn’t been one negative comment. The reaction has been absolutely amazing,” Mr Cork said.

People have been walking around the town, spotting the new additions and some have even travelled in from other areas.

“We’re getting people stopping into my business just to say thank you for making them smile,” Mr Cork said.

A sign at a funeral home reads ‘Sign war with us? Grave mistake’

Mr Cork said the sign war was a “perfect distraction to what’s happening in the world around us right now”.

The Speedy Glass owner said the “sign war” had brought together the town which has a population of just over 7,500 people.

“There’s businesses that compete against each other that are poking fun at each other and people are laughing together again and smiling at each other. It’s brought our community very close in the last seven days,” he said.

One young resident even decided to bake Mr Cork and the company a cake to say thanks for bringing the town together.

Writing on her Facebook page, she said: “This #signwar has been a blessing for this community! Helping small businesses be seen in this trying time while also giving our community a reason to laugh and come together again. Thank you Trevor and your Speedy team for this inspired idea!!”

Others have shared their appreciation on the company’s Facebook page.

One person wrote: “I’m loving this! Drove around town today before work to check out all the signs!!”

And another said: “This is awesome. Thanks for initiating it, Trevor. Such a positive vibe around town. Love it.”

But when will the sign war come to an end?

“There’s no telling when it will stop,” Mr Cork said. “It’s going strong and there’s more and more people jumping on board every minute”.

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