A sign that life has become too serious is when I go through my days with my head down, focused on completing the tasks at hand. Not everything has to be so serious, I remind myself. In fact, I might miss seeing something fun or quirky or absurd if I don’t look up now and then.

I can even get too focused on a specific task while on holidays. Intent on capturing a photo of a lighthouse while travelling in Cape Breton, I almost missed the clever sign along the boardwalk in Cheticamp.


Anyone who has seen The Lord of the Rings movies immediately knows: the wizard holding up his arms is Gandalf, shouting at the Balrog, “You Shall Not Pass!”

The message is clear: stay back from this area. Rather than a stark sign of warning, I appreciated the lighthearted approach of this property owner. I suspect that a humorous approach encourages visitors to comply.

Another warning sign along the Cabot Trail had a bit of an edge.


And a common-sense approach to the weather doesn’t hurt.


This bakery, located at a market in Halifax, doesn’t take itself too seriously.


A sign in my neighbourhood in Summerland enlists compliance via a humorous play on words.


I am positive this directional sign at Toronto Pearson International Airport lightens frazzled travellers’ moods—it did for me!


And why not call your little town Dorking, nestled off the beaten path in southern Ontario.


Though not humorous, a couple of signs certainly caught my attention. My first inclination was to think they were crude, drawing attention to those with physical disabilities. However, Hubby offered a different perspective: this community rallied around their citizens and offered a way to alert drivers to those who were vulnerable—those who could not hear or see a vehicle’s approach. That made so much sense.



The signs I’ve seen while on my travels have served to lift my spirits. Their humour or the way they exhibit care for those in their midst have endeared them to my heart, reminding me to lighten up.

How do you lighten up?

One thought on “A Sign That It’s Time to Lighten Up

  1. I love your interest in quirky signs. I have taken photos of ones that tickle my fancy as well. The funniest ones were in Mombassa and Nairobi. I have to say though, I once parked at the “Witches Parking Only” area as it IS public parking, after all, and I had a really nasty note left on my car saying that I was not allowed to park there! I was visiting a friend at the end of that short, narrow street (they didn’t have any parking either) and I walked down to their place. When I got back, I hadn’t been “toad”, but sure wasn’t impressed with the hospitality of that neighbourhood. I guess a Witch really does live there!

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