Exploring Winnipeg's Fading Ghost Signs

Look up and you’ll see them all around you. Throwbacks to days gone by, where your name on the side of a building was all you needed to get your company noticed. A century later and these ghost signs still have a stories to tell. Hear them here.

Signs of the Times

Ghost signs are pieces of hand-painted, outdoor promotional art preserved on the sides of buildings. Also known as fading ads or brick ads, they were prevalent from the 1890s through to the 1960s. As outdoor advertising mediums evolved, painted signs became a less popular way of promoting products and services and were replaced by billboards and vinyl banners. This site is an archive of the fading ghost signs in Winnipeg’s downtown.

 Then & Now


Explore the Area


Winnipeg's Exchange District is one of the most historically intact, early 20th century commercial districts in North America. The area boasts 150 buildings spread over 20 city blocks, and in 1997, was named a National Historic Site of Canada. Explore ghost signs in the area by street, photo gallery or map.


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News & Events

Recent News

Stay up-to-speed on recent ghost sign news articles, events and media coverage. 





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Walking Tours

Interested in attending an upcoming tour? Click here to see when the next scheduled walk will be taking place.




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Submit a Sign

This site is continually updated with new ghost signs and historical information. Build on our research by submitting your signs to the site.





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Ad Association

Founded in 1944, the Advertising Association of Winnipeg is a not-for-profit, industry advocate that works to educate and celebrate professionals working in Manitoba’s advertising, marketing and graphic design communities.


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Ghost Signs from around the world