Spirits of Markham


The City of Markham engaged the Forge Collective (Forge’s public art initiative) to create whimsical graphic wraps for a number of traffic control boxes across the region.


Our concept celebrates the invisible forces and hidden creatures that call Markham home. Spirits and animal totems are often used in folklore to indicate a likeness or to embody a certain meaning. In this case, we linked specific animals to aspects of urban life, showcasing these hidden animals as they inhabit and explore the urban structures that comprise this growing city.

By utilizing texture, pattern, vivid colour, and crisp lines, our whimsical artworks capture the essence of Markham, contrasting the world of the ‘hidden’ with iconic urban elements. These vivid illustrations completely wrap the designated traffic boxes on all sides, turning plain urban structures into artful monuments, visible to the road but also enjoyable for pedestrians.


This project is not simply about the beautification of Markham’s streetscape. By turning utilitarian objects into pieces of art, we have transformed the objects' purpose. Rather than remaining hidden in an unloved streetscape, they become landmarks for the community and inspiration for residents of all ages and cultures.

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