Northbridge squarely in focus – nearly

Sure it’s a bit off-centre, but would the tower of Pisa be such a photographic icon if it didn’t lean a little? Photo by City of Perth

THE NORTHBRIDGE lights sign on William Street has been switched on and is ready to be hashtagged.

It was inspired by local arts pillar Marcus Canning’s 2015 visit to California, where he spotted the popular VENICE sign at Venice Beach. When he got home and saw the two poles either side of William Street, the idea struck him.

Perth council threw in $35,000 in June last year, contributing to a million-dollar Northbridge revamp spend by Mr Canning and Adrian Fini’s company Happy Heart. It hangs beside The Rechabite which Happy Heart has relaunched as a multi-level arts hub. 

Intended to be a hotspot for social media snaps, online commenters quickly noticed Perth’s sign was a little wonky. 

Perth councils’ social media managers were kept busy explaining it had to be installed off centre because the footpath’s wider on one side of William Street so the street lights would affect visibility if they were dead in the middle. 

The $35,000 spend was authorised by the now-replaced commissioners, but mayor Basil Zempilas endorsed his predecessors’ vision.

He said in a statement: “The NORTHBRIDGE sign is a simple initiative to provide an immediate impact to the William Street precinct, assisting local businesses and making it a more vibrant, attractive and enticing place to visit and spend time in.

Positive message

“I love the idea, the positive message it sends and the iconic photo opportunity it presents for people walking along William Street.”

A note to anyone hashtagging the sign for social media: Currently instagram’s #Northbridge tag contains a fair few near-nude images as the suburb’s sex trade purveyors are using it to advertise their wares, so your photos might be wedged between the many snaps of breakfasts and bums. 


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