Remember the old Hi Tops Chinese restaurant that was a fixture in downtown Peterborough? You couldn't miss the iconic sign when you were driving down George Street and at night, it was even more of a focal point with its neon lights.
Indeed, the sign was one of the landmarks in the downtown core since the '60s...
The Old Hi Tops restaurant
When the sign came down in 2013 after it was announced Hi Tops was closing after about 100 years in business, everyone wondered what would become of it. Surely this rich part of Peterborough's history wouldn't end up in landfill.
Well the sign was saved by artist Bill Kimball after the Hi Tops owner agreed to give it to him, and a portion of the sign (it comes in two parts) found a home right across the street at The Spill coffee bar for many years...
The sign hanging at The Spill
When The Spill owner Dave Tobey closed the establishment last fall, people were wondering again, What would now become of the Hi Tops sign? Would it be saved again?
Indeed it would, thanks to another downtown business owner: "When I heard The Spill was closing, I reached out to Dave Tobey about the sign and he put me in touch with Bill Kimball the caretaker of the sign," Hot Belly Mama's owner Travis Smith tells PTBOCanada. "I said I would be happy to display it at The Belly as it would definitely fit in with my atmosphere there. He agreed."
Now the entire sign hangs proudly at The Belly...
The sign at Hot Belly Mama's
"I feel like the sign is a piece that needs to be on display as a big part of Peterborough's history," Smith tells PTBOCanada, adding that this whole process of getting the sign and installing it came together over the past couple months with Kimball and an amazing group of people in town.
Kudos to Smith for showcasing this important piece of Peterborough history in his restaurant. Go check it out next time you're in!