arrows on the streets of Toronto

Toronto, 2017.08.21

I've figured out the small arrows on the streets of Toronto that point from the center of the street to the curbs. Each arrow points to the location of a storm drain. I suppose they're located in the center of the street to help crews find the things when they're buried in water or ice or slush.

As a regular cyclist about the city, it's been a bewildering experience to have them turn up in increasing numbers.

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I have seen similar location finders put on structures in Europe, usually house walls. They are made of a white, enamelled sign with a red T shaped symbol in the middle of it. The long leg of the T points out to the street with a distance marked on the bottom (5.4m), the distance from the house wall out onto the street. One of the short arms of the T also has a distance marked on it (3.2m), obviously the lateral distance along the road of where the item (water valve, manhole cover, etc.) is located. T 3.2m across 5.4m down This system has a huge advantage in that it is readable under all conditions even if a mad road paving crew has covered up the road with fresh asphalt or there is a foot of snow on the road. Does that make sense? Dad


Cool! I think I may have seen those, from time to time.

Certainly a less enigmatic system than Toronto's. And one more likely to survive encounters with said paving crews.