The Burnaby Heights Swinging Girl is Back!
WatcherOnTheEaves | March 17, 2009 at 10:55 pmby
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As of Wednesday, March 11, 2009, the iconic neon girl swinging under a sign is back at <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />4142 Hastings St, Burnaby, with her new “Heights” sign.
First built in 1956, the sign first read “Helen’s” for Helen’s Children’s Wear, and was owned by Mrs. Helen Arnold. As time went on and many of the neon signs from the 1950s broke or were taken down, the “swinging girl” of Hastings became something of a legend. On April 28, 2007, Helen’s Children’s Wear closed its doors, but people were unwilling to let one of the finest surviving neon signs from the 1950s—not to mention a Burnaby Heights landmark—disappear. Instead, Burnaby City Council and Burnaby’s Community Heritage Commission stepped in and the sign was taken down to be refurbished before being returned to its old location, which now belongs to Cioffi’s Meat Market and Gourmet Kitchen.
The swinging girl was refurbished by Sicon Signs, in cooperation with Burnaby’s Community Heritage Commission, with the aim of preserving her in as near to her original condition as possible. There was, however, one significant change made: the word on the sign now reads “Heights”, rather than “Helen’s”, albeit in the same font and colours.
According to the original statements, the sign was to be returned to Burnaby Heights within 16 months. Her return on December 12, 2008 was to be marked with a ceremony. On December 17, the Burnaby NewsLeader ran an article announcing that its return would be pushed back to January 2009.
The Heights Merchants Association plans to host a celebration when the sign is finally lit in April 2009.