A desire to post a sign on her front lawn promoting road safety led Upper Canada College teacher Allison Macrae to be involved in a wider campaign and a moment in the media spotlight.
The signs feature the image of a residential street within the silhouette of a child’s head, with the words “Slow down, kids at play” written within it. Their goal is to make drivers aware of their speed and be aware of children who may be near roads.
Roger Cattell came up with the idea after a young girl was struck and killed by a van at an intersection in his Leaside neighbourhood two years ago, and the initiative has since spread across Toronto.
“I became involved in the campaign because I wanted to post one sign on my lawn,” says Macrae. “When I contacted the group, they let me know that the minimum order was 50 signs.
“So I bought 50 of them and within a very short amount of time, friends and family all purchased the signs off of me. So I bought 100 more and I would walk to my kids’ school with signs in hand. People would stop me in the street wanting the signs. I kept arriving at school having sold all my signs before even arriving at my destination.”
Macrae eventually purchased 215 signs and 225 reflective Halloween bags that she sold to members of her Roncesvalles/Parkdale community, as well as some UCC colleagues, with any profit made put back into purchasing more signs.
A political strategist for Toronto Mayor John Tory lives in Macrae’s neighbourhood, and she contacted Macrae to see if she’d participate in a Halloween safety push with the mayor.
“Tory walked with me and my children, along with other kids from the area, to school to raise awareness on Halloween to be extra vigilant about safety on the roads,” says Macrae.
The media was alerted and you can watch Tory speak, accompanied by Macrae at a podium, along with the kids in this clip from 680 News.