Picture of the Week: The Polite Sign

A Very Polite Sign, Ottawa, May 2013

A Very Polite Sign, Ottawa, May 2013

Canadians have the international reputation of being polite and courteous—and this apparently extends to our signs.

Construction work is a pain for everyone, pedestrians and drivers alike. Unfortunately, in Canada, because of our long and harsh winter, spring and summer are known are “construction season”. Tons of projects, from road repairs to paving, from condo developments to building demolitions, are underway all across the city. This often causes traffic delays, road blocks, dust and leads to a myriad of little annoyances.

Fortunately, this über-polite sign makes of forgetful:

“Work in progress.

Sorry for the inconvenience caused.

These improvements are for you.”

Well, I’m not sure if I will benefits from these improvements, whatever they are, but at least the apology sounds sincere!

Welcome to Canada, where our signs are oh-so-polite!


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. meh… that didn’t work at all. I meant to write

    It’s not unique to Canada at all, it is also com­monly used in Eng­land and –sur­prise, sur­prise– even on planet Druidia.
    The link still works though.

    • The Chinese say 对不起, which basically means “I’m not up to your expectations”. I kind of like that. Let me check the link…

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