UPDATE: We have a likely culprit. The Art of Danforth, an East Toronto public art festival, is currently underway in the neighbourhood in question. At least one of the exhibits, described only in abstract terms on the festival’s website, asks, ”What will the area look like post-gentrification?” Who knows, but perhaps the artist can rest easy as Chanel has assured us they “would never go in that area.”
“Look up gentrification,” said one Reddit user after seeing the photograph of Chanel-branded construction hoarding in East Toronto—beside a pest control store no less. Others, however, were not buying it.
The pricey luxury clothing store was, after all, simply too rich for that part of town. Alas, Chanel told Canadian Business Monday morning that the sign, the first reports of which appeared over the weekend, is fake. “We’ve advised our legal services and we’ll be investigating this,” said Virginie Vincens, public relations director at Chanel. “We would never go in that area.”
Even gentrification, it would seem, has its limits. For now, the sign’s origins remain a mystery. Was someone seriously endeavoring to open a fake Chanel store or was this simply an elaborate joke, an experimental art project?
There are already two Chanel stores in Toronto, but they’re exactly where you’d expect them: Yorkville and the Yorkdale Shopping Centre, in the company of other luxury retailers. Aetna Pest Control, meanwhile, will just have to wait for a more appreciative neighbour.