The Dragon City Restaurant sign at 322 Esplanade Avenue was installed circa 1967 and was added to the Ladysmith Community Heritage Register in 2017.
Here is a map showing the location of the Dragon City Restaurant sign at 322 Esplanade Avenue:
Here is a Google Street View image of the Dragon City Restaurant sign at 322 Esplanade Avenue:
Description of Historic Place
The Dragon City Restaurant sign is a freestanding neon sign sited in front of the original restaurant building and located on the main highway through Ladysmith, British Columbia.
Installed at this site around 1967, the Dragon City Restaurant sign is significant as a rare, surviving example of the type of commercial signage that was popular in Ladysmith until the mid-1970s. The sign’s style speaks to a specific era and to a specific commercial aesthetic. Although the lettering has changed to reflect the restaurant’s name change, the stylized pagoda shape of the sign is original.
The Dragon City Restaurant sign is a direct link to the important social and economic role the Chinese have played in Ladysmith’s history. Initially employed as mine and wharf labourers, the Chinese eventually worked in other occupations and continued to add to the economic and social fabric of the community. Chinese restaurants like Dragon City offered many local residents their first experience of foreign or ethnic food and thus played an important role in the cultural development of the community.
Typical of its era, the large, highly visible neon sign was a practical response to the speed of passing cars, enticing customers with its bold shape and colours. Unlike most signs of its type, the Dragon City sign has survived in connection with its original business. The prominent Dragon City sign, located on a very busy thoroughfare, is an important landmark to both residents and visitors.
The character-defining elements of the Dragon City Neon Sign include:
- – the scale of the sign and its stylized pagoda shape and period colours
- – the sign’s location on the main highway through Ladysmith