McCarthy Sign Company closes after 40 years in Shelburne

·2 min read

After 40 years of providing custom signage to the Shelburne community, local realtor Marg McCarthy is retiring her business – McCarthy Sign Co. Ltd.

“It is the right time,” said Marg McCarthy in an interview with the Free Press. “I have McCarthy Realty that I am now focusing on, which is growing.”

McCarthy began her career in signage out of the garage of her Melanchthon home in 1980, after graduating with a Fine Art and Design diploma from Georgian College and studying sign writing at George Brown in Toronto.

Looking back to when the business started, McCarthy recalls how sign making has changed in the last four decades.

“I did everything by hand, Signwriting as a hands-on craft, and then when computers came into play, the sign business changed a lot.” said McCarthy.

Over the years, McCarthy Sign Company Limited has moved to various different locations around Shelburne, Industrial Rd, then Main St. after Besley Meats and then to the current location at 110 Centennial Rd Shelburne.

At the height of the business there was 20 employees and two service trucks. The types of signs at the beginning started with farm truck lettering, field billboards, banners, storefront signs. The Sign shop currently does all types of signs and installation and has a line of signs that are all over Canada called Canadian Trail Markers, which provides signage for snowmobile/ATV trails, and parks.

The opportunity to move on came during the spring.

“There was an opportunity…I met a young man that was trying to grow his sign company, and so we just created an opportunity for him to buy my equipment and take over my space,” said McCarthy. “It’s a bit emotional, because it’s a business that I started from nothing and built it up, it is my passion, but it’s time.”

The new business that will be taking over McCarthy’s space is Streamside Signs Inc., a Maxwell Ont. based company run by owner Enos Bauman. While providing a similar service, the new sign company will also continue to have familiar faces, with the hiring of staff from McCarthy Sign Company Limited.

After four decades of work McCarthy concluded, “I would like to say thank you to all my past and present employees for helping out through the years, and to all the people and Clients who have supported our business.”

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press

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