LONDON, ONT. -- In just one London neighbourhood you don’t have to look far for a positive spin in tough times.

As in many other London neighbourhoods, good messages are popping up in Westminster Park.

There are jokes and inspirational message written on sidewalks, kid-coloured drawings in windows, and - perhaps most importantly - homemade banners are up showing appreciation for essential workers.

But there are also the signs Jennifer Marr and her partner Jason Holmes have placed in front of their home and on their back fence. The latter sign faces Heritage Park, just off Bexhill Drive.

The professionally made placards remind passersby to smile, while also promoting the safety tips we’ve all learned over the past weeks.

The signs include reminders to:

  • Be kind
  • Check on neighbours
  • Wash your hands
  • Exercise
  • Stop hoarding

Marr says the idea to create the small white sign was hers, shortly after the pandemic began locally.

The signs were printed - at the couple's cost - at Jason’s workplace, with Marr stating she felt the need to do something positive amid grim daily reports.

“I said, you’ve got the materials at work, it does not have to be fancy. Just something If they are walking their dogs they smile. You just want people to take a deep breath and smile.”

Within a short time it was clear the first sign was working, leading to the second larger banner.

Marr, who now works from home, says she quickly noticed people taking pictures of the sign and banner from her second-floor office window.

When combined with the foot traffic out front, she’s pleased the effort is helping her neighbours.

“A lady walked by and she gave me two thumbs up, and she said, ‘I just love this I love this. We’ll get through this.’ And if it reaches people like that, then we’ve done our part.”

Inside Heritage Park, where the taped off playground is a sad reminder of the current reality, area resident Bill Cresswell tells CTV News the signs are a great distraction.

“You hear a lot of bad things, so to me it’s nice to have something positive, and, to be part of the neighbourhood, to know that people care. I like it it. It makes you feel good.”

As for Marr, she hopes the trend towards physical signs of positivity will continue.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody just put a happy face. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It only take five minutes to say stay safe, and everybody can do it.”