Mugs with Frames -
Portrait of a City


Nora Camps photo exhibition at the Gladstone Hotel


Toronto is a very friendly city! Pass it on.


Toronto is as friendly a place as you are as a person. Nora Camps has stopped people on the streets of Toronto, talked with them, laughed with them, and taken their photo. Mugs with FramesPortrait of a City is an exhibition of 124 mugs with frames. Each person is wearing the same pair of dark, perfectly round and somewhat goofy, Kensington Market sunglasses. The photo exhibition can be seen at the Gladstone Hotel Art Bar for one weekend only, September 19-21. Wallpaper made up of the smiling faces wearing frames will be exhibited at the show and available for purchase. Information is online at:


Toronto has a population of approximately 2.5 million familiar and not so-familiar faces. Mugs with Frames is the great equalizer: people looking at you as though they know you, yet their standard-issue dark glasses provide a distance, a stranger“ness”. Do you know these people? They are your neighbours. They are your next-door-strangers. You pass them on the street. They are your friends. They are Toronto.


The idea for mugs with frames came from a comment Nora Camps overheard while walking south on University Avenue in Toronto. There were two people sitting on a pleasantly located bench, just below the courthouse. They were agreeing that Toronto was not a friendly city and that they much preferred Edmonton. Nora Camps had never been in Edmonton, but she does know that Toronto is not a cold, unfriendly city. She set out to prove or perhaps disprove the point.
Random selection was the idea. Stop people on the street, downtown, uptown, any place, as long as it was in Toronto. Nora explains, “When my friends and associates saw how counter-urban it was to simply stop people on the street and strike up a conversation, they offered to attend the odd evening and weekend session. Yes, I had a reason, of sorts, to ask for a moment of complicity in a personal project with the name Mugs with Frames, Portrait of a City. This project makes me smile – still, and I hope it will attach a kind of grin to you, as well, as 124 mugs with frames mostly grin back at you.”

The Great Toronto Game will be unveiled at the Mugs with Frames show. Toronto is #1 in North America for politeness, but we are way behind in friendly ranking. Mugs with Frames and the Great Toronto Game seek to put us on-par with Washington DC, currently rated third friendliest city in North America.


Everyone is invited to join the ranks of bespectacled mugs. New mugs will be captured on Friday, September 19, 6pm – 9pm at the Gladstone Hotel Art Bar, Queen St. West, Toronto. The Mugs with Frames exhibition continues to Sunday September 21.


Nora Camps is the founder of 26 year marketing communications company DUO Strategy and Design, Director of, and a fine artist. Her work is online at Nora’s last social commentary project was To Thine Own Self Be True – Body Image Redefined a book of photos and stories to raise money and awareness. The book is being used in rape and crises centers in Toronto and London Ontario, and by Through the Looking Glass in BC.



HKC Marketing

Heather Kelly: 416-879-0283,