Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sam the Record Man sign back in the air

When people slowly stopped walking into record stores, video stores and book stores they started to rip the signs down, clear out the merchandise and re-purpose the stores. Along Yonge Street is Toronto's blazing corridor of light and advertisements, our Times Square, and some of the stores, buildings and signs became iconic of life in the city. Sam the Record Man's twin spinning records was one of those signs and when Ryerson University took over the block the signs were one of the first things to go. They promised the signs would be saved and put up again sometime in the future and that time has come.

Sam the Record Man sign in Yonge-Dundas Square

The sign finally went up overlooking Yonge-Dundas Square with a louvered background to let the winds flow through the sign and reduce the size of the supporting structure. Without the solid dark circle behind the neon lights which made it really look like a vinyl record, the overall impact to the sign is greatly diminished. The iconic sign has been made blah.
The original installation

Ryerson University has Sunset Neon restore and place the sign at its new home at 277 Victoria Street. "We are very pleased to announce the iconic Sam the Record Man signs, with their spinning neon discs, will once again illuminate downtown Toronto," said Ryerson President and Vice-Chancellor Mohamed Lachemi. "We're very thankful to the City of Toronto and the Sniderman family for their ongoing support and patience. We are all looking forward to the signs lighting up Toronto later this year."

The Sniderman Family issued the following statement "On behalf of every person who remembers purchasing their first record at or who ever worked in a Sam the Record Man store, Jason and Bobby Sniderman, the sons of Sam Sniderman, want to sincerely thank Ryerson university and the City of Toronto for having fulfilled their commitment to reinstall the iconic "Sam the Record Man" signs. The relocation to Yonge-Dundas square is the perfect "home" for them and it should be known that our first record store in downtown Torontoopened on the east side of Yonge Street just south of Dundas; so our signs will now be mounted above and shining down on the original location.
In the square
Honest Ed's was another sign taken down in Toronto, one of the large panels will be saved and placed in front of the Ed Mirvish Theatre

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