The iconic signage that once adorned Sam the Record Man’s flagship store on Yonge Street will get a new home this summer, with Ryerson University taking further steps to ensure the signs will shine bright over Yonge-Dundas Square, a stone’s throw from where they once stood.
The university has enlisted Sunset Neon to restore the massive signs and install them atop 277 Victoria St. Work is expected to begin this spring and the signs are expected to be up by the end of summer.
The main sign, a 15-by-11-metre behemoth, features two neon spinning discs and will be a familiar sight to anyone who wandered through downtown Yonge from the 1960s through 2000s.
“It’s one of those iconic signs that represents part of Toronto’s history,” said Ryerson assistant vice president of university relations. “It’s a wonderful fixture and we’re happy to give it a new home.”
The sign, which features two neon spinning discs, was a landmark within the city until it was removed in 2008.
Glass said the sign’s restoration and new home is part of the university’s commitment to honouring the city’s history and heritage. Sam the Record Man — opened by Sam Sniderman in 1959 — was a major destination for music lovers in the city for generations, though it struggled and eventually closed as music went increasingly digital.
While the store is no more, its legacy and contributions to Toronto’s cultural life will live on through the new initiative.
"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 Sniderman family said in a release.
“The relocation to Yonge-Dundas Square is the perfect ‘home’ for them and it should be known that our first record store in downtown Toronto opened 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."