Three years after the announcement of a new Yonge-Dundas Square home for the iconic sign, Ryerson University has revealed the Sam The Record Man sign will be back on display later this year, with proponents Sunset Neon chosen to restore the sign and install it in its new location atop 277 Victoria Street. Refurbishment of the sign is slated to begin during the Spring and installation is expected this Summer.
The neon sign has not seen the light of day since 2007, when it was taken down from the site of the late Sam Sniderman’s legendary Toronto music shop. It was demolished to make way for the Ryerson Learning Centre. Following the sign's removal, Ryerson University explored a variety of preservation options, with the move to Dundas Square announced in 2014. Since then, the process of finalizing the plans and finding a proponent to carry out the installation advanced gradually, with today's announcement signalling that the deal has been struck.
"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 in a press 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," said Jason and Bobby Sniderman, sons of the late store owner Sam Sniderman. "We are certain that our father would be so pleased with the work that has and will be done and that these iconic symbols of our store and the music industry will be a lasting legacy…which we will share with him and the community...forever," they added.
The return of the iconic neon sign has been long anticipated and comes as welcome news for many. The restored sign will likely be complemented by an enhanced private-sector signage program that's now being planned for the square, as well as part of the equally iconic Honest Ed's sign, which is now set to be relocated to the back of Mirvish Theatre, located half a block to the south on Victoria.
We will keep you updated as the installation takes place, and a piece of 20th century history returns to Toronto. in the meantime, more information about the ongoing plans for Yonge-Dundas Square is available here. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space below this page.