A Refurbished Icon
"We are thrilled that the iconic Sam the Record Man sign that symbolized our family business will once again shine upon the site of the original store on Yonge Street.” – Sons of Sam Sniderman
Established in 1959, 'Sam the Record Man' for many years was Canada's largest music recording retailer with its flagship store located at 347 Yonge Street in the heart of Toronto's music scene. Due to competition from large music chains and the eventual rise of the internet, Sam was forced into bankruptcy October 30, 2001. The franchise Yonge Street store remained in business until the door closed in June 2007 and the 347 Yonge Street location property designated a heritage site protecting the entire building and landmark neon signs.
In 2008, Toronto Ryerson University acquired the property for future expansion of its nearby campus. The old site was soon renovated, and the iconic Sam's Sign was preserved in storage under a Heritage Agreement with the city. Ryerson University agreed to pay to install and maintain the sign atop a nearby building at Yonge & Dundas Square.
The sign required extensive refurbishment including replacing the neon glass tubing and fluorescent lamps with lead-free glass and LED lighting. Sunset Neon Ltd. was the original contractor chosen to install the original Sam's sign and was enlisted again to restore, install and re-light the sign. Ten years after removing the spinning Sam the Record Man sign from the almost 50-year location, the sign was refurbished and ready for reinstallation at the new location in Yonge & Dundas Square.
To support the 9-meter tall, 18-meter-wide sign on the new building rooftop location, Spina's Steel Workers Co. was chosen to fabricate the steel support frame. Approximately 36,000 lbs. of galvanized steel was used to construct the frame. Galvanizing by Pure Metal Galvanizing - Mississauga was chosen to protect the Heritage Project sign support with longevity, a key component of the project and to help keep the iconic heritage project maintenance-free and on display in the downtown core for many more years.