The iconic Sam the Record Man sign is one step closer to having a permanent home after city staff issued a report recommending it be hung from the Toronto Public Health building near Yonge-Dundas Square.
The report, which is set to be debated by the city’s planning and growth committee next week, recommends installing the sign on the roof of 277 Victoria St., a city-owned building just a block from former site of the famous record store that was the sign’s original home. If approved, this would mean the sign would be visible from the Yonge-Dundas street intersection.
The future of the red-and-white neon sign has been in question ever since Ryerson University bought the building that housed the record store in 2008.
At the time, Ryerson agreed to hang the sign on the student learning centre it built on the site or on the school’s library, but later said it would not be able to do so, citing costs and safety concerns.
Late last year, city council referred the issue to city staff, in hopes of finding an alternate location.
The staff report, which would require Ryerson to be responsible for the cost of maintaining and installing the sign, says the proposal would still need to be approved by the planning committee and Ryerson’s board of governors.
The local councillor, Kristyn Wong-Tam, said she is happy with the proposal. “I think the answer they’ve come up with is a quick resolution, it’s a simple resolution, and this is the resolution that staff are recommending today.”
Ms. Wong-Tam said the building on Victoria Street is ideal because of its location, and because other buildings or structures would not block the sign.
She said the city approached other privately owned buildings, “but the response was basically no. No private-property owner is going to want you to encumber their building,” she said. “It was quite a significant ask.”