The iconic Sam the Record Man sign being housed in Vaughan, Ontario. PHOTO: JESS TSANG

Sam the record man legacy living in pieces

In Multimedia, News, Photos /

By Ramisha Farooq

It has now been confirmed that the last remaining pieces of Sam the Record Man’s classic music store sign are in a secure warehouse facility just north of Toronto.

Sam’s historic sign was revealed to 10 media outlets Friday for the first time since 2008 in a rush to prove the existence and security of the sign.

David Grosse, national sales manager for Gregory Signs and Engraving Ltd. said the facility has installed dozens of surveillance cameras working 24/7 to ensure the care and security of the sign.

“We have every piece that came off the sign,” Grosse said.

The trailer the sign is held in was manufactured with the sole purpose of being an impenetrable haven. It is incapable of being moved due to welded shut wheel bearings and airbreak airtight systems.

According to Grosse, the sign, except for a few neon tubes and transformers, is in good working condition and can be put back together within eight to ten months, once a building is selected for the sign to be mounted on.

“We need to do a structural analysis and make sure the building itself can support the sign in a safe manner,”said Grosse.

Grosse has also mentioned that he and Ryerson are talking about the possibility of adding security patrol to ensure its safety. But, they don’t feel there is an extreme threat as it has been sitting in the trailer for four years.

A worst case scenario value of

$250,000 has been put on the sign by Grosse in the event that parts will need to be replaced.

Erin McGinn, Ryerson’s assistant vice president of communication, government and community engagement, has said that the city is currently in the process of speaking to stakeholders.

She confirmed that Ryerson’s new Student Learning Centre – the previous location of Sam Sniderman’s record store – is no longer being considered by city officials as an appropriate place for the sign after Ryerson cited architectural and environmental problems.

Yonge-Dundas Square and Ryerson’s library building are both being considered by the city manager, along with rumours of Exhibition Place.

“We are looking to the advice of experts on that, they’re doing an analysis to see what is involved in mounting the sign up on the library,” said McGinn. “There is obviously value in having it in the vicinity. It should be an appropriate spot that actually means something and make the link.”

City council voted to defer the decision to the city manager in an Oct. 9 decision.

Talks regarding the sign placement are ongoing.

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