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Work begins on iconic Sam the Record Man signs

Sniderman family, City of Toronto and Ryerson planning lighting event later this fall
July 26, 2017

TORONTO, July 26, 2017 --- Refurbishment and re-construction has begun on the famous Sam the Record Man Signs, which will have a new home at 277 Victoria Street overlooking Yonge and Dundas Square.

Jason and Bobby Sniderman thank Ryerson University, the City of Toronto, Nicholas Jennings, and the people associated with this project whose efforts and commitment made this legacy to the Sniderman family and Canadian music industry a reality.

“We are thrilled that the iconic Sam the Record Man signs that symbolized our family business will
once again shine upon the site of the original store on Yonge Street,” said Jason and Bobby Sniderman. “The community and our relationship with Ryerson will be forever illuminated by both the signs and the shining achievements of Ryerson students and faculty whose lives will be enriched for generations to come in the Ryerson buildings that now stand upon our former sites."

The original sign, which was located on the northern side of Yonge Street store was built in 1969; a second sign was added to the store front in 1987. Both of these iconic signs have revealed some interesting secrets during the refurbishment process:

  • The “record spindle” from the centre of the older sign, turned out to be a gallon paint can. The can, which is over 45 years old, has been remarkably well preserved and will once again take centre stage as the spindle of the restored sign.
  • The light-flasher units, which make the neon rings of the spinning discs appear to “rotate” were reclaimed and will be freshly re-programmed by the Markle brothers, who built the original sign back in 1969.
  • The original neon “That’s Entertainment” and sparkling SAM letters atop the signs are undergoing minor refurbishment and will once again illuminate downtown Toronto.

"I am delighted that work is well underway and we are moving closer to seeing the famous signs shine down on Yonge Street once again,” said Ryerson President and Vice-Chancellor Mohamed Lachemi. “I want to thank all of our partners on this project, especially the Sniderman family, and the people of Toronto for their patience. We cannot wait to re-light the signs later this fall.”

Restoration of the signs began in June and construction will begin at 277 Victoria later this summer. The project is expected to take approximately three months to complete. A lighting ceremony is being planned for the fall.

“This has been a very fun and exciting project for us to work on. It’s been amazing to uncover some of the original design elements, and to see just how well some components have aged,” said Tony Bianchi, Sunset Neon. “We had to come up with creative solutions to address the twin challenges of mounting the signs on top of a building, namely weight and wind. The signs will now feature a louvered panel design, which will permit wind flow – while preserving the iconic look of these famous neon signs.”

Ryerson University will be covering all costs associated with the restoration, installation and ongoing maintenance of the signs.

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 41,500 students, including 2,400 master's and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit

Sunset Neon is a leader in the sign industry, providing businesses or organizations with custom signage, from concept to installation and warranty service. For more information, visit, external link


Dasha Pasiy
Media Relations Officer
Public Affairs
Ryerson University
416.979.5000 x 2126

Bobby Sniderman