November 9, 2011The Eyeopener
Rye plans to shun historic Sam sign
BY MICHAEL CHEN
On the night of Nov. 2, a sewagepipe backup caused the Interna-tional Living and Learning Centre(ILLC) to shut down its rst oorand parking garage.Maggie’s Eatery and the aectedclassrooms are closed for restora-tion.Mitigation crews were immedi-ately called to handle the risk ofcontamination from moisture.“They continued that work intaking down damaged drywall,moldy carpets,” said Chad Nut-tall, manager for student housingservices.He said it was the main sewerline that runs along Mutual Streetwhich disconnected and backedup their line.“Obviously that sewage had no-where to go and just started back-ing up the pipe and then eventu-ally it would start coming out thedrains on the rst oor,” said Nut-tall.The domestic fresh water in the building had to be turned o thenext day to prevent more waterfrom ooding the rst oor.Showers and washrooms weremade available at Pitman Hall forthe ILLC students during the day.After sta did an inspection, thewater supply was restored Thurs-day evening.Nuall said the extent of damag-es and the cost will not be knownuntil later this week.“There’s a great deal of damageon the rst oor and the parkinggarage so we’re certainly prepar-ing a claim that will go throughinsurance,” he said.The eight classes originally onthe rst oor had to be relocated toclassrooms in Kerr Hall East, EricPalin Hall, Victoria building, TedRogers School of Management andSally Horsfall Eaton Centre. Park-ing was also redirected to PitmanHall.Pitman Hall’s cafeteria is nowopen on weekends.Maggie’s sta will work at Pit-man and other campus locationswill stay open longer.Krissatya Wisesa, a rst-year business management student,nds that Pitman has fewer veg-etarian options.“I feel like you’re downgrading by eating [at Pitman] because ev-erything is dierent. At Maggie’s,they had a vegetarian menu,” saidWisesa.Rebecca East, a rst-year imagearts student, said she misses thehome-cooked meals at Maggie’s.Before Pitman, she “was about tocall Student Housing Services andcall them for money from my mealplan so that I could buy groceries.”
Ryerson has vowed to pay homage to the Sam the Record Man site by incorporating its iconic signage into the new StudentLearning Centre, but documents revealed they would rather not.
Associate News Editor Carolyn Turgeon
Sam the Record Man was oncean integral part of Yonge Street, but Ryerson is not a fan of the icon-ic sign.“I would rather not use thesign,” said Ryerson President Shel-don Levy.This would come as a surprisefor community members whocampaigned extensively to savethe sign in 2007-08.The piece of Toronto’s heritagewas designated as such by KyleRae and the Heritage Recommen-dation Board during his term asWard 27 councillor.Rae, who has since establishedurban consultant company PQRSolutions, said that when Sam’swent bankrupt there were manypeople who contacted his oceand made Facebook groups aboutmaintaining the sign.“There were probably two gen-erations of Torontonians who grewup and saw it as their rite of pas-sage as teenagers,” said Rae. “Iagreed at that time that there wasprobably a signicant impact fromthat sign.”He now views the sign’s signi-cance in a dierent light.“There is still a cadre of Toron-tonians that can identify with thissign, but many current ones don’tknow [about it],” he said.He understands the university’shesitation to place the sign on oneof their buildings. “It’s dicult toexpect Ryerson to stick the sign ontheir property when the associa-tion will be lost,” said Rae.The stipulations were that ifthey were to build on the property,Sam’s sign would have to be re-
Sam the Record Manwas forced to le for bank-ruptcy on Oct. 30, which ap-plied to 30 stores owned bythe family and was partiallydue to their $15-million debt.
Sam’s sons Jasonand Bobby reopened theYonge Street store alongwith 11 franchise stores. Thefranchise stores outside ofToronto were not a part ofthe bankruptcy ling.
On June 22, citycouncil voted in favour ofdesignating the property asa heritage site. The buildingwas designated because theOntario Heritage Act had norules for store signs.
On June 30, theagship store on Yonge andGould streets closed perma-nently. They pointed to theinuence of technology onthe industry as a reason fortheir decision.
On Jan. 18, RyersonUniversity bought the prop-erty to expand their campus,and later on decided to useit for their upcoming StudentLearning Centre.
ILLC shut after sewage flooding
PHOTO: REBECCA BURTON
stored from its broken down stateand then incorporated.The original plan was that thesign could either be used in thedesign of the Student LearningCentre (SLC) or put on the Southside of the library building, facingGould Street.“In order for the university to be able to move on [the property]they had to negotiate with the citywhere the sign would be recon-structed,” said Levy.“I’m not sure, to be honest, ifthat’s something we should be ask-ing property owners to do,” saidcurrent Ward 27 councillor KristynWong-Tam.Levy also revealed that restor-ing and mounting the sign to the building will cost approximately$250,000, which he believes could be beer spent by the university.Concillor Wong-Tam said thereare other complications as well.“It may not be physically possi- ble given the size of the sign as wellas technology having changed,”she said.The sign also doesn’t t intothe city’s new sustainable designfor Yonge Street, and its outdatedtechnology would be power con-suming and hard to accommodate.There are now discussions for amore appropriate use of the sign ora dierent tribute that would beerfulll the needs of the school.“We are trying to discuss with[city council] a beer place to me-morialize the Sam’s location,” saidLevy.The
obtained a statusreport on the SLC which proposeda sidewalk tribute instead of theoriginal plan.Levy acknowledged that a side-walk tribute was being considered,while Wong-Tam said Ryerson hadtaken steps in developing an inter-pretive commemorative plaque forthe property.Levy does not think Sam Snider-man’s sons, Bobby and Jason,would object.“It wasn’t family that made theissue, it was certain members ofthe Toronto community that saw itas an important thing and the citycouncil respected their wishes andput it as a condition on the univer-sity,” said Levy.He said Ryerson will make theircase, and the citizens may argueagainst it, but it will ultimately beup to the council.“Should they make no otherdecision we are obliged to followwhat they have already decidedand we will,” said Levy.According to Rae, the sign wasnever properly maintained and thecity had to get Sam a grant beforehe would x it in the late ‘90s.“We were trying to get it to looklike the people who owned proper-ty on Yonge Street cared,” said Rae.“Frankly, Sam didn’t care.”
Maggie’s Eatery ater the fooding.Sam the Record Man in 2008.
Frankly, Sam didn’t care.
— Kyle Rae,former Ward 27 councillor