Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An open letter to Sheldon Levy, president of Ryerson University

Dear President Levy,

Often, a sad day in the city is a day in which the potential for greatness presents itself. With the news of the closing of Sam The Record Man's flagship store at Yonge and Gould Streets, an opportunity has presented itself to enact key portions of the Ryerson University Master Plan, while preserving the history of the fabled landmark.

It is no secret that Ryerson officials have been negotiating with the Sniderman family to purchase this property, and with the news of the closing, I hope a deal can be reached to bring the building into the Ryerson family. However, the building itself is not the subject of this letter. I am writing to urge you ensure that the iconic neon signs are included in these negotiation. The sign that adorns the facade of the building has been featured in commercials, music videos, and is deeply woven in the fabric of Toronto lore. It is a bittersweet that Sam's is no more, but to allow the sign to fall into disrepair in a storage shed or to be banished to a landfill would be criminal.

From an Eyeopener article dated October 14, 2006, you were quoted as saying "I think we have a responsibility to face our community and help them, not to turn our back." Sam The Record Man will always be a part of our community, and I sincerely believe that there can be no better tribute to the Sniderman family and their contributions to the area than to keep the signs and memories of this landmark visible for all to see.

Sincerely yours,

Andrae Griffith

Student,
Ryerson School of Urban & Regional Planning

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