Photo: Aaron Lynett/Toronto Star
Over at Torontoist, Edward Brown has a post about the status of the iconic Sam the Record Man sign that was a feature of Yonge Street until Ryerson University took it down. As Brown reports, Ryerson took it down after making an explicit agreement with the city that they would put it back up:
Back in 2007, before a single light bulb had been unscrewed, the signs received a reprieve when the city designated them with heritage status, which protected them from destruction with the force of law. Soon after, Ryerson entered a contract with the City. It required the university to incorporate the signs into the still yet-to-be-designed learning centre.
However, now that they’ve taken the sign down and put it in storage, according to Brown, the prospect of the sign re-appearing on Yonge Street, or anywhere, looks less and less likely.
But wait. We had a deal, right? We have a contract?
With the sign crated and shipped to a storage facility, the university changed its tune. By November of 2011, Levy was telling the Toronto Star, “There must be a better way to both use our money and to create the memory that people want.”
It is not Sheldon Levy’s business if there is a better way. His business is making sure his institution lives up to the terms of the deal it agreed to. That’s what contracts are for.
In the meantime, Forbes said the university intends to recognize the Yonge Street strip’s contribution to the city’s historic music scene by creating a website on the subject. A music historian is writing content. Archival photographs are being gathered.
Wonderful. But that is irrelevant. We have a deal. The sign goes back up. Levy, to the Star last year:
“Since records were always played in a horizontal plane, rather than having this big neon sign in a vertical way, can we put a facsimile of it on a horizontal plane and put it as part of the entrance to the new student learning centre?” suggested Levy.
That is not the deal you agreed to. We have a deal.
“If those at the city are convinced that the best solution is the one we’ve already agreed to, then so be it.”
Good. I’m glad we understand each other.
(Hat tip: Jonathan Goldsbie)