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Saving Sam the Record Man's Giant Spinning Discs

A huge flashing sign from a shuttered record store in Toronto gets a new home after a lengthy preservation battle.
A 2009 photo of Sam the Record Man's flagship store just before the building was demolished and the signs were put in storage.
A 2009 photo of Sam the Record Man's flagship store just before the building was demolished and the signs were put in storage.Mark Byrnes

Surrounded by buildings as tall as they are often uninteresting, few places in downtown Toronto attracted as much attention as the stand-alone record store that once stood at the corner of Yonge and Gould Street. 

Since selling its final CD in 2007, Torontonians have been waiting to find out what would happen to the flashing neon discs that used to lure them into Sam the Record Man's flagship store for nearly 40 years. The property's new owners initially agreed to incorporate the storefront into their construction plans. After reneging on that promise, city officials were able to finally secure the storefront's fate earlier this monthon top of a mid-rise tower one block away.