Friday, June 29, 2007

After The Gold Rush

On Wednesday, June 27th, pretty much everything in Sam The Record Man that wasn't nailed down, and a fair bit that WAS, was auctioned off to folks, like me, who have fond memories of the grand dame of Canadian music retail. I visited the store after the auction was over to see what was left and this is part of what it looked like:

Yesterday's Hits

Today's Divider Cards

...if not Soul albums



My final purchase: Phish - Live Phish volume 7 ($14.99 - 30% = $10.49)

(As a postscript, I went back today to see if there was anything left and what WAS left was mostly crap. Even at 50% off, it wasn't worth the effort. Tomorrow is the final day for 347 Yonge Street, and you can bet that I'll be there)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Vacation v.2007.1.5 - Montreal Day 2

Le soleil se leve (view from my dorm at McGill)

Never seen a baby squirrel? Now you have. (foothills of Mount Royal)

En attendant Metro (Berri-UQAM Metro - Direction Cote-Vertu)

First stop...Westmount (Westmount CP Station, thankfully being preserved)

Trudeau lives (Pierre Elliott Trudeau Rose Garden, Town of Mount Royal)

UQAM, You Saw, You Left (Corner of the Judith-Jasmine Pavilion, Universite de Quebec a Montreal)

Photos taken Tuesday, June 19, 2007 in Montreal, Quebec.
Bad puns written Friday, June 22, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Vacation v.2007.1.4 - Montreal Day 1

(v.2007.1.3 has been omitted due to the lack of anything blogworthy being shot that day)

Kingston Bus Burial


Metro Love

Where's Alice?

Cobblestones and Gaslamps

Photos taken in Kingston, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec on Monday, June 18, 2007.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Vacation v.2007.1.2 - East End Toronto

First shot taken from across the CN Kingston Subdivision tracks toward the TTC Greenwood Yard. Second shot taken from the waiting area of the Lakeshore/Leslie Loblaws, in the east end of Toronto, Ontario, on Saturday, June 16, 2007.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Vacation v.2007.1.1 - The Guild Inn

I'd never visited the failed Hotel /slash/ architectural graveyard known as the Guild Inn, and didn't quite know what to expect when I drove down the Guildwood Parkway. The first thing you notice is the generic City of Toronto sign at the entrance which resembles the sign on every City park. Yes, this is a park and yes, it is owned by the City, but this is a special place.

I won't be redundant and blab about the history of the site (That info can be found here: ), but what I will say is that anyone with an interest in the history of Toronto's built form must make a visit to this place. Hopefully you can avoid the annoying wedding parties looking for backdrops.

Photos taken at the Guild Inn, Scarborough, Ontario, June 15, 2007.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

They're At The Post

Some early-morning horseplay at Woodbine Racetrack.

Taken Saturday, June 9, 2007 in Rexdale, Ontario.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ham's Sam's

Whilst en route to see Sloan in Port Colborne back in August 2003, we drove through downtown Hamilton to take a look around and see just how things were looking in an everybody-now-shops-at-Lime Ridge world. The results were rather depressing.

For me, one of the major reasons for my depression was the hollow shell of what used to be the Tivoli Theatre and the Sam's outlet which had relocated a few years prior from their more logical King Street location. The relocation was an attempt to bring new life to a stretch of James Street which had been slowly declining for years. As with most attempts like this, and the opening of the kitty-cornered Hamilton Eaton Centre, people stayed away in droves, leaving behind a bad idea with a pretty cool sign.

The Hamilton Sam's was an ambitious kid-brother to the Toronto flagship store. It had a second floor devoted to Jazz and Classical music (although they really needed air conditioning up there), as well as an entire room dedicated to Country/Folk/Traditional music, nodding to the 820 CHAM crowd. The design of the store resembled a faux-50s-diner, which suited the brand and the store just fine, since Sam's itself is rather anachronistic icon of Canadian music retail. Why NOT embrace a 'heritage' style?

Slowly, the store began to shrink. On my last visit, the second floor was closed and most of the non-pop music was crammed in the main part of the store, while the pop stacks were in the former Country section. The selection was much thinner than it was at its opening, and the sale racks seemed to be full of deleted titles, rather than deals on recent releases.

Photos taken Saturday, August 2, 2003 in Hamilton, Ontario.

In late 2004, the collapse of the theatre's lobby expedited the demolition of both the theatre and the former store, leaving yet another hole in downtown Hamilton. A sidebar story which doesn't mention Sam's in particular, but which chronicles the 'devolution' of downtown Hamilton is here:

Photo taken Monday, June 19, 2006 in Hamilton, Ontario.