Now that Heritage Toronto has decided to save Sam the Record Man's famous neon marquee from the wrecking ball, what of the other iconic signs illuminating the little-known corners of our history? We hit the streets to come up with other examples worth preserving.
1 The Matador West-end booze can is immortalized in Leonard Cohen's Closing Time.
2 Tip Top Tailors The letters atop this art deco factory-turned-condo have been a waterfront landmark since the 1920s.
3 Silver Dollar The legendary Spadina hangout's silver circle has been lighting up the blues scene since the 50s.
4 Fillmores Hotel A thing of beauty. They just don't make marquees like this any more.
5 Sea-Hi The circa-1950s S-shaped dragon of this famous north Toronto Chinese food joint made a glittery appearance in Atom Egoyan's Where The Truth Lies.
6 Stem Restaurant Former family restaurant's neon gem is one of Queen West's last.
7 Sam the Record Man Since the 70s, spinning records told travellers they'd arrived at the most recognizable street corner in T.O.
8 El Mocambo The music's mostly over at the iconic nightclub-turned-dance-studio, but the famous palm sign remains a reminder of city's music lore.
9 Fox Tailors This Chinatown anomaly takes passersby back to Spadina's fashion district daze.
10 MuchMusic Much's 80s-era globe marks the start of the music video revolution.
11 Harbord Bakery The spirit of one of our oldest Jewish bakeries is reflected in the sign's simple sans serif lettering.
12 Honest Ed's The kitschy light-bulbed chaos in front gets all the attention, but the lighted arrow in the back alley directs us to Ed's humble beginnings.
13 Massey Hall The flicker of Massey Hall's red neon shield has welcomed some of the world's brightest musical lights, from Benny Goodman to Gordon Lightfoot.
14 Czehoski The Queen West Polish butcher shop's 1920s sign peels away the upscale resto's past.
15 Mt. Pleasant Theatre One of a handful of single-screen rep cinemas left in the city with neon atop its marquee.
16 The Zanzibar Like Sam's, the Zanzi's intricate, star-studded neon has long been an attention-getter on the Yonge strip.
17 Canary Restaurant Pigeons nest in this rusted-out Distillery District sign that's almost as old as the 19th-century former hotel it's anchored to.
18 TTC sign at Hillcrest A throwback to public transit's post-World War II heyday, when "the city that works" actually did.