It was inevitable: the movement to rescue the truck slammed into the side of the CityTV building (and yes, there is a movement) now that their headquarters are being relocated to John Street has a Facebook group. The truck is slated to come down soon, probably today, and the group is gaining momentum—they almost doubled their numbers (literally) overnight.
While the Sam’s sign is one thing—a cultural icon that meant so much to so many people at risk of being sold to the highest bidder—this huge “art installation” (as the Facebook group is calling it) may just be picked up and moved to CityTV’s new location, like, a block away. That, and it’s also enormously ugly, more of a tourist trap and huge eyesore of a semi-cool ad than an attractive artistic flourish. (It’s no coincidence that an episode of the Simpson’s featured a building called “Planet Hype” with a car slammed into the side of the building.) Plus, who has fond memories of an awesome day spent hanging out at the CityTV truck? If the thing is an icon, what does it represent?
All that said, it’s reasonable enough to understand the attachment; if nothing else, the truck is certainly noticeable, eyesore or not, and it’s one more thread of that strange entertainment district fabric. And hell, who are we to judge if people care about it? Still, memorability and quality are not synonymous…something aptly (and certainly unintentionally) demonstrated by one observer in the comments of the Facebook group, who remarked, “its just rediculous what r they going 2 do next move much music 2 ?” Uh…yes, please.
UPDATE (July 3, 3:00 p.m.): Yeah, so, apparently the truck’s got a bit of a life left, though it’s definitely on its way out. Says Mary Powers, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for CTVglobemedia, “That truck will of course come down at some point….I can’t tell you when it will come down. It could be a couple weeks, it could be a couple months. But some of it will be coming down.” The gem quotation, though, as reiterated by our own Mark Medley: “Ms. Powers did not think an online petition would stop the truck’s removal. “It’s not that old…I think we put it up for our 25th anniversary….It’s not that old. We’re not talking the Sam’s sign here.” And then, of course, there’s the concluding quotation: “I would imagine it’ll show up somewhere.”" Ah, corporate apathy.
UPDATE (July 4, 10:45 a.m.): “Mary MacDonald, co-ordinator for Heritage Preservation Services, told the Post that the CHUM building’s heritage designation, granted in 1986, means the truck cannot be taken down without City approval.”
Photo by tysonwilliams from the Torontoist Flickr Pool. Thanks to Stuart Baulch for tipping us off to the Facebook group.