Photo by Miles Storey/Torontoist.
Clubland crawlers will notice a new visual distraction while wandering the east end of the Entertainment District this weekend. Where partiers once stopped into the northwest corner of Richmond and Duncan to dance to 1980s tunes at Whiskey Saigon, they will now be urged by a refurbished classic neon sign to dial up 1050 AM or 104.5 FM.
When the CHUM radio building on Yonge Street was sold last summer to a condo developer, CTVglobemedia assured worried heritage enthusiasts that the CHUM sign would be moved to the future home of its stations. The sign was taken down in September and erected this week at its new home, where it has been broken down to fit the contour of the building. The new layout could prompt people to ask if they want to meet at the corner of CHUM and CHUM.
Originally erected in 1959, the sign received its first restoration in the late 1970s. It suffered significant damage when the station’s tower was sabotaged in August 1986. Two nearby residents who believed that the tower interfered with their television reception decided, after a healthy drinking session, to crawl onto the station’s roof with a pair of bolt cutters. The perpetrators, later convicted for “mischief endangering the lives of others,” were not prepared for how quickly the tower toppled onto Yonge Street, crushing the “CH” portion of the sign. Stories vary as to whether the sign was repaired or replaced with a replica after this incident.
Additional information from the February 18, 1989 edition of the Toronto Star.