Then and Now
Yonge and Gould Streets were home to many musical hot spots throughout the century, such as Sam the Record Man and A+A Records then later, Future Shop and HMV. Within these centres of consumption, users buy their favourite band’s records and t-shirts and tickets to concerts.
Then: The Yonge Street Mall ran for a few weeks in the summers of 1971-1974 and was a benefit for many businesses that lined Yonge Street. Pedestrians would spend their summer days strolling from table to stores for the purpose of browsing. This was consumption. Fifty years before Sam’s existed, Chappell & Co once sat on 347 Yonge Street. This store, much like Sam’s catered to the Toronto music industry by selling contemporary and classic sheet music, set trends and shaped attitudes for its consumers.
Now: Sam the Record Man replaced where Chappell & Co once sat, which is now a construction site for a university library. Yonge and Dundas, as we know it, is the centre of culture, entertainment and consumption, which parallels the past, but has been upgraded and adapted to suit today’s industry. The square itself is a base of performances, art expos, celebrities cultural festivals, free concerts, meeting places, and essentially the heart of the city. Record stores are from the past, but HMV, Future Shop and Best Buy sell consumers CDs, DVDs, MP3 players, iPods and more to satisfy music enthusiast’s cravings. The Yonge Street Mall may be just a memory for some, but the Eaton Centre, 10 Dundas East and retail shops along Yonge Street is available to meet the fashionable and affordable likings of today’s shopaholics. A similar market place exists all year around; the Path. Underneath buildings and shops runs a pathway that connects to major intersections and TTC stations. On a warm day, Torontonians and tourists alike can congregate on Dundas Square to soak in the sun, culture and buzzing ambiance of Toronto’s central point.