September 28, 2012 will mark exactly 40 years since Citytv began broadcasting on UHF as gutsy Toronto Television, Channel 79 “the little station that could:” re-writing the medium of TV’s boring old rules along the way, sparking an electric dynamism in local television and ushering in a good three decades worth of freewheeling and anarchistic programming styles which have since fostered an immortal endowment to the art of television all around the world. Then Rogers bought them.
It remains to be seen how Rogers will celebrate this tremendous milestone in Toronto (and indeed, Canadian) television history, if at all, but over the next few weeks at BlogTO we’ll look at what made Citytv the living, breathing broadcast embodiment of that Toronto spirit we know and love, and what better place to start than “Everywhere…”
Although the phrase is welded into our collective psyches through Citytv’s universally known and adored idents, “This is Citytv…EVERYWHERE” didn’t actually materialize on-air until late 1983, when they moved down the dial from Channel 79 to Channel 57, and The Voice, Mark Dailey, took over most of the station’s V.O duties.
The genesis of “Everywhere…” is of unknown provenance, but it remains Citytv’s most recognizable facet: when the phrase was officially retired by Rogers, shortly before the still devastating loss of Dailey in December of 2010 to cancer (http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/12/06/mark-dailey-grea-voice-of-toronto-tv/), there could not have been a more poignant harbinger that a much loved era had just drawn to a close.
So let’s wind back the clock to happier times. Here are 40 classic Citytv idents, starting from the early days in 1972 when Dan Akroyd was the voice of CityTV, right up to Mark Dailey’s final, posthumous recitation of the call sign in 2010.
Part of the beauty of these idents is not only witnessing the evolution of the CityTV brand, but of the city itself. Stay tuned, as in the coming weeks we’ll take a look back at other vintage CityTV institutions such as Speakers Corner, Baby Blues, Great Movies, CityPulse and of course the ever elusive creator, Toronto’s very own gnomic media prophet, Moses Znaimer…
Retrontario plumbs the seedy depths of Toronto flea markets, flooded basements, thrift shops and garage sales, mining old VHS and Betamax tapes that less than often contain incredible moments of history that were accidentally recorded but somehow survived the ravages of time. You can find more amazing discoveries at www.retrontario.com.