Saying it has nowhere to grow, Ryerson University says it will ask the provincial government to expropriate the site of the former Sam the Record Man store at 347 Yonge Street.
Sheldon Levy, Ryerson's president, told CBC News that it is in the public interest for the university to own the land, as it has only a fraction of the space it needs.
If the expropriation were approved, the university would have to pay market value for the property, which is estimated in the range of $20 million.
Sam's, an iconic Toronto landmark since 1960, closed last week. It is adjacent to the Ryerson campus.
Ryerson has been negotiating for the propertywith the Sniderman family, but has yet to reach a deal.
Sam's the Record Man founder Sam Sniderman, 87, has said in media reports that he would like Ryerson to get the property. Sniderman's children now own the property.
If Ryerson gets the land, it plans an expanded library on the site, but all of Sam's will likely not be lost.
The landmark 15-metre spinning neon discs and the Sam's sign have been designated as heritage assets by the city. That means any changes to the exterior of the building would need to be negotiated.