The 8 Best Record Stores in Toronto

With Sunrise and HMV all but closing up shop in Toronto, you may be looking for some new options to buy your vinyl (or CDs if you’re still into that) in the city.

Lucky for you, the independent record store scene in Toronto is still alive and holding strong…for now.

And in order to keep this trend alive, here are 8 great options for getting your tactile music fix in the city. 

The reigning champion of the indie music stores is, and likely always will be, Sonic Boom. Even with its recent location changes – the longstanding location on Bloor was moved to Honest Ed’s, then they added a location in Kensington, and now they’ve merged both into a new location on Spadina – nothing can stop this from being the go-to for most music fans in the city. Also, it’s the one that still throws great in-stores if you like to see great bands for free.

Sonic Boom’s main competition comes in the form of Queen West’s Rotate This. But Rotate suffers from a thick reputation for hiring only unfriendly music snobs to work the store, which turns the average music fan off in fear of being made fun of for their less than hip music choices. Bug it’s still an amazing store if you’re looking for a rare vinyl from that new Portland band.

This College Street staple is beloved among many for its knowledgeable staff and well curated collection. It’s always a shock to see how much they manage to fit into such a small store.

Another College Street staple, She Said Boom! is known for a great selection of both used records and books. If you’re up for doing some crate digging you just might find a few gems.

This shop is relatively new to the vinyl scene, but we’re so glad they decided to take the risk of opening a physical music store despite what has been happening to music sales over the past decade. This small store (also on College, though much further west) has friendly employees, a curated selection, and competitive pricing.

Billing themselves “Toronto’s Oldest Independent Record Store,” Kops has been kicking around the city since 1967. With locations on Queen and Bloor, you’ll definitely find that rare old record you’ve been digging around for.

While Vortex might be much further north than you’d probably expect to travel for a record (at Eglinton on Yonge), it’s a long running, reliable Toronto staple. The selection is small but well organized and the prices sometimes make it worth the trip north of Bloor.

Another Queen West store, Neurotica sells vinyl but also runs a studio that can take care of your duplication, restoration, recording, or mastering needs. You know you’ve always wanted to cut an album. Let them help you do it. 


Cover image from:L WeHeartIt

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