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Vortex Records to open new shop on Queen West

Posted by Aubrey Jax / February 24, 2014

Good Music record store torontoA new record shop will open on Queen West on Saturday, meaning another spot for the city's already spoiled vinyl collectors to get their grip on. Lincoln Stewart, manager of Vortex Records, a Yonge & Eglinton shop that consistently makes our best record stores in Toronto list, is opening Good Music at 256A Queen West inside Black Market, taking over where Penguin Music used to be (and downstairs from the old Pages Books spot - RIP). It looks like the record store resurgence is still going strong in Toronto.

The news of the new shop comes on the heels of Magic Pony announcing abandonment of their current location, demonstrating that you never can predict what's going to happen along this stretch of Queen Street. Music fans can browse "Japanese pressings, out-of-print titles, micro-labels, classic rock, ambient, indie, alternative, and jazz" stock at the official opening after 11:30 on Saturday, and those looking to sell will be able to make appointments for the coming weekends (Fridays through Sundays). For now, you can browse some vinyl titles on Instagram.

Note: an earlier version of this post stated that Stewart is Vortex's owner -- he is in fact Vortex's manager.



whoDatt / February 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm
Nice to see, hopefully this place doesn't become chock full of hipsters
Daniel MacQuarrie / February 24, 2014 at 08:54 pm
I wish Vortex the best of luck, I have seen 3 record shops in The Beach (Queen st east), open and close in the last couple of years. Hopefully there are more vinyl fans in the West end.
Gus / February 24, 2014 at 11:44 pm
Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't there a Vortex on Queen back in the glory days of the 80s? I recall selling lots of stuff to Queen guys back then and I'm sure Vortex was in the mix. Is this the same proprietor?
Lincoln / February 24, 2014 at 11:48 pm
HI Aubrey -- thanks for the plug!

A few corrections:

1. I do not own Vortex -- Vortex has always had the same owner; I just run the place.

2. You're correct that I won't be buying during opening weekend but, to clarify, I will be buying vinyl at the new shop on future weekends *between* Fridays and Sundays (no appt needed) or by appointment on other days of the week.

And some other details:

This will be a very small shop. Half the size of Vortex, which is already a small shop. I am taking advantage of the availability of the space, which a friend used to own, and had not been planning on a new shop, so inventory will be slight at the opening, with maybe 1000 records, though I think they're a pretty good 1000 and then hopefully once the word's out I'll be bringing in new stuff regularly. Keep an eye on that Instagram and a web site will be up soon (I'll announce it on Vortex's site, or FB).

Though I will be buying and selling at the store between Fridays and Sundays, it will be open to sell records and CDs every day of the week.

Because this was done on short notice (I only confirmed getting the space 18 days ago), I have yet to change the signage, so on the street look for the Penguin Music sign or the Black Market sign.

Still waiting on Bell to come hook up the phone and am praying they get it done by opening so I can take credit cards and debit. If they don't -- and being Bell, I suspect they won't -- it'll be cash only on opening weekend. I'd recommend people be prepared for that, Bell being Bell.

Lastly, I'll still be running Vortex and buying new vinyl for that shop. I'll just be there one day less per week.

Lincoln replying to a comment from Gus / February 24, 2014 at 11:54 pm
Gus, the person who started Vortex and still owns the only remaining location did have a few different locations over the years. He also sold the name a few times to other retailers. For instance, Kops used to be Kops / Vortex and there was another Vortex closer to Queen and Spadina if memory serves.
Pat / February 25, 2014 at 12:34 am
I haven't been to Vortex in at least 10 years, but I used to always skip school and hang out there. Bought most of my DVD collection there. Nicest people.
Aubrey replying to a comment from Lincoln / February 25, 2014 at 08:31 am
Hey Lincoln, thanks for clearing that up! I've changed the post to say as much :)
moonshake / February 25, 2014 at 10:08 am
There used to be 2 different Vortexes on Queen. The first one was on the south side of Queen east of Spadina. Then... another Vortex opened on the West side of Spadina on the south side of Queen not very far along from the other. There's a story with THAT dumb move.
Aaron / February 25, 2014 at 06:54 pm
Lincoln has been doing more than a fine job with Vortex for many years. With his knowledge, appreciation of music, and good vibes, this new store is sure to be keeners. Looking forward to more than one day of bugging him at the shop. You should too.
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