Thursday, September 18, 2014Mostly Cloudy 12°C
Best of Toronto

The Best Used CD Stores in Toronto

Posted by Aubrey Jax / December 30, 2013

Used CD Stores TorontoThe best used CD stores in Toronto are hanging on despite the odds. While vinyl is experiencing a resurgence, CDs are going the way of the Betamax, the drive in movie, and those cylinder things Thomas Edison liked. The 1,000GB question is: will CDs ever make a come back? There's not much nostalgia lost right now on the hiccupy, easily scratched discs (like that time I bought a brand new Radiohead album and it skipped within the first ten seconds!) but maybe odes to the lost medium aren't that far off.

Until then, here are the best remaining spots to buy and sell CDs in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Vinyl Record Stores in Toronto
The best live music venues in Toronto
The best musical instrument stores in Toronto

Sonic Boom

Sonic Boom

Sonic Boom is a staple of Toronto's indie music community, and many an in store concert goes down there. Vinyl lovers know Sonic Boom boasts two awesome locations, but watch out - only the Annex location still buys and sells CDs. Let me know if you find a working copy of Hail to the Thief. Bonus - both locations have decent cassette selections. More »

She Said Boom

She Said Boom

She Said Boom does double time between books and music on College Street and in Roncevalles Village, and for over ten years both locations have done the music store and the bookstore thing right. Here's the deal on their CD game - College is DTB (down to buy), while Roncevalles rarely is since their stock is perpetually backed up - so be warned. More »

Pandemonium

Pandemonium

Another record store and book shop, Pandemonium in the Junction recently moved a couple blocks west down Dundas, and the new digs are both bigger and better. Pandemonium will take your CDs off your hands on the condition that they're not top 40, so you'll still have to take those Mariah Carey discs to the Goodwill on Runnymede. More »

Vortex Records

Vortex Records

Vortex is going strong at Yonge & Eglinton, and has been in business since the 70s, long before our parents could ever have dreamt up magic shiny musical discs. They deal in both used music and movies, and they'll take a look at your used CDs so long as they're not classical. If you're bringing in your goods, take some time to get lost in the stacks. More »

Refried Beats

Refried Beats

Blessed with the quirkiest name out of every Toronto music shop, Refried Beats is another Yonge Street hold out - they've been in the trade since 1992. Toronto's bargain hunters won't tell you about this place because they know it's a good spot to score deals - even on special editions and semi-rares - for both music and movies, including blu-rays. More »

Mike's Music

Mike's Music

Mike's Music is named after owner Mike Waite, who, if you'll allow me to get punny, is just waiting (ha) for you to come by and chat music with him. Located on the Danforth, the messy shop is warm and inviting. Best of all, it used to be a Sam the Record Man franchise. Ask about the chandelier, and check the antique store in the basement. More »

Around Again

Around Again

Around Again Records on Baldwin is a favourite for the city's bargain hunters and jazz collectors. Jazz, classical, and soul are their specialty, but used and re-issued classic rock, pop, metal, and punk albums make their way into the bins too. The well organized shop still deals in CDs, plus vinyl and some new and used audio equipment and accessories. More »

Neurotica

Neurotica

Neurotica on Queen West hails itself as an old school record shop, but you can find CDs, DVDs and blu-rays while digging around the crammed shop, and they'll look at your CD collection with enthusiasm. As of this posting, if you like Neurotica on Facebook you can receive 20% off everything in the store for life. Whoah, welcome to the future? More »

Amoroso Music

Amoroso Music

Amoroso Music near at Queen and University are more challenging than most of the entries on this list. If you want to sell CDs you'd better call first (416-591-1313), as they're in and out of the shop. Then, make sure you're only bringing in jazz and classical discs, and be prepared for them to get picky with your stuff. Check the vinyl bins while you're there. More »

Discussion

18 Comments

Spike / December 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm
user-pic
CD's AREN'T going the way of the other formats, as people are still buying them. And the people who are buying vinyl are just deluding themselves: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&;rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaudiocritic.com%2Fback_issues%2FThe_Audio_Critic_26_r.pdf&ei=EbLBUtbTEaiiyAGKr4DYCw&usg=AFQjCNFidoItf70lJpqhCRKfiEpWKUz9SQ&sig2=-x_vpL9O9JgtMSsfFpxtdQ&bvm=bv.58187178,d.aWc
Tammy terrific / December 30, 2013 at 01:01 pm
user-pic
I really like a little store called Zoinks on Bloor near Dufferin. They always seem to have something wonderful that I didn't know I needed to round out my collection.
Bob / December 30, 2013 at 02:15 pm
user-pic
I'm in the process of transferring my Cd collection to my Computer.
Someday I'd like to transfer my cassette and vinyl.

Spike replying to a comment from Bob / December 30, 2013 at 02:59 pm
user-pic
Keep on doing it, and don't let ANYBODY trick/convince you to buy any more vinyl. You may want to keep on buying some CD's, just because the music's better when it's transferred from CD to computer.
f / December 30, 2013 at 05:03 pm
user-pic
Vinyl is fun and inexpensive. CDs are garbage. I threw out my collection years ago. Couldn't even give it away.
Arch Stanton / December 30, 2013 at 08:25 pm
user-pic
Ugh, that warm analogue sound of hipsters droning on about CDs vs. vinyl...
Lester Bangs replying to a comment from f / December 30, 2013 at 08:29 pm
user-pic
"Couldn't even give it away." Says alot. Stopping investing in crappy music then.
Gabe / December 30, 2013 at 09:24 pm
user-pic
If they can profit from selling used CDs one of these places should digitize some of the rarities that can't be found digitally and sell it to me on a USB for $3-$4.

Everytime formats change for music or movies a lot of good stuff gets left behind never to be brought forward to the new format.
Wayne / December 31, 2013 at 03:23 am
user-pic
Did someone just say vinyl is inexpensive?
Are you kidding me?!?!?!
tommy replying to a comment from Gabe / December 31, 2013 at 11:11 am
user-pic
Digitize it yourself. Most used CDs these days only cost ~$3-4.

@Wayne - used vinyl is inexpensive and is a cheap way to hear music that is 30-40 years old without being gouged by crappy CD re-releases or 'deluxe' versions. As for new vinyl, hit or miss. Beware the crap-o remasters and ridiculous 180-gram 'special' versions.
Shirley / December 31, 2013 at 01:54 pm
user-pic
It's all good (CD's, vinyl, tape etc.). What makes the difference is a good quality stereo, and headset. Now that's living!

I want to buy used (I live green), but don't because of my past experience in stores (not listed in this news article). They are generally un-organized, and I can't find what I want.

This is an industry I would love to see do well. Online shopping, means less music stores, and less employment opportunities (it's one reason I never buy online). When I see the word bins, it makes me shutter. If you want your businesses to be successful, you must organize your merchandise!

I'm going to remain hopeful and check out one or two of the stores mentioned in this article. I'll let you know what happens. Fingers crossed.
Tom / January 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm
user-pic
Sonic Boom may have a great selection, but they treat their customers - specifically males - horribly. When you enter the staff wants you to give them their bag. Many times I complied with this but on one occasion, I noticed women walking around the store with their bags in hand. When I asked one of the staff members about this, he couldn't give me a proper answer except to say that women react more negatively to having to hand in their bags and that they are carrying around "small purses" (they were not small purses). They treat their customers - including longtime ones - as criminals before they come in the store. Sure they are trying to minimize theft but they should invest in a better security system or a security guard to check bags when leaving.

Mike's Music is a nice store and Mike is a great guy but the store is very messy (narrow space).
Lincoln / January 1, 2014 at 03:53 pm
user-pic
Hey -- Vortex buys soundtracks on CD. Always has. Always will. Please correct this in your write-up. You're right that we do not buy classical music.

Further, though we have been in business since the 70s, we've been at Yonge and Eglinton since the mid 80s.
Aubrey replying to a comment from Lincoln / January 2, 2014 at 10:22 am
user-pic
Hi Lincoln, I'll correct this now, but when I called the shop last week a member of your staff gave me the info re soundtracks!
Philippa replying to a comment from Tammy terrific / January 5, 2014 at 02:32 pm
user-pic
Thanks for the mention Tammy. Just want to clarify that Zoinks does not sell CDs anymore. Great list though and I'd like to add that Circus at 866 Danforth has some great CDs.
im home bound - would like email # of store . / May 5, 2014 at 08:56 pm
user-pic
Help ,I'm looking for Freddie Scott R&b
Solange Croaker / July 31, 2014 at 10:43 am
user-pic
I like to know if you sale a C.D for aerobic for my pool to do when I go swimming I like to do exercice in the water with a C.D. please call me to let me know soon has possible
Thank you. Solange Croaker
905-936-5817
If you don't have one can you order one thank you
Gerald / September 15, 2014 at 01:36 pm
user-pic
Great recommendations, Aubrey. I hope that CDs won't die off, either. As a child of the 90s, I still like listening to music CDs. I also have this desire to have a physical copy of the music, and going to these stores will definitely help with that! I've even wrote about this on my blog here: http://goo.gl/IOdkvp . Anyway, thank you for sharing your helpful list. It's very much appreciated.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal