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Best of Toronto

The Best Video Stores in Toronto

Posted by Alice Prendergast / October 10, 2015

video rental torontoThe best video rental stores in Toronto are world class havens filled with cult films and blockbusters. With streaming services like Netflix cornering the at home movie watching market, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find well-stocked video stores. Luckily, these shops, have managed to stand the test of time and carry flicks you just can't find on the internet.

Of course, if you're a seasoned film buff looking for an expansive collection, you can always check out the TIFF Film Reference library, it may not be a rental store per say, but it's collection blows most shops out of the water.

Here are the best video rental stores in Toronto.

Queen Video

Queen Video

With locations at Queen and Spadina and The Annex, this shop is keeping the tradition of video renting alive by offering a ton of titles not available on Netflix and Shomi. The store boasts an astronomically large library of DVDs and Blu-rays for customers to browse through, with everything from classic films to contemporary TV shows lining their shelves. More »

Suspect Video

Suspect Video

This Mirvish Village store has been crafting its massive video and memorabilia collection since 1991, filling its shelves with books, magazines and collectors items. Movies continue to be the main draw of the store, with a vast collection of everything from sci-fi flicks to quirky foreign films. More »

Eyesore Cinema

Eyesore Cinema

Eyesore Cinema is much more than your average video store. The West Queen West shop sells books, magazines, t-shirts, and handmade baked goods, while also renting out videos. Their inventory offers rare, out of print DVDs that you definitely won't be able to stream online. The shop also curates movie screenings at bars like Tequila Bookworm so that you can watch niche flicks with like-minded film buffs. More »

Bay Street Video

Bay Street Video

If you want variety, look no further than this store near Bay and Bloor. They stock over 26,000 DVD and 3,000 Blu-ray titles, giving customers ample options to choose from. On its shelves you'll find everything from The Avengers to Bette Davis classics. Every two months they also run a Films for Free program, where customers can explore hand-chosen flicks free of charge. More »

Videoflicks

Videoflicks

In operation since the mid 80's, this well-loved video mecca near Avenue and Lawrence knows its stuff. The two floor shop has been divided by genre, with the upper floor housing kid-friendly and contemporary flicks and the lower level housing classics. Its vast collection includes titles like Pirates of the Caribbean, Who's Line Is It Anyway?, Dracula, and more. More »

7-24 Movies & More

7-24 Movies & More

7-24 Movies & More is where to go in the Church-Wellesley Village if you're on the hunt for a new film. Open since 1998, the store has grown to stock over 20,000 titles (and is still growing). It currently boasts Toronto's largest collection of LBGT-oriented films, but also has solid collections of Canadian films, documentaries, and foreign flicks. More »

Vintage Video

Vintage Video

This Mirvish Village shop is the resident supplier of all things vintage. Expect to find everything from Shakespearian feature films to World War documentaries. Along with its impressive selection of videos, you'll find a unique collection of original film posters, die cast plane and tank models, and a few historical helmets. More »

2Q Video

2Q Video

This St. Clair West store specializes in new releases, foreign films, criterion, documentaries, Canadian flicks and TV shows. When you borrow a film from 2Q, a portion of the rental cost goes toward buying rice for needy families, so you're also doing a little good. More »

2 For 1 Movies

2 For 1 Movies

This Bloor West Village mainstay may not flaunt the most expansive collection, but it has everything you'll need for a good movie night. Its library is filled with mostly older releases, plus a few contemporary titles. The staff is known to be extremely knowledgeable about movies and are always happy to give out recommendations. More »

Discussion

16 Comments

Nate / October 10, 2015 at 07:56 am
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2Q Video closed over a month ago
Messina / October 10, 2015 at 08:24 am
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Video stores are like VCR's. Nobody uses them anymore.
chester / October 10, 2015 at 10:40 am
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I just woke up...what year is it???
Joey / October 10, 2015 at 11:46 am
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Back in February I was surprised to learn from other commenters that the renting DVDs and BluRays is not dead: http://www.blogto.com/film/2015/02/redbox_shutting_down_in_canada/
Bay Street Video / October 10, 2015 at 04:16 pm
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Thanks blogTO
You’re right! Torontonians are blessed with numerous phenomenal video stores – and with good reason…

Our diverse city has a huge population of extremely savvy lovers of filmed entertainment. They embrace exploring films across all genres and won’t settle for just the latest Hollywood blockbuster. They’re keenly aware that On Demand and internet streaming (legally or illegally) still has a long, long way to go before nearing the selection available on DVD & Blu-ray.

Even though it’s convenient to click a mouse or remote control and find something to watch, that’s just not good enough for people who are really into film. Every one of these shops house thousands upon thousands of excellent films that can’t be found anywhere else.

Combine that with the human element of being among peers who also love film, these fantastic shops will be around for a long time to come. The naysayers who believe video stores are a thing of the past are correct only to the point that video stores are dead to them. And that’s fair.

P.S. Corrections to blogTO’s description of us:
1. We currently stock approximately 26,000 DVD & 3,000 Blu-ray titles for rental. Our purchase selection is even larger.
2. Our ‘Films for Free @ BSV’ is continuous and themes rotate every 2 months. We make sure to have a minimum of 100 excellent film titles available for everyone to borrow absolutely free as our way of giving back to the film-loving community.
Allen / October 10, 2015 at 07:31 pm
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As much as its all of our duty to keep things on thier original formats, I think there's as much of a duty to make sure older films and music aren't lost in the past and digitized for future generations to learn from and enjoy the pasts amazing work.
Lazar / October 10, 2015 at 08:13 pm
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Every time there's a change in formats movies (vhs, dvds, streaming) or music (cassettes, vinyl, CD, .mp3, streaming) certain titles don't make the cut and don't make it forward to the new format. DVD weren't the end all and be all whether Hollywood Blockbuster or not. I'm outta here, peace. Y'all enjoy whatever format you like, enjoy them all you don't have to choose one!!!
llj / October 12, 2015 at 02:20 am
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What's up with all these commenters trying out their lame one-liners in a topic about video stores? Toronto is a big city filled with people with a lot of varied habits and interests. There are just as many proponents and users of physical media as there are those who have moved to digital only. And some people, you know, like actually going out for a walk once in a while instead of sitting on their butts clicking away on their computers.
The Chekan replying to a comment from Bay Street Video / October 12, 2015 at 10:11 am
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Question: do you guys stock any old TV shows from the 1960's for rental?
G / October 13, 2015 at 12:54 pm
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More of the remaining video shops need to take a cue from BSV and put their collection lists online and searchable.

Too many still operate as a browse-and-rent business, ignoring the fact that their biggest benefit is stocking films that are hard or impossible to download or stream. Some convenience would go a long way to helping these businesses, rather than requiring customers to call multiple shops and slowly explain and spell out the title/director to a clerk who has never heard of it/them. It's even worse when you need multiple titles and have to hunt for who has most/all.
Bay Street Video replying to a comment from The Chekan / October 13, 2015 at 07:38 pm
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The majority of television series we rent are mostly from the last few decades, but you will also find some classic TV for rent too.

We stock thousands of television series on DVD & Blu-ray for rental and sale. You can browse much of what we carry on our website baystreetvideo.com - click "Browse By Genre" then select 'TV/Miniseries'. It is also possible to browse our "British TV" selection online.
Mote99 / October 13, 2015 at 11:17 pm
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There's also a 7-24 movies on Queen Street West in Parkdale, just west of Lansdowne. They have a pretty good rental collection and they also sell used discs. Besides the Film Buff on Roncesvalles, I think it's the only video store left in that area.
Mote99 / October 14, 2015 at 12:42 am
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This is the 7-24 Movies store in Parkdale: http://724movies.com/724-in-parkdale/index.html

If you're interested in renting from them, they're located at 1530 Queen Street West. As I mentioned above, they have a decent rental collection and they also sell used discs.
The Chekan replying to a comment from Bay Street Video / October 29, 2015 at 06:49 pm
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Thanks.
Steven / November 8, 2015 at 11:36 am
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City Jug Milk - 1881 Gerrard St E has a pretty good selection.
Myname replying to a comment from Mote99 / January 19, 2016 at 04:00 pm
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The film Buff is in the process of closing out.
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