The Best Vinyl Record Stores in Toronto
The best vinyl record stores in Toronto are a testament both to the resurgence of vinyl - with many of these stores carrying a wide selection of new releases and reissues as well as vintage vinyl stock - and to the vibrant music community in Toronto. Every spot on this list from The Junction to Leslieville is independently owned and operated. Many host in-store concerts, and while some also deal in books and music equipment, their hearts pump vinyl straight into the veins of both local music fans and tourists who often come to town with very a specific goal: to shop till they drop for the sounds they can't buy at home.
These are the best vinyl record stores in Toronto.
It will be no surprise to Toronto music fans that relatively new Grasshopper Records has jumped to the top of the list. Next door to The Garrison on Dundas, Grasshopper's love for the vinyl trade is clear from their well curated selection of everything from rap to indie and classic rock and beyond. Prices can reflect Grasshopper's knowledge and curation, but how can you put a price on love? You can also catch live bands playing in store from time to time. To quote owner Derek Madison, "I believe in music - it's like food and sex." Preach. More »
Sonic Boom on Spadina is a staple of Toronto's music community. You'll find everything from buzzy new releases to used LP's of every genre. More »
June Records is a new Toronto spot, but music fans have caught onto them in a big way. Ian Cheung (former Kops Records' manager) opened up this unpretentious Little Italy store, venue, and DIY art space in hopes of bringing more diversity to Toronto's record store scene, and their spot at number three speaks of their success (their notoriously friendly staff might have something to do with that too). New and used vinyl is at the forefront here, but you can also catch live in store performances and rent out the adjoining artspace for cheap. More »
Rarity hunters and collectors take note - family owned Kops just gave birth to a second location in The Annex, but they're still best know for their Queen Street location. Both Kops locations deal in meticulously organized 45s and LPS of pop rock, classic rock, soul, jazz, soundtracks, county, folk, and comedy, which they separate into new vinyl, reissues, and vintage ("nearly new"). With such strict curation in store their discount bin is worth a peek, too. Before you ask them a question about music history, you might want to find a comfy spot to sit down. More »
Around Again Records is situated a stone's throw from OCAD on Baldwin. The well organized indie shop deals in both vinyl and CDs, and offer some new and used audio equipment and accessories including turn tables and record cleaning machines (their vinyl stock is cleaned on site) and is a known gem for the city's bargain hunters and jazz collectors. Jazz, classical, and soul may be their specialty, but used and re-issued classic rock, pop, metal, and old school punk albums make their way into the bins too. More »
Soundscapes is a narrow storefront on College Street with a world of sweet sounds inside. While it's a go to for the hippest new vinyl and Toronto releases, they stock everything from indie rock to folk, jazz, world, blues, soul, electronic, hip-hop, metal, and even experimental and noise, plus they're a good place to find obscure local music including cassette releases from Toronto's DIY labels and underground bands. Staff are friendly and helpful, and you can grip tix for most hot ticket shows here. More »
Don't get confused or think you've entered some kind of roving used record store vortex - the two Cosmos locations are extremely close together. The original location just east of Bathurst focuses on soul, rare groove, vintage rock, old school hip hop, and disco, while the Cosmos West location - just west of Bathurst - specializes in jazz, Latin, Brazillian, psych, and disco. While the prices can be a little high there's no shipping cost to grab records in shop, Ebay heads, and you can find great quality discs here. They're always looking to buy records. More »
She Said Boom rocks (and nerds out) both on College Street and in Roncesvalles Village. For over ten years both locations have done the music store and the bookstore thing right - this isn't one of those spots that dabbles with a weak music biography shelf or bin of battered used vinyl. Genres run from indie and rock to jazz, and from electronica to roots and reggae. The stock in these vibrant stores has a high turn around rate so you'll want to pop by pretty regularly. It's also a great place to pick up local free music magazine "Offerings." More »
Both record store and book shop, Pandemonium is a treasure of the Junction. Owner Neill Cunningham recently moved a smidge west down Dundas to nicer, and larger, digs, but the well curated and organized stock still never runs dry. Vinyl stock really does cover everything genre-wise, staff are helpful, prices are remarkably affordable, and it's impossible to leave without buying anything - even if you thought your pockets were empty, you'll end up scrounging some coinage from the depths. More »
Discovery Records is a Leslieville spot to buy and sell used LPs and 45s, plus you can still grip everything from CD's to books and DVDs to reel to reel releases - yes, those giant cassette tape things. They specialize in rock (no new releases) but deal in all genres from jazz, blues, world, and R&B to spoken word and classical, plus their cassette selection is notable too. Turn over is good, so if you're in the east end stop by whenever you get a chance - or just check the complete inventory on their website. More »
This well organized Danforth shop is both a record and CD shop and bookstore, and you can sell wares here or trade in for credit. Vinyl selection is limited and runs all over the map but leans toward the standard finds, though if you pick through their records you're bound to cross a minor grail or two off your list. With east enders from the Danforth and Leslieville hitting it up regularly to both buy and sell the turn over rate means stock is always fresh. More »
While a Japanese art store might not scream "collectable vinyl" (or used books, CDs, and movies), that's what Paradise Bound of Kensington Market does, and they do it well. Record hunters can dig the eclectic vibe while browsing rock, pop, disco, jazz, soul, blues, reggae, electronic and, well, misc (from calypso to metal) LPs, 45s, and 7″s, and maybe walk out with a fine art woodblock print too. More »