in the groove closing

Toronto record store is closing after 16 years

Looks like we're losing another gem, Toronto music lovers. Vinyl record store In The Groove is sadly closing its doors. 

The Leslieville spot opened 16 years ago and has been providing vinyl enthusiasts with a wide variety of music ever since. 

The owner, Sheldon Draper, opened the store because of his passion for music and his love of sharing it with others.

He said he's closing down because business has been extremely slow in the past two years, but if it were up to him, he'd keep his doors open. 

"I would love to stay here if I could continue staying even remotely busy," Draper said. "It's difficult but I love the business. I’ve always loved the business."

Draper is over 70 years old now, and said he'd consider moving the store to another location if he was younger, but it would be too difficult and expensive to move the more than 50,000 records he has to a new place. 

In The Groove sadly isn't the first record store in Toronto to close down in recent months.

June Records announced it was closing at the beginning of the summer and Grigorian, the city's last classical music store, announced it would be closing its doors in May.

"Even thought they say records are coming back, a lot of small stores are being pushed out due to increasing rent or buildings being sold,” Draper said. 

He added that online shopping is a major competitor and provides shoppers with cheaper options, although the quality is usually not as good. 

"Yesterday, when I started my liquidation sale, I was as busy as when I opened 16 years," Draper said. "It took that to get people in the door, so I think it’s all about the money. Certainly the interest in the records is there, but people like to browse more than they shop.”

Draper said he doesn't have an exact closing date yet.

"I really don’t want to close but I'm forced to," he said. "[In The Groove] was my whole life. It meant everything to me to meet people, talk to people and tell them about the music they’re buying.”

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