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Best Toronto Record Stores

Best Record Stores in Toronto

In a world that often feels like it’s gone digital, one might ask, “Why do we need record stores?” Aside from sparing our thumbs the endless scrolling, vinyl records offer a tangible link to music, with its large, colourful album covers and physical presence.

Join us as we explore Toronto’s best record stores that can offer you limited vinyl editions, rare releases, and unique pressings. Serving as community hubs, record stores also bring together music enthusiasts and support local scenes!

Sonic Boom

Website: Sonic Boom

Instagram: Sonic Boom Records (@sonicboommusic)

Address: 215 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2C7

Hours: Mon-Sun: 11 AM–8 PM

Contact: (416) 532-0334

Sonic Boom Music, established in 2001 in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood, is Canada’s largest independent record store. It was founded by Jeff Barber who wanted to share his passion for collecting vintage vinyl records.

It has also become a cultural hub, hosting record signings and in-store performances featuring artists like the Broken Social Scene and Mac DeMarco. Moreover, it has a consignment service, allowing customers to sell their CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and vinyl. 

Pro Tip:
Take advantage of Sonic Boom’s convenient shipping option, which includes free shipping for purchases over $175. This will allow you to effortlessly build your music collection from the comfort of your home.

Kops Records

Website: Kops Records

Instagram: Real Kops Records (@kopsrecords)

Address: 395 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2A5

Hours: Mon-Sun: 11 AM–7 PM

Contact: (416) 593-8523

Kops Records, established in 1976, is Toronto’s oldest independent record store, operating three locations across the city. It was founded by owner Martin Koppel, who initially traded records out of parking lots after moving from England in the ’70s. 

Known for its careful buying and selling practices, Kops Records prides itself on ethical transactions. Moreover, the store offers Ontario-wide free shipping for orders over $100 and Canada-wide free shipping for orders exceeding $ 150.

Pro Tip:
If you’re planning to sell or trade your records, then head to Kops Records’ Danforth or Oshawa locations where they buy records, and the added bonus is hassle-free parking for your convenience. It’s a win-win for music enthusiasts looking to declutter!

Rotate This

Website: Rotate This

Instagram: Rotate This (@rotatethis)

Address: 186 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z7

Hours: Mon-Tue, Sun: 12–6 PM

  Thurs-Fri: 11 AM–7 PM

  Saturday: 11 AM–6 PM

Contact: (416) 504-8447

Rotate This is known for its diverse collection covering all genres except country and classical. The staff’s passion for music creates a welcoming atmosphere that resonates with every visitor. 

A move from West Queen West to Ossington in 2016 didn’t deter its loyal customer base. The store’s layout, with floor-to-ceiling displays of new releases and alphabetised bins at the back, caters to both casual browsers and dedicated collectors. 

The store excels in various genres, with a particular affinity for indie rock. Beyond that, the store impressively caters to diverse tastes, offering notable selections in hip hop, electronic, jazz, and punk –  definitely something for everyone!

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to grab concert tickets for upcoming local independent shows while exploring the extensive vinyl offerings of Rotate This. This will help secure your spot at the hottest gigs in Toronto.

Tonality

Website: Tonality Records

Instagram: Tonality Records (@tonalityrecords)

Address: 2173 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6R 1X5

Hours: Tue, Thurs, Sat-Sun: 12 PM–6 PM

  Friday: 2 PM–8 PM

Contact: (416) 532-8808

When Julian Seth-Wong was just 18 years old nine years ago, he founded Tonality in the west end of Toronto. Since then, it has become a go-to spot for indie enthusiasts, offering vinyl records, audio equipment, and vintage treasures. 

This specialty shop has a clean, minimalist design and vintage touches, creating a unique atmosphere. Customers can browse through the wooden bins at the front, showcasing records curated by indie labels rather than organised by artists or genres.

In addition to turntables and speakers, they also offer an extensive collection of hand-picked titles, vintage electronics, and one-of-a-kind vinyl innovations.

Pro Tip:
We recommend engaging with the knowledgeable staff at Tonality to uncover hidden gems within their wide selection of small-run indie titles. Don’t hesitate to explore the vintage audio equipment section for unique finds to enhance your music-hunting trip.

Play De Record

Website: Play De Record

Instagram: Play De Record (@playderecord)

Address: 411 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2G6

Hours: Mon, Thurs-Sat: 12 PM–8 PM

  Wednesday: 12 PM–6 PM

Contact: (416) 586-0380

For over 25 years, Play De Record has stood out in Toronto’s vinyl scene as a DJ store, catering to turntablists, producers, and music enthusiasts alike. It also offers a diverse vinyl selection and in-store ticket purchases.

This legendary record store was once frequented by international legends like Nas and Goldie, and we think this store has earned its place in the city’s music history. Despite relocating due to rising costs, Play De Record remains a go-to destination in Chinatown.

Pro Tip:
If you’re eyeing local concert tickets, make sure to bring cash, as tickets are available for purchase in-store only and require cash payments. Additionally, don’t forget that all ticket prices already include a service fee!

Pandemonium

Website: Pandemonium

Instagram: Neill Cunningham (@pandemoniumbooksanddiscs)

Address: 2920 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P 1Y8

Hours: Mon-Wed: 12 PM–6 PM

 Thurs-Fri: 12 PM–7 PM

 Saturday: 11 AM–6 PM

 Sunday: 12 PM–5 PM

Contact: (416) 769-5257

Pandemonium has been a hub for Toronto residents since its establishment in 2000. After a move and expansion in 2012, the store tripled in size, offering an even more extensive collection of new and used books, DVDs, and vinyl records. 

With a penchant for quality, Pandemonium not only sells but also buys items such as new and used books, CDs, DVDs, and vintage vinyl. It’s a valuable destination for those looking to both explore and part with their cherished pieces.

Pro Tip:
If you’re considering selling items, ensure they’re in excellent condition, as Pandemonium has quite a selective approach. Bring in well-maintained pieces to increase your chances of a successful resale transaction.

Dead Dog Records

Website: Dead Dog Records

Instagram: Dead Dog Records (@deaddogrecords)

Address: 1277 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1N7

Hours: Mon-Thurs: 12 PM–6 PM

  Friday: 8 AM–7 PM

  Saturday: 11 AM–7 PM

  Sunday: 12 PM–5 PM

Contact: (647) 748-0748

Dead Dog Records stands out in Toronto with its impressive collection of vintage vinyl, offering a diverse range of music that caters to both contemporary and classic tastes. Beyond vinyl, the store provides a curated selection of band tees, toys, and turntables. 

Its name was born from a quirky tale involving a manager, malfunctioning toy dogs, and a resourceful employee. After the dogs failed to work, the employee rebranded them as “Dead Dogs” with a $5 price tag, leading to the distinctive name for the record store.

Pro Tip:
Keep an eye on Dead Dog Records’ website for exclusive online and seasonal deals, offering discounts of up to 50%. This savvy tip allows everyone to enhance their music collection while also enjoying savings on quality vinyl finds.

Cosmos Records

Website: CosmosRecords

Instagram: Cosmos Records (@cosmosrecords)

Address: 607a Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B7

Hours: Mon-Sat: 12 PM–7 PM

 Sunday: 12 PM–6 PM

Contact: (416) 603-0254

Cosmos Records, a quaint throwback from the late ’90s, is a haven of rare and collectible gems in genres like soul, vintage rock, hip hop, and disco. With even its walls lined with vinyl, people have been known to browse here for hours. 

Despite its small footprint, the flagship store on Queen West is a music lover’s paradise, featuring a curated selection of records that have been more or less forgotten. It has also attracted visits from notable artists like Madlib and MF Doom.

Pro Tip:
We suggest exploring their lower shelves for budget-friendly finds. You might score rare albums from artists like Al Green and Curtis Mayfield for under $10, even if they might be in less-than-perfect condition.

Shortstack Records

Website: Shortstack Records

Instagram: Shortstack Records (@shortstackrecords)

Address: 1006 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1W6

Hours: Mon, Fri, Sat-Sun: 12 PM–6 PM

Contact: (416) 205-9191

Shortstack Records is a nominee for Best Record Store and Best Collectibles Shop in Toronto. It also stands out for its dense quality-to-quantity ratio and has been recognized by media outlets like NOW Magazine, Toronto Star, Yahoo, CBC, and CTV.

This smaller but dynamic store, operational since November 2015, boasts a well-updated selection in its new arrivals bins. It frequently offers rare records at reasonable prices, and famous musicians like Billy Corgan have made visits here.

Pro Tip:
If you have vinyl albums you no longer listen to, consider bringing them here and trade them in for fresh vinyl treasures. You could also explore the curated collection in this expertly managed 380-square-foot record joint.

Grasshopper Records

Website: Grasshopper Records

Instagram: Grasshopper Records (@grasshoppersrecordshop)

Address: 1164 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1X4

Hours: Tue-Sat: 1 PM–9 PM

  Sunday: 1 PM–8 PM

Contact: (416) 534-0180

Grasshopper Records was established in 2012 and is currently located in Little Portugal. It exudes a laid-back atmosphere with its narrow space adorned with records and Star Wars memorabilia against charming exposed brick walls. 

Owner Derek Madison has been a part of Toronto’s Grasshopper band since the early ’90s, in addition to playing with Transcendental Rodeo, 10,000 Watt Head, and Glass Sex on the side. Derek also DJs every Monday at The Red Light.

Pro Tip:
Customers should feel free to engage with owner Derek Madison to uncover hidden gems and gain insights into the music he’s personally experienced. This will make your vinyl exploration at Grasshopper Records even more enriching.


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