From record connoisseurs to vinyl amateurs, figuring out the best spots in Toronto to find your favourite band’s 12-inch can be tough, especially since new record shops are popping up all the time.
Whether you’re looking for a classic album or an eccentric deep cut, if you’re on the hunt for your favourite scavenging spot we’ve got you covered. Check out these great shops to dig for vinyl gems you won’t be able to stop bragging about.
If you ask any Torontonian where to find a record store, they’ll probably direct you to Sonic Boom. The multi-level Chinatown store has a huge variety of vinyl from classical records to modern indie LPs. On the first floor, you’ll find a small representation of the entire store with some of the top new releases on CD and vinyl, but as you head downstairs your eyes will be flooded with rows upon rows of iconic records.
Soundscapes is staffed with some of the most knowledgable music folks around and have a great attitude. They will help you find the music you are looking for and have a huge selection of indie and obscure releases for the hardcore music collector. They also have a great collection of music books for those wanting to delve even deeper, and it’s well known as one of the best things about College West.
Tiny Record Shop
Queen Street East’s Tiny Record Shop is “not your average record shop.” It’s run by local record label Paper Bag and carries vinyl from artists on the label, as well as several from iconic musicians like David Bowie, The Clash, and The Ramones. Small but mighty, this little store is packed with wall racks of new releases and vinyl-filled bins. You’ll find everything you’re looking for at Tiny Record Shop from hand-picked European imports to finds from around the US.
Rotate This is well known across the city as the spot to pick up concert tickets, but it also has a large selection of new and used vinyl and record accessories like turntables. This vinyl wonderland is full of new releases from independent bands and artists from Canada, the U.S., England, and around the world, and they pride themselves on being an equal-genre retailer.
Small but mighty, Cosmos Records doesn’t have a large square footage, but it’s worth squeezing through to find the perfect vinyl addition to your collection. The store is a simple room jam-packed with shelves and vinyl on every possible wall, with a heavy selection of Soul, Hip Hop, Rock, and Disco records.
Half record store, half cafe, Antikka is a great place to go for Aremenian coffee and vinyls. Grab a steaming cup of joe and peruse through over 1200 new and used records, where you’ll find some of the most coveted albums in indie, hard rock, country, and soul music. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, their in-house vinyl connoisseur, Nathan Lemay, will help you by ordering the album you’re seeking.
This vintage vinyl store has transformed into a collector’s hub since it began back in the 70’s, and now it even has multiple locations across the city. The Danforth location has a warehouse section in the back, where you’ll find stacks of very rare, old vinyl from original Beatles LPs to Martin Luther King Jr. speeches.
Dead Dog Records
Dead Dog Records has one of the greatest selections of vintage vinyls in the city, along with plenty of merchandise to browse through. This organized spot is focused on the music, with a mix of current and old vinyl, as well as band tees, toys, and turntables. Dead Dog Records will even buy your unwanted records as well to sell it to someone who will use it.
Roncesvalles’ Tonality is full of coveted indie vinyls and an expansive selection of audio equipment, including top quality used record players and guitars. When the store first opened the owner, Julian Seth-Wong, was only 18 years old, and he decided to trade in a classical piano diploma for a hip vinyl store. This clean, minimalist shop is full of indie favourites like Metric, Of Montreal, and other artist off of small run indie labels.
Pandemonium is full of books, DVDs, and vinyls that come both new and used. The Junction-based shop opened over a decade ago, and since then it’s been filled with stacks and stacks of eclectic records. This record store will also buy your quality books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl for resale.
Toronto’s most eclectic neighbourhood, Kensington Market, boasts Paradise Bound, an authentic Japanese art and vinyl store. This record store is all about the look and feel, with vinyls sitting in bins made from wine crates, and Japanese art plastered to the walls. The cozy shop isn’t genre specific, with music from rock and pop to jazz and reggae.
In the Groove
With over 40,000 records and an inventory that is growing daily, In the Groove is the perfect spot for vinyl collectors. This eclectic Leslieville hot spot carries vintage rock, British invasion, soul, disco, and more, as well as various books and posters of stars in all genres of music and film.