The Best Record Shops In Toronto

Soundtrack Week at The Tiny Record Shop
Soundtrack Week at The Tiny Record Shop | Image courtesy of The Tiny Record Shop
Alix Hall

The number of record stores in Toronto is a testament to Torontonians’ loyalty to – and love of – vinyl records. Despite the influx of new and evolving music formats, music just sounds better on vinyl. Toronto is serious about preserving the art, with independent shops scattered throughout the city. Whether you’re simply looking to browse, or are on the hunt for rare vinyl finds, check out these 10 shops.

1. Ric’s Recollections


After 23 years in business, Ric’s Recollections may no longer be a ‘best kept secret’; word has spread that this is the go-to place for vinyl if you find yourself in Mississauga. While not in Toronto proper, this list wouldn’t be complete without Ric’s: here you’ll find every genre, and both used and new records. Browse over 20,000 titles in rock, jazz, blues, R&B, country, pop, and international collections. You’ll also find everything you need to keep your records up and running, including cartridges, brushes, vinyl record cleaning fluid, and more. Remember, it is ‘recollections,’ not just ‘collections,’ at Ric’s.

2. Rotate This


Rotate This has become a sort of Toronto institution among fans of independent music. With its convenient Queen West location, you’ll have ample opportunity to stop in. Stocking both classic and new releases, Rotate This sells records by your favorite independent artists and bands from both Canada and around the globe. Don’t let the hipness deter you; the music-savvy staff knows its stuff – be sure to ask for recommendations. And for all your live-music-going needs: get official tickets to concerts, as well.

3. Cosmos Records


Cosmos Records, Toronto
© Jeremy B/WikiCommons
Cosmos Records established itself as a name in vintage vinyl in 1998. Known to house rare editions, the store draws a variety of music fans to its two Queen Street locations. A friendly and casual space, the store also has listening stations to help you pick and choose from a wide variety – jazz, soul, Latin, Brazilian, vintage rock, disco, house and hip hop, among many others. Cosmos Records buys old records, and if you are looking to sell an old collection, get in touch on the website.

4. Sonic Boom Records


Sonic Boom Records is Canada’s largest independent record store, open to its music fans 364 days a year. Located downtown on Spadina, the store stocks more than just records: CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, books, and accessories are also available. While the store purchases vinyl of many styles, including rock, pop, soul, R&B, blues, jazz, reggae, international, punk, metal, psychedelic, garage rock, hip hop, electronic, country, and folk, it does not buy classical, vocal, easy listening, and religious records.
You can gain free access to in-store events for as little as a non-perishable food item, donated to Ft. York Food Bank.

5. Pandemonium


Pandemonium record store is on Dundas Street, where you can walk through the collections of CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, and vinyl records. Open since 2000, the store buys and sells records, CDs, and DVDs as well. Pandemonium is open to buying jazz, funk, soul, rock, metal, punk, and blues; classical records might be turned away.

6. In The Groove


Soundtrack Week at The Tiny Record Shop
Image courtesy of The Tiny Record Shop
With over 40,000 records in store, In The Groove is a store for your vintage music cravings. The Queen Street store keeps an extensive rock, blues, and jazz collection. It prides itself on building personal rapport with customers while they browse the collections at leisure. The staff is happy to give suggestions and help you pick your favorites from the collection.

7. The Tiny Record Shop


This tiny Queen Street store is not short on music; in fact The Tiny Record Shop is Downtown Toronto’s most well known space for music and more. The store boasts a variety of genres and stocks new and vintage vinyl releases from 1950 to the most recent and hard to find titles – country, blues, soul, reggae, and classical. Get tickets to concerts, and for as little as a non-perishable item as donation, gain free access to in-store performances. Visit the online store, as well, to find and order titles.

8. Play De Record


Play De Record, Toronto
© Dennis Brekke/Flickr
Play De Record is an old hand, serving Toronto’s music community for 25 years. Disco, hip hop, jazz, or rock… you can browse the collection on the website, as well. The store also sells a host of other items of interest to music makers, such as DJ and studio equipment, tickets, t-shirts, and more. If you are looking for a space to learn or practice being a DJ, there is rental space available right in the store. Check out the website to learn more about what’s available. Do not give a miss to this old player.

9. She Said Boom

Bookstore, Store

She Said Boom is a record and bookstore that sells new and used CDs and records at its two locations, High Park and Kensington Market. You can specifically find alternative, electronica, jazz, and reggae. The store has served Toronto for over 20 years and continues to keep the city’s music folk updated on what’s in and the latest in vinyl, books, and CDs.

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